Skip to content

Gretzky impressed by Kings: “They’re a much better team than we were in ’93″

May 24, 2012, 11:21 AM EST

Wayne Gretzky AP

Over at the L.A. Times, longtime NHL scribe Helene Elliott caught up with the catalyst of the last Kings team to make the Stanley Cup finals: Wayne Gretzky.

No. 99, who currently resides in L.A., said he’s thoroughly enjoyed the Kings’ postseason and plans on attending the their first home game on June 4 — the first time a Stanley Cup finals game will be played in L.A. in 19 years.

“It’s been unreal what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished so far,” he said. “It’s been fun to watch. It’s been spectacular. They’ve been without question the best team in the Western Conference in the first three rounds of the playoffs and they deserve the accolades they’re getting. It’s no fluke.”

Some other nuggets from the Great One:

– He heaped huge praise on Darryl Sutter and loves the way Sutter tweaked Terry Murray’s defensive gameplan with more aggressive forechecking and puck pursuit (which, if you’ve watched the Kings at all these playoffs, looks like a bunch of starved dogs going after a bone.)

– While he doesn’t want to mess with tradition, Gretzky thinks the NHL could revise the Jack Adams process. “You look at changing the coach of the year award and picking it after the Stanley Cup playoffs and not before the playoffs start, I think [Sutter] would win in a landslide.”

– Gretzky thinks the current Kings are a “much better team than we were in ’93.” He has a point, especially when it comes to opponents. That Kings team finished 39-35-10 — 88 points, and caught some lucky breaks along the way: Chicago, the West’s top seed, lost in Round 1 to St. Louis. Same went for the No. 2 seed, Detroit, who lost to Toronto.

A far cry from the 2011-12 Kings, who knocked off the No. 1 (Vancouver), No. 2 (St. Louis) and No. 3 (Phoenix) seeds by themselves en route to the Cup final.

Latest Posts
  1. Road woes leave Kings quaking

    Nov 23, 2014, 2:30 AM EST

    Los Angeles Kings v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    L.A. has won only once away from Staples Center this season.

  2. Firing Dallas Eakins ‘would be so unfair,’ says Taylor Hall

    Nov 23, 2014, 1:34 AM EST

    DallasEakins2 Getty Images

    Edmonton lost 7-1 on home ice. Six straight losses.

  3. Video: Toews scores beauty backhander and the Oilers are losing again

    Nov 22, 2014, 10:56 PM EST

    Jonathan Toews Getty Images

    Meanwhile, Edmonton at risk of losing six straight.

  4. Video: Downie fights Hamonic as Penguins-Islanders rivalry heats up

    Nov 22, 2014, 9:56 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders Getty Images

    New York takes both games of home-and-home set with Pittsburgh.

  5. Stars GM Nill sees plan coming together

    Nov 22, 2014, 7:38 PM EST

    Jim Nill AP

    Dallas has moved a trio of blue liners recently.

  6. Capitals easing up on referees under Barry Trotz

    Nov 22, 2014, 7:09 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Six Getty Images

    “Let the referees do their job, we’ll do our job.”

  7. Blues’ Bouwmeester suffers ‘lower-body ailment’ in win over Senators

    Nov 22, 2014, 6:31 PM EST

    St Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    The St. Louis defender had an assist on the eventual winner.

  8. Callahan expects ‘bite’ in Lightning’s game vs. Wild

    Nov 22, 2014, 4:55 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    “They embarrassed us pretty good in their building.”

Featured video

Coaches in and out of the hot seat

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. V. Hedman (2633)
  2. P. Sharp (2439)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2401)
  4. P. Dupuis (1968)
  5. S. Crosby (1951)
  1. B. Marchand (1834)
  2. D. Krejci (1699)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1692)
  4. J. Harding (1688)
  5. Z. Chara (1656)