Quick: “We fell short of what we wanted to do”

Jonathan Quick is often hard on his own performance and seems to represent a part of the team’s unified personality that finds losing extremely difficult to accept. Though he acknowledged the strides made in a season in which the Los Angeles Kings reached the conference finals in consecutive seasons, it certainly seemed to sting Quick that the team was unable to successfully defend its Stanley Cup.

On his reaction 24 hours after being eliminated from the playoffs:
“The first feeling I would say is disappointment. I think a lot of our team think that we could’ve made a push for it there again. I think as a team and individual, I don’t think we played as well as I think we could’ve played. You’ve got to tip your cap to Chicago – they played a great series. They had a lot of guys step up and make some big plays at the right times. You’re just a little disappointed that we weren’t able to do it.”

On his thoughts of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
“Obviously we set out this year to defend what we did last year. We set out to defend the Cup, and we were unable to do that. In that sense, we fell short of what we wanted to do. I do think that we did accomplish a lot, and we did play hard and we had some ups and downs throughout the season. We were able to overcome it and get in the playoffs. We wanted to get home ice, obviously, and we weren’t able to do that. We missed out by a couple points. That’s three or four years in a row that we weren’t able to get home ice. We were in the running for home ice, and we weren’t able to get it. So we came up a little short there, and then obviously in the playoffs we put together a little bit of a run, but we’d like to be playing hockey for another couple weeks. Obviously we’re not doing that.”

On the organization’s heightened expectations:
“When you think about it, who finished in 30th this year? I think it was Colorado, right? I’m not sure. We’re in the same boat as them. There are 29 teams that didn’t accomplish what they set out to, and there’s one team that does. So we’re all in the same boat. Obviously from the organization’s standpoint, I think we’ve only been to one conference final before last year, and we were able to do two in two years. We still want more, and I think that says a lot about what Dean’s put together and the coaching staff and the direction…and we’ve got great leaders on our team, great captains and guys that really care for each other. When you put all those things together, you expect a lot. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do everything we wanted to do, but I wouldn’t say it was a lost season because we didn’t do that. I think we did accomplish a lot, but it wasn’t everything that we wanted to be.”

On his own evaluation, and his off-season plans:
“That it wasn’t good enough, obviously. I wasn’t very good throughout the regular season. I got a little better later in the season. I played pretty good hockey for a couple rounds, and then I feel like it was a big letdown this past series. Obviously that feeling of underperforming the past five games is going to kind of sit with me for a while. You’re going to think about that all summer and for most of the off-season. Leading up to camp you’ll start to think about next season. So where I go from there, you feel that sting for a little bit and you take a week or two to rest and recover and then you get back at it.”

On whether there was any point he felt more comfortable in his return from back surgery:
“If I felt I wasn’t a hundred percent in January, I would’ve told the coach and I wouldn’t have been playing. I felt a hundred percent going into the season. The back surgery I don’t think had anything to do with my lack of performance early on.”

On whether he battled any injury of his own, and the challenge of the season’s “grind”:
“There’s no need to reveal anything you’re going through. Obviously it’s a grind, but everybody deals with it. You’re playing every other night like you did all season just because of the way the schedule’s set up. Chicago had to deal with the same exact grind. San Jose had to do with it. St. Louis had to deal with it. So it’s who’s more prepared on each given night. You have to be prepared. Obviously I think Chicago was more prepared than we were. That’s the season. Every year people ask about the grind. If you think of it as a grind, obviouosly it’s going to make it more difficult. You just have to think of it as the season. That’s what it is every year. Even last year it’s obviously not as condensed, but I mean, what’s the difference? Maybe one game a week, every other week. So, that’s what the season is. That’s what hockey is. You’ve got to prepare yourself. If you use an excuse like, ‘It’s a grind,’ then you probably won’t be in this league very long.”

On whether anything has “set in” that certain teammates won’t be back next season:
“To be honest – and I’m not positive – but I believe there’s 10 or 12 contracts that are up this year. I’m not positive on that. I believe it’s somewhere around that, either this year or next year. I don’t know. But, you don’t really put too much thought into that as you’re playing. Obviously we resigned Reggie a couple weeks ago. So, he’ll be back. I know that. A few other guys are without contracts. But, you don’t put too much thought into it. I’m sure over the next few days I’ll think about it a little more. You’ll talk with guys and you’ll see where everybody’s at. But that discussion really hasn’t come up. I know we have a great group of guys and you hope to keep as many as possible as we can. Obviously next year is going to be a little different, with the salary cap. But, we have a great team. You saw what we were able to accomplish last year and making a little bit of a run this year. So obviously the pieces are there. So there’s hope we’ll keep as many of the guys as we can.”

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