A small collection of players didn’t take the ice for the morning skate in advance of tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter took the option but are expected to play tonight, while Willie Mitchell, who sat out Sunday’s game in Chicago with an upper-body injury, will miss his second consecutive game.
Though Brown didn’t skate on Tuesday, he answered questions pertaining to the team’s goaltending situation in addition to those asking for an articulation of the evolution of Drew Doughty’s game.
When asked to compare Doughty’s current season to his 2009-10 season, in which he was a Norris Trophy finalist, Brown said “I think he’s been way better.”
“With Drew, it’s like last year – I thought he played really well and everyone’s all over him because he didn’t score a goal. You look at the guys he’s playing against, he’s not playing against third or fourth line guys. He’s playing against the best guys in the league every night. You’d have to ask other guys, but I’d imagine he’s not a fun guy to play against.”
On Martin Jones:
He’s just come in and been, I think, well prepared. The first two weeks he got here he didn’t play, so it was just a lot of work in practice. When he got the opportunity he seized it. I think the biggest part of our game is the defensive side of the puck. I think we all understand as a group of guys that’s what makes us successful. You’d have to ask Jonesy, but it’s probably a good environment to come in as a goalie.
On the impact of seeing Jonathan Quick at practice:
Just seeing him, it’s one of those things – it’s like Greener when he was out. At the end of the day they’re still your teammates and sometimes when you’re injured for a prolonged period of time you lose touch with what’s going on– it’s not necessarily what’s going on, on the ice – it’s more the inside jokes and the funny stories that have happened over the last few weeks. That’s the stuff that kind of keeps us together.
On Drew Doughty taking on more of a leadership role:
I think he’s kind of grown into it. He’s always, obviously, had the skill level and what he does with the puck and on the ice kind of takes care of itself. He’s grown up a bit and taken more of a responsibility, not only in his own game, but what he expects of the team. That’s part of his journey of becoming a – he’s always been a leader, per se, on the ice. It’s more, expecting more of himself every night and expecting more of his teammates, which you are starting to see more of this year.
On whether Norris Trophies won by Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban represent that players who rack up the most points have an inside shot at the award:
Those two guys in particular, I just don’t see enough. I know they get a lot of points. I don’t know if this is statistically accurate, but it seems like a lot more guys in the east get a lot more points. That’s just because of the way the west is built and the teams that we play. For me, I see Dewey night in and night out. When you see someone night in and night out, you have a different opinion I guess. Duncan Keith I think is another player, he’s got a lot of points and he’s on a high scoring team, but he controls the pace of the game. For me, it’s harder to play against a guy who can control the pace of the game rather than the guy who has two assists on the power play. That’s just for me. You look at Nick Lidstrom, he’d get points, but he controlled the game. Dewey this year, especially, has been really good at controlling the game. Especially since Quickie went out. He’s pretty adaptable, Dewey is. At the end of the day it’s his mind for the game. It’s probably his best asset. He has good skill. I played with better skillset defensemen. He’s able to use his skillset in a way that a lot of people can’t.
On what he knew of Martin Jones previous to his call up:
Not much, just a big goalie. You kind of get to know him a little bit through training camps, but this is the first time getting to know him. Guys have really enjoyed his off-ice stuff. The on-ice stuff kind of takes care of itself, he’s fit in with the group. He’s pretty easy going.
On Drew Doughty’s maturity:
I’ve seen him grow up. He was my roommate the first four years of his career and now he’s in year six. He’ll tell you in year 15. I kind of think the learning curve there with his contract, learning about the responsibility that goes with a contract like that, I think he’s just becoming more consistent with his game night in and night out. That was the learning curve for him. You sign a contract like that at a pretty young age. He had to learn it’s not about being good one night and having an okay night next, it’s about being good every single night. I think it’s the same thing that Kopi went through. Now Kopi is the by far most consistent player on our team at both ends of the ice. It takes time. I’m still learning about it and I’ve been in the league for 10 years. When you see an elite player like Dewey, it’s just about the learning curve.
On having Doughty as a roommate in training camps:
I had him dialed in pretty good. I had a nice coffee every morning and he had all the responsibilities. We had a good roommate situation and he’s pretty easy to deal with. [Reporter: But you got the remote though?] That’s not even a question.