May 11 conference call quotes: Williams, Penner

Justin Williams and Dustin Penner joined several members of the media for a conference call earlier today. Several Williams quotes were withheld for a quick feature that will be posted later in the afternoon.

Justin Williams, on the reaction to the series victory:
“It seems like, especially after the game, obviously after a series when you’re obviously happy about it, there seemed to be just a sense of…business as usual. We expected it. But at the same time, we’re obviously not satisfied. We’re happy with the win, not satisfied. We just, I guess, expect to win. We know there’s a lot of room for improvement, and it’s just four wins out of 16 that we’re looking to get.”

Williams, on where improvement can occur:
“I think we won the series without playing our best hockey, certainly. That is obliviously a positive – a huge positive – especially beating a great team like St. Louis. So we obviously don’t know our opponent yet, but we’ll know in a coming day or two. I just think there’s some things that we can do a lot better. I think our top line – myself, Kopi and Brownie – need to be better moving forward for us to keep advancing in these playoffs. We got by by playing great defensively and scoring timely goals, but sometimes that can only take you so far. We need everybody on top of their game. That’s what we had last year, and that’s what we’re going to need if we want to keep stringing wins together and series wins.”

Williams, on changes in Darryl Sutter’s communication methods since last year:
“I think just as players, coaches have to learn as well. I mean, Darryl never won a Cup before. A lot of our guys had never won a Cup before, and you learn through experience. This is obviously new for him, but all he wants and all he cares about is how we play, and he knows if we play well, we’re going to win the majority of our games and have a good chance to repeat. Whether he was more upset after Game 2 other than another time I’ve seen him upset, I’m not quite sure I can judge is anger sometimes. But you certainly know what’s expected of you. Your teammates expect that this time of year that you can trust them, that your game’s going to be on top and you’re going to do everything you can to help that team. Some nights it doesn’t go well. Some nights it does. But one thing that we never question is our effort. Sometimes execution needs some work, but for the most part we’ve been pretty reliable on ourselves and being able to lean on each other through tough times.”

On a forecheck that struggled at times against St. Louis, and ways to improve it:
“St. Louis is a heck of a hockey team. They obviously gave us everything we could handle. They have some big bodies, and they certainly had motive and incentive to give everything they’ve got. They want to get to that next level. They want to be a championship team, and we were standing in their way. We were able to weather it, and were able to overcome how they played. But the next series is different. Every series is going to be different. You’re going to have a different story line for probably not only every game, but every series. Is that something that we need improvement with, the forecheck? Yes. Obviously we do. We need to be more clean coming out of our zone, and that’s what it starts with. When you’re cleaner coming out of your zone, you’re going to spend less time in it and more time in the offensive zone.”

Dustin Penner, on his thoughts about potential second round opponents:
“Both teams have similar players to our team. We are familiar with both teams. Obviously, Anaheim would be shorter for travel – a 45 minute bus ride as opposed to a 45 minute flight. But I think if we ended up playing the Ducks, it would be great for hockey in Southern California. Like any other person you ask in the situation, it doesn’t really matter who we face because we have no control over it. We’re just going to do what we have to do to prepare ourselves for that series.”

Penner, on whether he had watched a replay of his shot from Friday night:
“Yeah, I saw a replay…(audio disruption)…it was nice to get a timely goal like that to help the team.”

Penner, on how much better the Kings will have to play in Round 2:
“I don’t know. I can’t quantify it. I just know we have to be a lot better for 60 minutes. Our special teams have been pretty good…(audio disruption)…[We need to be] stronger on pucks and better on our blue line and their blue line.”

Penner, on comparing the Blues series to previous playoff series:
“That’s a good question. I’m trying to recall other series. It’s pretty similar to the series we had last year with the Blues, with Phoenix. I think other teams come in and try and match us physically. Even though they match us in size, they’re trying to run us out of the building. We enjoy that type of game and feed off of it, and we welcome it. It was a big series to be a part of. St. Louis played well in games one through six. We just found a way to get four victories.”

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