NEWARK, N.J. | The Los Angeles Kings have been here before. Not specifically as a team in the Stanley Cup Final, but in this spot. They won Game 1 on the road, doing what most refer to as stealing a game.
But the Kings have owned these Stanley Cup Playoffs. They’re 13-2 now and look like a well-oiled machine.
“It’s all about just peaking at the right time, getting hot at the right time,” defenseman Matt Greene said.
But even with the riches of this run, the Kings haven’t been overconfident. There isn’t any kind of swagger, just business as usual.
“We haven’t accomplished anything, so there’s nothing to be overconfident about,” goaltender Jonathan Quick said. “We got a great opponent right now and we know if we do get overconfident, they’re definitely going to take advantage of us. We’ve got to go into every game with the same mentality and earn everything we get.”
As the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Kings have exemplified earning everything in these playoffs, and before, as they needed until the final days of the regular season just to get in.
Quick said the even-keeled mentality along this run was a combination of veteran leaders and coach Darryl Sutter.
“I think having a bunch of guys that have been here before, four guys that have won before. We talked a little bit about it,” forward Jeff Carter said. “I think this team’s been real good at just taking it one game at a time. The old cliché, but it’s really what we’ve been doing: Not getting too high, not getting too low.”
Getting too low, or any kind of adversity, hasn’t really been an issue for the Kings. They haven’t even been tied in a series this postseason, let alone trailed.
Greene said everyone knows how much easier it is to play with the lead, so Los Angeles has done it. Drew Doughty talked of enjoying taking the crowd out of the game on the road, and the fun is there with the Kings.
“There’s not too many opportunities that you get to play in the Stanley Cup finals. You’ve got to take it all in, you’ve got to enjoy it,” Carter said. “At the end of the day we’re here to do a job, we’re here to win games. You have your fun but it’s a lot of hard work.”