Game 1 Practice Day interview- Los Angeles Kings at Arena


I know it’s a little late but here is an interview script conducted by ASAP SPORTS after the Los Angeles Kings first practice at Arena before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. This FanScript was taken from

An interview with:





THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.   Rob, you have been preparing and talking about this series for a

while.  You’re finally on the road practicing in the building, it’s the day

before the game.  Does it finally feel normal?

ROB  SCUDERI:  Yeah, I think I can’t speak for everyone, but just for

myself.  It’s nice to just get back to the routine a little bit.  While the

season  is still going on, you want to keep it going on, you don’t want too

long a break.

It’s  nice to have a bit of recuperation time.  But after seven days,

I think we’re all pretty much ready to play.

Q.   Willie,  when  you decided to sign with the Kings a couple years

ago you had offers from other teams.  You saw a lot of promise in this team

in  L.A.   Obviously  right  now  they’re living up to what you saw in this


WILLIE MITCHELL:  Absolutely.  You get older in your career, you want

to  be  somewhere  where  there’s  a good group.  Yeah, we spoke about that

before.   I  think  it’s a great young team.  We’re starting to play to our

ability.   Obviously  have a shot here.  One of four teams left for a crack

at it all.

Enjoying  it.  It’s been a lot of fun.  I think we’re seeing our core

group  and  our  young players start to mature and that’s why we’re sitting


Q.   Jarret, can you talk about the challenge you face with their net

minder, how you try to break through when a goalie is that strong?

JARRET  STOLL:   Yeah,  he  covers a lot of net.  He plays big.  He’s

very athletic, too.  He’s obviously a good athlete.  We’re going to have to

shoot  as many possible shots at him, get second-chance opportunities, make

him  work,  make  him move side to side.  It’s going to have to be a pretty

good shot to beat him clean.

He’s pretty much like our goaltender.  Everybody knows that.  We have

to make it hard on him.  Like any good goalie, make him work a lot, make it

tough  by  getting a lot of shots, be around the crease, get all three guys

ending up at the crease, you know, be hungry.

Q.   Willie  and Rob, can you both touch on the balance that you have

on  the  blueline.   Everybody  talks  about  Quick, rightfully so, but the

balance that is there.

ROB SCUDERI:  I think each pair has their own chemistry.  We had that

for a while.  Since the pairs have been set like this, each guy understands

how to play with each other.

When  you  look almost beyond that, you can see we have a good mix of

different  types  of defensemen.  Mitchie and I kill penalties, try to shut

down other top players.  Then we have Drew, who’s my number one guy who can

pretty much do anything and do it very well.

We have some guys that can PK, some guys that can just do power play,

whether it be secondary or be on the first unit.

I just think it’s a good mix and a good group.

WILLIE  MITCHELL:   Same  thing.   He covered it all.  I think we all

feel,  I guess, really comfortable with each other, really trust each other

back  there.   For the most part we’ve had our pairings together for a long

time  now.   I  think  each  pairing has a lot of trust for each other, the

ability to get the job done.

When  you  play in front of a good goaltender like we have, it allows

us  to  trust  what we’re doing as well in front of him.  When you do that,

you’re  in  a  pretty  good  spot  and  you  usually limit the other team’s


As  a  group,  we  collectively  do  that,  like  Rob  said,  through

committee,  everyone  bringing  their own personal strength and identity to

our core.  Hopefully we can continue to do that.

Q.  Trying to get something through the net now, Tippett described it

trying  to  make  it muddy in front of the net, mud winning out, do you see

that on film with these guys?

WILLIE  MITCHELL:   I  think  this time of year it’s just what it is.

It’s  tough  to  get pucks in the net.  They do it.  We do it.  You look at

the  other  teams  left,  everyone  at  this time of year is prepared to do

anything  at all costs to limit chances on your own net and get in front of


This  time  of  year,  you talk to most teams, what do you do?  Every

team  that’s  left,  what  do  they have?  Great goaltender.  No one’s left

without a great goaltender.

You have to try to get pucks to the net or to traffic around the net.

From  there  that’s  usually  when you get the broken coverage, create some

second-chance opportunities.  That’s how you’re going to have to score with

the great goalies that are left so far.

Q.  (No microphone.)

ROB SCUDERI:  I think it’s been more at a premium since we’ve had the

rule changes.  A lot of freedom on the offensive players, a lot of talented

guys  can  get their shots off.  Instead of hooking or holding them so they

can’t  get  them  off,  it’s  put your stick in position and possibly get a

block.  If you can’t get your stick on the puck, you’re trying to block the

shot.  I think it’s a product of the rule changes more than anything else.

JARRET  STOLL:   I  think  good puck movement, good passing, slapping

pucks  around  in  the  offensive  zone  gets  guys out of position.  Every

coach’s  emphasis  is  on  lanes,  lanes,  lanes, making sure you’re in the

lanes.   You  don’t see a lot of shots being blocked anymore where guys are

sliding  and  laying  themselves flat on the ice like eight, nine, 10 years

ago.   You’re seeing guys up in the lane, it’s very hard to get it by them.

I think that’s maybe a big difference.

Q.   About the balance on the defense.  From a forward’s perspective,

is  it  almost  to the point that it doesn’t matter what pair is on the ice

because there is that balance there, they’re all different, but they’re all

similar in a way?

ROB  SCUDERI:   That’s  totally  right.  They all move the puck well.

They  can  all  get  up  and down the ice and see the ice.  When you’re out

there, up front, doesn’t really matter who is out there, just maybe if Drew

is  out there, he’s jumping up in a play.  If Marty is out there, and Slav.

As a core, we’re all told to do the same things.

We  want  to  get  everybody  up  in  the  play,  everybody  involved

offensively.   They all got great shots back there, so that’s not an issue.

It’s a strong, strong group back there.

THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

Questions for Coach Sutter.

Q.   Darryl,  a  week  to  watch lots of video.  I know the teams are

different if for no other reasons the playoff journeys are different.  What

do you expect tomorrow in Game 1?

COACH  SUTTER:   They’ve  been a team that’s won at home early, first

games,  so  they  got  lots  of  energy in here with the crowd.  It will be

awesome, but it will be tough early.

Q.   With  a  few  days between series, what did you most want to get


COACH  SUTTER:   Yeah, I think some of the guys are banged up.  Get a

couple  days.  Especially two or three of the older guys.  It was good.  So

now  it’s  the  reset  button.  You know, always when there’s time, doesn’t

matter  if it’s regular season or playoffs, whatever it is, if you ever get

four,  five  days, you’re always concerned about the emotional level of the

group always.  I’m sure they’re the same way as us.

Q.   How  important  was it for you guys to come in here a day early,

get  a practice in here, and do you think it enables your group to get back

to feeling like a playoffs series is about to start?

COACH  SUTTER:   I  think it’s good, first off.  But I think the most

important  part  of  that is because we play an early game tomorrow, right?

You  get  guys that haven’t maybe practiced in this building or been on the

ice in this building, or not very often.  That’s the most important part.

I don’t think it does anything for you in terms of preparation coming

in  early,  less  than  an hour over here.  That was the concern.  The most

important part is, is because it’s an early game tomorrow.

Q.   Two  of your defensemen were up here, Willie and Rob.  They both

talked  about  balance  on  the  blueline.   How  important  has that been?

Everybody  talks  about Jonathan Quick.  The balance you have in your three

pairs to enable you to get to where you are right now.

COACH  SUTTER:   Touch  wood, we’ve been able to use three pairs.  If

that’s what balance is…

Q.  Darryl, is Phoenix a team that’s a little harder to target, maybe

one  or  two players, because they maybe have such balance scoring, not one

go-to line or guy?

COACH  SUTTER:  I think they’re similar to us.  I still think they’re

led  by  Shane.   That’s  a  huge  part  of  it if you look at shots in the

playoffs.   I  think  Vermette has three power play goals.  I think they’re

led by their captain big-time up front.

Him  along with those veteran guys is going to be huge in this series

to manage them or handle them.

Q.   Darryl,  the  Predators  admitted  the  first  two games in this

building  last  series,  they  got  away  from who they were.  What is your

message to your team?

COACH  SUTTER:   Well,  I don’t think that we’ve gotten away from our

game for three or four months, so I can’t imagine it should change now.

I think the familiarity with being in the division is important, too.

Most of these guys have played against each other a lot.  I think they know

how  both  sides  are  going  to  play.  The coaching staff, that’s what we

expect out of our group, for sure.

They’re the home team for a reason, so…

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

The Los Angeles Kings seemed to match the desert dogs’ intensity  in Game 1 and, like Coach Sutter indirectly stated, played like they were considered the under dogged 8th seed. Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi’s blue-line, blue-collared necessity to “get err done” is comforting in that the LA Kings have matured in to an identity of accountability. No one player is more important than the other despite the Media showering individuals with attention.