Willie Desjardins, on Kyle Clifford’s energy:
When I first got here on the highlight video, Cliffy was probably on more than anybody, so I like what he’s bringing. The good thing is that he’s such a pro that you can move him up and down and it’s not going to change his game. … Some guys you can’t do that, or they’ll lose confidence. Cliffy’s going to play the same no matter where he is, and that gives us a chance to look at other guys at spots at times during games. That’s a luxury to have when you have a guy like him
Dustin Brown, on the team’s response since the Colorado game:
Not the result we wanted before against Colorado. You get kind of a day off, reset your mind a little bit after a poor performance. We did a little bit of work yesterday, a little longer than normal, but I think guys were alright with it. We need to start working on things, and today was really just about getting ready for tonight or tomorrow. [Reporter: Hard skate yesterday? Everybody’s bodies feel good, feel normal coming back onto the ice today?] Yeah, I mean practice is practice, really. There’s some that are harder than others. At the end of the day sometimes those harder practices are good for you.
Brown, on what Austin Wagner has done well in his time with the big club:
I think he works hard. That’s the main thing with him. He made really good plays on both of those goals so I think the thing for him is everybody talks about his speed and I think it’s important to keep using that even if he’s been struggling to score. It’s one of those weapons that’s, I wouldn’t say it’s unique, but it’s not something you can teach a player. They either have it or they don’t and he’s got to keep using it regardless of the outcomes on his breakaways or to help other lines throughout the course of the game and you get better about thinking about speed like that. It kind of opens up the ice and you’ve got to keep using it as much as possible. It’s just bread and butter for him so he’s just got to keep pounding away at it.
Brown, on how to draw more penalties:
I think it’s more just having the puck. The more you have the puck the more penalties you’re going to draw and you look at some of the games that we haven’t drawn any penalties and we haven’t had the puck very much and it kind of goes hand in hand. The teams that have really good puck control and that sort of thing, they tend to draw more penalties so you know we can just get the puck more and be cleaner on our breakouts. That’s where I think we create a lot of the penalties against is passing well. I’ve always said that. Our team’s changed, but I still think that sort of stuff is key to our team. When we’re passing the puck well coming out of our zone, better things happen at the other end.
Nate Thompson, on what makes Bo Horvat effective:
Well I think he’s a really good all-around player. I think he’s really good in the faceoff circle and he plays hard. He skates well. He’s a 200-foot player. Whenever you have a center that’s a good all around player he’s usually hard to play against.
Nate Thompson, on tonight’s Legends Night honoring Willie O’Ree:
He’s, like you said, a Hall of Famer and he probably should’ve been a Hall of Famer a long time ago. He did a lot for our sport. You can see the growth from Willie and how much it’s changed obviously from the time he was there to now and I think he’s a great guy and a great individual. He’s a great spokesperson for our league.
Thompson, on the energy provided when Austin Wagner records his first goal and points:
Yeah, it’s good. It would’ve been a lot nicer to get it in a win — I think he would say the same thing — but yeah, it’s always good. It’s good for his confidence. Usually when a guy gets an assist or a goal, he can start feeling the puck a little bit more and it’s just all good for the team.
–Coverage from today’s morning skate is available here.
–Lead photo via Bruce Bennett/Getty Images