The question wasn’t asked in the context of whether this current run is reminiscent of the team’s 2012 run, because really, what the Kings accomplished in 2012 is not likely to ever be replicated. An eight seed, using the exact same defensive pairings and nearly the exact same lineup, jumped out to three-nothing leads in four straight series – opening all of them on the road – in capturing the Stanley Cup while posting an .800 winning percentage.
But a question was asked of Matt Greene about whether the team ever thinks of the 2012 run in its current quest, and whether the legendary run from two years ago is a part of the team’s collective subconscious and capable of guiding it through challenging predicaments such as a deadlocked conference final against the defending champions. As Greene noted, this year’s run is grounded much more in reality than the storybook developments that took place two springs ago.
“It’s completely different,” Greene said. “I don’t think anybody would have thought that was going to happen in 2012. I think this is way more realistic of how teams get to this point in the series. It’s hard fought series. You have to put that away. Like you said, it doesn’t matter what happened last series. It’s completely new and on Saturday it won’t matter what happened in Game 2. You have to start fresh every night and you have to be ready for that new battle every night because you know they’re going to do the same thing. They’re going to come out and they don’t care about what happened in game 2 either. They’re going to come out and play hard and play their game.”
Though the Kings opened up the playoffs against the Presidents’ Trophy winners two years ago, their current postseason road has been obstructed with heavyweights in 111-point San Jose and 116-point Anaheim.
And, of course, the defending Cup champs in 107-point Chicago.
“They’re a good team,” Greene said. “It’s been a series that’s gone in their favor for the last couple years now. We have to do our best to change that. Obviously if we could put a finger on that, we would. But it’s up to us to figure it out and to keep it going and get some more wins.
Greene also denied any cerebral advantage held by Chicago.
“I don’t think they have the mental edge on us, no,” he said. “It’s just that you have to go out and play, and that’s it. We’re down to the final four. You have the final four out of 30, it’s going to be good teams left. You just have to go out and play your game and you have to make sure you’re doing everything you can to give your team success.”
Matt Greene, whether he wishes there was one day between games instead of two:
Yeah, but at the same time you can’t fight the schedule. So get your rest when you can get it. It’s up to us to make sure the momentum stays when the puck drops.
Greene, on if this is the point in a series when things get testy between teams:
I think every game is high energy. In every game you’re fighting for the lead and make sure you’re doing what you can to have success. You can’t pinpoint when anything is going to start in a series, so you just have to be ready for everything.
Greene, on Jake Muzzin’s performance in the playoffs:
Jake’s been awesome. He’s been one of the guys chipping in and scoring points. Jake’s been great, a great offensive player for us for the last couple years. His shot is awesome. It’s nice to see it find the back of the net. He’s also been doing a great job defensively. He’s playing over 20 minutes. He plays with Doughty, so he’s going against the other team’s top line. He’s been doing a good job of that too. He’s really come into his own as a two-way defenseman.
Greene, on how Jake Muzzin’s game has progressed:
He’s great. I think he’s always had that kind of skill. He’s rounded out his game a little big. He was awesome last year when he came up and he’s just grown throughout this year too… we saw what he can do and he’s been doing a great job of doing that. Everybody is real happy for him. [Reporter: Is there an aspect of his game where he has grown the most?] The defensive side, I think that’s the toughest thing to do. As a young defenseman coming up in the league be really good defensively, especially when you put up numbers like he does. He’s rounded out his game and become a really solid defenseman.
Greene, on how special teams play affected momentum in Game 2:
It’s a huge momentum swing every time. The PK can do wonders for you to build momentum. The power play, it helps to do a good job, but just emphasizing that we don’t sore on the power play. We need to build momentum and get a good two minutes going in their zone. Last night, everything was clicking. That was two huge power play goals for us there. It really turned the game around for us in our favor. It’s always a plus when you win those games.
Greene, on whether their Game 3 play in the Anaheim series has any impact:
No, it’s a different series.
Greene, on how they stay the course when they are down:
You just have confidence in your group. A lot of these guys have been together for a long time. Then when you add key pieces like Tanner and Tyler up front, those are guys who are really good players and really smart in terms of being able to adapt to their roles on the team and succeeding in them. You just have to have confidence in what you’re doing with your coaches, the message they’re getting across and what they want you to execute and doing it will get you success. I think we have a good plan, it’s just up to the players to execute it. I think all the players have confidence in each other to do that.
Greene, on how the defensive corps has handled injuries:
You’re here to do a job and that’s it. You go out and do it. Nobody feels sorry for you. If you get hurt, the games are still going to come. You have to have somebody to replace you in the lineup and do their job and make sure they’re ready to go and do what they can to give the team success.
Greene, on if he relaxes on his off days by watching the Dodgers:
If I had Time Warner I would…Run that up the flagpole Mike. No, just check out. It’s pretty easy to do. It’s the highs and lows. You make sure you’re getting rest when you can and everybody has different ways to check out. Just relax and get some rest.