On the biggest challenge after All-Star weekend:
Yeah, I’d say young players getting the between-the-ears straightened out, always. Your older guys, your veterans, it’s good for them actually in the long run, but I think the guys with limited NHL experience or limited experience with days off usually are the guys that have the hardest time.
On Tyler Toffoli:
He appears on the verge of making a comeback. … That’s what it appears to me. Whether that has any value of what I think, I couldn’t tell you. I still wait for doctors, managers, trainers, strength coaches, Tyler. [Reporter: You’re not a doctor.] No. I might be one in my next life.
On whether Alec Martinez’s improved production is indicative of his all-around play:
It’s not an improved production. I think if you look last year, his production in terms of goals and shots is almost identical. [Reporter: Is this just a natural progression for a player – role, opportunity?] Yeah, he’s been here through both Cups. He was a young guy, a young defenseman. Now he’s not a young [guy]. I think he’s probably tonight our oldest serving defenseman. Is that right? Generally good players as they get older improve a little. [Reporter: You like his all-around game, though, what he’s giving you?] Well, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t play him [as much]. He’s a good pro, an important part of our team. Plays both sides of the ice, plays power play, kills penalties, shot blocker. He’s a good player, an important part of our team. He just goes about his business every day. He’s had, touch wood, a lot of injury trouble in the last couple years, which affected us big time last year down the stretch when he got hurt and played through it and tried to play with it and couldn’t.
On the post-All-Star playoff push, and Los Angeles having pushed for a spot since “day one”:
We’ve been in and out of a spot since day one. When you say that, Helene, when you just think about it, the first 10 games, we were 4-6 after Quick got hurt, and it was an issue. I think it holds true, and if you watch at the end of the year, it’s going to be dead-on. I’ve said this lots. You watch every day and you pay attention to every day, but not everybody does. So when they aslk those questions, when you look at it, there’s six or seven teams that have won twice as many as they’ve lost and there’s almost 20 teams that are .500 or over and there’s two or three that aren’t. That tells you how close the league is, so in that group of whatever it is today – it’s within a game every day of 15 to 20 teams, whatever it is – those are the teams that are fighting for the playoff spots. [Reporter: It’s the peloton. It’s like the Tour de France. You’ve just got to stay in that-] Stay in that group. [Reporter: For the climb up the Pyrenees.] Don’t get caught eating that wine and cheese stuff, you’ll really fall out of it. [Reporter: Go through Burgundy and you’re lost.] Yeah, let’s take that road. Let’s try that road. [laughs]