Despite the Anaheim Ducks holding home-ice advantage as the higher seed in Friday’s Game 7, there are probably more than a few people who consider the Los Angeles Kings the real “favorite” tonight.
If nothing else, the Kings have been here before … and have succeeded under such duress. Maybe that explains why renowned Game 7 performer Justin Williams seemed to exude confidence when discussing this big game with LA Kings Insider.
“I mean, we’re loose,” Williams said. “I don’t know the aura that we give out. We have that quiet arrogance within our group and we’re going to try and use that.”
“I think it comes with the attitude of the players and just the chemistry and I guess the makeup of the team that makes you believe that you can win,” Williams said. “There is nothing else around. It’s an attitude within a person. You don’t shrivel when push comes to shove. You want to get your peacock feathers out, and you want to prove that you can do it and you want to have the puck on your stick while you do it.”
As today’s game notes highlight, Williams doesn’t seem to struggle getting his “peacock feathers out” in Game 7 contests. Williams managed to score at least one point in every Game 7 he’s appeared in. Overall, he has 10 points (five goals [including two game-winners], five assists) in five Game 7’s and maybe most importantly, his teams are 5-0 in those decisive contests.
Those are the kind of numbers that can inspire some quiet arrogance, but that confidence could dampen quite a bit if the Ducks knock the Kings out of the postseason tonight.
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.
Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching
“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”
“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”
More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.
Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”
“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”
The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.
Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)
You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.