Mitchell: "We learned our lesson dearly last game" - LA Kings Insider

It was a question posed throughout the latter stages of the 2013-14 season. Could the Kings, already entrenched in a playoff position and with little to gain in the standings, exhibit their best efforts against teams playing out their schedule? While Los Angeles did face a handful of desperate teams down the stretch in Winnipeg, Phoenix, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Washington, there were also a collection of games against Calgary, Edmonton and Florida that weren’t necessarily able to raise the collective level of play towards the playoff boiling point.

Willie Mitchell, when asked if a team two years removed from winning the Stanley Cup was well equipped to handle adversity, referenced the late season competition in his response.

“I don’t think we hit adversity, it’s one game. Of course we want to be on the other side of the ledger, but it’s one game,” Mitchell said. “Being realistic, on the journey, what we want to entail here, is that you will lose more than one game and you have to win games different ways over that journey. I just think for us, we’re looking to have a much better game. And no disrespect, but down the stretch we were stuck in a position, played some hockey clubs that were in the latter part of the league that were kind of out of it and we weren’t kind of playing those in-your-face style of games that come playoff-time. Like I said, we learned our lesson dearly last game and we’ll look to play our style of hockey.”

Willie Mitchell, on whether he anticipates a lower-scoring Game 2:
We’re kind of focusing on our stuff and just a much better effort. We played a real loose hockey game where we weren’t connected as a group. For some reason we just didn’t have jump and you can just feel it around here, guys are in a better place and ready to go. And you’ll probably see as much, I know you’ll see a much better effort from our hockey club.

Mitchell, on how the team strives to exit its defensive zone:
Like I said, it’s just connected. Connected in the D-zone, offensive zone and neutral zone. When you’re connected like that, the game becomes really easy. Support is right there, it’s only six to eight feet away. And this time of year when it’s tighter checking and it’s playoffs and it’s faster paced, that’s what you need. And when you execute on that you become a very fast hockey team.

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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.

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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.

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


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