Stevens on Kempe, Brown, Canadiens, more - LA Kings Insider

On whether Adrian Kempe is capable of maintaining his production:
Well, we hope so. I don’t know if he’s going to produce at the rate he has, but he’s got really good speed, really good skill, he’s got a desire to get to the tough areas, so I don’t see any reason why he can’t continue to have success with his skill set, his willingness to compete and go to the hard areas where you need to score. We’re not surprised that he’s capable of doing what he’s doing based on the fact that he’s done all those things and gotten himself in the right spots, and I think there was a question whether he could finish or not. I think he’s proven that he can.

On relying on Dustin Brown in an important role:
Well, we sat down with all of our players, and I think you come away with the fact that Dustin Brown is extremely well respected on your hockey team. I think he’s a really proud guy that still wants to be a really good player, and he trains well, he prepares well. After watching and reviewing our team and situations on our team and what he was doing and things he did around the net, I told him this summer, ‘I don’t see any reason why you can’t go back to being a 20 goal scorer.’ He’s an important guy. He plays in all situations and we’ve got him back on the power play as a fixture because we want him at net-front. He’s been a good penalty killer, he plays against top guys. He’s had a great training camp and deserved the right to be in those situations, and he’s had a lot of success in those situations before. It was much needed for our hockey team. [Reporter: Was it a question of maybe just confidence in his case?] I don’t know. I think Brownie’s game was trending back to towards the right direction last year. I think he’s really kind of looked at himself and what his identity needs to be as a player. He’s gotten back to that and I think he feels good about his game. I think he likes who he’s playing with. He wants to be counted on, so I think when a player has success and you start to get extra minutes because of the success you’re having, I think any player’s going to get confidence from that.

On what he saw from last week’s game versus Montreal that he hopes will carry over:
Well, we’ve got to be ready for their forecheck. I think they’re one of the better forechecking teams in the league. We had trouble with it early in our building. That game was tight until late and we kind of blew it open there. They’re a good team that really forechecks well, and I thought once we got going, we did a good job of breaking the puck out and carrying speed through the neutral zone. I think that’ll be important, and I think you’ve got to get your forecheck established because if their D get their feet turned up, their forwards are off to the races and they can hurt you on the rush. There’s lots of things I think to learn from that game, and certainly some things to be aware of.

On what the team will do to “exploit” a “relatively fragile” Montreal team:
I’m not so sure about that. They played very well against Florida the other night. They looked like they had some jump in their step, and they’re a good hockey team. I think if you look at the underlying numbers, sometimes a team is losing when they’re getting ready to win, and that might’ve been the case with them. I think they’re probably excited about being back home. I think they’re a good hockey team. They’ve got a great goalie in net, their defense is solid and they’ve got lots of depth up front. We’re not trying to exploit anything, quite honestly. We’re going to try to get ready for what we think is a good hockey team.

On improvements below the goal lines at both ends of the rink since the Toronto game:
Yeah, Toronto may have been our worst game in that area I think this year, but I thought we were much, much better in the Ottawa game, both ends of the rink. I just thought our compete from dot-to-boards was a lot better and allowed us to create some good things offensively and not give up those types of chances that are coming out of corners and the back of the net. I thought it was a much-improved area of our game, last game.

-Two quotes withheld from this transcript were used in today’s morning skate notes
-Lead photo via Francois Lacasse/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.