On today’s edition of the Royal Road Report, Mike Kalinowski catches up with Kings center Jarret Stoll for LAKings.com as Stoll and his teammates prepare for Tuesday’s night’s game against the New York Islanders.
The Kings take a three-game winning streak into tomorrow’s game and Stoll says the Kings are playing well now because the Kings are playing together, playing hard and playing smart.
Stoll says the Kings have bounced back well after opening the trip with a loss at Montreal on Jan. 31. Even though the Kings blew a one-goal lead and gave up two-goals in the final two minutes to lose that game, he says they forgot about that game quickly and they’ve played some good hockey since.
Stoll says when playing skilled teams like Washington and New Jersey, the Kings need to simplify things to be successful. That means the Kings need to do a great job checking with a focus of playing excellent defensive hockey. By doing that, they’ll get chances on the offensive side.
Stoll (4-5=9 over the last eight games) continues to skate on a line with right wing Dustin Brown (6-7=13 last 8) and left wing Kyle Calder (3-5=8 last 8), and that line has combined to score 30 points (13-17=30) over the last eight games. Stoll says all three work off each other well. He says all three like to fore-check and get the puck in deep. He says it’s not fancy, but they all just try to do things smart, do things hard and do things together.
The Kings remain the youngest team in the league and they have the majority of their games down the stretch on the road, but Stoll says the Kings don’t think about those things. He says the Kings think of themselves as a playoff team and that things have changed since everybody in the locker room started to believe they were capable of making the playoffs.
Stoll says goaltender Jonathan Quick is making big saves at key times. He says the rookie netminder is focused, calm and ready to play.
Stoll says he and a couple of his teammates have picked up head colds during the course of the trip. He says he plans to spend this afternoon getting a lot of rest with the goal of also getting a lot of fluids in him as he battles the bug.
The New York Islanders are ranked last in the Eastern Conference and by looking at the standings, one would think the Kings would be expected to win tomorrow’s game, but Stoll says the Kings can’t overlook the Islanders. He says the Kings need to respect the Islanders because they want to make their current trip not just a good one, but a great one. He says the Kings will be focused, ready and prepared to go for the two points tomorrow night.