LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings are one of the biggest, toughest teams in the NHL. They have been so successful the past two seasons in part because of their ability to make their size and toughness an advantage, wearing out opposing teams with their brand of "heavy hockey."
That's why it was surprising to hear Kings coach Darryl Sutter say Thursday morning his team has had trouble dealing with the size of the top line for the San Jose Sharks. He's even going to make a tactical change to combat the problem for Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round Series at Staples Center (10:30 ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-SW, CSN-CA).
"I think they've played their game, the same way they've played all year," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "[Burns] is somewhat reckless, which enhances his ability to play. He's a big body that goes [hard]. [Thornton] has always been 6-foot-4 for … however many years. They're on the same line together and they've done a good job to this point."