No time for self-admiration

Cold-hearted as it might seem, the Kings’ victory over San Jose on Tuesday is now essentially worthless. It put a valuable two points in the bank for the Kings, but that’s about all. And the Kings aren’t alone. In the Western Conference playoff race, any team that spends a day admiring its past work will be in trouble. By the end of tonight, the Kings could either be in third place or ninth place (or seventh or eighth, for that matter). It’s a tough way to play. The Kings, for instance, got themselves “up’’ for a huge game against San Jose, and won, but then had to prepare for conference leader St. Louis. Then, after the final horn tonight, they’ll have fewer than 48 hours before the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins come to town. Darryl Sutter said he attempts to stay on top of the Kings’ emotional intensity…

SUTTER: “You have to make sure that they try to (maintain it). That’s the key. It’s easy to say, `We’ve got to win.’ You can go in there and say, `We’ve got to win.’ But there are different ways of winning every time. There’s a lot of different ways, because teams are different and sometimes players play different against different teams. It’s how you use them and the adjustments you have to make. Just because you won your last game, it doesn’t mean that everybody was great. System-wise, there are so many ways to do it, and then you need the execution of it. It’s a tough way of doing it.’’

Of coming off the big win over the Sharks, Sutter said, “We didn’t even talk about it. We had a really good second period and took it to them, and we won the game. Richie [Mike Richards] scored a big shorthander and we scored a power-play goal in the third and we had a really good second period, and that’s why we won the game. We need to have a better start tonight than we did in the last game, and we’ll go from there.’’

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