NEWARK, N.J. – BACK TO WORK: The well-rested Los Angeles Kings got back onto the ice Friday on the second day of a two-day break in the Stanley Cup final.
After an optional practice on Thursday, the full roster ran drills in a workout that lasted a little less than an hour. They skated back and forth at the Devils’ practice arena, under three large banners commemorating New Jersey’s three Stanley Cup championships.
Los Angeles, 13-2 in the post-season, will carry a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 of the final on Saturday night.
“Get the legs moving, break a sweat, and getting ready for tomorrow,” forward Anze Kopitar said. “I think everybody is a little itchy to get going again. It’s a fun time this time of the year and we’re going to be ready.”
The main arena rink wasn’t available for the teams on either off day because of concerts by the British rock band Radiohead. With so much time off, the Kings tried to make the most of their free time. They are used it because each of their first three series ended quickly.
“It’s sometimes nice to get an extra day, just to recharge and get the energy level back to where it needs to be,” Kopitar said. “Some guys are taking naps, some guys are going out for walks and stuff like that. Nothing too extraordinary.”
LOST HISTORY: While the Kings’ trip to the Stanley Cup final in 1993 is a major component of hockey history in Los Angeles, it’s not a focal point for current players trying to win the franchise’s first NHL title.
“When we got brought in here we tried to start something new, a new chapter,” Kings defenceman Matt Greene said. “This organization, you are proud of what they did before you, but you want to write your own page in the history of this organization and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, a native of Connecticut, had a different take on the club’s history that began when Los Angeles joined the NHL for the 1967-68 season.
“It’s an exciting time for everyone, not only for our organization but for all the fans in Los Angeles,” Quick said. “It’s been 19 years since we were last here, and in 45 years we haven’t won a Cup yet. So it’s something exciting to try to do for them.”
In their only other trip the final, Los Angeles lost in five games to the Montreal Canadiens. The Kings won the first game, but the Canadiens took control in Game 2 after Marty McSorley was penalized for using an illegal stick.
GUMBY LIVES: With Jonathan Quick’s unusual flexibility, he has been referred to at times as Gumby—a clay, bendy television character from years before.
Although the Los Angeles Kings goalie is only 26, Quick is familiar with the old-school Gumby reference—sort of.
“I do remember the cartoons. Gumby is green, but the bad guys were red, right,” Quick asked. “Maybe I don’t remember as much as I thought, but I do remember Gumby. When I was younger, I think my grandmother used to call me it or something. I don’t know. I remember somebody used to call me it.”
AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan contributed to this report.