Join hockey Hall of Famer Helene Elliott and Lisa Dillman at 1 p.m. today for a live discussion of the Kings, Ducks and the NHL in the wake of the lockout. You will be able to submit questions live during the discussion.
The Kings got off to a slow start this season, which had some sounding the alarm, but, as Elliott wrote earlier this week,
"The Kings' start was hardly perfect, but it didn't blow up their chances of repeating.
"This is the same team that scrambled out of the depths of the Western Conference last season to grab the No. 8 seeding, learning at each step how to overcome doubts and deficits.
"I think we're a confident group. We certainly showed that we can get it done, no matter what it is," said center Anze Kopitar, who fueled the top line's offensive breakthrough by scoring twice in the Kings' 4-2 victory over Phoenix on Saturday.
"Yeah, it wasn't an ideal start, but there were still 45 games left. It's nice to get the first one out of the way ... and now it's a matter of putting a nice little streak together and focus on our game."
"Players say they've seen none of the complacency or "Stanley Cup hangover" symptoms that can afflict championship teams. Excuses and back-patting won't fly with Coach Darryl Sutter, who has already scratched a healthy Dustin Penner from the lineup twice because of subpar efforts.
"Winger Justin Williams won the Cup with Carolina in 2006 and sensed the team's personality change the following season before it missed the playoffs. He said he hasn't sensed a negative turn among the Kings.
"For this team I think it's totally different because everyone is still together, but in Carolina everyone kind of got a payday. Got a bump in a paycheck. A lot of guys who were up for contracts got more money and it seemed a little different," he said.
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