Yesterday we posted end of season thoughts from Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jonathan Quick and Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Now, after spending some time at the team’s practice facility today, we have a fresh batch of news and notes.
Lets’s start with LA captain Dustin Brown. Here’s what he had to share…
On how he tore his PCL:
“My first shift 5-on-5 in San Jose Game 6. I hit Boyle. It’s a nothing play, I saw it on video. I continued to play the shift, I knew something was wrong, but I kept on playing. He was coming around the net in the corner and Lewie (Trevor Lewis) kind of had him angled and I came down on an angle. I think my knee just kind of hit his thigh, he’s a little smaller than me, so just the way it hit. It did what it needed to do, I guess.”
On where he was limited due to his injury:
“The inhibition, firing. Power, push off, because there’s a lot of inflammation. The pain level wasn’t too bad unless I did certain things. But, like I said, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t play with. If it was the regular season I don’t think I would have played with it, but I still thought I could be effective in most areas of the game and find a way to play through it. But there were some limitations.”
On where the Kings fell short:
“It’s so fresh that it’s hard to really pin point one thing or another. Just looking back at more so the playoffs, I mean I wasn’t happy with my production on the offensive side of things, I think I could definitely contribute more than I did. Kopi (Anze Kopitar) and I have had this talk, both me and him, probably struggles from a statistical standpoint. That’s frustrating for players who want to be difference makers. Kopi and myself are definitely those types of players.
“From a team wide standpoint, I thought we did a lot of good things. It was a battle, very difficult to grind it out when we put ourselves in holes. I think that’s probably the key for us to focus on going forward, and learn from it. We have the ability to dig out of holes, but probably much easier if we don’t put ourselves down 2-0 against St. Louis and down 2-0 in Game 4 against St. Louis. Same story over and over again, you saw it the last game in Chicago when we had to come back down 3-1, down 2-0 five minutes in the game. Definitely capable with the resilience there is in the group. You also see us get off to good starts with the game never in question. So that’s probably the one thing in particular with the playoffs is not digging ourselves in a hole.”
On how the team got as far as they did with adversity, and how Darryl Sutter helped:
“Darryl is a very emotional, personal coach. Sometimes, he get’s you and says stuff that pisses you off, but at the same time it’s a motivating factor. He’s very good at pushing the right buttons at the right time. I think our team has responded incredibly well to how he coaches since he came in. If you look at when he came in, we were in a tough spot then too. I think, also, if you look at the type of players we have in the room, that goes a long way. Being able to grind through injuries here and there, with Stoll and Richards, and guys playing hurt and being injured. I don’t think that’s anything special this time of year, every team is dealing with it.
“It’s the teams that find a way to get the job done regardless of the situation that probably makes me more proud to be apart of this team in the fashion with which we deal with it. I don’t think we complain very much, we just go about business as normal regardless of the situation, which is probably one of the more important things with the team identity.”
On tying the game in the last seconds of Game 5:
“It’s more, I don’t want to say mentality, but when we have a group of guys that’s been together, we’ve been in a lot of tough situations. You build and draw on those experience. I always say experience is one thing, but experiencing everything together, like the stuff we experience together, is much more valuable then having 10 or 11 guys that have been through the playoffs and gone to the finals on different teams. I think it’s different when you’ve gone through, not only what we went through last year but the three, four previous years. You add pieces of the puzzle, you add Rich (Mike Richards) and Carts (Jeff Carter) over the last couple of years, that’s what you want to build on is that group of guys that stick together because at the end of the day that’s all you have to lean on when times get tough.”
On Drew Doughty’s improvement from the beginning of the season to the playoffs:
“To maybe further that point, I think that question could be for all three, Kopi (Anze Kopitar), Quickie (Jonathan Quick) and Dewey (Drew Doughty). They are our three best players – forward defenseman, goalie. Everyone questions Dewey or questions Quickie, Kopi, if he’s not scoring. The thing with, especially with Dewey, he didn’t score a goal for I don’t know how many games, but he was still our best defenseman. In the sense that he’s shutting down Jonathan Toews and Pavel Datsyuk every single night. It’s one of those things that maybe the stats sheet doesn’t show it, the fans are all over him and the medias all over him, and everyone in the room realizes just how important he is.
“It’s a growing process for Dewey, dealing with the pressures of being that good and trying to handle everything at once. He’s still young, everyone forgets how young he still is. I think he’s made great steps from when him and me were rooming his first year to now is pretty remarkable, both on and off the ice. I think there’s still a lot of room for him to grow, but for him to handle the way he did, I’m proud of him as a teammate. Again, when I look at Dewey the first thing I’m not looking at is how many goals he’s scored, because there’s a lot more to his game than scoring goals.”
On if he will watch the Cup Final:
“Probably not. Before, I didn’t watch them. I might have the game on in the background, but I’m not going to sit down and make an event of it. It’s one of those things when I’m home with the kids and we’re messing around, I’ll throw it on in the background but it’s hard to watch, for sure.”
On the NBA finals:
“I think the Heat is going to win. I’ll watch that, because no emotional attachment.”
On what he takes away from this year versus last year:
“What it takes to win. I mean, every years different and I think we learned, one ,to deal with adversity and tough times. That’s stuff we can use going forward as a group, and it kind of goes back to that whole experiencing things together. The other thing you take away is how you feel yesterday, how you feel today, and that stays with you.”
More Kings’ player quotes are up on the home page right now.
Next hour we’ll have Rob Scuderi, Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli. Then Darryl Sutter later today.
Additional notes and quotes from Lombardi and several Kings players can be found at the links below.
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