November 5 Rapid Reaction: Maple Leafs 3, Kings 1

Postgame Quotes

Todd McLellan, on his message to the team after falling behind in the third period:
Well, we wanted to stay with some structure. We have to stay within it because if we wander from it, we saw what happened tonight. The few mistakes we made ended up in our net, and we’ve had a tendency when we’ve given up goals to get away from it. I thought the last seven or eight minutes or six minutes, whatever was left, we got back to it, but it was a little too late. The game overall, a Stanley Cup caliber opponent. Keep ‘em to 23 shots on four penalty kills. I thought we checked really well. Did what we had to do. We were juts a little short and a couple turnovers cost us.

McLellan, on the defense registering a majority of the shots on goal:
Well, sometimes that’s how the opponent plays. They stack the middle up so the top’s open. We did a good job of going low-to-high but we didn’t get a lot of ‘em through. We didn’t get deflections or tip-ins like we wanted to, but sometimes it’s just a mass of bodies in that area and you can’t get it through. But overall, the group played well. They played hard, and it may not have won the game tonight, but I think we did get better in some areas, so we’ll take that.

McLellan, on his message to the game after the team:
Well actually, truth be known, I leave ‘em alone. There’s not many times I go in after the game. They’re big boys and they’re pretty good at self-evaluating. I think they know that they checked well. They did a lot of things that we asked them to do tonight. Just didn’t go our way. We’ll work on things tomorrow in practice, get better in certain areas so we can move the needle forward a little bit more on Thursday night.

McLellan, on whether he met up with Mike Babcock during the stay in Toronto:
Yeah, Babs and I always find a way to get a visit in, and we catch up a lot more on family stuff than we do on hockey stuff. Our families were close, the kids are the same age, wives got along well, so that was our coffee in the morning. [Reporter: Did he buy you dinner last night?] He should have, hey, with that contact? But he didn’t.

McLellan, on sticking with the game plan and customizing it against an offensively talented team:
Look, they’re a pretty darn good team and they’ve got some really good offensive weapons. They’re going to be in your end. It doesn’t matter if it’s the LA Kings or the St. Louis Blues. They’re going to play in your end, and it’s what you do when you’re in there. I thought we’re beginning to start now to tighten up our defensive play. We’re a little better around our net. We’re still not perfect, but when you compare what happened tonight to maybe games two or three in the regular season, we’re getting better. And guys are beginning to understand their roles down low. We’re getting better goaltending, we’re getting better net play, and it’s showing. Move the needle forward, and we’ll play against a good team on Thursday night that’s going to cause some headaches as well, but let’s keep trying to improve.

McLellan, on “sharpness” returning to Jonathan Quick’s game:
Yep, you take a couple of the early games away, he was sharp tonight. There were some bouncing pucks that he stayed over top of. You look at the goals, Kerfoot’s goal, he’s staring at him all alone. Even the last goal, he didn’t have much of a chance on it. We played the two-on-one pretty well. A skilled player made a great play. And then the scramble, net front – you can’t figure him for a goal tonight. He did what he needed to do.

Anze Kopitar, on a solid road game for two and a half periods:
Yeah, we were playing well, but it’s just the five minutes that bury us, and [they have] in multiple games, so you’ve got to fix it.

Kopitar, on limiting Toronto’s top players and sticking to a game plan:
You can build on it, but the bottom line is you lose games, and it’s not fun, at all. We’ve got to find ways to win games, that’s it.

Jonathan Quick, on whether the team’s record is hard on the veterans:
Not for the veterans – it is for everyone. You want to win, everyone wants to win. It’s … [road apples] you guys are saying ‘veterans,’ ‘young guys.’ We’re a team. We’re all together. No one in here likes to lose. The only other people that can do something about it us. We have people that can find a way to win some more of the games.

Quick, on having “a lot of road ahead of you” over the remainder of the season:
We’re not looking at the road, we’re looking at one-game-at-a-time. That’s the only way you can approach this game. I’ve been lucky to play in this league for a long time. If you’re looking at the road, you’re [screwed]. We’re just focusing on one game at a time and we’ve just got to continue to get better

Alec Martinez, on giving up goals in bunches:
I don’t really know the reason for it. I know that it’s happened far too much this year. I would say that it probably happened five times, maybe more. You can’t afford to have lapses like that, especially against a team that you’ve got over there. They’ve got a lot of guys that if you give ‘em enough opportunities, they’re going to capitalize on ‘em. It’s not on Quickie. I think Quickie played one hell of a game. He stood on his head, he had big saves for us, and we can’t put him in a position like that.

Martinez, on Los Angeles playing a “classic road hockey game” before allowing late goals:
I think we had a good start, which is important in this building. I thought we had a good first period, we did a lot of good things. Second period we were kind of up-and-down a little bit. … In the third period, I thought we had a good start to that period, but you can’t afford to have lapses in this league against a team like that. You’re not going to be successful.

Martinez, on executing the game plan against Toronto by blocking shots and forcing them wide:
Yeah, for sure. They’ve got a lot of dynamic lines and they’ve got a lot of special talents over there. You obviously want to protect the middle of the ice, keep things to the outside. Against these guys, you’ve got to protect the middle of the ice, and they like to hit seams a lot. They’re always looking for it. That was part of the game plan. I thought for the most part we did a fairly decent job of that, but you’ve got to do it for a full 60 or you’re not going to be successful in this league.

Carl Grundstrom, on the experience of playing in Toronto:
I think we played well in the first period and then we got off a little bit. We had a couple good shifts in the third, in the beginning, but after that, I thought they took it over.

Grundstrom, on whether he felt comfortable playing against friends and former teammates:
I felt comfortable. Not as bigger difference than most of the games.

Grundstrom, on what was missing from a solid road performance:
I don’t know, but both teams played well defensively. It was hard to get chances today, and I want to get ‘em up for free. We’ve just got to be able to find some not-so-big chances and make them big chances. I think that’s what we have to work on.

Postgame Video

Postgame Notes

— With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 66-63-23 all-time against Toronto, a record that includes a road mark of 27-38-13. These teams have one game remaining, March 5 at Staples Center.

— With the loss, the Kings fell to 0-3-0 against the Eastern Conference, 0-2-0 against the Atlantic Division, 0-3 in two-goal games, 4-3-0 when scoring first, 2-3-0 when tied after one period, 2-2-0 when tied after two periods and 5-8-0 when outshooting their opponent.

— 13 of Los Angeles’ 25 shots were registered by defensemen. Only six shots on goal were recorded by forwards during five-on-five play (Toffoli x2, Kopitar, Grundstrom, Kovalchuk, Lewis).

— By killing off all four power plays, the Kings were perfect on the penalty kill for the seventh time in 15 games.

— Drew Doughty logged 27:49 of ice time, the most he’s accumulated in regulation in a single game since logging 29:29 in a 6-3 home win over Chicago on March 2.

— Auston Matthews registered his 100th career assist on William Nylander’s third period goal.

— Tyson Barrie played the 500th game of his NHL career.

— Los Angeles attempted 49 shots (25 on goal, 12 blocked, 12 missed). Toronto attempted 62 shots (23 on goal, 16 blocked, 23 missed). Drew Doughty finished with a game-high five shots on goal.

— The Kings won 23-of-53 faceoffs (43%). Adrian Kempe won 3-of-9, Michael Amadio won 3-of-9, Anze Kopitar won 7-of-10, Ilya Kovalchuk won 0-of-1, Blake Lizotte won 4-of-8, Tyler Toffoli won 0-of-1 and Jeff Carter won 6-of-15.

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