The view from Arizona - LA Kings Insider

In recent days, when talking about Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, in particular, Darryl Sutter has stressed the need for the Kings to get the most from their best players. After last night, Sutter doesn’t need to say anything more. He can simply take the stat sheet, highlight three names and distribute it as evidence. Radim Vrbata: two goals, one assist. Shane Doan: two goals. Martin Hanzal: three assists. The Coyotes, arguably, only have three truly threatening offensive players, and every one of them came up big last night, in a huge game for the two Pacific Division rivals. The Coyotes are hobbled, and had to deal with a rare stinker from goalie Mike Smith, but they fought through it with veteran leadership and tenacity. Here’s how The Arizona Republic covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Coyotes’ locker room…

Phoenix Coyotes battle back from 3-goal deficit for victory over Los Angeles Kings


(on rallying back to win and how it helps the psyche…) “It’s a good learning experience. You have a team that we knew they were going to come in and come right after us. I certainly didn’t like our response at the start. We were slow to pucks. We were non-competitive in battles. Of the three goals they got, two of them were on deflections that sometimes go in and sometimes don’t. I thought we were non-competitive throughout our group, so we had to make a couple adjustments in the second. After we came back and played well in the second, we got ourselves back in the game. So basically we just said, ‘They won the first, we won the second, who’s going to win the third?’ We ended up getting the points.”

(on games like this can have an impact long-term…) “You hope it does, because it continues to build the belief system that you can win. You can win when things are going well and you can win when there is some adversity in front of you. Like I say, there are some good learning experiences for us there and we’re going to need that.”


(on the game…) “It’s one of those ones where you’re down three to nothing to a team that we have to find a way to win. Obviously we weren’t happy with the first (period) but to rally and come back the way we did, I felt that our (power play) was huge tonight. It hasn’t been good for us a lot of nights but tonight it was.”

(on Mike Smith’s game tonight and being able to help him out…) “He’s been absolutely phenomenal and, I mean, tonight he was huge, he played really well. He didn’t like his first period, none of us did, but realistically there wasn’t much he could do on those goals. He might want the second one back but the rest of them, there’s not much you can do, and he shut the door and then in the shootout he wins it for us. We are so thankful for him and that he plays so well for us. Our goaltenders have been so good for us. We want to help them out whenever we can.”


(on rallying to win…) “(It was) a big win, a big two points. We didn’t have the start we wanted and we knew that they would come out hard and they did. We were flat in the first (period) but after the first we talked in the dressing room about how we wanted to make a … comeback and, you know, we scored a good goal there in the second. (It was) a big effort, especially against [Los Angeles).”

(on the mentality of not settling for just one point, but instead going for two…) “I think the momentum just switched a little bit. As you said, we tied it and we wanted to get more. We hope to get more because they are right behind us in the standings so that was an important point.”


(On whether this might be the best win of the season so far considering how the game started…) “Yeah, absolutely, I think it shows a lot about our team and the way that we’ve been playing as of late. I mean, at the beginning of the year we were losing games last minute or in overtime. Lately we’ve been finding a way to play good hockey and come together and it’s been fun and it’s been fun on the road.”

(on tying San Jose in points, and what it does to the team’s psyche…) 11It’s something that everybody looks at and everybody mentions it, and it’s just something that we almost try to keep out of the locker room a little bit. You just worry about your own team and what we’re doing. We just try to win games every night and, you know, that’s what we’re here to do.”

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.