Drew Doughty, on a potential natural “lull” in the first game back after a road trip:
I can see how that happens, because you’re on the road for so long, and then you get home, and it’s just like ‘Ah, we’re finally home, now we can relax’ kind of thing. You’ve kind of got to take it in the other direction. We had a good day of rest yesterday. Now we’re back to work today. Hard practice in the morning, get our legs going, get a good sweat on and know that tonight’s a must-win. We’ve got to create that identity at home, and we haven’t done that yet.
Doughty, on whether rolling four lines and forechecking will help avoid that lull:
Yeah, for sure. That’s what we want our identity to be. We want to be known as a hard, physical team to play against every night. We want teams coming in to our arena thinking ‘This sucks. We’ve got to play the Kings tonight.’ So we’ve got to make sure that we’re the most physical team out there, the fastest team out there and the most competitive team out there. We want to be the most competitive team in the league, and if everyone competes to the best of their abilities, we shouldn’t lose 20 games.
Doughty, on what he associates with a new-look Dallas team:
They’re a little different this year. I actually think they’re a lot better team. They’ve got a new coach – they’ve got Lindy Ruff as their coach. He’s a coach who really preaches being fast on the rush, and that’s what they’ve got. They’ve got a lot of speedy forwards who are going to attack you on the rush, create plays. They’re not going to be like a forecheck team, necessarily, so it’s going to be tough, but as long as we’re good in the neutral zone forecheck, we shouldn’t give ‘em much speed coming through there.
Colin Fraser, on what he will look to achieve with his line:
I don’t know what the line is, but for me, no matter who I play with, I kind of play the same way. It doesn’t change my style. I’ve definitely got to be energy and hit some body. Our last game at home obviously wasn’t good. It was kind of a dead game, and we weren’t very good. We talk about being homers, and it starts with being hard to play against in your own building, and I think it starts with us three guys.
Fraser, on whether he buys into the “lull” in the first game back after a road trip:
I don’t buy into it. Maybe it’s one of those excuses sometimes. No matter where you are, when you play, you’ve got to be ready. It’s just that funny things happen sometimes – you can’t win one on the road, and then the next year you’re winning every game on the road, and there’s no explanation for it, really. So I think you’ve got to approach every game the same, and we’ve just got to win our hockey games and keep pace here with the guys ahead of us.
Jordan Nolan, on skating with Colin Fraser:
You always know what to expect out of Fras. He’s always going to give it his best. He’s always going to be responsible in his own end, and in the offensive zone, too, and you know he likes to compete. He always brings a team kind of game for us, so there’s really no surprise playing with him.
Nolan, on playing Dallas:
They’re just a good team. I think they play a little bit like Nashville, kind of man-on-man in their own zone. But we’re still trying to build our game right now, trying to build a full 60, so we’re just going to come out and hopefully get our game going quick and then get the win.
Jake Muzzin, on what he’s looking to build on tonight:
I think Darryl wants a little more physical jam in the lineup, play harder on guys, and the rest will look after itself. But that’s my focus tonight. Play a little harder on guys, and a little more consistent shift-to-shift.
Muzzin, on where the focus lies in the first game of a homestand:
We’ve got to get our identity at home. The last few games at home we haven’t really played our best, so we want to come out and create our own home-ice identity and make it tough for teams to come into this building and play.
Muzzin, on the challenges of not being in the lineup since the Rangers game:
You obviously want to play. If you’re not in the lineup, you want to stay ready and just keep your mind involved and be ready when your name’s called to come play. Sometimes it’s challenging, but if you stay ready, then you’re going to get back in the lineup. Hopefully it’s a smooth transition.