It was a night to remember for 22-year old Linden Vey. The former WHL scoring champion made his NHL debut, a little more than four years after being selected by the Kings in the fourth round (96th overall) by the Kings back at the 2009 NHL Draft.
One of the last times he wore a Kings sweater was during Rookie Camp in September, where he wore the captain’s ‘C’ when the team faced off with the Anaheim Ducks [pictured above]. The organization’s confidence in his leadership also extended to the opening month of action in the AHL, as he’s been serving as one of the Manchester Monarchs’ alternate captains.
Here is LA though, he was just a rookie looking for his first taste of big league life. And it came Thursday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres. Playing just over 12 minutes, Vey was thrown right into the mix, even seeing time on the power play with Dustin Brown and Justin Williams.
After the Kings 2-0 victory, he was one of several players from both locker rooms to share some post-game thoughts…
- Vey on making his NHL debut: “The first shift was a little tough I think. You get on the ice and you realize you’re finally playing your first game. As the game went on I felt a little more comfortable. I’m glad to get the first one in and hopefully there’s more to come.”
- Vey on the overall game: “I think we were good on the power play today. I think we capitalized on our opportunities. We really didn’t give them much. We kept them to the outside and we did a good job making sure to keep things simple.”
- Vey on his reaction to learning he would be in the lineup: “Obviously I was excited. The first thing I did was call the parents, and let them know. They were excited. Obviously they weren’t able to come down and watch, but I’m sure they were watching on TV.”
- On the speed of the NHL vs. AHL: “The difference between the American League and here is guys are in such better position here. In the American League guys run around a little bit. Here, everybody’s in the right position. It actually makes it a lot easier to play in your own end. The communication with the defense is a lot better here.”
- Vey on if he can handle the physicality of the NHL: “I think so. I think, obviously, it’s a step up. You’re playing against guys that are mid-to-late 20’s and early 30’s. Obviously the strength is a little bit bigger here.”
- Jonathan Quick on returning to action after several days off: “With the Olympic year you miss some days here and there with practice and being able to work on the details. So we had a good three practices where we were able to get some work done.”
- Quick on the Kings’ performance: “Well it’s the first time in a while that we did not give up a power-play goal or a penalty-kill goal, so that’s a positive and something to build on. We’re going to move on. We’ve got Vancouver on Saturday and that’s the focus now.”
- Sabres coach Ron Rolston on the overall game: “We played well at times in the game but obviously we put them on the power play too much tonight.”
- Rolston on the power plays: “They’ve been together for a long time so they have continuity in their power play and it’s a 1-0 game, we’re on the power play, and two minutes later, they have [another power play]. That’s not a very good recipe when you want to have a successful night…and they’re up two 2-0 on us.”
- Rolston on the overall game: “We played well in the first period, we had some good chances to get up. We had some good looks in front of their goal but we didn’t finish on them and they ended up finishing on us.”
- Sabres captain Steve Ott on Buffalo’s effort: “I think that 5 on 5 we were solid. I believe we out-chanced them when we were 5 on 5. They got two good power play goals and were able to hang on to it. They are a good veteran club that is used to playing in these types of situations, but I liked our effort tonight.”
- Sabres forward Brian Flynn on Buffalo’s compete level: “It was a good 5 on 5 game for us. We got a penalty late, and that’s a bad time to take a penalty. We had that power play, and then they got that 4 on 3. That’s ultimately the difference in the game.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter also had several comments to share after the game. His comments can be found at the link below.
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