On the Kings’ ability to handle pressure well:
I think pressure’s a good thing, always. I think pressure is how players learn to play at another level. Pressure’s not a negative. Pressure is a very positive thing. Players who never feel pressure or are sort of distant from that are players who never, ever play playoff games or else guys that just move around. [Reporter: Is Justin Williams one of the guys who maybe thrives under those pressure situations?] He’s had a really good career, a very successful career. He played a lot of playoff games, played in a lot of big games. Guys who do that, I don’t think they’re defined by name, they’re defined by that, by the experience of it.
On what he’s looking for from Mike Richards:
Obviously we’ve lost Jarret in the middle of the ice, and we really haven’t been very strong in the middle of the ice, if you look at our team from early in the year, from years prior. We’ve moved Jeff to the middle, and Kopi and Jeff, but there’s been a drop after that. I‘ve said it all along, and I still believe Mike’s a really good player, so I trust him and he trusts me. That’s a big part of it, and we put some young guys in there that at the end of the day I think are going to be good players, but right now they haven’t shown it consistently that we can win with that. [Reporter: And Mike consistently thrives in big game abilities. You’ve pretty much seen that from him his whole career.] Well, you need it now, though. Let’s not get philosophical now about players. I mean, that’s like saying that Rob Blake could play on our power play tonight. We’ve got guys who play on the power play that have historically been good scorers from the point but aren’t right now, either. Let’s not get too deep on that one.
On whether Alec Martinez is ready to play:
The bottom line is when a guy’s been out six weeks with a head injury, when are they ready to play? Just cause somebody’s cleared or added, remember after the deadline you can have 40 guys on your roster as long as you’re not over the cap. It’s OK if we’re just playing it out and putting guys in, but I think right now it’s like talking about Mike. I think experience is a factor.
On New Jersey’s recent success and their structure:
I don’t think their structure has ever changed dramatically. I think obviously they made a coaching change, but Adam and Scott coming back. I have a lot of respect for their organization and Lou. They’re a good hockey club. I’m not overly concerned about overanalyzing our opponent. We’re trying to just win games. That’s what we’re trying to do.
On playing professionally in Japan:
I wasn’t even legal age yet. That was the summer I turned 20. That’s a long time. I’m sure that Japan has changed more than I have.