On their off-day between Games 2 and 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, some of the Los Angeles Kings were available for interview. The playoff-leader in goals Marian Gaborik, the clutch Justin Williams as well as the underrated Dwight King were all free to provide some quotes on Sunday from various issues from whether any of them were able to sleep on the plane ride to the Big Apple from what they've learned from their experiences thus far this postseason.
Here is what each of them had to say:
NHL Public Relations
June 8, 2014
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marian and Dwight.
Q. Mr. King, we just talked to coach about how you continually find a way. Is it any different now the way you're doing it?
DWIGHT KING: Yeah, it's definitely strange. Obviously we'd like to have a little better starts. The last three have been two-goal deficits. I think once we get the first goal, it kind of jump-starts our goal.
Hope we can get the first one tomorrow.
Q. Marian, what has this been like for you in terms of the physical task, three overtimes in a row, every series has gone seven? Have you ever felt like this before?
MARIAN GABORIK: I played some overtime, long overtime before. But obviously three in a row, that's pretty tough.
We're all in this together. We have to correct a lot of things in our game. It's tough sport to begin with. To play this many periods the last three games, it's a lot of hockey.
But, you know, everyone is going to find energy tomorrow and we'll be ready to go.
Q. Marian, are you extra motivated going into the Garden to play against your former team?
MARIAN GABORIK: Yeah, that gives you extra jump. It's my first time coming back to the Garden after I got traded.
I'm going to see the Garden after all the renovations for the first time, as well. You know, they have great fans. They're going to be supporting them. We're going to come out hard.
Q. Dwight, the discussion of fatigue has been raised recently. Is it a challenge to maintain the same approach? Anything you adjust?
DWIGHT KING: The days off is where you take care of the physical stuff. Get as much sleep back into you as possible, take a step back, relax a little bit.
As far as prepping for games, everybody has been in the situation long enough, they know what they need to bring for our team to be successful.
Q. Did you sleep on the plane?
DWIGHT KING: I did not but a lot of guys did.
Q. Dwight, a lot of discussion about the third goal last night. What was your view on it, your role in it?
DWIGHT KING: For the bulk of the play, I was pretty much battling to get to the front of the net with McDonagh. As far as that went, that was my main focus, trying to get to the front.
When the shot came, the ref made the call, that's the way it stood.
Q. You were on the other end of a not similar, but a play against Chicago, where a goal was disallowed, contact on Jonathan. Do you see both sides of how close and how fine the line is between doing what you want to do in terms of creating problems in front but also allowing the goaltender to have his space as well?
DWIGHT KING: No surprise no matter which goaltender you're playing at this level. You need to get traffic, make it hard on them to see pucks, to stop pucks. That will never change.
Obviously there are rules that protect them, so you have to play within those.
Q. Marian, what personal satisfaction do you take coming back here as leading goal-scorer in the playoffs?
MARIAN GABORIK: Well, obviously it's nice to be up there. But, you know, it's a team game and I'm grateful to be in my first Final as many years as I was in the league. Playing the Rangers makes it a little more special. They're a good team, balanced team, as I mentioned before.
Obviously, you know, the coaching change for them seemed to help. So, you know, like I said, coming to the Garden tomorrow will be special. We definitely want to have a better start, hopefully start with the lead.
Q. Can you imagine what this particular coaching change might have done for you in a Rangers' uniform?
MARIAN GABORIK: I haven't really thought about it. I don't look in the past.
Q. Can you talk about the way you beat them in Game 2. Any part of you that thinks you have broken them?
MARIAN GABORIK: I don't think so. They're coming to their home building and they going to be ready to play.
As Dwight said, we don't want to have to come back from two-goal deficits again. Results count at this time of year. We want to definitely bring something better to the table in terms of playing better.
DWIGHT KING: I'd agree. Obviously home ice is very important in the playoffs. This is their first chance. I expect they'll come out with their best tomorrow.
Q. You went up two games to none against Anaheim, then lost three. What did you learn from that series that you can take into this one?
DWIGHT KING: Just the approach. Obviously, momentum is a huge part of playoff hockey. Once a team has it, it's important to try to switch the tide in your favor as quick as possible.
I think the longer we go in series, you feel confident, better about your game. It's a little tougher to defend.
Q. Marian, your coach mentioned how much fun it is to play at the Garden. When you were with the Rangers, did you sense any extra jump from the opponents when they came here? Did you see that on a constant basis?
MARIAN GABORIK: I think so. I don't think I met or talked to any player that didn't like to play in the Garden.
Definitely the building has a lot of history. Everybody that goes and plays there, it has that extra jump. Just to look around the building itself, it has some sort of an energy that you want to be in there and you want to just play.
A lot of our guys, the whole team, will have that energy. We going to come out strong.
Q. Dwight, during the comebacks, can you describe what it's like on the bench. What is the mindset of the guys? Is it quiet? Do you sense a determination to get going?
DWIGHT KING: There's vocal leaders on our team that do things on certain occasions. Overall, I think it's a very calm mindset. Like it's been said before, I think everybody believes in themselves and their teammates. That's the biggest thing we've got going for ourselves: when we're in that position, we can find a way. We've been fortunate enough to do it the last three games.
Q. Justin, you keep doing this every game, no big deal.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: We're not proud of the way we're starting games. We find ourselves in the same situation, regurgitating the same mumbo-jumbo every time.
We're in a results-oriented league. The results are we're up 2-0. I don't care how we got here.
Q. Question regarding fatigue.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Guys are getting their rest. It was an early game. We got to bed at a decent hour.
You should have seen the plane ride over here. It was all lights out. Guys were sleeping.
We'll be fine. It's the Cup Final. No excuse for not being ready, not being prepared, being too tired. You can get yourself ready.
Q. You know the Garden will be electric tomorrow night. When you have a 2-0 lead like you do, coming in and quieting the crowd if you can get that first goal...
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: We're a pretty comfortable team on the road. We've had a lot of success on the road. Maybe jump on them early.
The Garden is one of my favorite places to play. I know a lot of guys feel the same way, as well. It's fun. Cup Final. Should be loud and exciting.
Q. Talk about the mental part of the game. Do you feel you're winning that battle coming back each game? Coming to New York, does it change?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I don't really care much for petty battles. It's a waste of time and a waste of energy.
We're winning on the scoreboard right now and that's the most important thing. Not much more I can say.
Q. Dustin Brown was asked last night, Do you feel like you've broken their spirit? Do you sense you can win that mental part? Is it a factor at all?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Teams don't make it this far out of luck. Teams are here for a reason. They've been able to dominate at times. They've been resilient. They've been able to do things that other teams haven't.
Do we feel we've broken them? No, absolutely not. We should know that more than anybody, that it's tough to put a team down. Especially when you're playing for the Stanley Cup, it's going to be harder to put a team down.
We can try to step up quicker tomorrow.
Q. You mentioned the word 'fun'. How much fun are you having, especially the way you're winning games? Is it an emotional rollercoaster?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Winning is fun. That's it.
Q. How you win?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I don't care how you win, winning is fun. It's a lot more fun to be in the dressing room with the guys - our coach, too (laughter).
Q. You mentioned you weren't proud of the starts. When you come back so many times, do you get more comfortable knowing you've done it before or does it still feel like more of a challenge?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Well, every series, every game, every year you play in the league, you go through experiences that ultimately will help you in certain situations.
I feel together as a team we've been through almost all of them that you can imagine and we've pulled through. So when we're down, do we feel comfortable? No, we don't feel comfortable. We feel like we're able to come back.
Belief is a very underrated attribute. We have that going on in our team right now.
Q. In that sense, the fact that you've gotten to Lundqvist for an average of four goals a game, how important is that, knowing that he hasn't been able to stone you?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: That's kind of a tough one. You don't feel as though when you come into a series, you don't know what the score is going to be. Did I think it was going to be lower scoring so far? Yeah, certainly.
Between the second and third last night, we said, We're going to have to win this game 5-4 now. That's not like us usually, but it seems to be what we have to do. Whatever we have to do to win is what we're going to do. If we have to win 1-0 with an overtime victory, sure. If we have to score five goals to win a game, sure.
Rangers are pressing. We want it just as bad as they do.
Q. You talked about belief. Is part of that to do with Jonathan Quick at all? Late in the game or overtime, do you sense he plays a different way?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I think numbers can be construed either way. You can bend a story any way you want.
I mean, when push comes to shove, Jonathan Quick, just like everyone else on our team I feel, is able to relish an opportunity when push comes to shove. We're not a team that wilts under pressure. We want to go out and make a difference and get it.
Q. Have you ever been on a team any other time that's been like that, where you just go up and get it?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I played on a team in Carolina in 2006. I feel like we had a lot of comebacks. It has a similar type of feel whereas you never feel you're out of it. Earlier on, especially this year when we've had trouble scoring goals, sometimes you might have felt like that. Now we feel that anything's possible out there.
You get down two goals, doesn't matter. You get down three, I don't care. We're going to keep pushing, and the term '60 minutes plus' certainly applies.
Q. How do you channel a negative occurrence and turn it into resolve to succeed?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I think you want to atone for a mistake certainly, but you want to be at your best. Anytime you get scored on, whether you're on the ice or not, you're like, We've got to get that one back.
Just talking with my linemates, I turn a puck over, they score a goal just like that, we're down again, so...
We got that one back and said, You know what, why can't we be the difference, why can't we be the line to get it going?
Q. Regarding Dustin Brown, important goal last night. A guy that you've seen come to another level in these playoffs. He plays on the number one line. What have you seen from him this year? Probably where he wasn't where he wanted to be offensively in the regular season. In the playoffs it's been different.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I think ultimately you're judged on the team's success as the captain of any team. Whether or not he scores 30 goals for us in a year or scores 10, he's still a vital piece of the puzzle, just like everyone else is.
He'd be the first one to say he didn't have a good regular-season game. But, hey, another guy who could have wilted and went away and said, This isn't my year, pack his bag. Instead he said, I'm going to do this, play whatever role I need to play and help this team.
Hits sometimes are overlooked. When Dustin is on the ice, you know it. Whether he's running around or scoring goals, he has a huge impact.
Q. Does he lead differently now than in 2012? Has his role as the captain changed?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I think it's another thing with numbers, right? Just because he isn't leading in points like he was in 2012, doesn't mean he's doing anything different.
He's doing what he has to do with his own game to be successful. Kudos to him. He's got different facets to his game that if he's not scoring, he's able to do a lot of other things.
Q. Do you think this is going to be an emotional game for Marian? How do you think he'll respond?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: He was up here before. What do you think? He seems very calm, doesn't he? He's got the ho-hum attitude. Just going to come and play at MSG, a team that traded him away.
He's going to be gung-ho. He's going to be excited just like the rest of us are for him.
Q. You said the word 'resilient' earlier. Does that come through confidence in your teammates? Where does that come from in your team?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: It comes from experience. It comes from looking around the dressing room. I look at faces when I look around dressing rooms when we're down a goal, and you can read a lot about what someone is thinking about just by looking at their face.
Between the second and third last night, I looked around, and I didn't see anyone scared. I saw a prepared team that knew what they had to do.
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