It’s worth noting that among all of the things the Kings are doing wrong, goaltending is rarely mentioned these days. For the most part, Jason LaBarbera has been solid, and when I pointed out to him that the team’s goaltending hasn’t come under fire lately, he deadpanned, “Well, that’s good.” On a serious note though, I asked him if he was able to separate his own play from the team’s fortunes.
“I feel pretty good about my game,” LaBarbera said. “It’s hard to get too excited about it, because obviously the results aren’t there. It’s frustrating when you feel like you’ve played well and you still lose, but that goes with the territory. My job is to keep the puck out of the net as much as possible. I feel good about the way I’ve been playing, but the results aren’t there. That’s the frustrating part.”
I asked LaBarbera about what he believes needs to turn around.
“We’re not doing enough of the little things for the whole 60 minutes,” LaBarbera said. “Against the teams we’ve been playing, some of the top teams in the league, you can’t do that. We’re right there with them, but we have to play a complete game.
“It’s a mindset, I think. It’s about confidence and believing in each other and doing the things that we need to do in order to get wins. Obviously — and it’s not an excuse or anything — but those teams have a little bit more experience in tight games and in the playoffs than we do. But I guess that’s how you gain experience, is by going through these kind of things. We just need to learn from them. Obviously it’s frustrating when you lose these games, but if you don’t learn from them and get better from them, that’s the worst part.”