Stevens on upcoming road-trip, winning at home, Martinez's status - LA Kings Insider

The Kings just wrapped up practice at Toyota Sports Center, their second straight day of work following an off day on Super Bowl Sunday. This followed a 6-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

Coach John Stevens talked about several topics during his media availability, including the importance of the team’s upcoming seven-game road-trip, taking care of business at home and also the status of defenseman Alec Martinez, who missed the  last game with a lower-body injury. Martinez also skated Monday.

On the level of importance placed on the Kings’ upcoming seven-game road-trip:

It really hasn’t changed all year to be honest with you. We knew the Pacific (Division) was going to be tough, we knew the Central (Division) was going to be tough. The one thing we have tried to focus on is we need to take care of ourselves. With the amount of teams that are fighting for a playoff position in the division and the conference, unless you take care of yourself it doesn’t matter. If you’re going to sit around and wait for help from other people it’s not going to happen. There are too many people vying to get in. The bottom line for us is every game is important. Conference games are almost as important as division games now and we’re not looking past the game tomorrow before we go on the road because we need to take care of business at home. Every game is important. I think the division still does carry the most weight but every day you play or don’t play there can be a difference in the standings. You can drop a position in the standings just by sitting idle for a day. I think those days are gone now with the breaks behind us so to me it’s just a matter of focusing on your team game, taking care of your own business and don’t worry what’s going on around you because you have to win games to get in.

What worked particularly well in the last game:

I thought it was just a good rebound game. I thought our commitment to get pucks in deep early and forecheck was there. I thought we had good positioning on top of pucks in the offensive zone. I thought our commitment to get back as a group of five and check people off the puck that set us up to play fast the other way, I thought it was all good. Obviously the power play scored a big goal from the faceoff. We got contribution up and down our lineup so it was just a good, solid team game. It’s a little different out here. I think in the West, you go on the road for stretches, and we went on the road and had success early in the year, I think success breeds confidence and then you come home off the road and we weren’t as good at home especially in the early part of the year the first time, so it comes down to making sure on your preparation, making sure your routine at home is what it needs to be to allow yourself to be a good player. We’ve talked about being a better home team. We’ve been good on the road but we need to take care of our business at home and I thought last game was a step in the right direction.

On the last two days of work and this mini-break:

I just think they’re just important coming out of all the breaks we’ve had. In Edmonton I think there’s a stat where they’ve played four games in 22 days, so they’re looking forward to getting playing again. We go off a break, we get a break, come back playing, break, come back playing, break again. So now the breaks are done. I think days like yesterday and today are important days to get the practice in you need and repetition and execution to get ready to go into a heavy schedule so I think from this point forward, the days you get to practice are really important days. There’s got to be huge value in what you’re doing and it has to be a real purpose to your practice to allow you to prepare to play games.

On Alec Martinez’s status:

Not sure yet. He skated again today, I’ll wait to see how it responds, talk to (trainer Chris Kingsley) but I think he’s getting close to a return. We’re not sure yet.

Quotes on Connor McDavid and Torrey Mitchell withheld for today’s practice report

Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/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.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.
VIEW JAKE MUZZIN POSTS

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS