October 6 practice quotes: Anze Kopitar
On how to combat the lack of rhythm in early season games that feature uneven play and frequent special teams time:
You’ve got to adjust on the fly, really. There’ll be a tough rhythm to get into, and in that case, I guess a lot of penalty killing – and hopefully a little more power play than penalty killing – but you’ve just got to adjust and play with the mindset that it is a five-on-five, and obviously on the power play, try and score some goals. So far we’ve been OK on the power play, and we’ve got to build on it. [Reporter: Just OK?] Well, I mean, yeah, the percentage is pretty good, but there’s still room for improvement.
On what has led to success on the power play:
Once we get in the zone, we’ve moved the puck pretty good – creating chances, getting some high shots. If you look at our goals, Drew’s in Minnesota was a point shot with a good screen. Jeff’s [Friday] night when Mike was in front was a good screen, and then Brownie on Justin’s goal. There’s nothing new that we’re talking about. It’s the same thing. I’m sure the other 29 teams are talking [about] exactly the same thing, to try and get good screens in front, and get shots on net. Right now, it’s clicking, but we’ve got to keep it going.
On the team’s defensive issues, despite the small sample size:
I think it’s just a little bit of sloppy play in the neutral zone on our part, going up the ice and defending. When we’re sharp in the neutral zone, we play more time in the offensive zone than we do in the D-zone, and that’s what’s causing the shots against. When we’re sharp in the neutral zone, we’re not giving up much.
On whether that can be traced to play with the puck, or without the puck:
A little bit of both. I think we can do a better job with the puck, for sure, managing going up the ice, and just making sure off our rushes and our attacks we get some O-zone time instead of just going in and out right away.
On the team’s first period in Winnipeg:
I think we played a better game in Winnipeg than we did in Minny. The score was different. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.