Fraser: Despite Game 5 setback, we still believe
By Colin Fraser - Special to NHL.com
Los Angeles Kings forward Colin Fraser is playing in his second Stanley Cup Final. Fraser, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, is providing NHL.com with a player's perspective on the battle for hockey's Holy Grail.
Saturday night was obviously not the result that we wanted. You want to close them out as quickly as you can, but that being said there is a fine line between winning and losing in this series.
We felt good about our start, and felt really good about the whole first period. We found ourselves down one goal, though. If you look at Games 1 and 2, they could have gone either way. Now the same can be said for Games 4 and 5. There is a fine line, and we've got to find a way to get back above it again.
During the first intermission we talked about staying positive and that it was a good period, but we obviously weren't where we wanted to be. You try to reinforce doing some of the same stuff and sticking with the program for 60 minutes -- the system and everything.
We've made it this far for a reason. We're a good hockey team, and we have to stick with what works and not get out of our comfort zone. That said, they are a good defensive team with a good goalie. It is hard to generate chances against them.
We had a lot of shots Saturday night, but I think we also missed the net with a lot of them and they blocked some key shots, too. We know we can play like we did in the first period, but it has to be for the whole 60 minutes and find a way to score one more goal than them.
We're still confident, and that didn't change after the game. We worked hard to win those first three games, and because of that we are still in a good position. At the end of the day, we're still up three games to two and we get to home with another chance to clinch. We like the position we're in, but at the same time we know we have to respond and be better.
We flew home right after the game. I don't mind flying that far right after the game, especially because we're coming back to our house. When you play out in the West, you get used to the travel and traveling a lot. We go out of our time zone a lot.
They are in the same boat as us now, whether they travel after the game or the next day. I think it is all the same, and there isn't really an advantage there.
Sunday was pretty similar to the day between Games 2 and 3. It is a recovery day, so guys work out, stretch, whatever they need to do. We'll get on the ice for a morning skate Monday.
We will watch more video, but at this point in the series nothing really changes all that much. The coaches will reiterate some of the things that we need to do and what they're doing. Both teams stick with the same system, and there are usually only minor tweaks -- nothing alarming.
If you're getting picked apart in a certain area, like the power play or the penalty kill or a certain breakout, then you have to make adjustments. For the most part, it is not about what the other team is doing though. You watch video to make sure your team is doing things properly. You made it to the Cup Final for a reason, so you’re not going to drastically change anything.
We've been successful throughout the playoffs, so we're going to stick with what works. We had success in the first three games, and now we just have to find it again.
I think Game 6 will be another low-scoring, tight game. It is not going to be easy. Their backs are still against the wall, and it is still a must-win for them. We feel confident and we're still in the good position. We just need to make that one step to get back above that fine line.