Jun 4, 2012, 8:20 PM EST
The Los Angeles Kings need just two more wins to capture the Stanley Cup. Most of their core players are in their early-to-mid 20s with a lot of hockey ahead of them. They can appreciate just how special this moment is, but 35-year-old Willie Mitchell knows first-hand how rare it is.
“I can just talk about how much I’m enjoying it at (age) 35,” Mitchell said. “There’s guys in here who have won Stanley Cups … and they can give me perspective on it. There’s a lot of guys that are highly motivated.
“All of us have different stories, all of us have different reasons, but the one thing that motivates us all is the same thing, right?”
Mitchell was originally drafted by his current opponent, the New Jersey Devils. He was even an extra player when they won the Stanley Cup in 2000, but he was only an observer in their postseason run.
That’s not the case this time. He’s second only to Drew Doughty in terms of total ice time for the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs. He doesn’t capture many headlines, but he’s been a big part of their stunning 2011-12 campaign.
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 0
- Rutherford: ‘Our guys felt very strongly about reacquiring’ Lovejoy 45
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline 71
- Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’ 22
- PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker 36
- Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus 15
- Lovejoy returns to Pittsburgh for Despres 52
- Wild get Stewart as Buffalo-to-Minnesota pipeline continues 55
- Jordan Leopold’s daughter may have orchestrated the Minnesota trade 17
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils 74
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (72)