Comments from the Kings morning skate in advance of their Monday night game against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks…
Drew Doughty on having Willie Mitchell as a defensive partner:
“I haven’t had a chance to play with him for the last few years. He was out all of last year. A couple years ago I was with Scuds. I like playing with Mitchie. He’s a really good defender, a really good player. A smart hockey player. It doesn’t matter who they put me with – I’m going to play the same way. I’m looking forward to playing with him tonight.”
Doughty on facing the Chicago Blackhawks:
“You know, if we don’t play a track meet with them, if we don’t allow them to create turnovers and get their speed going, we can compete with them. If we can keep ‘em off the board, we know we can get our opportunities as well. They’re a high scoring team, one of the highest in the league, and one of the main things is just limiting their chances and scoring on ours.”
Doughty on what type of a goalie Corey Crawford is:
“I don’t know, you know? I think every goalie these days is pretty much the same now. I don’t think he’s the quickest goalie. I think where you’ve got to beat him is up high, and like any other goalie you’ve got to get traffic in front, get tips and rebounds. He’s got a good team playing in front of him. A lot of times teams don’t get to test him too much, but tonight we’re going to throw as much as we can at him.”
Doughty on the high quality goaltending throughout the NHL:
“Yeah, I guess it kinds of seems like it. I don’t really pay attention to that too much, to be honest. There are so many good goalies in the league. All of the young kids coming up are kind of the same – that butterfly style. Quickie’s actually unique in the way he plays, I think. A lot of guys are more like how Jonesy (Martin Jones) plays, just calm and collected in the net, good positionally. Guys are getting good – not only the goalies, but some of these young players coming up are pretty unbelievable, too.
Doughty on if he changes his routine when the team struggles?
“No, I take the same approach to every game. I’m not superstitious, I don’t think. For sure I’m not superstitious. I have a routine I do, but that kind of just gets you in the mindset of the game. I guess sometimes, I know in the playoffs, I have before worn the same suit if we’re winning or whatever, and change it up if we lost. During the season, we’re just trying to stick to it. We’re not getting down on ourselves. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves. We’re going to do something about it, and we’re going to start against Chicago.
Doughty on if Sunday’s off-ice practice was welcomed:
“We got a little break off the ice on Sunday which I think is good. They let us do our off ice workout which was needed. Hockey is mentally tough so it was nice not to have to go on the ice and work on anything and watch any video or have any talks. It was nice to have a break. We’ll have our energy for the game. There are no excuses tonight. Everyone should be fresh and flying out there.”
Doughty on how much he’s been thinking about playing for Team Canada:
“I don’t even think about, honest to god, at all. There is more than enough going on here. I am just trying to help this team get out of this. I know I am going to have to lead the way in order to get us out of this. I am taking a lot of that pressure on myself. I feel the responsibility to get us out of this and I am going to do everything I can.”
Doughty on what it was like facing his good friend, Wayne Simmonds on Saturday:
“Wayne and I will always be buddies. We see each other throughout the summer. It was fun playing against him to be honest. You see us battling in the corners harder than if it was someone who was not our friend. I gave him a few shots, a few cross checks, we battled hard. He was trying to chirp me from the bench, but he’s the worst chirper.”
Doughty on Simmonds saying he enjoys not having a roommate in Philly:
“I think he has a new type of roommate, a dog. Far more work than I was having to deal with the dog.”
Coach Darryl Sutter on adjusting his defensive pairings:
“Not really. We just switched Willie and Muzz. Drew’s playing a lot of minutes, and he just needs a little bit more stability in his own zone from his partner.
Sutter on the December 30th Kings-Blackhawks game, a 1-0 Chicago win:
“We came from, I think, Ottawa the day before and we had to switch our lineup around a little bit and we were tired and played a good game.”
[ed note: Sutter is referencing the December 14 game in Chicago]
Sutter on Chicago’s backchecking:
“I think every team backchecks. [Reporter: Is it their 200-foot game similar to the Kings’?] Yep, I think so. I mean, that’s what most teams do. Play a 200-foot game.
Sutter on having a “break” on Sunday to watch the Super Bowl:
“Yep, I watched the Super Bowl. Great defense wins championships, and don’t turn it over. Pretty much common in the four major sports. [Reporter: But was it nice just to have a break?] Didn’t get a break. What was the break? I mean, a break is when you get a couple days. There hasn’t been no break. We’ve played 19 games. This’ll be our 19th game in 31 days or whatever it is. So I wouldn’t say we got a break.”
Sutter on the lack of a designated recovery day since January 22:
“Just count. It’s just what I just said. Since the 27th or 28th of December, this’ll be our 19th game. Tough sleddin’.”
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