Desjardins on starting Quick, Kovalchuk's slot; NHL Network interview - LA Kings Insider

Willie Desjardins, on the decision-making process to determine when Jonathan Quick will play:
I think that process is started probably two weeks ago once he’s starting to get close. We look at the schedule. I think that the first thing we have to do is just make sure he’s ready. Before we look at putting him in any place, we look at ‘is he ready to go?’ He’s a big part of our team, and once we decide he’s healthy and ready to go, then it’s like any other decision that we make with the goaltenders. It just goes on the same process. [Reporter: Is that conversation, Willie, with him and the trainers and the coaching staff?] I probably talked to him closer, but once we get closer to the end it’s got to be the trainers that are clearing him to go, and that’s him talking to the trainers, too. He wouldn’t get cleared until he was saying that he’s ready. There’s good communication on that, and he’s excited and he looks like he’s ready to go. [Reporter: He’s such a big part of his team. It just seems like it just affects everyone when he’s back, and everyone seems to have that kind of jump in them.] Well, I think he is a big part of it for lots of different reasons, and our goaltending has been good for most parts even though we lost him. He brings a lot of other things to the room. Not just the goaltending, he brings stuff to the room that I think helps give our group confidence.

Desjardins, on takeaways from Sunday’s win over Edmonton:
They’re a good team. McDavid’s a factor every time he’s on the ice .he’s got such great speed, so you have to watch him. Overall, they’ve got some good players. I think their D are pretty good at moving the puck and they play with good pace, so they’re a team that you have to stay above. You don’t want to get into a game of trading chances with them, because they create a lot of offense.

Desjardins, on whether moving Ilya Kovalchuk up to the third line is to “change things up”:
I think it’s always a matter of trying to find the right spot. You’re always looking for what’s best for the team. You always hope it’s the best for the individual, as well. Sometimes it’s not. He’s a guy that I think can help us. We’ve got to put him in the right spot, and hopefully that’ll work.

Desjardins, on whether he’d agree that the previous two Kings games were “solid” performances:
I think we played a little bit more of a 60-minute game. I still think there were some lapses in that, but I think that’s a process that you want to keep trying to get better at, and we want to try to get better where we’re playing more of 60 minutes. It was a step in the right direction, but we’re not all the way there. We still have to keep working on it.

BONUS VIDEO: Here’s Teddy Purcell’s Teddy Talks interview with Nate Thompson from Saturday’s Hockey Night in Los Angeles broadcast. While getting some maintenance in – at Sand Spa with Polish Nail Boutique – they discuss getting traded, pedicures and Thompson’s decision to convert to Judaism:

–One quote withheld for today’s morning skate report
–Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/NHLI