Here’s some thoughts from Kevin Westgarth after the Kings practice this afternoon…
MM: The team has won three in a row to start off the month of December. What’s been the biggest difference during this stretch compared to the rough patches in November?
KW: I think towards the end of our little skid we were playing some good hockey and just not getting the bounces. With a team like this, we have great veterans and great young guys. If everybody just sticks to the program, we’re going to come out on top more often than not. So, that was basically the main thing – making sure we stuck to our guns and stuck to the game plan our coaches have set out for us from day one. It’s starting to pay dividends back as we get rolling again.
KW: Yeah, he enjoys it man. I think that’s a huge part of being in that role. There’s a lot of guys that don’t (enjoy it). But, the more enjoyment you can take out of every part of life, the more you’re going to be laughing. If he’s enjoying getting punched in the face or punching other guys in the face, hey – that’s awesome! It’s great to have him as a teammate and a linemate too, right now. I just know that he has everybody’s back on the team and he’s a heck of a hockey player.
MM: He was off your line for a few games, moved up to the third line. Does it change your game at all having him back with you now?
KW: I think getting to play with guys more you become a little more accustom to them. You start to learn where they’ll be without having to look and see if he’s there on the ice. So, it definitely can build some pretty good chemistry. And I think Cliffy and I have a bit of that. So, I look forward to keeping it going. As Cliffy already put one in the net, maybe I’ll be able to tap one in now or bounce one off my shin pads at some point soon.
MM: Looking ahead to Minnesota tomorrow night – you guys have already played them once. Any thoughts about the game?
KW: They’re a solid team. Looking at the standings right now is pretty crazy because everybody is in a dog fight. In our division you have one team in first and all the others are tied for second. So, they’re all important games. We know that Minnesota is a strong team. They’ve had their ups and downs, as well, this year. I know we’re going to be ready. And again, the most important thing for us is to make sure we’re doing our thing and playing our game.