October 18 practice quotes: Kopitar, Stoll
Anze Kopitar, on the team’s comfort in tight games:
Over the course of three, four years now, we’ve played a lot of them, so we feel pretty comfortable going tied into the third, maybe being down, being up one or two. They’re usually tight games going in, especially out here in the west it feels like it’s a little tighter than in the east. I guess it’s just that we’ve had some experience in that department.
Kopitar, on whether opponents are “anxious” when facing the Kings in tight games:
Yeah, there are times they get a little itchy and maybe not as comfortable, but that certain time, I’m really focusing on myself and our line, and potentially the whole group, and we’re not worrying about the other team too much.
Kopitar, on how he’d grade the team’s 5-3 record after having played six road games:
I think it’s pretty good. I mean, we’ve had I guess a couple bad games, or three bad games if you really look at all the losses. But we’ve got three shootout wins, which is good. I think it shows the stability and the character that we feel comfortable going the distance, too. I guess if you do look at it a six of eight on the road, and having five wins and three losses, I think it’s a fairly good start. We certainly know we can be better, and we’re going to work towards that.
Kopitar, on the start given the cross-country travel:
Maybe the sleep part is not as great as you want it to be. Because if you’re coming here from the west, you’re not really that tired, and the next thing you know it’s one o’clock in the morning and there’s a game the next day. So it’s not the best, but I think…we did a good job of just getting our rest, getting our sleep, and the coaches threw a day off for us on the road, which doesn’t happen too often. But it turned out to be a good thing.
Kopitar, on any power play concerns:
I mean, if I said we didn’t have any concerns, I’d be probably too nonchalant, I guess. We’re getting chances. We’re getting some good looks. It’s on us to bear down and bury a few looks.
Jarret Stoll, on whether he talks to Jonathan Quick when he’s in a rhythm:
No, that’s just Quickie keeping us in games and doing his thing and finding pucks. I think one of his biggest strengths is finding the puck in a scramble. Obviously the goal against last night, we didn’t do a very good job of finding it. But he just battles. He battles in there for everything. He sees the puck through screens. He sees the tips. He makes those tough saves look pretty easy for the most part. He’s a big reason why we win some games. He’s Quickie for a reason. We all know that. We’re glad to have him. [Reporter: The communication – does he ever say much coming back the bench in those types of games? Do you guys ever say anything to him?] No, not really. He’s the type of guy he is. He’s just focused on his job and stopping the puck, and that’s I think the way we’d want it. Some goalies love the chatter a little bit more, but Quickie, no, he just does his job.
Stoll, on the team feeding of Quick, and whether they want to win games for him:
Yeah, definitely. We know he’s going to shut the door in the third and give us a chance to win and try to get that second goal and win the game. We feel that from him in the dressing room. We feel that on the ice. It’s just the way the game was going. I know it’s a grind, and there are not many goals. It’s not the most exciting game at times, but he just does the job for us, and we know that. It’s just hasn’t been happening for 15 or 20 or 30 games. It’s been happening now for years. Like I said, I’m just happy he’s on our side.
Stoll, on the team’s comfort in tight games:
It seems like it’s been a lot of our wins, a lot of our games, and Quickie’s a major reason in that in keeping us in games sometimes, and our goals against down. We’ve just got to do a better job sometimes of goals for and putting the puck in the net and bearing down. In Tampa there we had a lot of good scoring chances that we didn’t bear down, and we didn’t put ‘em through the back of the net. Again, last night, too. It’s tough. We’re getting away with some of these games where we’re scoring one or two goals, the second goal being in overtime or the shootout, and you’re not going to get away with that throughout the course of the season over the long run. We know that, and we’ve got to pick up our offensive game.