April 8 postgame quotes: Leslie, LoVerde, Auger - LA Kings Insider

Zac Leslie, on his game-winner, his first goal since Dec. 13:
Felt good. [Reporter: Kind of a bouncer.] I guess that was probably the one I needed more than anything. It was nice to get that off my back obviously. Part of my job is to produce offensively even though I’m a defenseman. It’s nice to finally get that one and get the monkey off my back per se.

Leslie, on the week as a whole:
In San Jose, we didn’t play the way we wanted but they got a couple late ones. I don’t think the 5-1 score, didn’t entail the whole game. We thought we played OK at best. And then obviously we had a long trip. That’s life in the American League. I think we took that for what it’s worth and went into San Diego and we knew that with a chance to clinch a playoff spot that was a big one obviously. We played one of the best games we’ve played in a long time that night in San Diego. That’s something that we’re going to just keep moving forward going into the playoffs, depending on whoever we play obviously, it was a good [trails off] we can see where we are against the two best teams in our division. It was a good weekend to come out 2-1 it was a good weekend and we’re happy with that.

Leslie, on how much the team hashed out details on the bus ride from San Jose to San Diego:
I’m sure if you asked Stuttsy and Hajter, all ten hours, but, I mean, on an off day like that we’re talking hockey, we’re trying to figure out power plays and stuff like that and little things… Really the big thing is the next morning after that bus trip, just trying to get through the bus trip. Off day, maybe get away from the stuff a bit but obviously when it comes down to Thursday morning that’s when we start doing our prep for San Diego and our prep for the weekend.

Leslie, on whether the team’s looking ahead to trying to figure out San Diego:
Of course. Just ’cause, obviously you could tell tonight they had a lot of young guys in the lineup, they’re dealing with some stuff, some injuries, as are we, but at the same time the systems stuff doesn’t change. They’re playing their system that they’re going to play for the rest of the season and through the playoffs. So that’s just something we’ve got to get used to what their tendencies are and hopefully try to expose their tendencies and find ways that we can take advantage of what they do on the ice.

Leslie, on facing San Diego so often:
We played them 20 times last year, probably. [Reporter: So the systems should be familiar?] Of course, and I think that’s where the coaches have a huge job in finding ways to tweak little things. Let’s say they’re sitting on a certain play we do on the power play, then that’s where it comes down, obviously a big job in the coaching staff is being able to adapt to what they throw at us and they’re doing the same thing to us. Once they change it then we have to adapt to how they’re playing. It’s back and forth but at then of the day if we play the way we want to play and we execute the way we want to execute, we’re pretty happy with how we’re going to come out.

Leslie, on whether he felt like he was being targeted early by the officials:
I don’t know if I’ve ever done that. Three penalties? It happens, obviously that’s not the way I want a game to go. But it happens and it was nice to still manage to kill those penalties off and come out with a win.

Vincent LoVerde, on the response this week after the loss in San Jose:
We obviously didn’t play great, we didn’t play very good at all in that San Jose game. They’re a good team, they played well, but we didn’t feel like we played up to our standards. We had a long bus ride to San Diego. We felt like we played well. That’s a really tough place to play. They come out hard. They’re a very good team. Granted they were missing a few players, but I thought we played great last night. Today it was a solid game. It was good to rebound after that initial loss.

LoVerde, on how much the team talked hockey on the bus ride:
It’s such a long bus ride that kind of just passing the time. I have a hard time getting any words in because I sit next to Biss and Teddy, so I kind of just sit there and listen to them talk. I don’t want to say they’re fun but all the teams have to go through them. It allows for a little bit of bonding but at the end of the day they’re long bus rides so you’ve got to get up and get ready to play for the next game.

LoVerde, on whether he feels like the team is turning the corner:
I thought that game in San Diego was a very, very good team win. I thought we played well from the start of the game to the end of the game. It was all four lines, it was all three D pairing. That was good. This game I thought were solid. We made the plays that needed to be made. We didn’t wither at all but we kept going. I think we’re slowly starting to play the kind of hockey we want to play, which is Reign hockey, get pucks in, go to work. It’s good, because right around playoff time is when you want to be clicking, so we’re excited.

Justin Auger, on how he’s feeling after returning from an upper-body injury
I feel pretty good. Obviously just getting the game pace back after being off for three weeks there. I felt better today than yesterday obviously. Just getting the legs back. I’ve been skating quite a bit so that helps but you can’t really get your game pace back until you get back in a game pretty much. [Reporter: Harder to get back into a game against a team like San Diego?] I think it’s almost easier because it’s going to be like playoff hockey playing these guys, so it’s easy to be mentally engaged and be ready to go.

Auger, on what kind of carry over there is from game to game vs. San Diego:
I think it’s always like that when you play San Diego. They’re our rivals. We play them 12 times or whatever it is throughout the season. And we were actually saying yesterday it kind of had a playoff hockey feel, right from the start of the game. It was almost different, where everything was a little more intense. Last five games of the season we’re starting to get ready for playoff hockey.

Auger, on tonight’s game being a little tame:
There was no fights and stuff but guys are still going out there, finishing their checks. There’s going to be pushing and shoving every time we play these guys. We’re playing hard and we’re coming to play every night.

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