February 26 practice quotes: Dustin Brown - LA Kings Insider

Prior to news of the Simon Gagne trade, only four Kings took the ice at Toyota Sports Center for this morning’s practice – Gagne, Brad Richardson, Alec Martinez and Jonathan Quick. The rest of the team was on hand for meetings and video, and Dustin Brown spoke with the media shortly before noon.

LA Kings Insider will also have coverage of the Dean Lombardi conference call, which is scheduled to begin at 2:30 pm.

On the improvements in the team’s overall game:
“I think we’re definitely playing better hockey, both individually and collectively. We’re starting to score more goals, and that’s the result of ultimately playing better defense. Last night I thought we were really good in the defensive zone. A lot of their chances came on the power play, which is something we need to shore up on the PK. I thought we limited their time and space, especially their key guys.”

On the lack of power plays drawn despite the possession advantages:
“I think it’s just kind of how it goes some times. There are probably games where – I think it was Edmonton – [there was] a lot of power play and penalty kill. It’s just how the game goes some times.”

On the cycle game once again developing for his line:
“Yeah, the key thing for us is the consistency, shift after shift. We’re starting to get the offensive cycle game going, and we’re also starting to get a few rush chances, and again that comes back to our d-zone playing and eliminating chances and pressuring them right away, not allowing them to really get any zone time. It’s frustrating being on the other side when a team takes your zone time. It always seems like you’re backchecking. I think last night,. Especially, we had a lot of those in and outs where we’re back in our D-zone for maybe five, six seconds, and get the puck turned over and go the other way.”

On the physical game against Anaheim:
“I mean, they’re a big, physical team. But I think that’s what you generally get when you play us. That’s what makes us a successful team from top to bottom. We have big guys that can bang on every line. When we’re on top of our game, it’s a grinding, physical game for the opponent and in turn we’re OK playing that way.”

On the play of the defensive corps despite absences on the blue line:
“I think with Keats coming in and Muzz, I think they’re getting more comfortable. Especially Muzz being a younger guy with not a lot of NHL experience, he’s starting to I think get a little more comfortable in the system and how we play the game. The others – Scuds, Slava and Dewey – are staples of the back end, regardless.”

On Voynov and Doughty still being young:
“Yeah, but Dewey’s been around for five years. Scuds has been a backbone of our team for a while on the back end. It always helps to have those guys kind of push the younger guys and the newer guys along. It’s an opportunity for Muzz to step in and he’s done a good job.”

On what he can “pinpoint” among Muzzin’s improvements:
“I think he’s getting himself in better position quicker. The first couple weeks of the year, the speed of the game – he’s making better plays now, but I think it’s a result of getting in position quicker and giving him an extra half second to make that play. That’s just kind of something you’ve got to get used to, is the pace of the game’s a little bit quicker than the AHL. Getting back for pucks, if you get back quicker, it’s much harder as a forechecker to get on the guy, and he’s starting to do a better job of that.”

On scoring a goal that bounced outside of the goal line and skipped in:
“Yeah, I saw the replay. I mean, I’ve seen it happen. I’ve never scored a goal like that. Sometimes it bounces the right way.”

On “ripping” off a wristshot and beating Viktor Fasth:
“Yeah, it was a one-on-one. I tried to use their D as a screen. That’s something I work on, shooting through the D…If you can do it right, it’s the hardest thing for the goalie, from whatever distance.”

Whether he shot the puck through the defender’s legs:
“Just by [him] on that one. I think it was Fowler. He kind of went down on one knee, so I was just shooting it by him. Sometimes you shoot it through him, just try to find a hole where it makes it tricky for the goalie to pick it up.”

On whether he had ever scored a goal like that at any level:
“I don’t know if I could shoot the puck that hard when I was 10, but I’m sure I’ve gone bar-down before.”

On whether he had ever seen a goal like that:
“I think it was a few years ago here. I think Iginla had a shot and Quickie made a stick save and it hit the ice. It was going forward. It hit the ice and bounced out. Just the angle of the ice, it hit the ice and went out the other way. It was almost like a pane of glass in there.”