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.