A day after falling in Game 1 of their Western Final series with the Chicago Blackhawks, many of the Los Angeles Kings were resting up in this their first of two much-needed days off. Four Kings, however, were available to the media to Monday and gave their respective insights on a few topics from line chemistry to what they expect out of their opponents in this round.
An interview with:
From NHL Public Relations
May 19, 2014
Q. Talk about playing from behind in a series.
JARRET STOLL: Yeah, you don't want to get in that position, but we have a couple times. Obviously we're in it now.
You just play the games. You're prepared to win. Sometimes it doesn't always go your way. Our group, we're not going to get rattled. We're not going to get down. We're not going to turn on each other.
It comes from our coaching staff, our leadership group, all the way down our lineup, it's just a strong group that way.
Sometimes when you're going through a playoff series, you can easily see cracks probably not after Game 1, but maybe Game 2, 3, 4, you can see cracks in teams, and then you push at them until they're done.
With our group, I don't think we have any of that. I haven't seen any of that in all the playoffs that I've been a part of with the L.A. Kings. It's a strong group to be a part of. Hopefully we can keep that going.
Q. Jarret, how far back did this team learn to live like that? I'm sure the confidence hasn't always been there? Was there a turning point or a series where it was like the light bulb went off for this group?
JARRET STOLL: The one two years ago was pretty special. To be up 3-0 in every single round is, you know, tough to do. We got lucky. We got fortunate in a lot of those situations. We gained a lot of confidence from that, realized we can go into tough buildings and win this year as well.
San Jose and Anaheim had arguably the top two, three, four best home records this year. We went into those tough buildings and won.
Chicago is no different. A tough building. We're going to have to figure out a way to win Game 2 and move on.
Q. Jeff, going back to your linemates, do you feel suddenly old?
JEFF CARTER: I'm sure I do. You'll have to ask them (laughter).
Yeah, I mean, it goes quick when you're in this league. Seems like yesterday I was that young guy kind of going out there and just wheeling around and playing hockey, having fun. You can definitely see that in them when they get the puck and they create chances, they put the puck in the net. Tyler scores last night, you see them laughing at each other. They have a blast out there. It's a lot of fun.
Q. With Tyler, you had some success last year in the series. You're both players who can shoot and make plays. Any particular chemistry that because you can both pull the trigger and shoot, you have had some success against Chicago the last two years?
JEFF CARTER: I mean, he's a confident player. He had success last year in the playoffs. He's played well against them this year. I think everybody has those kind of teams that they feel comfortable going out and playing against. Usually have their best games against.
Probably for Tyler, that's fitting here in this series. He's a guy that has great skill. He's got speed. He's got obviously a great shot. You know, he puts it all together, he's a great player out there. So hopefully he can keep it going.
Q. Jeff, as a guy who doesn't need a lot of chances to score, can you talk about the Hawk's ability to do the same?
JEFF CARTER: Yeah, I mean, you look at their roster, they got a lot of skill up there. Their top six are pretty strong. You give them odd-man rushes, turnovers in the offensive zone, there's a pretty good chance they're going to end up in the back of the net.
That's something we definitely need to limit. We know that. We'll get better at it.
MARIAN GABORIK: Especially coming to a new system, going from playing from the right wing to left wing.
But, you know, we had that winning streak we were on. I jumped right into things and that definitely helped to come in and be part of winning games and just kind of took off from there.
Play with Kopy and Willie, definitely that helped with transition and stuff. Kind of took off from there.
Q. Off the ice, what do the guys do to make you feel comfortable?
MARIAN GABORIK: It was good to start on a trip. I got to know the guys off the ice as well. Very good group, great group of guys. They welcome me very nicely. I was very excited to be part of the team.
Q. Justin, you've played a little bit with Marian and Anze. You've had a chance to spend some time. What do you see in Marian's game that maybe makes this Kings' team a little bit different than last year?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I believe, you know, Marian's skill set speaks for itself on the ice. But fitting in with a hockey team is not just going out there and playing the game. To be part of a team, you want to be part of a team on the ice and off the ice.
Marian has fit in quite easily. Looking at his stats, he could be kind of a pompous jerk, but he's actually a nice guy.
MARIAN GABORIK: Thank you, buddy.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: He's fit in real nice with us. I think that's why he's had a lot of success on the ice, as well, because everybody's taken to him.
Q. Justin, you don't want to fall behind in a series. Considering the experiences in this playoffs, how comfortable are you with playing from behind?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: We're really not proud of those three-game losing streaks, but we've been able to overcome them. I mean, the further along you get, the tougher the teams are. To be the best, you got to beat the best.
We're going to obviously not be totally overwhelmed and distraught if we don't win the next game, but it's certainly an important game for us, Game 2. Last year we lost the first two here. We don't anticipate doing the same this year.
Q. When you talk to the players in practices, you get the sense San Jose, St. Louis, these are two established rivalries. This is the second year in a row you've met Chicago in the Conference Finals. Is that rivalry being developed, contentious perhaps between the two in?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Perhaps. But rivalries only exist when the other team wins. We haven't beat them yet. We have that set for us. You know, we need to rise to the challenge.
Q. What has been the difference when these two teams meet? I think they've won eight of the last nine against you. What is the one little thing you need to do better?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Well, certainly I think playoffs and regular season are two different animals obviously. We didn't have a great record against Anaheim during the regular season. We were able to beat them.
I think Chicago just comes with its own problems. Their defense are fast and extremely accurate, do a great job of getting the puck up the ice. If we're just a little off every game, we're not going to be good because they'll expose that. They'll have guys swinging, guys stretching. If you give them time, they will make you pay.
You know, they're very dynamic. So we need to have every guy on our team playing the same way and playing with the same urgency and being on your toes instead of your heels.
Q. When did you first meet Marian Hossa? Talk about your relationship, even if you have an unofficial wager on this series.
MARIAN GABORIK: Well, we're neighbors. I grew up playing with his younger brother. We live in the same hometown, very close to each other. We hang out often during the off-season.
We've been in touch up to the start of the series. That's pretty much it. So no interactions now and no bets or whatever.
Q. Justin, you're a guy that isn't afraid to camp around the net, engage in some of the battles there. How fine a line is that between obstruction and success? How thin is that line?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I think the NHL has put more of a focus on protecting goaltenders, which they should. Whenever you're near the net, you know, Marian can attest to this, too, there's always referees yelling at you. If you're in the blue paint, Get out of it, get out of it. There's a lot of warnings out there, too. Hey, I might not have counted that goal because you were obstructing him a little bit.
You have to watch where you are. You have to watch where your feet are, be aware of your surroundings. You don't want to be that guy who has the obstructed goal taken back because playoffs every goal and every play is important and has an impact on the series.
Q. Are you satisfied with the consistency of how that is called?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I mean, there's a lot of gray areas in it. But I think for the most part, as hockey players we feel at the end of the day you're going to get what you deserve. If you deserve to win that game, most likely you're going to win it. If you don't, you roll the dice, see what happens.
If you play the way you're capable of, you play the way that you should, and you dictate a game, then you feel like those types of things won't matter.
Q. At this time of year, there's not a lot of space on the ice. How has (indiscernible) been able to succeed scoring goals?
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: You might ask him that, but as a spectator watching him, his first three strides to get open are some of the best in the league.
You know, a lot of us wish we had those steps. You know, he's quick and he finds open ice and it doesn't take him long to get a shot off.
If you watch him, he's quick. Even in practice you watch, you see how quick the shot gets off and how hard it is. That's something that not a lot of people have. He's been able to score a lot of goals in the league that way.
Q. Is the Blackhawks defense a bit underrated, do you think?
MARIAN GABORIK: I don't think it's underrated. They get a lot of credit. I think their top four guys, they have their names around the league. They've been part of the winning team. That definitely helps them to get recognition around the league.
You know, in terms of us playing against them, we had some success in their zone and we want to keep them in their zone as much as possible and create chances there.
We had some zone time, but we got to generate more to get to Crawford and to get some goals.
*Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports