NEW YORK — You may recall back in 2012 when the Los Angeles Kings had a chance to sweep the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final, only to lose Game 4 at Staples Center. The Kings then proceeded to lose Game 5 on the road in Newark, before returning home to close out the series and celebrate their first championship in franchise history.
On Wednesday, the Kings will once again try to complete the sweep in the Cup final, this time at Madison Square Garden versus the Rangers.
So, not surprisingly, Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter was asked today if there was a difference between the situation two years ago and the one this time around.
“Game 4 was at home [in 2012],” Sutter said. “There was a lot of distraction. I think that was a lesson learned not just for our players but for our whole organization. We were trying to keep our players as a little inner circle, which they still do. But the circle got a little bit of infringement.”
Sutter will obviously be hoping his team can keep its inner circle tight and complete the sweep tomorrow at MSG; otherwise, he’ll have to face questions about not sweeping — which he does not care for — and then if they don’t win Game 5, the questions about pressure will start coming his way — which he does not care for either.
Plus, if the Kings complete the sweep tomorrow, they’ll, you know, win the Stanley Cup.
“Most players, coaches, trainers never get any chance, zero,” said Sutter. “So when you get the opportunity, and I’ve been fortunate to be in quite a few of them, it’s always a testament to the group you have and to understand how tough it is.
“That’s why not many people or teams win it because it’s hard for them to take on the whole challenge of what it is to win and the price you got to pay and the sacrifice you got to make.”