More from the morning skate: Muzzin, Forbort, Iafallo - LA Kings Insider

Several additional quotes from this morning’s media availability are below. By now, you’re probably aware of most of the details: Toronto leads the league with an average of 4.6 goals per game, and Auston Matthews is tied for fourth in the league with 12 points and ranks third with seven goals. On the other hand, there’s Jonathan Quick, whose 1.99 goals-against average and .938 save percentage rank third, as well as Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, who are tied with a team-high 11 points.

One of the factors in attempting to limit Toronto’s aggressive attack will be the ability of the L.A. forwards to get in on the forecheck, pinning the Maple Leafs defenders deep in their own zone. Earlier today, LA Kings Insider spoke with Jake Muzzin and Derek Forbort about defending the rush and working against a high-energy attack, and Alex Iafallo about what he’s looking to transfer from the Columbus game into tonight’s match-up.

Jake Muzzin, on whether his horse trophy from the China Games continues to work its magic:
Yeah, it’s got some special powers. Just trying to play good hockey. As a team, we’re gelling right now. Everyone’s going, so we’ve got to continue with it. Continue pushing ourselves to get better. There are areas where we can improve. Obviously we’re off to a good start, but it’s a long season, so we’ve got to stay with it continually to get better.

Muzzin, on the aspects of his game that are coming along well:
Just playing sound, solid defensive game. Points will come and go. Points are coming right now, but that’s not my focus. We want to play the game to win, and you’ve got to be a sound, defensive guy first, and points come and go, like I said. I’m not too worried about them, but more worried about keeping the puck out of my net.

Muzzin, on defensive zone success originating from physical play around the net:
It’s all that stuff – being physical, hard guy to play against, good on the rush, good puck moving guy, getting the puck out, smart plays. It’s all intertwined with each other, and you have to do it every night. I mean, Columbus was a tough game. They’ve got a lot of skill, and we come into here, it’s a tough game. I think they’ve got the most goals-for in the league, so we’ve got to play a solid defensive game and check well, and our win will come from that.

Muzzin, on defending against strong rush teams:
It’s a full team. It’s not just the D. They’re a good rush team, so our gaps have to be tight, and we need good back pressure from our forwards. That eliminates pull-ups, speed through, time to make the east-west plays, because those are tough to defend. It’s going to be a full team effort, and we’re going to need everyone to be on their game tonight.

Derek Forbort, on what to be aware of on Toronto’s power play:
They’ve got a lot of really high-end forwards. I think the biggest thing is being good up-ice and not letting them set up, and hopefully from there we can get good pressure, because when they get set up and they’re moving the puck, they’re a pretty dangerous power play.

Forbort, on Toronto’s pace and rush ability:
They’ve got a lot of mobile defensemen that are getting up in the play a lot. If we do a good job at checking them, hopefully they won’t get that fourth man on the rush for the odd-man. They’ve got a lot of skilled guys so they’re going to get something, but we’ve got to do a good job of getting numbers back and shutting them down.

Forbort, on the adjustments the team made against Columbus on Saturday:
We just settled in. They came out hot. They’re a really good rush team, and they were getting a lot of pucks to the net. Some of it kind of caught us a little off-guard, but once we settled in in the second and third, we started playing our game.

Alex Iafallo, on what he’ll look to transfer from the Columbus game into tonight’s game:
Keep forechecking, using our speed. Stay on their defensemen, create a lot of offense. That’s what we’ve been working on the last couple weeks, so we’re going to keep doing it.

-Lead photo via Jamie Sabau/NHLI

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.