March 1 practice quotes: Justin Williams - LA Kings Insider

On the team winning without playing its best:
“When you go on runs, and say you win six, seven in a row, it’s not because you’re on top of your game six, seven times in a row. It’s because you’re able to win the games that you weren’t feeling great in that the other team was doing something that you weren’t prepared for, that you weren’t emotionally invested in the game to start. Whatever it was, you come through and win a game – or two – that you weren’t playing your best in. That’s certainly was what it was. They outplayed us for 40 minutes. We were able to come through with two big goals in the third period. That’s how streaks keep going. I don’t think Chicago’s led every single game that they’ve had this year. They’ve come back. They haven’t played great every single game. I know that. But guys have stepped up and played roles and come through in the clutch, and Bernier kept us in it long enough that we could score.”

On given Vancouver’s recent play, the lapse in their schedule, and the general rivalry, whether the performance in the first 10 minutes of the game will be more important than usual:
“I wouldn’t think so. I just think we’ve developed quite a rivalry playing them two out of the last three years in the playoffs. We don’t like them. They don’t like us. It’s certainly no secret. We were able to win one early this year…and we want to keep our streak going, and they want to I think maybe get on track. They’ve had some time off to think about it, prepare for us, but the first 10 minutes in the opponents’ building is always important, especially when you’re playing in Canada.”

On whether the team is hitting its stride:
“I said earlier we’re trending in the right direction. You’re not going to say you’re ‘on top of your game’ on Game 19 or whatever we’re at right now. We’re certainly not at the top of our game. I wouldn’t say that. But we’re nuilding our way towards that, and good teams find ways to win games that sometimes lesser teams won’t. We’ve been able to do that through big performances by individual guys.”

On the team and players still looking for a “perfect game”:
“I don’t know. Seasons are so full of ups and downs. Everyone was at the start of the year saying when we were struggling…’are you guys a fluke?’ The ups and downs of a hockey season are what makes it a hockey season. You’re not going to be on your best all the time. You’re going to go through stretches where you win five, six in a row, and you’re going to go through stretches where you’re not playing your greatest, and it seems like the puck is hard to go in. Right now, we’re clicking. We’re winning games through scoring goals, and we’re winning games through great defense. But we’re trending in the right direction.”

On whether challenges are magnified in a compacted schedule:
“Absolutely. Little stretches of two, three games in a row where you’re not on your game – those three in a row, it’s devastating in the standings, and you can see it every night. You win a game, you’re in the playoffs, and you lose a game and you’re out. That’s just the way it is, and that’s the way it’s going to be through the 48-game season.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.