Players didn't find ice to be nice - LA Kings Insider

Down the road from the Kings’ hotel are three tennis courts. Perhaps the team can get in a little practice there tomorrow, although ice skates on a clay court might not work. It couldn’t be much worse, though, than what the Kings and New Jersey Devils faced last night at Prudential Center, where the ice surface was more conducive to making snow-cones than playing hockey. After the game, Dustin Brown told reporters that trying to handle and pass the puck “was like playing with a tennis ball, quite honestly.’’

Of course, as Devils coach Peter DeBoer points out below, both teams had to deal with the ice, but there was chatter during the Eastern Conference Finals that the Prudential Center ice was subpar, so perhaps the Devils have adjusted a bit easier. Of course, the Kings don’t play on the world’s most beautiful sheet of ice in the world, at Staples Center, either, but this was something different. In the Western Conference Finals, the Kings played in Phoenix, where the air temperature exceeded 100 degrees. It’s humidity, though, more than air temperature, that is the enemy of ice, and it was humid in New Jersey for the previous couple days. Jarret Stoll and DeBoer talked about the ice, with both essentially minimizing its impact…

STOLL: “The ice wasn’t very good out there, so you never know if the puck is going to bounce or not. It was pretty sloppy. We got a lot of snow buildup as the game went on. You saw some bouncing pucks out there, but it was the same for both teams. You’ve got to battle through it and find a way to make crisp passes and plays, and find a way to get pucks on net.’’

DeBOER: “It’s the same for both teams. The ice conditions this time of year, regardless of where you’re playing, aren’t going to be great. It’s something you have to deal with.’’

It wasn’t just the ice, though. Independent of attempting to maintain good ice, it was just plain warm inside the building, even for the pampered reporters sitting high atop the building in the press box. It must have been torture for the players, working hard in all the gear. Anze Kopitar said the players will try to adjust a bit for Game 2.

KOPITAR: “You’ve just got to get a few more bottles of water in you, as much as you can. That’s about it.’’

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.