On how the team seems to play better on the road and how it can improve at home:
To be honest the last game we lost at home was a bit of slugfest, tight-checking game, so it’s not as if guys weren’t ready to play. I thought they did a really good job of being prepared to play and I think that’s the whole key. Your preparation does change at home little bit. You have other responsibilities when you’re at home. Guys have families, guys have to fend for themselves a little more for meals and that type of thing. Your preparation changes in terms of your routine a little bit but at the same time individual preparation with being ready to play is important but we had a really good start at the beginning of the year at home. We went on the road and played well and then we had a little bit of a slip at home there for our home stretch, but we took care of business before we went on that last road-trip with a couple of wins at home and now we’ve got a big stretch of home games the rest of the year and we have to really make sure we take care of business at home, just being prepared to play quite honestly.
On if Tobias Rieder and Jeff Carter allow the Kings to have more options with their bottom-six forwards:
We feel like we have good depth here it’s just figuring out what works. I think we have a lot of options. I think we have a lot of centermen that can play wing so we’re not exactly sure how that all falls out but we’ve had the ability to move people around all year and it has helped us. I think guys are comfortable, whether it’s in-game or game-to-game, we’ve changed our look a little bit and guys have performed well, so I think added depth is only going to help us. I wouldn’t say it’s just your bottom-six. I mean we’re not sure where everything lays out right now but what we do know is we need continuity and consistency from all four lines. If you look at the way teams are playing, the pace that teams play at in order to keep up with that pace, shift length has got to be an issue and you need everybody to be able to maintain that kind of pace, especially with the schedule the way it is.
On if it’s a challenge looking at the roster, seeing changes and knowing there could be more (with the trade deadline) in the next few days:
Well we don’t look past now to be honest with you, but it’s always going to change. You have to try and figure out what lines work best based on the teams you’re playing. You’re always going to try and factor in special teams and you’re always going to try and keep guys ready that aren’t playing. We got some guys that are out of the lineup right now just because we can only dress 20 guys and those guys have played well. We make sure we communicate that with the players, make sure that they get the work they need to stay ready (so) when they come in they can help us. But we’ve had a pretty good mindset all year of ‘next man up’ and whoever is in is ready to play and can help us and I think this group’s got a really good grasp on that.
Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/NHLI