Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/29/12 at 09:49 AM ET
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
While St. Louis was flying around them, the Kings’ players repeated the same talking points that have pushed them this far. Keep working hard. Keep finishing checks, and believe at some point it’s going to turn.
It’s one thing to say it, but these Kings now truly believe it. Captain Dustin Brown said these seeds of confidence were planted during a stretch of home games in mid-March. The Kings beat the Red Wings. They doubled up the Predators. They crushed the Sharks and found a way to beat the Blues 1-0 in a shootout. A Los Angeles team that should have been good all season started to realize it really was.
For Quick, the team confidence grew even more when the Kings found a way to make the playoffs down the stretch, earning crucial point after crucial point until they finally clinched a spot.
Then came a first-round series win against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks, and the Kings’ confidence is now entrenched.
“What it comes down to is aside from hard work, talent, skill and determination, it’s just a belief. A belief in yourself,” said Dustin Penner, whose fantastic pass to Slava Voynov set up the Kings’ first goal of the game. “It’s a belief in your teammates and a belief in the system you’re playing. Just knowing you’re going to get that huge save, that big block and timely goal—just believing that.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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