After last night’s win, the Kings were given a day off from on-ice practice today, but will return to El Segundo tomorrow sometime around 10-10:30 a.m. Today, Jarret Stoll participated in a conference call in which he shared his thoughts about the Kings’ series win over Vancouver, his overtime, series-clinching goal and some thoughts about moving ahead to face St. Louis in the second round. Here are the highlights…
STOLL: “It feels great. It’s always fun and exciting to move on in the playoffs. You don’t play the game to just win one playoff series, though. You play the game to win, and win the whole thing. We realize there’s a lot of work ahead of us still, but it feels great, just to look back at the importance of this series win, with so many guys who hadn’t won a playoff series before on our team, and the organization not winning one in the past 11 years. So, it’s pretty special.”
Question: Can you give us a sense of how many calls or emails you got last night?
STOLL: “[laughs] Yeah, there was about 140 text messages, I think, when I checked my phone. It’s great to see that support from your family and your friends and cousins and people that you know and are friends with. A lot of people were watching obviously, from Canada, and it was on Hockey Night in Canada so that was pretty cool. Whoever scores the goal, it is what it is. It’s just a matter of winning the game and winning the series, and it was definitely a fun night.”
Question: What was the mood on the bench and in the locker room throughout the game? You probably didn’t get the start you wanted, and then it seemed to improve. Were you guys pretty consistent, or did you feel the game shifting a bit?
STOLL: “No, we were fine. We definitely weren’t happy with our first period. We knew they were going to come with a good push, and probably a couple good pushes. They were pretty physical at points in that game, and we were running around a little bit, weren’t very composed with the puck when they were physical like that. Getting in after the first period, and just regrouping and just being down one-nothing, and even after the second, just being down one-nothing, that was huge for Quickie. I think we killed off five straight penalties, which took a lot out of our penalty-killers for sure. Quickie came up with some huge saves to keep it one-nothing. Second intermission, we were fine. We knew we just had to score one goal. Darryl kept saying, `We could be here all night.’ That’s the kind of mindset we kind of took going into the third. `We’re going to tie it up, and if we need to be here until midnight or later, we’ll have to do that.’ That was our mindset in the third period. You could see how aggressive we were on them, and I think it just took a little bit of the wind out of their sails when we tied it up. Then we just kept pushing forward.”
Question: What does it mean for this team to break through and get to the second round?
STOLL: “It means a lot, for sure. Any team you play for, you’ve got to have pride in the organization, and care about what the organization means and represents, and the history behind it. You see highlights of Deadmarsh’s goal against Detroit all the time, and how important that was at the time. But, us as a group right now, right here, we want to make our own history, and make our own story lines and follow through. We feel like we have a really, really good team, and don’t let this chance slip away. I’m 29 years old, but we’ve all heard it before, from other guys that I’ve played with. You never know when you’re going to get back to the playoffs and win a series, win two, three series and get a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us yet, but that was a big step for our organization, a big step for a lot of guys that had never won a series before. From our goaltender on it, there was a lot of gained experience, throughout this series, that will definitely help a lot in the future here.”
Question: Darryl talked about looking ahead to St. Louis. How much time do you guys take to enjoy this before you go forward?
STOLL: “Well, we enjoyed it after the game, in the dressing room. Had some laughs and had a good time with it, but we were already talking, on the back of the plane last night, about St. Louis and what challenges they bring and how they’re going to be different from Vancouver, and some of the things that Vancouver showed us that can help us in this next series against St. Louis. That’s just how we are. You’ve always got to look forward and look ahead and focus. We had a day off today, and enjoy it a little bit today maybe, but come to the rink tomorrow and get right back on the horse and focus and prepare for St. Louis.”