February 26 morning skate quotes: Drew Doughty - LA Kings Insider

On the excitement of returning to NHL action:
This is the time we play best, our team. Every year, we seem to put ourselves in a hole with 20 games left and then, all the sudden, we’re fighting for a spot in the playoffs and we claw at it and we start to play well. We usually start playing well going into playoffs, which is important because in the playoffs we’re playing well too. We’re fully prepared for this. We know what we have to do and we’re ready to do it.

On what has changed in the locker room since the break:
I don’t know about right this second, but I think once it comes to game time it will be. We’re desperate right now to be getting points and to be winning games. We need to get on a streak. We need to be winning games, going into playoffs and we have to make the playoffs still. We’re still not secure, by any means. So we’re going to have fun tonight and we’re going to treat it as if it was a playoff game already.

On moving past the outdoor game and the Olympics, and focusing on the last 23 games:

Oh yeah, it’s great. This is the best time of year. It’s fun at the very start of the year, with the adrenaline going and you’re back to playing hockey. It’s fun. Then you have that little stretch where it’s Game 20 to 60, where it’s just different. And now you get hungry. You know the playoffs are approaching. You know you need to get a spot in there and it’s the most fun time. So we’re all excited to play these last 20 games and win as many as we can. [Reporter: You can see the finish line now, right?] Yeah, well we’re not far away. 23 games and I think we’re playing 23 in 46 days or something crazy like that. So we’re not going to have much time to practice. So the days we do get off, the days in between games, we need to re-focus, reset and get some rest.

On Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche:
Obviously, he’s done a great job. I don’t know him personally or anything like that, but clearly he’s doing something right with how much better this team has gotten. I think in the past, they always had really good forwards on this team and good offensive instincts, but I thought defensively is where they struggled. I think they’ve got a lot better in that department this year and that’s why they’re a better team.

On whether he learned anything new about Matt Duchene while at the Olympics:
No, I know what kind of player he is. I’ve played against him more than enough. He’s an unbelievable player. Playing with him is easy, and he’s one of the leaders on this team obviously, and we have to shut him down.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.