NEWARK, NJ The biggest question facing the Los Angeles Kings will be whether they were too good for their own good.
Because they were able to dispatch the Vancouver Canucks in five games, the Kings have enjoyed seven games off between the Western Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals that begin Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils. The rest vs. rust is a classic argument during the Cup playoffs, and there have been enough examples of both to lend credence to its importance.
Kings captain Dustin Brown sounded as if he might even be a bit curious how his teammates come out tonight after a week off between playoff series.
Were right on the edge there. Seven dayseight days, admitted Brown. I think you go nine or ten days you might be going a little too long.
The Kings have enjoyed significant periods of battery recharging in each of the three series while marching through the Western Conference bracket in a scant 14 games. Each pocket of practice time has allowed them the ability to essentially hit the reset button rather than suffer the fatigue and attrition from each bruising round of the playoffs.
Its more or less a reset. Weve had time off in-between and thats more or less allowed us to enjoy the accomplishments in the series we just ended, said Brown. Then you hit the reset button and get right back to work after a couple of days off to get that mentality back."
From a playing standpoint you want to play, but from a rest standpoint you get through it. To be in the position we are with the rest weve had is definitely a positive. Its just a matter of guys preparing themselves.
The Devils, on the other hand, went to six games in a hard-fought series against the Rangers, and got pushed to seven games by the Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs.
Jersey will have only four days off after dispatching the Blueshirts, and they didnt travel cross-country as they set up to host the start of the series.
They handled the sweep against the Flyers that gave them their needed breather in between rounds, but theyve also been pushed harder than the Kings during the entirety of the postseason.
It looks like the Devils are on the right side of the restrust cycle and the Kings might be a little more than right on the edge, but the answers will be known once the two hockey clubs have hit the ice.