Sunday conversations with Simon Gagne and Dustin Brown

Today was an off day for the LA Kings.  However, several players were made available for questions from the media.  Here’s a quick recap…

Q. What is the mood of the team coming back here?
SIMON GAGNE: We’re pretty good. We’re back home now. We had a good sleep last night. We had a good meeting this morning. We’re in good position right now. Even if it’s 3-2 in the series, we have a chance to play here in L.A. in Game 6 and close it at home. Mood is pretty good this morning.

Q. A lot of people are wondering how this team will react to adversity because you haven’t had much of it yet.
SIMON GAGNE: I wouldn’t agree with that. I think we had a lot of it this year with the coaching change, battling to get to the playoffs. That takes a lot of character to get through that. We know how to deal with it. It seems in the playoffs, we had it a little bit easier than people think. At the same time we had to go into Vancouver and win Game 5, and Phoenix Game 5. Now we have another challenge in front of us. It’s going to be the first time we’re in the series 3-2. It will be a first challenge for us and we’ll take that, for sure.

Q. You haven’t been in this position before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. What do you do personally to try to get a little extra emotional or physical energy when you’re physically or mentally tired?
SIMON GAGNE: At this point I think both teams are feeling pretty much the same way energy-wise, physically and mentally. I think both teams are at the same point right now. As a player, I think each individual has to find a way to get that extra energy. That might make the difference at the end of the game. I think it’s up to each one of us to take care of ourselves today and find a way to be a hundred percent and full of energy for tomorrow night.

Q. How do you do that personally?
SIMON GAGNE: I’m sure I’m not going to say everything I’m doing for the rest of the day. But I’ll take care of myself and do whatever I have to do, you know, to feel hundred percent tomorrow. I did some stuff this morning. We didn’t skate this morning. We had the option to go on, knowing this is where you have to decide if you keep your energy for tomorrow or if you’re going to do morning skate. That’s what I’m going to do. For rest of the day, I’ll drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and I’ll be ready for tomorrow.

Q. How do you think the travel comes into play?
SIMON GAGNE: I don’t know. At this point I don’t know, it’s the Stanley Cup Final, so whatever you have to go through, you know, you have to be ready. They traveled, too. I’m not sure if they traveled last night or today. At this point on, I think we’re used to it. We’re a team that used to travel a lot during the season, even in the playoffs. We know what to expect and we’ll be ready.

Q. Are you talking out loud about shooting the puck a little bit more?
DUSTIN BROWN: I think it’s a happy medium. You don’t want to be shooting the puck just to shoot the puck, because Brodeur is going to knock it down, maybe even move it. I think we need to shoot more, but I also think we need to be better at getting our shots through. They had quite a few blocked shots, I’m not sure of the number, but we had some Grade A opportunities that got blocked. It’s not an easy thing to get through, but we have to find a way.

Q. You were a team that earlier in the year struggled scoring. You figured it out in the playoffs. What do you need to do now?
DUSTIN BROWN: I think we need to stick with it. Marty is playing a pretty good series. He made some pretty big saves, especially in Games 4 and 5 for them. I think it’s sticking with our system, making it harder on Marty. Our goal last night was guys getting in the net. I don’t think he really had a chance to see the shot. Those are the types of goals and chances.

Q. You missed some shifts in the third period, mixing around lines.
DUSTIN BROWN: At that point you got to try to find something that’s clicking. We weren’t clicking, whatever you want to call it. We have practice today. I’m not sure what the lines are going to be, if things are going to stay the same. The players have to adapt to the situation.

Q. Your team is still playing well. You hit five posts in the last two games. Is that the bottom line right now?
DUSTIN BROWN: I think breaks even out in the series. Both teams get them. Both teams get breaks that go against them. We had a goal in Game 3 that shouldn’t have gone. I think all that stuff evens out. It’s more about playing the game, sticking with your system. Again, we can’t worry about posts, missed calls, stuff like that. You just got to keep your head down, keep working.

Q. Were you guys ready to play in Game 4 or were you distracted?
DUSTIN BROWN: The first period, first five, ten minutes, we were ready to go. It felt very similar to actually the Vancouver series, Game 4, where we had a really good first period, didn’t find a lead. We kind of almost had a letdown after that. But I think, again, being in front of the home crowd’s going to give us an extra boost in Game 6. Again, I think guys will be a little more relaxed.

Q. You talked about getting away from the game plan. Can you elaborate on that.
DUSTIN BROWN: I think we’re best coming through our neutral zone with short, hard plays. You could see us start to stretch out a little bit more. Against a team like Jersey, I mean, it’s tough to stretch it out and get a forecheck just because of puck placement. If you get it behind the net, Marty is going to make a play. You saw our spacing deteriorate a little bit.

More notes from other players to follow shortly.

Also, we posted pre and post-game videos last night, please see the ‘Recent Posts’ section near the top right corner of this page for links.

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