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Posted On Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 1:03 AM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: 'We didn't think we were an eight seed'

It is kind of surreal. It is kind of crazy. It hasn't really sunk in yet. It is something special. Those were some of my first thoughts after realizing that we won the Stanley Cup.

I was fortunate enough to win the Stanley Cup once before with Chicago, but I didn't play in the Final. This time around, to play a role and play in every game, it really means a lot.

We lost two games in a row, but we thought we had played some good hockey. Not so much in Game 4, but in Game 5 we definitely felt we deserved a better fate. They had two lucky bounces against us. Heading into this game, we had decided we were going to play much in the same way, play hard and score the first goal.

Our power play really won the game for us. Not only getting one on a major penalty, but to get three and build us a nice comfortable lead was nice. That being said, we didn't sit back.
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Posted On Sunday, 06.10.2012 / 8:33 PM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: Despite Game 5 setback, we still believe

Saturday night was obviously not the result that we wanted. You want to close them out as quickly as you can, but that being said there is a fine line between winning and losing in this series.

We felt good about our start, and felt really good about the whole first period. We found ourselves down one goal, though. If you look at Games 1 and 2, they could have gone either way. Now the same can be said for Games 4 and 5. There is a fine line, and we've got to find a way to get back above it again.

During the first intermission we talked about staying positive and that it was a good period, but we obviously weren't where we wanted to be. You try to reinforce doing some of the same stuff and sticking with the program for 60 minutes -- the system and everything.

We've made it this far for a reason. We're a good hockey team, and we have to stick with what works and not get out of our comfort zone. That said, they are a good defensive team with a good goalie. It is hard to generate chances against them.
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Posted On Friday, 06.08.2012 / 3:27 PM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: Practice, extra travel day have Kings ready

We've been staying in a hotel downtown for home games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Ritz across the street from the arena. We treat it kind of like a road game. We've been pretty successful on the road during the season and then during the playoffs.

It kind of gives us that road mentality -- there are no distractions, we watch video together to prepare and just get ready for the game. Walking over to the rink isn't as crazy as you'd think as far as people hounding you for autographs or things like that. The fans have kind of just let us be.

There was a huge buzz around the arena before Game 4. There were people everywhere, and the excitement was building. You could see it walking over, and it was obviously in the back of our minds what we could accomplish that night. You have to forget about it best you can and put those distractions aside so you can get ready to play a game.

Stanley Cup Final Perspectives


Los Angeles Kings forward Colin Fraser is playing in his second Stanley Cup Final. Fraser, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, is providing NHL.com with a player's perspective on the battle for hockey's Holy Grail.

In his fifth entry, Fraser writes about the opportunity ahead for the Kings as their Stanley Cup Final series shifts back to New Jersey.


OTHER PERSPECTIVES:

I've had the chance to play with Simon Gagne the past two games after he came back from an injury. He's played a lot of years in the League and, even more importantly, a lot of playoff games. For a guy like me to get to play with him, it is like an honor to play with a guy of that status.

The numbers he's put up and the years he's played, he's obviously an elite player. He's been playing a fourth-line role since he came back, and he's OK with that because he wants to play any way he can. It is very exciting for me to get to play with a guy like that.

It was definitely in the back of our minds what was at stake, but you've got a job to do. Really, Game 4 was so similar to Games 1 and 2. It was such a close game and such a tight game that it really could have gone either way.

Both teams had surges in different parts of the game, but we came up a little bit short. We just have to regroup and be ready to play our best game in Game 5.

When I played with Chicago, we won the Stanley Cup on the road in Philadelphia in 2010. Obviously everyone wants to win the Cup at home. That is the best-case scenario, to do it in front of your fans and your city, but the reality is that doesn't always happen.

To win it anywhere it is just as satisfying. It is definitely a lot quieter in the building, but nobody cares where it happened once it does -- everyone is just so happy that we got it done.

We flew from L.A. to Newark on Thursday. The last time we were here we had more time, but I don't think there will be any difference in getting used to the time change. We're used to it from the last time, and New Jersey is obviously in the same boat. They had to come all this way as well. Having the extra day to get accustomed to the time change and get a good practice in today will help us get ready for the game Saturday.

For me, the biggest thing is just trying to get on the new time zone right away. I don't go to bed really early, but I try to go to bed a decent time and get up at a decent time in the time zone you're in versus going to bed later and waking up later. A lot of that depends on how good of a sleeper you are, and for me I don't have too many problems with it. I get accustomed right away.

I think Game 5 is going to be a tight, tight game again for sure. New Jersey has their backs against the wall, and they are desperate. They're going to play their best game. They have to.

I think Game 4 was so similar to 1 and 2, but they had their chances, too. I think we have to approach Game 5 more like we have our backs to the wall, and have that desperate mentality to win a hockey game.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.05.2012 / 7:48 PM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: Trade to L.A. has worked out well

I joined the Los Angeles Kings in a trade from Edmonton last summer, but it wasn't your typical NHL deal. The Kings traded Ryan Smyth to Edmonton for Gilbert Brule first, but when that deal didn't work out, I was traded to the Kings for Smyth.

Brule and I weren't real close, but we were certainly buddies, teammates. We played together. I didn't know what was going to happen, because I had a tough season. Nobody ever told me that it was going to happen and I didn't ask for a trade, but I thought it was a possibility because the tough season I had on a personal level.

Once I saw that Brule was traded, I didn't think it was going to happen. I got a call right after [the Brule trade was not allowed]. I was at Andrew Ladd's place in Summerland, B.C., enjoying some sun and hanging out with the guys, and I got a call from [Edmonton GM] Steve Tambellini pretty early in the morning saying that they had traded me to Los Angeles. It was the day after the Draft, and I thought it was kind of weird because I hadn't even heard that the trade with Gilbert was reversed.
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Posted On Sunday, 06.03.2012 / 9:29 PM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: Great to be home after long flight

Last night was another close game, but we won again in overtime to go ahead 2-0 in the series. We have now four overtime games in the playoffs, and they were all on the road.

Overtime is do-or-die, and it can go either way. We've just found a way to win the game. Last night's overtime was very intense. I thought both teams played well. There were a lot of chances for both teams, and it was great to see [Jeff Carter] get that goal in the end to win.

After the game, it was a bit different than Game 1. We had to rush to get on a bus and catch a plane because with only the one off day in between games, we wanted to get back home as quickly as we could and it is a long flight. Everyone was trying to rush through their media stuff, shower and get to the bus.
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 4:19 PM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: Kings take Manhattan on off day

Thursday was a day off and a pretty light day at the rink. We had an optional skate and I think most of the guys opted to stay off the ice to get some maintenance, play some soccer and just kind of hang out and recharge.

When we're on the road, practices are always later in the day, normally in the afternoon. Obviously, the home team gets the earlier ice time. Yesterday our practice was scheduled for 2 p.m., so we got to the rink at about 1 p.m. Normally, with practice, it would be a light practice -- a quick on and off.

When we got to the rink, we played some soccer outside the dressing room, did some stretching, some guys went and got ice -- whatever guys had to do get themselves ready.
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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 4:59 PM

By Colin Fraser -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - 2012 Stanley Cup Final player blogs

Fraser: Game 1 win is only the first step

Colin Fraser
Center - LAK
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 2
SOG: 11 | +/-: 1
I'm going to be writing a blog for NHL.com during the Stanley Cup Final, and this will be my first entry. Hopefully, hockey fans will able to read about what this is like from a player's point of view, and I'll tell some stories about what goes on in the next two weeks as well as others from earlier in my career.

Wednesday night was Game 1 and we won in overtime. I also scored my first NHL playoff goal, so it was a special night.

The day leading up to the game was super exciting. We had seven days off, so the guys were pretty anxious to get going. There was a lot of lead-up to the game, a lot of time to practice and sitting around waiting to play.

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres