Here’s what Jason LaBarbera had to say about his attitude entering camp and his reaction to the low expectations that people are putting on the Kings this season…
Question: It should be an interesting camp for you, with all the goalies here. What’s your mindset like coming into camp?
LABARBERA: “Confidence. I’m excited. It’s a different group. Right from the day I got here, a couple weeks ago, there was a better vibe around here. It’s more enthusiastic and more exciting. I’m 28 but I kind of feel like an old guy around here. That’s refreshing. I just feel more like I belong here. I just feel like I belong here more now. It’s good. I just feel a lot better about everything right now. We all have something to prove, as individuals and as a group. Like I said, we’re young but we’re enthusiastic. Guys want to learn and get better. There’s nothing but an unreal future for this group.”
Question: Outside expectations for you guys are pretty low. Does that provide more motivation for you guys, or do you even pay attention to that?
LABARBERA: I think, as individuals, you always have high expectations of yourself. We’re going to have to learn, as a group, how to have high expectations. Obviously, in general there aren’t a lot of expectations. There’s enough pride and enthusiasm in this room for us to have high expectations. Obviously nobody expects us to win the division or finish first overall or anything, but I think every night we can surprise a lot of teams. I think, especially at the start of the year, teams might come in and maybe take us lightly, and we can surprise a few teams. Then come Christmas-time, teams won’t want to play us because we are that gritty, hard-working, enthusiastic bunch of guys that we need to be. It’s exciting. It’s a challenge, for sure.