Playoff hockey has again become a customary part of the Kings’ franchise, the club having qualified for the postseason in five of its past six seasons, twice winning the Stanley Cup.
Right now, they’re gearing up for another lengthy run.
The team’s recent string of playoff regularity has embalmed a winning culture within the players, coaching staff, and the organization as a whole. It’s bred critical layers of experience to a team that boasts a healthy-sized, skilled roster.
If there is a team that knows anyone is capable of winning come the playoffs, it’s the team that won the Stanley Cup as an 8-seed in 2012.
“I just think that there’s definitely no bad teams in the playoffs, you’ve got to know that,” Anze Kopitar said. “Whether you’re an 8th seed or #1 seed, you’ve got to play your best hockey because if you don’t play your best hockey, I don’t think you have a whole lot of chance.”
Playing your best hockey isn’t an option come playoff time, it’s a must.
“Every single board battle, every single play could be the difference,” sais Dustin Brown. “That chip out of our zone or chip into their zone could be the difference of winning the series. It’s just every play is magnified.”
With the first round of the 2016 playoffs just days away, the Kings know there are tough tasks ahead. And from a coaching point of view, that begins Thursday night against Anaheim.
“My motto is, ‘win in,’ said Darryl Sutter. “If you’re not winning in, there’s two things… you might not make it, and you’re going to do nothing when you get there.”
But, like they’ve done before, they may just be triumphant again.
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