February 19, 2013 1:19 pm

February 19 morning skate quotes: Edmonton

Taylor Hall, on matching up against Drew Doughty and the Kings’ top defensive pairing:
“We always appreciate going up against the best players. That’s just how it is in the league, and we always know that we’re going to have to do a good job, not only offensively but defensively. We’re playing 20 minutes of night. We’re a lot of minutes, and to have those kinds of minutes you have to produce. You have to be pretty good in your own end, and I think we’ve done that. Every night in this league, as we get older and as we play more games, we realize that we’re going to be playing against the best players and the best competition, and we kind of relish that.”

Hall, on whether “playing the defending Cup champions” is on the team’s mind at all:
“Yeah, I think that every team realizes that L.A. can come up with their A-game, their hundred percent game at any given time, and we’re going to have to be ready for that. Like I said, their record doesn’t show as good of a team as they are, and I think we all watched the playoffs last year and saw how dominant they were against the best teams in the league. We’re going to have to be ready for that.”

Hall, on whether the Oilers focus on the Kings’ record:
“It’s still a short season. There are a lot of teams in the league that don’t have good records right now that will sneak into the playoffs. This is a team by the end of the year, I’m sure they’ll have their A-game going. Like I said, at any given time, they can come up with that, so we’re going to be ready right off the start and hopefully get a good start like Chicago did and kind of weather the storm from there.”

Hall, on his reaction to watching the Kings win the Cup as an eight-seed:
“Watching them at the end of last year, you could kind of see that they were better than an eight seed. They were a very good team. They were so hard to play against defensively, and you could see Quick was kind of rounding into the form that he showed in the playoffs…Quick hasn’t had the season that he’s wanted so far and neither has their team, so we’ve got to be ready just because Quick could come up with a 40-save shutout at any time. We’re going to have to get a lot of shots on him.”

Hall, on the Oilers’ 6-5-3 record and whether this is where they expected to be:
“We’re one game over .500. There are still a lot of improvements that we have in our game, but I think we’re starting to find the style and the game that we want to play. I think that’s starting to kind of come to fruition, and that’s nice to see. We believe in Ralph, and I think everyone here kind of knows what role they have on the team, and everyone has accepted that. It’s looking good from here. I think we’re all pretty happy with our start and the way we can play.”

Head Coach Ralph Kruger, on what he expects from the Kings tonight:
“We’d like to match the physicality of what we know is a very physical, hard-working, angry team today coming at us. So we’d like to match that right at the outset. I think it’s going to be a very aggressive start form both teams, and let’s think and play very, very solid defensively to start it off after two offensive explosions…So we’d like to be good defnsively, and offensively continue to play simple and to play smart, and above all, let’s keep the energy in this building. It’s been fantastic in Rexall Place here. It’s been a good home rink for us, and let’s use that energy tonight as the extra player.”

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