February 2 Rapid Reaction: Islanders 4, Kings 2 - LA Kings Insider

There is no podcast version of Rapid Reaction because every time I pressed record, the NY Islanders scored 31 seconds later.

The long and short of it: The Kings played pretty well against a young, fast team and had a lead with under seven minutes remaining in the game. That used to mean a guaranteed win.

Did someone say they wanted an optimistic viewpoint?

OK, I can try to do that.

The Kings played an entertaining game and they lost, which means they increased their lottery odds for obtaining one of the top picks in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Some of you may not see that, and you’re not wrong, but I choose to look at it from a glass half full point of view.

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Post-game Quotes

Willie Desjardins, on the overall game:
They had a quick start like we thought would. I thought our guys battled back — the first five, six minutes was theirs; the rest of the game was pretty even. We got a break maybe on that second one to get up and we had some other chances and then, you know, they probably got a couple breaks in the last one.

Desjardins, on the Islanders bouncing back after falling behind, 2-1:
I don’t think that a lot of shots after the goal. They’re a good team, they had the one good shift right after and they’ve got lots of high-end guys.

Desjardins, on the first game without Jake Muzzin:
There was moments where I thought some of the guys that stepped in, played well. I thought more minutes for Oscar, I thought he battled hard tonight. I think Martinez was good. So there guys who stepped up and played well, and we’ll need that from here on in.

Desjardins, on Martinez:
He’s just a good all-around player. He’s a real competitor, he’s got a big heart and battles all the time.

Desjardins, on Kovalchuk playing with Kopitar and Brown late in the game and scoring:
It was more because it was an offensive zone face-off. I thought they had a little bit of life. Kovalchuk is the guy, you know, he gets excited, he can be the guy that can find ways to score. Some guys are just goal scorers and he’s a goal scorer. We’ve had trouble scoring, so, I thought at that point maybe we’d put him up there and it worked at that time.

Desjardins, on Kopitar playing through being under the weather:
He’s such a big part of our our game. He plays power play, penalty kill, and I had to use him late in face-offs — he’s a guy that he never complains about ice time, he always wants to be out there. And I thought, regardless of the score, you always got to appreciate when you guys battle, and I thought there was lots of guys who battled tonight.

Desjardins, on when he knew Kopitar would be able to play:
Probably about 5 o’clock, so it was late.

Anze Kopitar, on how he feels after not feeling well before the game:
You know, I’m good. I mean, I’m feeling good.

Kopitar, on whether there was a question as to whether he’d play tonight:
Yeah there was a little bit of a question, but yesterday I really didn’t feel good at all and then I didn’t get too much sleep last night, but got some good rest I guess this morning. I slept in a little bit and then had a good nap so I felt a lot better obviously after the nap than I did in the morning.

Kopitar, on whether adrenaline factors in when playing while feeling sick:
Yeah, I mean it’s one of those where you kind of pick your poison sometimes too. You don’t go head through the wall if you don’t have to, but yeah, all in all I felt fine.

Kopitar, the play that led to the Islander’s game-winning goal:
I certainly a 2-1 game with six and a half minutes left, got to find a way to lock it down and win the game. That’s just the bottom line. Whether there’s — two goals that we gave up, it was off of d-zone coverage and then you just can’t do that because if you do that teams are going to make you pay. We got the short, short end of it.

Kopitar, on whether he liked what he saw during the majority of the game:
Yeah, I mean I thought we played a solid road period, but we’ve said it a bunch of times already– it’s not 15 minutes or 55 minutes — it’s a full 60 minute effort, where you know sometimes it takes 65. It just wasn’t the case again.

Alec Martinez, on tonight’s loss:
I thought that we came out and they played last night, they came out hard in the first five minutes and I thought we did a good job of weathering that storm. We had a good half and I was pleased with our game until the last five minutes and I mean it’s cliche but you’ve got to play 60 minutes in this league if you want to win. We didn’t do that and that’s what happens.

Martinez, on this being first game after an extended break:
We came in here regardless of whether we came off of a break or not to get two points and we didn’t. So I guess as for the process, yeah we did some good things, but we’re in a position now where we can’t afford to have games like this. We need results.

Post-game Highlights

–Lead photo via John McCreary/Icon Sportswire