NEWARK, N.J. Los Angeles Kings center Colin Fraser is enjoying his second Stanley Cup finals in the past three seasons. And the forward is seeing the similarities between these Kings and the Blackhawks, with whom he hoisted the Cup in 2010.
And right at the top of the list is, of course, depth.
Both teams had a lot of depth. Me and (Adam) Burish were sitting out the last game of the year in Chicago, and now were regulars on our (respective) teams, Fraser said. You need depth, because when guys get hurt or arent pulling their weight or whatever, someone else needs to step in.
The Blackhawks have been missing that since their Cup run. The onus has fallen onto the stars too often, and the supporting cast hasnt provided enough, well, support, when the top guys have gone into slumps. Meanwhile, the Kings depth was evident in Game 1 against the New Jersey Devils. The Kings top players were sputtering, prompting coach Darryl Sutter to play his fourth liners Fraser, Brad Richardson and Jordan Nolan more. The three averaged about 11:30 ice time each and staked the Kings to a 1-0 lead in the first.
Fraser said the camaraderie in Los Angeles matches that Blackhawks team, too.
With any championship team, its a tight group, he said. Even coming here at the beginning of the season, the guys were awesome. I can say, with Chicago, I still have friends on that team.
Fraser will always think fondly of his Chicago days. He built great memories there, especially on the ice. Hes hoping to do the same in L.A., and his past teammates are never far from his mind or his phone.
We still keep in touch, he said. Were all rooting for each other.