The Los Angeles Kings have developed a reputation over the past few seasons for playing a tight-checking, physical game that limits opponents' scoring chances. It's a system that has fostered good results for Los Angeles, including the 2012 Stanley Cup championship, but it's also one that hinges on the Kings buying into a team-first mentality.
Coach Darryl Sutter adheres to that same mentality when discussing his team publicly. He stuck to it Friday, less than 24 hours after the San Jose Sharks beat Los Angeles 6-3 in the opener of their Western Conference First Round series, when he was asked which players he expected to be better in Game 2.
"I don't think you single players out in [the Stanley Cup Playoffs] or at any time," Sutter told the media, according to LA Kings Insider. "That's not my style, and that's not what good teams do. I think that everybody will be better."
Game 2 will be played Sunday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NBCSN, FS-W, CSN-CA).
It's clear the Kings have bought into Sutter's approach. Goalie Jonathan Quick was pulled after two periods after he allowed five goals on 28 shots and San Jose jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Quick's teammates were more than willing to take the blame after practice in Los Angeles on Friday.
"I don't think we played very well in front of him. I think those goals were a byproduct of the team in front of him not playing well," defenseman Alec Martinez told Kings Insider. "It wasn't on Quickie. But obviously, he's one of the best goaltenders in the world, and we have all the confidence in the world in him. He'll play really well Sunday."