April 28 morning skate quotes: Sutter, Brown, Kopitar, King
Darryl Sutter, on whether Los Angeles’ forecheck was key in Game 5:
Yeah, I think early in the game. We talk about trying to stop their forecheck, and I’m sure that that’s what they talk about, too. Both teams do that really well, and basically it becomes a zone time thing. [Reporter: Also, part of stopping their forecheck was your guys were able to get out of your zone so quickly.] I think that’s not just mour team. That’s every team in the playoffs, and teams that can exit the zone, it’s really clear. I’ve said it lots this year – this is not a defending league any more. Teams that just want to defend and play in their own zone don’t have much success.
Dustin Brown, on the team’s focus heading into Game 6:
I think getting off to a good start is key for us. The desperation for both teams should be pretty high, so it’s a matter of matching it and pushing it to the next level.
Brown, on what the team has improved on over the last few games:
I think, at the end of the day, it comes down to our puck possession game has been a lot better and that’s a result of not turning the puck over. The turnovers are a double-edged sword. If we don’t make them, we can possess the puck a lot more and make it harder on them. And if we turn it over, then they score seven goals.
Brown, on the reason for more comebacks throughout the NHL playoffs:
I don’t think there is any one reason. It’s just sometimes how it goes. Maybe it’s just the way it is this year.
Brown, on the effort to shut down San Jose’s top offensive players:
I think it’s a mix of both – every team is aware of who they need to take extra, pay special attention to, but I think part of it is our puck possession game was a lot better. As a result, those guys had the puck a lot less. That’s kind of how the puck possession game works. We’ve been on the other end of it where other teams possess the puck and some of our top guys [don’t get many shots.] It’s one of those things where we’re just trying to make it hard on those guys. And the best way to do that is not letting them have the puck because every offensive player, every guy here, every player wants the puck. If they can’t get or don’t have a lot of time with it, it’s hard also to find your rhythm in a game when you’re not getting a lot of touches.
Brown, on his assist on Anze Kopitar’s goal in Game 5:
It was more just I bobbled the puck a bit, so by the time I corralled it and had my head up there wasn’t really much to shoot at. It’s just basic off the far pad. We do that 800 times a year in practice and there are times where you just play it off the goalie and good things happen. I didn’t really have anything to shoot at.
Anze Kopitar, on coming back in the series:
It’s usually been the toughest one and we gave ourselves a chance to play in Game 6 now and we want to give ourselves a chance to play in Game 7. It’s no secret.
Kopitar, on the key to the offense in Game 5:
We got some timely goals obviously. We got the first one pretty quick, which we wanted to have a good start and that’s a pretty good indication of a good start and followed it up. Then a power play goal right at the start of the second period, that was pretty timely I thought. After that, I thought we played a pretty solid game and didn’t give up a whole lot.
Kopitar, on what the team has been doing differently the last two games:
We’re just not turning over the puck too much. We’re managing the puck through the neutral zone. You name it, not giving up odd-man rushes. We didn’t give them any chances off our line changes, we did the first couple games. I think it’s just being sharp all over the ice.
Dwight King, on the schedule allowing for them to keep their momentum going:
It’s nice. Obviously, you’re not in control of those things so you can’t put too much thought into it. But it is nice that it’s every other day, so you do stay in the game situation a lot more than say two days off or something like that…Routine – it becomes routine by the end of it.
King, on what the team has done differently over the last two games:
We’ve cleaned up our play obviously. They’re a quick transition, forecheck team and the first two-and-a-half games they did at will. They had odd-man rushes, and I think it took a little more detail in our defensive zone which allowed us to break out and play in there zone. When we play in their zone it obviously eliminates their possession, their transition game which is key for them. [Reporter: What allowed you guys to make that change?] I don’t think we changed our identity. Obviously everybody had to take a peek at themselves bring a little more. I think everybody here is trying to bring their best to table and that goes a long way in team success.