On the Columbus Blue Jackets:
Hard-working team. I think they’ve built that identity the last couple years. They check hard and if their goaltending is back to where it was last year then they’re on their way.
On relief that Anze Kopitar’s injury could have been worse:
Yep, could’ve been worse.
On whether it’s “odd” that Kopitar doesn’t have any assists:
Seems odd to me, too. Question asked, question answered. He should still get 40, 50 assists. He needs his wingers to start scoring. Whoever we’ve put there have not produced for him. That’s how come he doesn’t have any assists.
On Dustin Brown being “close” to scoring:
Hasn’t played really well lately. Hopefully, if Kopi plays tonight, then he gets the opportunity to play with a special player, and he’s got to perform there. We’re getting into regular season performances. They’re based on not just this year, but over the last couple seasons. He needs to be a better player. [Reporter; Along those lines, did you see some positive signs from him early, like in the first week or so?] Yeah, I mean, it’s what we talked about. We had six months off, and he got on the ice and he trained really hard and he came in really good shape. He’s getting lots of shots. We’ve put him in power play situations, we’ve put him in penalty killing situations to regain his 200-foot game. We’ve shown a lot of confidence in him. Now he’s got to produce. That would pretty much cover it all. We’re counting on him to have a really good regular season based on last year.