On whether the Canucks are a team the Kings have to “take advantage of”:
They’re in our division. What are there, 29 division games, the way it works? Division games are big. We’ve played really well, but we’ve also lost two division games lately, so it puts importance on the division. At the end of the year and at the beginning of the year, I’m sure all teams talk about the importance of the division games.
On the biggest adjustment for Milan Lucic when he joined the team:
I think the biggest adjustment would be clearly the change of conference. [Reporter: Nothing other than that?] Personally, I don’t think there was. I’ve coached enough guys that have gone from east to west and west to east, and especially guys that have experience, the biggest adjustment they have to make, they don’t play against guys very often, when you look at it. When we travel on those eastern trips and you break it down, you go, ‘jeez, he’s only played five games in his career or three games in his career against a New York team or something like that,’ it’s a big adjustment. I don’t think styles – I mean, there’s an adjustment in divisions, I think, a little bit of style adjustments. We can see it out here with the way San Jose and Anaheim are bigger teams. At the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to handle it.
On Milan Lucic’s “ability to put the puck in the net” and be “physical”:
Well, the ability to put the puck in the net, he’s struggled with that, quite honest. He scored the other night. He hadn’t scored in what, 10 games? He’s scored 20 goals twice. So he’s got playoff experience, that’s the way I look at it. So if we get there, then hopefully he can use that experience to springboard a little.
On Jeff Carter’s two goals in 21 games:
It’s a concern. What’s the question? [Reporter: Is it a concern with him specifically, or is it just-] Yes, yes. Of course it is. A guy who plays 20 minutes, and what has he scored? [Reporter: I think two in 20 or 21.] So is that a concern? Of course it is. I mean, you look at all the one-goal games going down the stretch, you know who usually scores those goals? Top guys. If he’s doing everything for us, then contributing offensively would be a big thing.
On the role he envisions Kris Versteeg to absorb:
It gives a good depth player for us. He can play two positions, and you need, for sure in this division, you need balance in your lines and your defensive core, for sure you do. We’re 60-something games in and we’ve got guys with zero or one or two or three or four goals, so I don’t mind having an 11-goal scorer in the lineup.
On whether he liked seeing “the fight” in the Kings’ performance on Saturday:
There was one. There was one fight. [Reporter: Do you like to see your team come together that way and battle for each other?] It’s division. It’s a division game. Anaheim and San Jose are big teams. Anaheim, we hadn’t played them once until – I think we’ve played them four times now in the last couple weeks. So that’s like a series. I would assume that there would be some natural intensity, and look at tonight. We have seven guys who didn’t play in Vancouver last time, so if I’m the hometown guy, I’m saying, you know what? They might have some new guys in their lineup. We’ve got seven guys who didn’t play in Vancouver last time – seven of the 18 skaters. You know what? Teams change lots because of injuries, call-ups, trades, all that. Hey, the teams that are not having to go through that, being Anaheim and San Jose, he, we’ve done really well just to hang in there with everything that’s gone on.