Saturday Media Call: Comments from Justin Williams

Even though it was an off day for the Kings, a special media conference call was set up by the team’s PR staff (thank you!). Here’s what Justin Williams had to say…

On if there’s a sense of elation today or determination:

“Seems like, especially after the game.  Obviously after a series you’re obviously happy about it, but there just seemed to be a sense of, I don’t know what the word is.  I guess business as usual.  We expect that.  But at the same time we’re obviously not satisfied.  Happy with the win, but not satisfied.  We just, I guess, expect to win.  We know there’s a lot of room for improvement, and it’s just 4 wins out of 16 that we’re looking to get.”

On what areas still need improvement:

“We won the series without playing our best hockey certainly.  That it is obviously a positive.  A huge positive.  Especially beating a great team like St. Louis.  So, you know, we obviously don’t know our opponent yet, but we will in the coming day or two.  I just think there’s some things that we can do a lot better.  Our top forward.  Our line, myself, Brownie, and Kopi need to be better moving forward for us to keep advancing in these playoffs.  We got by, by playing great defensively and scoring timely goals.  But sometimes that can only take you so far.  We need everybody on top of their game.  That’s what we had last year, and that’s what we’re going to need if we want to keep stringing wins together and series wins.”

On if there was any doubt in his mind that they could come back from the 0-2 deficit:

“No, I don’t think so.  I really didn’t think we couldn’t win.  I think it would have been an extremely daunting task if we didn’t win those two games at home.  We played well at home all year, but it seems like there’s a sense of comfort when you’re within our dressing room, and it’s just our players in there.  And you look around, and you know what everyone’s capable of, and you know that come crunch time, they’re going to get it done for you.  I don’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s the case where other players look around as well.  And that confidence is something that we’ve earned, and something that we’ve been through, and feeling that we can beat anybody.”

On if Sutter his changed his way of coaching this year as opposed to last year:

“Well, I think just as players, coaches have to learn as well.  I mean, Darryl never won a Cup before.  A lot of our guys had never won a Cup before, and you learn through experience.  This is obviously new for him, but all he wants, and all he cares about is how we play.  And he knows if we play well, we’re going to win the majority of our games, and have a good chance to repeat.  Whether he was more upset after Game 2?  Other than another time I’ve seen him upset, I’ve got his anger sometimes.  You certainly know what’s expected of you, and your teammates expect, at this time of year, that they can trust that your game is on top, and that you are going to do everything to help that team.  Some nights it doesn’t go well, some nights it does.  But, one thing that we know the question, is our effort.  Sometimes execution needs to work, but for the most part, we’ve been pretty reliable about ourselves, and been through tough times.”

On what he attributes the Blues ability to neutralize their forecheck to, and how they will address it:

“St. Louis is a heckuva’ hockey team.  They obviously gave us everything we could handle.  You know, they have some big bodies, and they certainly had motive and incentive to give everything they got.  They want to get to that next level.  They want to be a championship team, and we were standing in their way.  We were able to whether it and were able to overcome how they played.  But next series is different.  Every series is going to be different.  You’re going to have a different storyline for probably not only every game, but every series.  Is that something we need improvement with?  The forecheck?  Yes, obviously we do.  We need to be more clean coming out of our zone.  And that’s what it starts with.  When you’re clean coming out of your zone, you’re going to spend less time in it, and more time in the offensive zone.”

On what he attributes the Kings’ consistently fast starts at Staples to:

“One thing that every team says that they want, is they want to make their home building a tough place to play in.  Now, the last few years we’ve been able to string wins together, but not as consistently as we want.  I’m not sure Staples four or five years ago, people or other teams shuddered at the fact that they’re coming to the Staples Center to play.  I don’t think there was that feeling when you were with another team.  But I think over this last little while we’ve made it tough place to play.  And that doesn’t just include us, that includes the fans too.  The fans have done an awesome job of getting us pumped up, especially for playoff games.  We’ve just been starting off on the right foot.  We’ve been able to get ourselves together mentally, and we weren’t ready to go right off the hop, we had a goalie that helped bail us out.”

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