January 21 postgame quotes: Willie Mitchell
On the mistakes in a 5-3 loss to Columbus:
Yeah. It wasn’t the best game for us, that’s for sure. We battled back to get in there, and then a couple plays, a couple odd-man rushes, [and] I was out there for a two-on-one. I’d like to make a better play on it, because that’s kind of my game to cover up mistakes, so to speak. Like I said, I think there were too many odd-man rushes, and then the odd-man rushes that were there, I don’t think as a group we minimized those as much as we could.
On whether there have been too many chances against over the last two games:
I think we got a little bit sloppy the last couple. I don’t know if Detroit took the wind out of our sails or what. I think we’ve kind of got to get back to our basics, which is a tight defensive team, and when we do that, we’re usually pretty successful. We’re kind of pretty comfortable in those low-scoring games, as you guys know.
On any lingering effect from the Detroit game:
You know, I think our team’s pretty strong mentally and stuff like that. It’s kind of how we’ve been the whole time, is next game, next game, next game. Over the course of a season, there are parts of the season where the power play’s going really well and it’s not, and there are parts of the season where the penalty killing’s going well and it’[s not, and there are parts of the season where the goal scoring’s going well and it’s not, and there’s parts of the season where defensively it’s maybe not as tight as you’re used to. We’re used to two-and-under. We’re a pretty stingy defense and goaltending, and so any time we’re over that, we’re not happy as a group.
On Anaheim bringing out strong L.A. performances set in the context of the outdoor game:
I think everyone’s excited about it. I’d be lying to say we aren’t. The extra significance is we’ve got to beat that team to get to where we want to get, and that’s the playoffs…Once we’re in the playoffs, we have as good a chance as anyone. We feel that time of year and that type of game suits our team. Sure, the game’s going to be special, but it’s kind of exciting to play against the Ducks because they’re the top team in the NHL, and so you always want to measure yourself up against them.