Los Angeles Kings: Focus the Key as Kings Plow Their Way to the Finals
It's been an impressive run—ten wins and one loss this postseason.
Is there a team that is hotter then the Los Angeles Kings? No. Is there a team that looks more together in their style right now? No.
Is there any team out there that believes in themselves more then this squad right now? Probably not.
But when you look at some of the postgame interviews from the Kings players and coaches throughout the playoffs, you'd think this was just another win in Game 54 of the regular season.
The Kings are going about their business on and off the ice with one thing in mind—focus.
It's been a tumultuous season for the Kings, fans and players alike. But even with the postseason success, the job is not yet done and business is business. Darryl Sutter has made sure the team knows it.
Sutter's unexcitable, almost stoic attitude has been on full display since the first round. Going into Game 4 and leading 3-0 in the series against the Presidents' Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks, his response was evidence of that.
"We still have to learn how to win, right? You don’t get nothing for three ..." he said, according to LA Kings Insider.
Again, leading 3-0 in the series against the best defensive team in the league, the St. Louis Blues, Sutter told The Chicago Tribune, "... we can't get too high on ourselves. It's 3-0 right now but the fourth game is going to be the hardest to close out ..."
Who has been the most impressive King so far?
And maybe you'd think he'd be happy with the stunning performances of his team, but Sutter is doing just what he needs to do. He is keeping this team down to earth.
Given the play, the long breaks between series, and the nasty, physical test the Kings have endured, it would be easy for a team to lose focus. They could have lost patience, realized how close they were and grip the stick.
However, the beat marches on, and Sutter and the Kings have remained sharp as a tack.
The attitude of focus has even bled into the other players in their approach.
"I know you will probably want to roll your eyes when I say this," Dustin Penner told LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond after Game 2 against the Phoenix Coyotes, "but we haven’t played our best game yet. That’s the mentality you want to have in the playoffs, is that you’re never satisfied. You can always be better, and you have to have that mentality, where you want to keep on improving until you’ve finally finished, until you have reached your goal."
Easier said than done for sure.
Can the Kings maintain that focus the whole playoffs? Who knows, but they are certainly locked in as it currently stands.
It's shown on ice as well with the Kings remaining poised when facing physical, chippy and borderline-dirty play.
Now it is the frustrated play of the Coyotes, who after Game 2 had three players in question for discipline— Derek Morris, Martin Hanzal, Shane Doan—and a goalie with a growing bad reputation.
The Kings remain unflappable and in the meantime are aggravating their opponent to get them off of their game.
It's the mentality of focus and discipline. And it's paying dividends for a team that currently looks unstoppable.
The Kings know their game, and more importantly they know their goal. Nothing seems to be deterring them.
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