Here’s the final part of a three-part interview with Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell:
“Timing this time of year always sucks. That’s not to say that in a bad way. Ask any of the veteran players who’ve been around, at this time of year, it’s really tough. What our team is really good at is playing good positional hockey. There’s a trust factor we have. It’s nothing against the young guys. I was a kid who was 19 years old and didn’t know my positions really well, and running around. So, now when you have reads and you read what’s the proper read all of a sudden becomes a different read because someone who was supposed to be there didn’t go there.
“So, you talk to veterans players and they say this is a frustrating time of year because a lot of things breakdown like that. It’s a combination of that and guys getting out of summer habits, which we all have. So, it’s not exactly the smoothest hockey out there, but it is what it is and everyone just keeps building on it. … I’m just worried about myself right now. It’s been 14 months, I’m just trying to find my timing and just enjoying it, too. I’m enjoying being out there and doing everything. You never know. As you get older in this game, you never know when it can end. When you’re young, you think you’re looking invincible and you’re going to play forever and nothing really catches up. When you get older you realize how lucky of a gig it is. Sometimes that’s life in general. Something gets taken away from you and it makes you appreciate it more. Just enjoying it and just going to keep working hard.”