Kings look for `road mentality’

To the best of my (often shaky) memory, this is only the second time in the last few years that the Kings held a morning skate at Staples Center. They did so a couple years ago, when they took the annual team photo at the arena, but otherwise it’s been all El Segundo, all the time, before home games. Darryl Sutter has put a huge emphasis, since his arrival, on the Kings being more effective at home. He has talked about it regularly, including his opinion regarding the challenges of playing in a city that is not a traditional hockey environment. So, even though he was light on details, in terms of exactly why he chose to bring the team downtown last night, it seems clear. The Kings have been strong on the road of late, and he’s trying to bring that mentality to Los Angeles. That’s a tough thing to quantify, and to duplicate, but apparently Sutter’s years of experience have him believing this is the correct thing to do. It seemed fine with the players, including Drew Doughty…

DOUGHTY: “I think that’s kind of the thing that Darryl was going for. He had us in the hotel last night, just trying to get that road mentality back in. We had a team meeting at the hotel, and you’re living with your roommate again. So, we’re great on the road, and we don’t really know the reason why we are, but we’re trying to keep it that way.’’

Asked for the reason for the early trip downtown, Sutter quipped, “I haven’t been downtown very much, so I thought I’d ask the guys if they wanted to get down here. They didn’t mind. Nice hotel.’’

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