December 1 pre-game John Stevens quotes; Mitchell to meet team in Chicago - LA Kings Insider

On the Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko lines, and attempts to neutralize it:
Well, if you look at the line, it’s interesting. I ran into Brayden Schenn’s dad when we were in Arizona. He was visiting Luke, and he said he had never seen a group that had such chemistry right away, and I think that’s probably the key ingredients of have on a line. They seem to mesh very well. They’ve got a lot of speed and quickness, they’ve got a lot of power in their game, they’ve got some elite shooters and they play a really good team game. If you add it up, I think they’re a plus-56 combined as a line, and that might be the most dominant line in the league right now. They play a 200-foot game. They’re a handful. They’re not just run-and-gun, just a one-dimensional line. They play a really good team game, they can check, there are turnovers that create a lot of offense of them, so whoever’s on the ice to get them, you’ve got to compete, and you’ve got to be ready to check them.

On any parallels to the last meeting, such as the standings, momentum, and strong road play:
I’m not sure, to be honest with you. I haven’t really thought about it that way. But we’re just kind of focusing on ourselves. When you play St. Louis, it’s a team in the conference, they’ve been one of the consistent teams in the league all year. One thing is they’re healthier now than they were. They’ve got Berglund back, they’ve got Bouwmeester back in their lineup, so for us, it’s just another road game where in a back-to-back situation we want to make sure we play a really smart game, we want to get off to a good start and we want to make sure that we’re getting contributions from everybody.

On what has evolved in the Kings’ game since the last meeting:
I don’t think it’s got anything to do with St. Louis. I think us, as a team, we’re always trying to get better. I thought we defended really well last night in our own zone, just we were there too much. If you took a look at our neutral zone and our O-zone forecheck, I don’t think it was as effective as it needed to be last night. When we got in our zone, the commitment to keep the puck out of our net was impressive, but I think we taxed ourselves a little bit too much by being there a little too much, but good teams find a way to win in those games, and I think our commitment in our own zone was excellent.

On whether he’s expecting a different style of hockey tonight compared to the last two games:
I’m not sure. Maybe Detroit’s a little different. They really have a speed-rush team coming at you, but I think Washington plays a really heavy game. Their skill guys play a heavy game, and I would say St. Louis is the same way. They’ve got big defense, and their forwards, they play hard, they play physical, and they really count on their team game. I think Washington is similar in that sense, but I probably see more similarities in Wash and St. Louis than I did in the Detroit game. All good teams all have lots of speed in the lineup, but I just think Washington and St. Louis play a really heavy game that you’ve got to be ready for. I think the dot-to-board part of the game, it’s a real important part of the game tonight.

On why St. Louis’ defense is having so much success this season:
They have. They’ve got a scheme where they’ve got this high umbrella in the offensive zone. Their forward ends up high in the middle of the ice. It’s an interesting set-up, but it’s a tough read. It’s a good concept they’ve really gravitated towards. They’ve got some defensemen I think who are some really good thinkers with good mobility, and they’ve really activated that D. It’s almost like a power play look in the offensive zone five-on-five, and it’s really been effective for them. They really get a guy away from the puck, a lot of time it’s a defensemen, and that creates some confusion on coverage on that play, and I think last time when we were here they were at least a goal a game and they’re almost a goal a game now with 21 goals from their defensemen. That’s been impressive, and it’s certainly a concern and something we have to be aware of.

On whether Torrey Mitchell was available for tonight’s game:
He’d be available if he was here. He’d need a long stick to help us tonight. He’s not coming here. He’s going to meet us in Chicago. He had some complications there with that, but we were trying to get him in here. We weren’t going to play him, anyway. I just didn’t think it was fair to him. We’ve got healthy guys here, and he hasn’t skated in three days, so we’ll get him back on the ice tomorrow and get him going.

-Lead photo via Norm Hall/NHLI

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.