December 19 morning skate quotes: Doughty, Nolan
Drew Doughty, on the challenges of the tight schedule:
Everyone is kind of having to deal with it a little bit, but the best part about this little stretch is it is kind of a lot of games so we won’t be having to practice as much. There will be days like yesterday, where we have the day off and have to do some off-ice stuff. Those are important days because we have to make sure we rehydrate, get some good food in us, and get some rest. This is a fun time, it’s just playing games. That’s what we all look forward to, especially a game like tonight.
Doughty, on the evolution of the San Jose rivalry:
It’s evolved big time. They beat us in the playoffs a couple years ago. It was a heartbreaker really. I think we were even up in the series at one point. The game we ended up losing the series in, we were up 4-0 or something crazy like that, and blew the lead. Obviously, last year we beat them in seven games. Both teams don’t like each other very much. We are in the same division, have been for a while. It kind of seemed like San Jose was the better team my first few years in the league, but now the Kings are back and we have a great battle every game.
Doughty, on whether Joe Thornton is one of the toughest forwards in the league to defend:
We don’t get to see the guys in the East too much, so I kind of just know which guys in the West are hard to play against. He’s up there, top five easily. He’s such a big body, he’s so good with the puck, he’s a great passer, he’s really just good at every aspect of the game. He plays physical, he plays hard. Every time he comes into our barn, I look forward to the challenge and winning it.
Doughty, on playing in his 400th NHL game tonight:
That’s cool. I didn’t know that. I’ve been in the league for six years now and time has flown by. It just seems like yesterday I was 18 and I was just making my first year in the league. I’ve had so much fun. I’ve still got hopefully a long healthy road ahead of me and I’m looking forward to continuing it here in LA. [Reporter: As a rookie could you have envisioned playing this many games by 23?] Not at all, like I said, it’s crazy. I can’t believe how much fun I’ve had in this league and how much fun I’ve had with this team. I’ve developed so many relationships with the guys off the ice. I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. I am happy to be here and I’m happy to have played all 400 for the LA Kings.
Jordan Nolan, on him and Dwight King scoring goals in the last game:
I think we are starting to get more opportunities to show that we can do something like that and we’re starting to bear opportunities. When we were younger, we’d get chances like that and not put them in. We now realize how big goals are and how getting goals for ourselves help us get more ice time.
Nolan, on whether the forwards have improved in driving to the front of the net:
I think so, it’s something that we talk about every game. Playing the way we need to play and getting to the net and bringing pucks out of the corner to the net and just standing there for rebounds. We’re getting bounces right now and we’re starting to get goals.
Nolan, on the similarities between Los Angeles and San Jose:
There’s not much of a difference. We both play the same style. We’re both big, physical bodies. There’s not much of a difference between us. I think it’s just about who plays their game better and wants to beat the other team.
Nolan, on handling the tough schedule:
It’s tough all year. There’s really not a whole lot of breaks in this kind of season. So it’s just about getting rest when you need to get rest and staying mentally prepared and having your down time when you need your down time. If you manage it right, you should be alright.