On players needing to stay sharp during a break in the schedule:
Depends who you asked. … I think young guys, the focus affects their detail, for sure, lack of detail, and I think the older guys have trouble getting going. We’ve been through that lots as older players and with older players – give ‘em a day, and sometimes they have trouble getting going again. Everybody’s different. The top guys don’t have as much a problem with it. That’s why they’re top guys – well prepared, good focus, attention to detail. Other guys drop off.
On whether the team adjusts its style of play based on its goaltender:
Well, Jonathan Quick is arguably the best player in the league in right around the net – rebounds, actually doing some work for the defensemen in terms of covering pucks and where you direct pucks to. Every goalie’s different. It’s got nothing to do with Peter or Jonathan. Every goalie’s different. We’ve been through that lots with goalies here already, but there is an adjustment. You have to be able to adjust with a different vocabulary than you use in retrievals and plays between defensemen and goalies. There are lots of adjustments. It’s not you just go [snaps] like that. [Reporter: Did Peter feel more comfortable with shot blocking than Quick did, or did they have the same attitude about what they wanted. Some goalies want that, and some don’t.] Well, we have rules set. I don’t care who the goalie is. Here’s the rules. The adjustment for him would’ve been greater than ours. [Reporter: Last year were you getting a lot of good reports on him from Ontario?] We had him in training camp. Obviously as a free agent he had a good camp, and he was fighting for his career trying to get a job. He went to the American League, it’s totally a different level – different level of shooters, different level of speed, different level of skill – so he was able to play.
On what Teddy Purcell could add in his game:
There’s a competitive balance in our forwards now. It’s not about Teddy. We only have a 23-man roster. It’s not about Teddy, it’s about the team. We’re trying to win games. He’ll be available, he’s available, and maybe he’s playing tomorrow. I’m not really going too much past that. Two weeks ago we were trying to get 12 forwards who were healthy. It’s not an issue for me.
On whether Brayden McNabb has a “week-to-week” designation:
He’s at least a month away. He’s still in a healing part of it. I didn’t expect him to skate for another week at least. [Reporter: Was today his first day of skating?] I couldn’t tell you. He’s out for a long time.
On the team’s evolution since the last time the Kings played the Sharks:
It goes fast. Right? Every situation’s different. Obviously that night, you lose Jonathan in the first period. [Reporter: The fact that you guys are still in the divisional race, considering all that’s happened, that’s what I mean.] Hey, be real right? They’re the favorite. That’s not something I’m saying because we play ‘em tomorrow. They’re the favorite. They went to the Stanley Cup Final last year, and they’re a 100-point team, all that stuff. They’re the favorite. They’re a veteran team, they have probably the most veteran defense in the NHL. Their top players, look at it – Thornton, Pavelski, Marleau – all play on the same line. Veteran, top guys. Hey, they’re a veteran team. We have a lot of respect for ‘em and we know it’s in the division. That’s about it.
On whether he expects the division to remain close:
I think the division, as I said, it’s not going to change week-to-week. It’s not going to change. I got criticized for saying that we were a middle-of-the-pack team, well, if you win twice as many games as you lose, you’re in the upper echelon. I bet if you do it today, those are the six or seven teams. Last year we were one of those teams. When you win almost 50 and you lose 28 or something, that’s it – regular season, upper echelon team. If you look at it now you guys, there are probably six or seven teams that have won after20 games that have probably won twice as many as lost, those would be the [upper echelon teams], and then if you look at the rest of the league, everybody else is in the middle of the pack. Everybody else. If you dropped the five teams below .500, you’re not. Everybody’s either three or four over or three or four under. They’re all the same. We’re all the same. There are teams – we’ve played Chicago, they’ve won twice as many. I’m not sure today, but there will be like six, seven teams, right? Those are the cream. That’s the cream. And that means there are probably 20-something teams that are – look at our division. Very same. Three teams, three or four games over, even, three or four games under, so there’s not much difference. What difference it makes is division. [Reporter: Healthy middle class.] There’s nothing wrong with it. Call it whatever you want. Call it upper-middle class, whatever you want. It’s so even.