February 3 morning skate quotes: Mitchell, Williams, Clifford
Willie Mitchell, on being paired with Drew Doughty:
We just felt comfortable with it, that we’re going to play with each other at some point in time. Just let him do his thing and be effective and I do my thing, which is just minimize the other top offensive players.
Mitchell, on whether losing streaks make players change routines:
I think you have to just stick with it and believe. We’re a really good team in here and everyone knows that around the league, even when you don’t score for a little bit. You can ask anyone around the league the LA Kings are a really good hockey club. Sometimes – I’m not saying you doubt – it’s just you start to get a little bit frustrated and I think a lot of times the difference between teams that rally out of a down stretch well is they try not overthinking – what I call ‘chasing the game’ – you don’t want to chase the game and sometimes you can start working too hard in a sense where you’re out of position and making uncharacteristic mistakes as a hockey club or doing things that we don’t normally do. We play a good, tight defensive game and that’s our strength. You look at our goals against, lowest in the league. So that’s what we need to focus on is being a good checking team. I think when we’re a good checking team the offense will come to us. It’s done that. We won a Stanley Cup on that. So I think it’s not so much squeezing it to try and score, it’s just staying confident in our game and playing to our strengths.
Mitchell, on yesterday’s workout day:
There is a physical element to days off, because it is a long grind and also the emotional part, because you do invest so much into the game day and if you don’t – well you’re probably not getting the results. It’s always good. It’s always good to kind of get away for a little bit and get back at it.
Mitchell, on whether this is among the toughest schedules he has experienced:
I don’t know. Everyone goes through it. I think it’s easy to say it’s been a tough stretch, but I’d say the first part of it was tough. The last half we’ve been home enough. I don’t want to use anything for an excuse. The bottom line is we need to find ways to win games right now and we’re kind of not doing that well enough. Like I said, how we’re going to do that is playing to our strengths, which is winning a 1-0 game or a 2-1 game, a real tight checking game. I think you’ve got to start there, because otherwise the hill looks daunting – like we haven’t scored a lot of goals. I think you win that and the next thing you know, everything starts to flow and you start to feel good and the rest of the goals will to come. I think that’s what we need to just emphasize in our room. Like I said, not press too hard and just stick with that.
Justin Williams, on Corey Crawford:
I’m probably not a very good goaltender comparing guy. I don’t know. Crawford to me seems tall in net. I have no idea if he’s lanky or not, but he seems to not give up on a lot of pucks, which most good goalies do. It’s tough to compare goalies for me.
Williams, on what makes Chicago’s backcheck effective:
They have good back pressure by their forwards and they have great gaps by their D. So that in turn doesn’t give you a lot of space in the middle. So you have to get up behind them.
Kyle Clifford, on trying to create “greasy” goals by driving to the net:
I think it’s kind of our mindset, as a line especially. We’re just trying to get pucks to the net and go to the net. I think we know with us, it’s not going to be pretty all the time, but that’s our mindset.
Clifford, on having gone over 10 days without a recovery day:
No, no, we’ve been through it before where we’ve had long stretches. We have three weeks coming up here, so we have plenty of time to rest after that.
Clifford, on Corey Crawford:
He’s big in net. Like J.S. Giguere, he’s got big pads. You just have to keep pounding them at him.