Insiders. There wasn’t much to report from practice today, which was scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. but instead began about half an hour earlier. It was an optional skate, so instead of line rushes there was more personal work and skill development with those who took the ice. The Kings were shooting their Kings Care player/dog calendar, so there were lots of very good doggies at the rink today. Oh, yes there were. There were lots of good doggies. Very good doggies.
On what he’s liked about the Pearson-Carter-Setoguchi line:
I think Devin’s gotten better as we’ve gone along, for sure. I think he’s a little more settled in his game. We just need to push him into areas of the ice where he can get still better at. I think Tanner, as I said when he came back, hey, you want him to score any game, but he’s going to get opportunities and he can play in your top two lines, and that’s, quite honest, what we need.
On the importance of Tanner Pearson providing speed on the left side of the lineup:
Yeah, I think our lineup has good balance that way. I like the speed of our team, quite honest. Other than parts of one period this year, it’s given us a chance to win every game. Speed is not just lining up and going to the race and seeing who finishes first at the other end. Speed is also being able to operate going fast, and to think going fast, and that matters a lot.
On whether there’s good confidence in Pearson and Devin Setoguchi’s games:
Yeah. [Reporter: In Devin, was that a challenge, just because he hadn’t played in the league in a year and a half?] We showed confidence in him, so normally when somebody does that, then it should reciprocate that. I think I’ve shown a lot of faith and confidence in him, so I would think that’s what a player would want. So if they don’t have it, then that’s their problem. It won’t be our problem.
On Nic Dowd:
We need some production – that was something we talked about last spring – from our third and fourth lines. So that was the first goal out of our third and fourth lines.
On what stuck with him after having re-watched Thursday’s game:
You know, we played very similar to [the way] we did in Minnesota, and we played very similar to [the way] we did in the third period against Philadelphia, and we played very similar as we did the whole game against San Jose. Minnesota, they scored four goals on shots that weren’t scoring chances. That’s the difference in the game. We should’ve come out with four points, that’s the way I look at it. So we take last night into tomorrow, that’s what we’ll try and do.
On Tom Gilbert:
He’s improving. He’s getting better as we go along. I think that I said that after the game last night about our defense. It was more solid. It’s not about Brayden McNabb or Drew Doughty, it’s about the group of them, including Greener, and I think Tommy has gotten better. I think him and Greene have both missed a lot of hockey with their surgeries, and look at Marty, too, how much better he is. It’s kind of overlooked. Marty had two surgeries in the summer, so he’s sort of just getting – it’s important. They don’t just jump right back in, especially the older guys. I think Gilbert gives us a steady player back there, and somebody like Forbort should take advantage of that.