February 21 Rapid Reaction (feat. Curtis Zupke): Predators 2, Kings 1 - LA Kings Insider

Rapid Reaction, feat. Curtis Zupke

Post-game Quotes

Willie Desjardins, on another game in which the team battled but narrowly lost:
Yeah, the boys played hard. This is a tough building. I think they had some momentum in the second. We had a good first, they got a little bit of momentum in the second, but I thought we played a good third. I like the effort of our guys, I do. It’s really disappointing to lose, but the guys played hard.

Desjardins, on the adjustment for players who have been used to winning:
I don’t know if you can ever adjust to it. Losing’s tough. Like, it’s just hard, and it doesn’t matter when it is. You always hope guys don’t ever get good at that. That’s something guys are going to get frustrated with. But they’ve been resilient – with the trade and coming in here, they went hard. They wanted to win, they thought they had a chance, and guys competed hard.

Desjardins, on managing younger players amidst the losing:
I think it’s an unbelievable opportunity for young players right now. Like, it is. If I’m a young guy, the only thing I want is a chance to play, and guys are getting that chance now that they haven’t gotten in the past, so for them, it’s a great opportunity. A lot of times when you’re playing and you’re in really tight races, then those guys just don’t get an opportunity, so it’s a good time for young guys. We just have to make sure we always stay with who we are and what we believe, and that can never change.

Anze Kopitar, on how he would rate tonight’s performance:
I thought we didn’t play bad, but playing not bad doesn’t get you the win, so we’ve got to find a way to score more goals and keep them out of our net obviously.

Kopitar, on what has been missing from their game in comparison to the last road trip:
I mean we’re giving up power play goals. That should be the staple of our game. We’ve always been good and for whatever reason we’re not this year and it’s costing us games.

Kopitar, on how they “go about business” on days when players are traded:
Well, I mean I don’t think anybody,once you step on the ice, you think about another guy that was just traded. Everybody knows that it’s that time of year and stuff’s going to happen and it sucks for sure, but at then end of the day you can’t let it creep in your mind, especially when you’re playing.

Kopitar, on whether the team has been “okay” at dealing with roster turnover:

Dustin Brown, on being on the losing side of one-goal games:
I mean it’s six in a row, so it’s disappointing I guess. Guys are I don’t think, I don’t question anybody’s work ethic, it’s just we’re just not good enough right now. We’ve got to figure out how individually to be better and collectively to be better. There’s just certain plays where we make it a little harder on ourselves than we need to. We have a lot of guys that are kind of learning on the fly right now, so I think it’s a good opportunity for a lot of guys to play in these games. But at the end of the day, losing six in a row at this time of year in this business that we’re in it’s frustrating. Tonight I thought we played a good game. They’re a really good game. A really good goalie made a few big saves just like our goalie and it’s a close, close league.

Brown, on what has been missing from the most recent stretch of games:
I mean I don’t have an answer for you. Yeah, I don’t have an answer. Like I said, I thought we played well tonight. Sometimes well is not good enough. As a group, we need to find a way to manage our frustration because a lot of guys have never been on a team like this, quite honestly. I think myself and maybe Kopi’s first year. I think a lot of these guys have always been on good teams. It’s a little different when you have to play games – [pause] – right now we’re a losing team, so it’s difficult and a new experience for a lot of guys.

Brown, on roster turnover:
Well, I mean you’ve got to look at it, we’re last in the West. I don’t know what the points are for playoffs, I know there’s games, but it’s not so much the points that are the difficult part of us climbing back in. It’s that we have to leapfrog seven other teams. It’s just not very likely, so we’ve had two players from our Stanley Cup teams traded for probably the first time in a long time that we’ve traded players out. Carl was here for, I don’t know, twenty games? And I mean it makes sense. We’ve got to try to get better. In the meantime, players that are here have got to perform better, too.

Post-game Notes

–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 34-29-9 all-time against Nashville, a record that includes a road mark of 17-14-5. The Kings have lost five straight games in the series (0-4-1) since Jarome Iginla’s overtime goal at Staples Center on March 9, 2017. These teams have one game remaining, March 14 in Los Angeles.

–With the loss, the Kings fell to 14-16-3 against the Western Conference, 6-8-1 against the Central Divisoin, 11-6-6 in one-goal games, 7-27-5 when their opponent scores first, 3-19-2 when trailing after one period, 1-25-1 when trailing after two periods and 1-1-0 when shots are even.

–Los Angeles has lost six in a row (0-4-2), equaling their longest losing streak of the season (also October 13-25, 2018; 0-6-0).

–The Kings have been held scoreless in 31 of 61 first periods this season. They’ve scored more than one goal in only five first periods. They have been shut out or held to one goal 21 times, though not since January 19 (7-1 L @ COL) prior to Thursday.

–With his third period assist, Austin Wagner now has five points (4-1=5) and a plus-three rating in his last seven games.

–Michael Amadio scored his fourth goal of the season. In 73 career games, he has eight goals and 16 points.

–Los Angeles attempted 56 shots (29 on goal, 13 blocked, 14 missed). Nashville attempted 54 shots (29 on goal, 12 blocked, 13 missed). Tyler Toffoli led all skaters with five shots on goal.

–The Kings won 29-of-53 faceoffs (55%). Adrian Kempe won 7-of-15, Michael Amadio won 2-of-4, Anze Kopitar won 11-of-15, Ilya Kovalchuk won 1-of-1, Alex Iafallo won 0-of-1, Trevor Lewis won 2-of-2, Tyler Toffoli won 0-of-1 and Jeff Carter won 6-of-14.

Post-game Highlights

–Lead photo via John Russell/NHLI