On looking forward to tomorrow’s ceremony, and then focusing on hockey:
Yeah, I think we’ve done a good job about that all camp. We’ve talked about it. I mean, there’s only one way you get experience at that, is to do it. Not everybody can say they’ve experienced it, so now they do it with the same team twice in three years. So, are we looking forward to it? Absolutely. We’re looking forward to seeing our banner being raised, absolutely. We were looking forward to last night, too. [Reporter: Where did that all take place?] We were downtown.
On whether the ceremony puts a “bow” on the title, or whether that’s ever “gone”:
No, I don’t think that’s ever ‘gone.’ I mean, game day’s game day, and our team deals with that really well. But it’s never gone because of the fact that there are times during the year where you’re not going to win. That’s a fact. But the one thing you can always draw on is that’s the thing that we have as a group is not to let that affect us. We went through it last year, too.
On whether the short summer could be a benefit to the Kings:
Well, if you’re a team that doesn’t make the playoffs, think about it – they have five months. If you look at it in terms of that was your profession, or what you’re doing. [Reporter: But do you find your team is sharper, though, not having all that time off?] You know what? If you’re just basing it on training camp-heavy, I think our four games in the middle, if you discount the split game – the two in one day – and I think the game in Vegas, guys were already looking ahead, but in the middle we were sharp, and there were guys who probably were telling me they were ready. And, when you look at it also, I believe if they’ve done it well enough, taking care of their training in the summer, when you get your schedule of six, seven or eight games in training camp, well there’s not a chance everybody’s playing every one. If a guy’s done a good enough job in the summer and not going through a rehab or an injury, you know, a therapy-type situation, well he needs three or four games. And if you look at the guys who played three or four for us, I feel that they’re ready. [Reporter: Do you think that might be something that maybe changes within the league in years to come, especially when you see as many injuries that happen?] Yeah, the biggest part of training camp that scares the hell out of me is that, absolutely, because everybody’s got the crystal ball and everybody’s an expert, right? But the one thing that affects it all is the games that don’t mean anything, and the players who aren’t able to start the season or take an injury from preseason into the season, and it dramatically affects – especially with parity in the league – it dramatically affects what’s going to happen in March and April.
On whether the team has approached training camp with greater focus:
The biggest area – not concern – but the biggest area that you’re looking at when you’re coming off a long postseason is not the distraction but the obligation of what goes on in training camp with winning the Stanley Cup. We just went on the road, and basically we played four games, and you look at it, you count Anaheim, San Jose, Colorado, Vegas – you look at what we had to do, what we were obligated to do with the Stanley Cup – there was a lot going on. So to be able to just stay focused on the game and get your game ready was part of what your question was, that you stayed true to the cause. Quite honest, it hasn’t been an easy last 10 days, when you look at it, with all that went on.
On whether he got what he wanted from Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones in camp:
We set our training camp up for the two goalies, and made sure that they were ready. Jonathan Quick was coming off – again, he was an injury-surgery-rehabilitation training camp. He wasn’t going to be ready until exactly what we talked about. We wanted to get him in the last three games, that’s what we did. And we wanted to get him whole games, that’s exactly what we did. Martin Jones is just like a lot of players [that] even though they were on the championship team last year, [they] didn’t play a lot or played few minutes, so they have to play lots in preseason. That’s what Martin Jones did.
On Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, and whether there are any unknowns to begin the season:
It’s not Tanner and Tyler specifically, but to step up in the roles and excel in their roles, because at the end of the day, that’s how you divide up ice time. We were really comfortable in the trust part of knowing that, hey, if we’re healthy down the middle, you know what, we can play guys against anybody, and we’re comfortable with Drew. The roles that those guys play – like Greener and Robyn and them – but there still is a group guys that, hey, they didn’t play many games for us or didn’t play many minutes or didn’t dress in playoff games, like there are a lot of guys. Hey, they’re competing against each other, so at the end of the day, we’re going to try and win every game we play, and we’re going to do that based on performance.
On Brayden McNabb’s training camp:
Number one is clearly he got better as camp went on. So if you’re just basing training camp on where you play, or if you make the team, or when you play, or who you play with, if you’re basing it just on that, then he got stronger as a young player as training camp went on. And that’s what you’re looking for. I don’t think Bradyen is any different than Nolan, Clifford, Pearson, Toffoli, Andreoff. Hey, there’s lots of guys who compete for ice time if you look at nine-to-12 minute players on our team. If I’m one of those guys, I don’t want to play nine, I want to play 12 because there’s a better chance I play every night, and that means my game, I’m playing a bigger role.
On whether the fitness testing gave him an indication of the summer work put in:
No. Basically, all that is is a reinforcement…You think you know your players well enough to see where they’re at. I can tell when we’re on the ice, I can tell halfway through practice, I can tell 10 minutes into the game, I can tell by looking at them, I can tell by talking to them. I mean, it’s not just some some scientific physiological test that it’s going to [indicate] ‘Oh yeah, that guy’s [in shape].’