Willie Mitchell, on looking to finish the pre-Olympic schedule with a win:
We made a few mistakes last game but I don’t think anyone could deny that the effort was there. It seemed like we had a little bit more energy as a hockey club and we played against a good team that we fall behind – it’s tough to get back. We played hard. We played really hard. This team has been on such a good roll, Columbus. It’s going to take everything from us. They’re playing with a lot of confidence. They have a real good, underrated group of forwards. They have a lot of speed, strong on pucks, make plays. Anytime you’re in a funk, like I said earlier, what we tried the other day – you have to find a way to play a tight game and squeak out a game whether it’s 2-1, 3-2, 1-0, you have to be. That’s usually what happens when you’re not scoring goals, you have to win a game that way. Then the next thing you know, it seems like you’re playing good defense and the rest of the stuff starts to come. So we’ll look to try and do that tonight.
Mitchell, on Ryan Johansen:
Well, I haven’t played against him a lot to be honest because I think last year it was kind of his second year. The first year he was kind of up and down right? Up and down the year before. So I really hadn’t seen him a lot. I saw him in the game in Columbus and they have a heck of a player. He’s big, strong, and I think he kind of reminds me of I’d say a Kopi or a Getzlaf in the sense where they don’t look like they’re moving that fast but he actually skates really well for a big man. And then he’s just strong on the puck, slick little moves, he sees the ice well. So definitely someone who is a great young player in our game and you have to be aware about on the ice. [Reporter: Did you ever share the ice with him over his training?] No, no , no. He’s South Island I believe, down Victoria way. So him and Jaime Benn are hanging out I’m sure.
Mitchell, on an “up-tempo” morning skate:
Yeah, it seemed like that. We talked about, we had the big road trip and our first game back from the road trip – who’d we play against there? Yeah, Pittsburgh – and that morning we had great jump as well and it just didn’t carry over to the game. Sometimes, you can’t figure out there’s no rhyme or reason for it, but it did. It seemed like there was a lot of good jump out there. It looked crisp. Then again, you talk to any player – I’ve had some really great morning skates and had a terrible game at night. I’ve had some [poor] morning skates and felt unbelievable at night. As a player, we always try to figure out what that is. What makes that tick, because you want to bottle that for the days when you feel great and feel good at night. Sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason. You prepare the same way, you sleep the same way, you eat the same way, you focus. You’re preparation is just – sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you want. It probably has to do with 25 or 26 guys on the other side and their coaches as well, right? There is two teams. But if we can carry that energy we had this morning, I think we’ll be in a really good spot tonight.
Mitchell, on looking to head into the break on a “high note”:
I don’t know if it’s going into the break on a high note. I just think it’s points that we need and we haven’t been getting enough of them lately and against a good team that’s playing well at home. So I think that’s the main thing, just we need the points.
Justin Williams, on the way the team approaches the final game before the break:
Well ultimately, it seems a little more important judging by the way things are going. I mean every point is important, but the way we’ve been going lately – you don’t want to go another two weeks without playing a game. So we’re obviously going to throw our best, just as we should every night and scored a few goals last game, so hopefully we’re trending in the right direction.
Williams, on generating chances with Dustin Brown and Mike Richards:
I mean you just have to believe that ultimately they’ll go in and there will be a little bit of justice, so to speak for our line. We’ve been snake bit. We hit a lot of posts, but we’re not going to let that deter us and we’re going to keep pushing.
Williams, on what Los Angeles saw in Columbus last month:
They have a pretty good puck possession team. They have some big guys who hang onto the puck and take the puck to the net. We’re going to have to, obviously, be ready for that, be hard, and ultimately play a lot more in their zone as we did the last time we played them.