The Quebecer Phillip Danault was a guest Hockey 360 Wednesday, and the likeable athlete looked back on his hard-fought debut season with the Los Angeles Kings, almost a year after accepting a six-year offer from them.
With the Kings, Danault doubled his NHL career-best scoring record, scoring 27 goals in 79 regular-season games before scoring three more in seven games in the seven-game losing streak against the Edmonton-based Oilers.
“I was really well received there, both by the organization and by my new teammates,” said Danault, who recently returned from his stay in Quebec for the summer.
“My whole family, by the way, because I couldn’t get to LA on my own. Everything we were told was respected. We really felt at home. »
Though Los Angeles will never be the biggest hockey market, Danault said he was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere at the Kings Arena after three straight playoff absences.
“Edmonton is a city that’s all about the Oilers and hockey. While in Los Angeles, we arrive at approximately 1pme Rank in popularity, with the presence of the Lakers, Clippers, etc. At Rogers Place, the crowd was strong and you could feel the vibe. But us too, the crowd was good in the playoffs, better than the regular season. The better we are, the louder people get. »
Danault was brought in to compare two of the Bettman Tour’s biggest stars, Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid, who recently met in the Western Conference Finals.
The 29-year-old forward and father of two provided an interesting analysis of the two star players.
“MacKinnon is a more complete player in my opinion. For his part, McDavid is extremely strong offensively. I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to play him in the playoffs, at least not when we played in Edmonton. What is certain, however, is that he becomes dangerous as soon as he touches the puck. You can’t defend yourself against him alone, it has to be up to the six players on the ice, including the goalkeeper. This is not work easy! In the case of MacKinnon, it’s his complete lineage that’s solid, with (Mikko) Rantanen and (Gabriel) Landeskog. It’s hard to decide but I think he’s the more complete player of the two. »
The No. 24 Kings chose the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Finals – “You gotta go with the youth! – acknowledging that the two-time titleholders certainly represent the term. Nor is he surprised that Tampa has a chance to expand their dynasty.
” I’m not surprised. Lightning is all about team culture and there were a few newcomers including (Corey) Perry and (Brandon) Hagel. I’m not happy they meet again in the finals, but not surprised! ” , he underlined with a touch of humor.