March 20 morning skate quotes: Washington - LA Kings Insider

Joel Ward, on facing Los Angeles:
Obviously, just doing simple things, I think for us it’s keeping it simple. That’s the strategy for us where we’re going to get pucks in deep. I guess normal hockey terms, but other than that we just have to stick to our game planning and let the system do the work.

Ward, on playing on the West Coast later in the year:
Not too bad, it’s pretty sunny out here. The weather is good. We feel pretty good about ourselves. It’s not too tough to get up for these games. It’s this time of year, Spring time and obviously coming out to sunny California, you get some good weather. So we definitely feel good about ourselves. Get a little bit of vitamin D on the off days and obviously come here and put the work boots on and feel good about ourselves.

Ward, on Dustin Penner:
He’s been good. Obviously his leadership, his background, his résumé says a lot. That’s huge. He just came in here and just obviously embraced the guys and he’s been a pretty good addition so far. We’ve seemed to win some games as of late when he’s been in the lineup. Hopefully he can continue to get ‘er going and see if he can get on a roll and if he can help us out as well offensively, that’d be great as well.

Troy Brouwer, on Washington’s recent wins:
It’s the desperation of guys blocking shots. They’re making sure pucks get out. Playing the score properly, playing the time of the game and then experience. We’ve had a lot of experience in blowing leads. We’re finally figuring out how not to do it and what works and what doesn’t and how responsible we need to be with that puck. I know we’ve got a lot of offensive minded players on our team that want to continue to push the pace and score goals. Sometimes, you don’t have to sit back, but sometimes you don’t have to take those chances. The last few games we haven’t been taking chances and the result is we’ve been holding those leads and getting points.

Brouwer, on Jaroslav Halak:
He’s getting a lot more shots here than he was used to in St. Louis. I think they were one of the top teams as far as shots against. I think it was somewhere around 20, which is a pretty low number. I know they’re a very defensive minded team. For us, his shot total has been up a little bit more. We’re trying to work on cutting that down, but we’re also trying to work on making sure those shots are coming from the outside, not getting good quality opportunities. They’re going to happen throughout the course of the game. Teams are going to get quality opportunities, but as long as we can let him see those and give him an opportunity to save them, then he’s a good goalie and he’s going to make those saves.

Brouwer, on the West Coast swing:
This late in the season, we played on Sunday and flew right after the game so that we could try and get adjusted to the time change a little bit more, it’s a difficult challenge. It’s one that the teams in the west have to deal with all the time with the travel and the time change. I played a few years in the west and I know what it’s like. But, you get a little bit spoiled when you’re in the east, only playing in one time zone within you’re conference and within you’re division. So coming out here, guys are going to bed early and waking up real early, trying to find that rhythm that can get they can get their bodies back into to get prepared for games.

Brouwer, on Los Angeles:
They’re a tough, physical team. They cycle the puck well, protect their goalie real well. So we have to try and break them down a little bit. Get in the offensive zone, create some cycles of our own, keep the puck out of their big forwards’ hands that can hang onto it and lug it in the corner and wear down our D-men. We just have to make sure that we’re trying to put a little bit of pressure on them behind their net, rather than in our end.

Adam Oates, on playing against Los Angeles:
The first thing is our end, as always. They’ve got some really good forwards, very strong. They can bump your D off the puck. They forecheck hard. So we have to handle their waves of the physicality and the forwards getting on our D and we have to make sure everyone gets back. I showed a couple clips of the Phoenix game, because we haven’t played these guys, where it took 20 seconds for Phoenix to get a hold of the puck and get it out and then right at the last second, they didn’t and gave them another wave. We have to be conscious of it. It’s not out of the zone until it crosses that blue line. We got scored on the first goal against the other night where we got it out, but didn’t we didn’t really have possession. And until we do, and we get it down the ice, we can’t get a bad change. And you know what, they’re a good team. We have to be ready. [Reporter: Is clearing the puck the biggest key against Los Angeles?] It is. Every night you watch, every team has moments when they struggle to get it out, or it takes a long time and they have no energy left for the rest of the shift, so they change. I thought the other night, I also complimented the guys because the second half of the game we got stingier and stingier. It was one of the first times in a long time where after the first eight minutes they only had a couple chances. We did a much better job of doing that. I think part of it is also because we were good in the other end.

Oates, on Washington’s trade deadline acquisitions:
You’re always looking for chemistry and sparks, and if anything it’s given us a little spark. You want to inject new guys into the lineup. Jack [Hillen] coming back. Jack was an important part of our team last year and he missed a long time. So Jack’s foot speed has really helped… Jaro has played well in front of us and given us a chance every night. Whether it’s timing or not, it sure helps. Having some big bodies, Dustin is a big guy. We’ve added some size, maybe a little bit stronger on the walls. So the guys have come in and helped.