Todd McLellan Beaming as LA Kings “Owned It” at Practice

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The LA Kings suffered a setback in their playoff push last week. But, it’s onward and upward as Todd McLellan makes sure that his players are accountable.

Following a disappointing series in San Jose, the LA Kings entered their four-day break under less-than-ideal circumstances. Unable to gain any ground on their race to a playoff spot, the momentum level for the LA Kings has reached a low point — and their upcoming series in Vegas won’t do them any favors. Nevertheless, it’s onward and upward for the silver-and-black and head coach Todd McLellan is making sure that the LA Kings will be at their best and ready to go for Monday night.

Following practice on Saturday, McLellan spoke with the media about this, explaining how his club’s preparation involved, among other areas, watching game video dating back two-and-a-half weeks.

“Well, we went seven games back [starting] with the Colorado series,” McLellan noted. “We took a look at the type of chances we were giving up, who was involved in them, why they were happening. There [are] causes and symptoms and then there’s the execution to try and prevent or recover from the mistakes. We tried to address the symptoms and then address the execution of how we cover up for those and we haven’t been very good off the rush in those seven games. So, we had to address that, take a look at it video-wise and then create a practice around it.”

McLellan has asked a lot of his players this weekend and the players returned the favor. The effort did not go unnoticed by the LA Kings head coach. In fact, he was beaming.

“They worked hard, they saw it, they owned it,” a confident McLellan stated of his players’ efforts at practice. “We’ve had some individual meetings about certain situations. We’re moving on. That’s the way it happens in any year but in particular in this year. You don’t have a lot of time to wallow in mistakes, errors, or bad games. The good teams come out of it quickly and the teams that don’t, stay in it forever and it’s just misery. So, our spirit coming off the ice today was really good. It was actually good going on and we’ll have a good practice tomorrow and we know we have a tough task ahead of us the next two nights in Vegas.”

It may sound like a cliche to suggest that adversity is not as important as responding to that adversity. In fairness, cliches are just that because they are accurate, and the circumstances surrounding the LA Kings’ current situation are no exception.

A team’s response to adversity is only as good as its leader, and the LA Kings have an exceptional one in Todd McLellan.

At a critical juncture in their rebuild, the LA Kings’ low points this season, while frustrating, have been nonetheless essential for their collective growth. Up next, the silver-and-black likely couldn’t have asked for a more fitting opponent: the Vegas Golden Knights, a fierce divisional rival who, for the vast majority of their existence thus far, have stymied the LA Kings. Todd McLellan and company, however, are vying to exceed expectations this coming week, hoping that their lackluster series against the Sharks was nothing more than a blessing in disguise.