Rapid Reaction, feat. Jim Fox
John Stevens, on what Winnipeg did well and what presented challenges to Los Angeles:
Well, it’s a good hockey team. I think the thing you really make your team aware of is that this is a team that’s really good at home. They have a tendency a lot like Vegas where they really storm you early, and you’ve got to be ready for that. I thought we got off to a good start, but probably by the middle of the first and then all of the second, we totally played on our heels.
Stevens, on Jack Campbell facing a heavy volume of shots:
Jack’s been terrific. He gives you a chance to win. He did the same thing last year when we came in here. He comes in tough spots and the team doesn’t play well in front of you, but he still gave you a chance to get a point at the end of the day, so it was terrific. But you can’t play the game on your heels. You just sit back and let a team come at you, they’re going to make you play in your end a lot. I thought in the third period we started to play on our toes a little more. We were able to generate a little more of an attack, but prior to that, we totally played the game on our heels – backing up, retreating instead of getting after it.
Stevens, on Ilya Kovalchuk scoring his first goal with the club:
Yeah, going hard to the net, driving into the backside. He made a good play going to the net. You’re going to score goals, you’ve got to go to the net. Whether you’re Kovalchuk or anybody else, Kopi scored a goal similar to that earlier. It’s an area we’ve got to get to a lot more.
Stevens, on whether the team took any step forward in puck management or other aspects:
Did you see a step forward today? I didn’t. I thought we played the game on our heels. You can’t manage the puck if you’re on your heels. Take the puck and make a play and move your feet going forward and playing on your toes is something that we’ve got to do a whole lot better.
Stevens, on getting shots on goal:
I actually thought in the first period we tried to get pucks towards the net with people going there. They did a good job getting away, getting shafts on sticks. Some sailed over the net, but I thought the intention to put the pucks in the right areas was there. The second period, the ice was tilted against us and we didn’t generate much of anything. I think the third period, and again, you have to go after other teams. You can’t sit back. They’re too good a team, their defense is too mobile and their forwards carry a lot of speed. You have to get pressure on them with pucks in behind them and force them to spend time in their zone. I thought we did that in the third, but not even close in the second.
Stevens, on perimeter passing on the power play:
It’s not always about shooting the puck in the net from distance. It’s about putting the puck to areas where you have numbers and create rebounds around the net. You look at the best power plays, they can take advantage. The goal they scored tonight was just a puck going to the net. It hit a shin pad, goes in the net. The more pucks that go towards the net, the more people around the net, the better things happen. You hold the puck on the perimeter, you’re killing the penalty yourself.
Stevens, on Dion Phaneuf’s role on the power play:
He thinks about shooting the puck all the time. His first thought is about getting the puck to the net. It’s kind of why we put him there. He’s had a lot of success over his career, but he’s got a real simple mindset where he’s always coming forward and he’s always looking to get a puck to the net. It’s a philosophy we need to exude on everyone.
Anze Kopitar, on what Los Angeles needs to clean up, and what they did well in the loss:
Well, to be quite honest, I think we took a step back tonight from what we were trying to do and what we’re all about really. I think the first two periods were really disappointing in regard to pretty much everything that was going on on the ice except for the one goal that we scored. But in saying that, we were down one goal going into the third, so Soupy played fantastic. Played out of his mind and we obviously didn’t give him enough support. I think in the third we can all agree that was our best period, but still far from what we need to do to make us successful against contenders really and the top part of the league or anybody for that matter because if we play like that we’re going to lose more often than not. Then again, there’s a new game in two days so I’m sure we’re going to address what was going on tonight but at the same time try to kind of forget about it and get ready for a new one.
Kopitar, on new looks and different personnel on the power play:
Listen, we’re three games in, so there’s definitely no need for panic for that matter, but we know that especially in a game like this when you get a power play late or in the third period, you’ve got to cash in to maybe at least squeeze a point or something like that. So, we’ll work on it and address what we need to do and get it going in the right direction.
Ilya Kovalchuk, on getting chances on the power play in the third period:
The one before that had a great chance there. Two, actually. First he made the save, second crossbar. We’ve got to play the way we played in the third period for sixty minutes. And our power play–as soon as we click on the power play we’ll be a much better team for sure.
Kovalchuk, on if the team needs to shoot more:
Yeah, maybe. We’ve got to figure that out, what’s the problem.
Kovalchuk, on scoring his first goal since being back in the NHL:
I prefer to win than score goals. It wasn’t enough, so we’ll be better next game.
Kovalchuk, on if he feels like he’s settling in a little more every game:
Yeah, I feel pretty good from the first game. My legs, you know, decisions will be there – it takes a little time. But, like I said, the power play creates a lot of momentum for all teams, and the way we played, we didn’t do that, so we’ve got to be much better.
Kovalchuk, on if the league feels different from the last time he played:
No, not really.
Kovalchuk, on improving the power play:
We changed the positions a little bit. We try something different every time, but we just have to work harder. Then it’s going to come. It’s not going to go anywhere.
Kovalchuk, on whether he prefers playing right or left on the power play:
No, I just like that I am there. So, we’ve got to find a way to score goals.
Tanner Pearson, on what can be improved to bring the shots-against average down:
You look at last year, I forget what our average was a game, but it was definitely lower than what we’ve been having so far. When you’re outshot 30-9 after two periods, it’s not a good recipe for success, but Soup did a heck of a job back there and he definitely gave us a chance and just weren’t able to get that other one.
Pearson, on having a “throw-away” period but still having a chance to battle back:
I don’t know if you want to look at it that way, but we’ve got to get back to our type of hockey and be good defensively and when we’re good defensively we move pucks north quickly and it definitely helps us out and limits their chances, for sure.
Pearson, on Mark Scheifele’s improvements, year-over-year:
Scheif has definitely turned into a heck of a player, and a tip of the cap to him. He works hard every summer and he’s not around a whole lot back home, but I see him every now and again and he’s always up to something new.
Pearson, on whether the team entered the game viewing it as a “measuring stick”:
I think every game is, kind of. Right now, you want to rack together points, especially on the road trip. If you start off with a win, it’s definitely momentum and we weren’t able to do that tonight, but we need to start racking some points together.
-With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 15-7-8 all-time against the Winnipeg franchise, a record that includes a road mark of 6-6-4. The Kings have three wins in their last 11 road games in the series, but have points in six of those games. These teams will meet on December 18 and March 18 at Staples Center.
-With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 0-1-1 against the Western Conference, 0-1-0 against the Central Division, 0-1-1 in one-goal games, 1-1-0 when scoring first, 1-1-0 when tied after one period, 0-1-0 when trailing after two periods and 1-1-1 when outshot by their opponent.
-The Kings have yielded 110 shots through their first three games (36.7 shots against per game).
-Drew Doughty appeared in his 331st consecutive game, surpassing Anze Kopitar’s club record of 330 games played, set between March 21, 2007 and March 26, 2011. After Doughty, the next longest consecutive games played streaks on the team belong to Tanner Pearson (165), Kopitar (123) and Tyler Toffoli (114).
-Alec Martinez appeared in his 499th career game.
-Los Angeles won 21 of 58 faceoffs (36%). Adrian Kempe won 5-of-11, Michael Amadio won 0-of-3, Anze Kopitar won 8-of-25, Ilya Kovalchuk won 1-of-1, Nate Thompson won 7-of-13 and Jeff Carter won 0-of-5.
-The Kings attempted 42 shots (17 on goal, 15 blocked, 10 missed). The Jets attempted 70 shots (39 on goal, 21 blocked, 10 missed).
-Lead photo via Jonathan Kozub/NHLI