On what he’s looking for when the Kings pull their goalie:
For sure our centerman back no matter where the play is on the ice. Our centerman’s always low in our zone and high in the neutral zone, meaning working with the D. Nine times out of 10 it’s after a faceoff, so there’s enough pre-scouting done that you know that there are some set plays that teams use and one-timers. For example, last night there was a play that they wanted to use with Jagr, so if you take them away, then it’s the very same as taking away the priority play on a power play. If you take away the high-percentage play that the other team wants to use, then after that it’s mostly about blocking shots and your goaltender having to make a big save. It doesn’t happen very often. It’s happened on this trip because the games have been close. I’d rather be defending than trying to score. The percentage are much better. It’s like the goalie out. It’s like a four or five percent chance of scoring. You’ve got a 95% chance of scoring an empty net.
On the challenges of returning to the regular season after an extended playoff run:
Injuries and training, one and two. It doesn’t matter which. However you want it. Other than that, there’s nothing. First off, you want to win if you got there, and you want to get there, and you want to be a conference finalist. To do that, that’s an accomplishment, and then the toughest part from an organizational standpoint is keeping that group together. I’m not sure what changes Tampa made, but it’s the toughest part. [Reporter: The parity in the league, too.] There’s no difference in any of the teams. If you make the playoffs, you can win the Cup. The toughest part is making it, and then it’s a marathon once you get there. You play to the middle of June. The guys that are in the Mediterranean league, the middle of April. So you play ‘til the middle of June, it takes its toll. Really good teams play in June. That it carries over to the next year does not mean that they’re still not a really good team. It’s tough to make it. You’ve got to be close to a hundred-point team to make it. I know firsthand we didn’t make the playoffs year last year. We had a hell of a year. If we’d have made the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup, then we’d have all these guys who can’t wait to spit on you, say that they were the difference, the reason you won it. [laughs] Think I’ve been down the road, eh? I don’t even like talking about it.
On the road trip:
We’ve had a good trip. Could’ve won every game. Tied it up late in Philly, came back, what was the next game? [Reporter: Detroit.] We tied it up there. The goalie made the – it’s sort of what [reporter] was talking about. A lot of blocked shots and big saves with the goalie out. Could’ve tied it up. Same as Philadelphia. Could’ve won it. Carolina – came back. Showed a lot of character, came back after being down three. Liked our chances going into the third period there. We took a dumb penalty that they scored on to go down four-two instead of three-two going into the third. Last night, basically missed a call on what should’ve been a two-nothing lead instead of a one-nothing lead. Overcame that. Good trip.
On whether the Kings played one of their best first periods of the season on Monday:
I think we’ve had lots of ‘em. You don’t win 13 games by only having good first periods.
On what makes Steven Stamkos unique:
He scores from a lot of areas, he scores big goals, plays a lot of minutes, hard to play against, can score on the rush, can score from the dot. He’s a goal scorer, one of the best. I don’t know if there is a better one probably the last three or four years or not. Who else would have more goals? [Reporter: Ovechkin, maybe?] Ovechkin, Perry, maybe. I’m not sure.