March 13 morning skate quotes: Toronto
Tyler Bozak, on the Kings:
They play great defense, they’ve all bought into a system and play it very well. They get pucks deep, they don’t turn the puck over often, so we’re going to have to be smart with the puck in the neutral zone, get pucks deep as much as we can and create some offensive zone time.
Bozak, on Drew Doughty:
He’s a rover, he plays forward and defense it seems like out there. I mean, he’s no slouch defensively at all from what I’ve seen. I know he lays some big hits, plays well defensively, and is a guy that when he’s on the ice, you need to be aware at all times because he can jump into the play and be a threat to score.
Bozak, on Jonathan Bernier:
He’s an awesome guy. He came in and fit in real well with everyone right away. Obviously on the ice he’s done magnificent things for our team, and he’s a fun guy to be around off the ice. He’s a leader on our team off the ice, he’s one of the few guys here that does have a Stanley Cup ring, so a lot of guys lean on him to get some advice. He’s a great guy to have on your team.
Bozak, on Bernier’s leadership:
Off the ice, he’s a professional. He knows what it takes to win, and he does a lot of his leading by example. If you need to know anything, he’ll let you know.
Bozak, on what Bernier told the Maple Leafs about the Kings:
I mean, he told us that they compete hard, that it’s a tough building to play in, and that you can’t turn the puck over because they feed off of that, and that’s the main thing we need to focus on.
James van Riemsdyk, on getting speed through the neutral zone:
That’s the key I think. Obviously they’re big and physical and fast and play an aggressive style, so we’re going to have to be smart with the puck and get it in deep.
van Riemsdyk, on learning from the 6-2 loss in San Jose:
It’s a different team, different game. Then again, there are obviously some things we need to clean up from the loss in San Jose, and we’ll do that tonight.
van Riemsdyk, on Bernier
I’ve played against him a few times, I think he started against us once or twice when I was in Philly, so I’ve faced him and I knew he was a good goaltender, and it’s good to see him getting more of an opportunity here. He’s been consistent the whole year, he’s been giving us a chance to win every time he’s in there, he’s been great.
van Riemsdyk, on Bernier’s emotions returning to Los Angeles:
I’m sure there are a lot of mixed emotions. Obviously he won a Stanley Cup here and was on a lot of good teams. He was here for a long time, so I’m sure he’s got some mixed emotions.
Randy Carlyle, on the challenge of possessing the puck against Los Angeles:
Big, heavy team, grinding team, real stingy on the defensive side. They don’t give you a lot; it’s going to be a man’s game. There won’t be a lot of space on the ice, that’s the way they play, they play it tight to the best, have five people around the puck. They’re doing very well; I think they’ve pulled off eight in a row, so obviously things are going well for their hockey club.
Carlyle, on when it became clear Bernier was going to earn starters minutes:
Well, I never really made that statement; other people just make those assessments and assumptions. We look at it, and we go with people that we feel give us the best chance. I know you’ve heard me say that a lot, but it just so happens that Bernie’s been on a run. From a coaching perspective, those are the tough decisions you have to make, and the player in case, Bernier, has held up his end of the bargain. There’s nobody that’s going to stand here and say he hasn’t played well for our hockey club. It’s not so much me making the decision; it’s the player earning the opportunity.
Carlyle, on Bernier’s return to Los Angeles being a “rally cry” for the Maple Leafs:
We hope so. We think that’s just all part of the motivation of coming up in one organization, then playing against them. You hope your teammates are going to rally around you and do their best. We have no excuses for tonight. We had a day off yesterday, we have a lot of energy this morning, our focus is playing the game that we’re capable of playing.