Rapid Reaction, feat. Zach Dooley of Ontario Reign Insider
Willie Desjardins, on an assertion that the team played without “desperation, energy and emotion”:
Yeah, I’d agree with it. I think that we got behind on their power play, but I didn’t see us get desperate until they got about their third or fourth goal, and then I saw us on the bench starting to get upset. You can’t get upset after four goals, because that’s too late. If you have that energy after the fourth goal, why don’t we have it right after the first goal, why didn’t you have it at the start of the game before any goals? We weren’t good enough tonight.
Desjardins, on whether the team hit “rock bottom,” and trying to avoid these performances:
No, you can’t have that. They saw it before, and I think that’s why they made a change to try to say, ‘hey, that’s enough of that. We can’t be doing that.’ It just wasn’t good enough tonight. I think it’s throughout the lineup. Young guys are kind of thinking the old guys are going to carry them, and they can’t. That’s not fair. And the older guys, they’re better than that. They have to play better, they know that. If you take away the power plays in the first period, I think the shots were 7-5. It was just bad on the power play. Like, they had nine shots in that first period on the power play, and that kind of set the tone.
Desjardins, on a difficult game for Cal Petersen to enter into:
It was tough, but it was good to get him in. It wasn’t Budy’s fault – he was fine. That was a game where you might as well get Cal in, give him a chance so he sees it, so he’s ready for the next time.
Desjardins, on any efforts to make things easier for a new goalie that enters a lopsided game:
You look at the last game, it was a 1-0 game. You can’t judge a season on one game. Last game we were worried because we’re not scoring. Tonight we’re worried because we’re not stopping ‘em. And I think both are right. All in all, we’ve got to be better. It just comes throughout the whole team effort. I thought the team did play better in the third. I thought we had more life, I thought we had some chances, but just all in all, we have to be better.
Desjardins, on whether heading on the road might provide a spark for the team:
The way I look at everything is you’ve got to make it work for you. You think we’d be better at home, you think that’d be a great place to play. We didn’t play the way we could. I do believe it’s going to be tougher on the road, so we’re going to have to be way better than we were here.
Desjardins, on Marco Sturm’s presence behind the bench:
It was good. He’s going to be a really good addition. I think that’s one thing – there are some changes we’ll be making. Maybe as a group we’re not quite comfortable so it’s going to take us a little bit maybe to get in sync. The National Hockey League, you don’t have much time to do that. It was great to have Marco there. He is going to be a great addition, and he’ll help us moving forward, for sure.
Desjardins, on whether he has kept lines largely intact to build confidence:
I split them up in the third today. Took Brown off the Kopitar line, put Kempe up there with Kopi, and I thought Kempe did well. I thought he could’ve been our best player. And that’s the one good sign – I thought he came in and he skated well, so that was a positive. I’ve thought the Carter line has been OK for quite a bit of the year, so I left them together. I liked Thompson. I think Thompson, Lewis and Cliffy were probably our best line. Like, they’ve played pretty well together, so I don’t mind them when they’re back together. We mixed it up a bit tonight and we’ll probably do that continuing until we find the right combination.
Anze Kopitar, on the upcoming road trip:
…This road trip is crucial for us here. We have to put some points in the bank. There’s a couple days of practice time which I think we need and we have to come and be ready to work and get better, bottom line, and get our game in order.
Kopitar, on communicating the message after another difficult loss:
Like I said, it’s a matter of just putting your mind to it and doing it. Like I said, we’ve talked about it, we’ve addressed it many times and we can keep on talking about it, but if we don’t do it on the ice there’s nobody that can speak to you that can make a difference.
Kopitar, on what type of impact he thinks the coaching change has had:
Well it’s been, what? Three, four games now? Willie came in, he’s a positive guy, but it’s on us. He’s not going to step on the ice and make a difference. It’s on us to go out there and just make a difference.
Kyle Clifford, on the penalties in the first period making it difficult to generate a good start:
Yeah, you definitely don’t want to spot two right off the start. We’ve obviously got to have a little more discipline amongst ourselves with penalties and playing a little smarter. It’s tough to win in this league when you’re giving up good power plays and some opportunities and get them feeling good playing in the game.
Clifford, on whether there’s any thought about a “bigger picture” after the loss:
I think we’ve just got to look at it like whether it’s a team or an individual, we’re working towards the same goal. We’re not having every guy playing their best every night and that’s got to be something that we’re doing every night on a consistent basis if we’re going to want to turn this around and start winning games here.
Clifford, on what the leadership group is saying:
It’s guys have got to hold themselves accountable and I think it’s on the older guys and the veteran guys to hold other guys accountable too. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young guy or an 1,000 game player in this league, honestly it takes everybody to win and the guys that have been here a long time know that. It’s got to come from the older guys, top down.
Clifford, on whether the leadership is not doing that right now:
You know, I think we could have more of it.
Clifford, on if he’s happy with where his game is at:
I think if we’re going to want to turn this around we’re going to want everybody to play better and that’s myself included. There’s energy guys on this team for a reason and every team’s got ‘em and when you want to win everybody’s got to be held accountable.
Cal Petersen, on what went through is mind when he was told there would be a goalie change:
Obviously made the change and I was a little surprised– I actually didn’t hear the coach right away–but once I got out there I got a shot right away which kind of helped ease the nerves a little bit. But obviously it was kind of an exciting moment so I was just obviously just trying not to make it bigger than it actually was and just calm down and make some saves.
Petersen, on making his NHL debut:
It was a huge honor to play in front of a crowd like that and wear the Kings’ logo so I’m happy on that end, but obviously the outcome wasn’t what we wanted. But you know, like I said, it was a big honor to wear the crest tonight.
Petersen, on what his family’s response was:
I think it’s going to be exciting. I think my parents watched. You know they weren’t able to make it tonight, but I think they definitely watched. It might be a little late over there, but I’m sure they’ll still be waiting up for my phone call so we’ll see. I’m excited to talk to them.
–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 66-62-23 all-time against Toronto, a record that includes a home mark of 39-25-10. The loss snapped a four-game home winning streak against the Maple Leafs, dating back to a 3-2 loss on March 13, 2014 that snapped the Kings’ eight-game winning streak at the time. With a 2-0-0 record, Toronto swept a multi-game season series for the first time since 1978-79, when they went 4-0-0, and for only the second time in franchise history.
–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 4-6-0 against the Eastern Conference, 2-4-0 against the Atlantic Division, 3-7 in games decided by three or more goals, 1-9-1 when their opponent scores first, 1-8-1 when trailing after the first period, 0-11-0 when trailing after the second period and 3-6-1 when outshot by their opponent.
–This was the Kings’ 21st home stand of at least seven games. They finished 3-4-0 in the seven games and have now finished nine of these extended home stands with a winning record and 12 with a losing record.
–Based on points percentage, Los Angeles’ 5-11-1 start is tied for the fourth-worst start in club history. They finished 3-13-1 through 17 games in 1969-70 and 1971-72, 4-12-1 in 1985-86 and 5-11-1 in 1986-87.
–Cal Petersen stopped 15 of 16 shots in relief in his first NHL game, becoming the 71st goalie in franchise history. He is the 13th different Kings goalie to make his NHL debut in a relief appearance and the first since Daniel Taylor, who stopped eight of 10 shots in a 7-2 home loss to Dallas on March 29, 2008. He is the fourth player to wear #40 in club history, joining Matt Ryan (12/05-1/06), Barry Potomski (1/96-2/97) and Darryl Sydor (10/91).
–Los Angeles attempted 50 shots (23 on goal, 15 blocked, 12 missed). Toronto attempted 65 shots (35 on goal, 15 blocked, 15 missed). Andreas Johnsson, Nazem Kadri and John Tavares tied with a game-high four shots, while Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Alec Iafallo and Derek Forbort tied with a team-high three.
–The Kings won 29-of-56 faceoffs (52%). Adrian Kempe won 1-of-3, Michael Amadio won 2-of-8, Anze Kopitar won 8-of-16, Nate Thompson won 7-of-11 and Jeff Carter won 11-of-18.
The LA Kings are scheduled to practice at 11:00 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center on Wednesday, November 14.
–Lead photo via Juan Ocampo/NHLI