Williams, Kopitar, Mitchell prepare you for Game 7
Justin Williams, on the team’s Game 7 approach:
I think most guys on our team treat Game 7s as an opportunity, an opportunity to do something special, an opportunity to prove yourself, an opportunity to advance and get the better of a team that you battled with for six games. It’s going to be no different tomorrow. We obviously have a huge bone to pick with them. We’re going to leave it all out there because there’s no more after that.
Williams, on the importance of being “self-driven”:
Being self-driven is how we got here. We’re successful hockey players because we’ve been able to rise to the challenge not occasionally, but we’ve been able to rise to the challenge every time it’s come towards us. Right now we’re just forgetting all this other junk that’s going on. We’re in Game 7. The best team’s going to win tomorrow, and that’s that. We’re going to make sure it’s us.
Williams, on answering questions about his Game 7 production again:
I’ve reiterated it quite a few times. I’m proud of my individual status. But the one I’m most proud is the 6-and-0 of Game 7s. I’m going to do everything in my power to make it seven. We’ve had a lot of guys with success in Game 7s, it’s not just me. It’s very humbling, I guess, that everyone seems to want an interview on a Game 7. At the end of the day, I feel if I didn’t get the point, someone else on our team would have and we would win those games regardless.
Anze Kopitar, on the importance of faceoffs in this series:
I think it’s very important for me, personally. I think for these guys, the other 20 guys, you want to start with the puck than chase it. Especially a team like Chicago, they have some really good faceoff guys. Most of the time it’s everybody helping out, everybody coming in there, trying to dig out the pucks. The other times it’s just winning them clean. But, yeah, I think it’s a big thing. Now, the last couple years, in the power plays you start off in the offensive zone, and if you can win that right from the get-go, it’s a big opportunity to get something going. Conversely in the defensive zone when you’re on the kill, you win a faceoff, you feel like you killed the momentum at least a little bit. [Reporter: Do you enjoy that part of your job?] Yeah. What’s not to enjoy about any part of a hockey game, really?
Kopitar, on whether the pressure has been on the Kings:
I think I’d rather be playing with the lead than chasing it. You know, now it’s Game 7. We’re coming into a rink that is pretty loud. We really have nothing to lose. We’re going to go out, we’re going to play hard, throw everything on the line. At the end of the day we think, and we’re confident enough, that if we do that, if we do play our game, we think we have a very good chance of winning.
Kopitar, on whether Brandon Saad or any Blackhawks have “surprised” him:
No, I don’t think so. He’s been with the team the last couple years, and he’s been playing good for them. I wouldn’t say he took us by surprise. Just means we have to do a better job of limiting his time and space on the ice.
Willie Mitchell, on Justin Williams’ Game 7 success:
I don’t know. He’s just a big game player. He’s had success on occasions before. I think players that have success in those occasions are comfortable in it. We’re glad to have him. He can speak to that himself, I’m sure.
Mitchell, on whether he appreciates the level of hockey and the environments in the series:
You’re so focused and so engaged in what you’re doing personally. You’re worrying about all the right things you got to do. Last night at the Staples Center, it was a TV timeout, I think it would be pretty hard for anyone in the building, player, fan, referee, anyone not to feel the energy in the building, the type of energy, the type of hockey that was being played. Yeah, it’s fun to be part of that. The big roar you’re looking for is the ultimate at the end of it, and that’s what we’re going to look to do.
Mitchell, on Chicago’s offensive success:
You know, they’re a good offensive team. Everyone knows that. They’ve got three lines that can put the puck in the back of the net. To beat the Chicago Blackhawks, you have to defend. That’s what we’ll look to do tomorrow.
Mitchell, on whether the Kings are most successful in elimination settings:
I think Game 7 is what hockey is all about. As a hockey player, that’s the game you want to play, is Game 7 with everything on the line. It’s kind of the essence of the game. You know, we’ve had some success in that and we look to continue that. We feel if we do the things we’re capable of doing, the style of play we need against the Blackhawks, we’re going to get the result we want.