- Brett Sutter, like yesterday, did not skate. Head Coach Mike Stothers called him "a game-time decision."
- The Ontario Reign have stressed remaining loose on and off the ice in the face of a 3-0 Western Conference Finals deficit. I asked Head Coach Mike Stothers about Paul Bissonnette's celebrated role in this department, and here are some choice quotes:
Everybody has a role on the team. His comes pretty natural to him. He's a pretty jovial guy. Very positive person. Guys like hanging around him.
He understands his role, there's no gray area with it. He can play four minutes and be as happy as if he had played 12.
The beauty of Biss is nothing changes for him. Demeanor stays the same.
Biss gets the most credit. I'm sure there are some other guys who do. To be honest with you, I don't spend a whole lot of time in the room with them. That's their domain.
They need one spot where they can just go and be themselves.
I think we have a pretty good cast of characters. I can probably speculate as to who would be maybe a prankster, a jokester...
But yeah, Biss is usually the ringleader.
- One star who is perhaps not playing as loose as he should be is Peter Budaj. Just in this series, the Bastien Award winner has suffered a 4.20 GAA and .831 save %. This, after an All-Star season which saw him lead the league with a 1.75 GAA and .932 save %. Kings Development Coach Dusty Imoo shared some insight about what's going on out there for Budaj:
They're a really skilled hockey club. And sometimes as a team, when you lose track of assignments and whatever...it's all to their credit. They play really good hockey, and I think Peter's had a tough time reading some of the plays and what not. But it's a team effort. And I'm not excusing Peter. He's as responsible as anybody else for his play.
They're just diligent on attacking. And second waves. And third waves. So it makes it not just difficult for Peter, but for our D, our forwards.
What I try to tell Pete was, "Don't try to take the world, put it all on your shoulders, and try to do everything. Don't do too much. Just play your best hockey you can play and have fun doing it. Live in the moment." It can become very weighty on your shoulders when you think about the end process.
We just try to focus Peter on dealing with today. Have fun. Go out and play loose.