Line rushes indicated that the Los Angeles Kings would make changes to their lineup for Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, the third of eight straight games against Eastern Conference competition.
Devin Setoguchi and Andy Andreoff are expected to draw back into the lineup for Kyle Clifford and Nic Dowd. For Setoguchi, it’s his first game back after missing three straight due to a coach’s decision, while Andreoff is expected to play his first game since suffering a thumb injury that necessitated surgery during a game in Chicago on October 30.
In 23 games, Setoguchi has three goals, seven points and a minus-two rating; Andreoff has been held without a point and has a minus-one rating in nine games.
On Friday, both players spoke with reporters about their roles and where their focus will lie for Saturday’s matinee.
Devin Setoguchi, on getting a chance to get back into the lineup:
We’re pretty smart on the value of our home play. I didn’t have a shot on net in the last four games that I played before I got out, so you knew it was going to happen. It’s just something where I’ve got to be on top of things that I do better. I’ve got to use my speed more and get in on the forecheck and create turnovers and hold on to pucks and get back to going to areas where the puck is, and that’s in front of the net. I’ve only scored three goals this year, but they’ve all been right in front of the net and I saw a thing on TV the other day of Crosby, and all his goals were within 15 feet of the net. He’s got, I think 18 or whatever goals he’s got, and they’re all from just inside the dots, in front of the net. So for myself, it’s something where I just need to make sure that if I’m out there and I’m playing that I’m getting to those areas and compete for pucks and win puck battles and get to the areas where the chances are scored.
Setoguchi, on whether he takes notes on positioning while sitting out:
Well when you sit out you can see a lot. When you go up and you watch the game you’re like ‘Jeez, how do you not see that?’ It’s not nice but when you do get to go watch you see plays develop and you see where you need to go and what you can do and just for myself it’s a matter of compete level. Getting to the areas where the puck is going to be scored and being better in my end, getting pucks in and out on the walls and I think the biggest thing is when my level of intensity is up and my battle level is higher my game is a lot better.
Setoguchi, on skating frequently alongside Dustin Brown, a former rival from his San Jose days:
You know, I actually get that question asked a lot. I think it’s just so long ago, you know it’s been almost six years. Like I said, there’s five guys on the team that I played with – Thornton, Pavelski, Marleau, Couture and- [Reporter: Burns?] No, I got traded for Burns. Vlasic. And those are the guys that are left from five years ago. It’s not like I have a lot of close ties with the team, and I was out of the league for a year, so it’s not like I have ties with anything, anyways. So now being here, yeah we had a good start, and now it’s something where I want to come back in and make sure that we’re all on the same page as a line and if I get a chance to play tomorrow, then I’ll do my best to stay there and play the way that I can.
Setoguchi, on him and Andreoff drawing back into the lineup and raising the compete level:
Well I think that’s just something that I lost before getting taken out of the lineup and you can’t afford it. So tomorrow when I come play, if I play, you know we don’t know yet, like you said I’ve got to be ready to compete and I’ve got to be ready to battle and compete the right way. Not just work hard but work with a purpose, that’s a huge difference when you work with a purpose as opposed to work and you don’t get much accomplished.
Setoguchi, on losing that level of “compete”:
Yeah. It’s hard to explain, I mean you play 82 games and some nights it’s just not there. It’s like you’re trying and you’re trying to find it and it’s just not there. But when you’re not playing, as for us, when we come in we have to make sure that we make an impact. And if we’re not then we’re not doing our job, we’re not being accountable in our actions and because there’s guys killing to get in the lineup when you take a spot, you’ve got to make sure that you go in and it’s almost like you owe that person the chance to take their spot and work.
Andy Andreoff, on the challenges of being in and out of the lineup:
You know, I’ve been there before, in and out of the lineup, so I think the most important thing is staying positive, just getting ready for that opportunity when you get back in there.
Andreoff, on whether it matters if he’s playing wing or center:
I mean, I always practice both. I’m always prepared to play right, left and center. I’ve been doing that since juniors so I don’t know, just being ready for that. Darryl’s going to throw me out there, even mid-game he might throw me back on the wing but for now just be ready to play down the middle.
Andreoff, on whether playing all three forward positions makes it harder on the coach:
Well if you really look at it a lot of our forwards play center and wing some of the time. You know Carts, Lewis, like all those guys. So I think it’s just part of hockey, you know, part of growing up.
Andreoff, on San Jose being a team that can also have wingers take faceoffs:
Yeah that’s why it’s tough when you play against a line like that. You always have a guy on their strong side, right wing, left wing so that’s what’s good about a couple of guys on our team that can play both positions.
Andreoff, on the pain involved with his injury:
I think honestly my adrenaline was going and I couldn’t really feel it even when I took it off. … Because I finished my shift, I thought I just jammed it where it was like, I don’t know, I couldn’t really feel anything and then I took my glove off and I saw it.