There’s something important to note about the following topic: it’s basically unavoidable. The past couple weeks, when the Kings have elevated their level of play, have demonstrated the ebb and flow of every NHL game. Unless a team has purely given up and resigned itself to its status as a non-playoff team — given the pride involved, this happens very infrequently — there is going to be some “push-back’’ in a game between two motivated teams. Look at the Kings’ last two games. On Thursday, St. Louis dominated the first period and the Kings pushed back in the second. On Saturday, the Kings were strong in the first and Boston answered in the second. It’s easy, in both cases, to look at things from the Kings’ perspective, but don’t forget that there are two teams on the ice. As Willie Mitchell pointed out in a chat with Jim Fox, the goal is not necessarily to eliminate those “push-backs,’’ which often are inevitable, but instead to manage them and not allow them to turn into permanent momentum swings.
MITCHELL: “For the most part, the last few games, we’ve controlled the game for long stretches of the game, but you have to expect push-backs from teams, especially when you play good teams. You play Boston, you play St. Louis, and going into Vancouver, you expect a push-back. You’re not going to dominate the whole 60 and carry the play. When there’s a push-back, (the key is) to bend but not break, and then make sure we’re good defensively when they have situations where they’re applying some pressure. You weather that and push back and continue to move forward, `weather that’ meaning not let any goals in.’’