Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/7/13
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Once you've been to the top of the mountain the view from base camp isn't quite as beguiling. In other words: Nothing will quite match last season's home opener in which the Kings raised their Stanley Cup banner. The Kings play host to the New York Rangers on Monday night in their home opener at Staples Center. "There's always a little bit more energy in the building" Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "We definitely have to use it to our advantage. It's hard to explain it. When you win a championship — you kind of compare everything — it's not the same. I mean home openers were a lot more exciting before we won." Kings Coach Darryl Sutter was refreshingly honest when asked if he still gets a special charge over the opening-night ceremonies. "No I've seen too many of them" Sutter said. He was talking about his long career in the NHL as a player and coach. Sutter played in 406 games in the NHL and his first full season of coaching — in Chicago — was in 1992-93. But he could have been talking about this season. The Kings already have been the guests twice on opening nights at Minnesota on Thursday and Winnipeg on Friday. They split those games. Even though they lost at Winnipeg the Kings got off to a strong first-period start despite the long delay because of opening-night festivities. Sutter made a point of telling his players Sunday that he was pleased with their performance in back-to-back games. There are individual issues of course namely the existing woes at left wing. That possibly could lead to Daniel Carcillo's debut with the Kings on Monday. Brown will help too as he continues to find his form after missing most of training camp because of an injured hamstring. "I felt a lot better in Winnipeg than I did in Minnesota" Brown said. "I'm sure I'll feel a lot better getting a couple of days' rest. ... I'm sure I'll be right where I need to be just getting in games. Practices are one thing but it's the timing of games. For me I was happy we had back-to-back." Much to his displeasure he still is required to wear a knee brace. He injured the knee last season in the playoffs but did not need surgery. "If it were up to me it would be gone tomorrow" Brown said.
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