Comments from the Ducks morning skate, in advance of Game 2 vs. the Kings later today…
Players will always say you have to reset after every game. Is it easier to deal with a loss like you had in Game 1, as opposed to if that happened in a Game 6?
“I guess. You never want a loss in your home building especially in Game 1. It’s a tough thing to take. We felt we put ourselves in good position to win that game and that’s playoff hockey and those things happen sometimes. That’s a resilient team over there and they did a good job of coming back but Game 2 is extremely important for us. You can’t lose two games in a row in your home building and expect to have success so we are looking at tonight’s game like it’s Game 7 and that is our mindset going into it.”
Is it surprising to see Anze Kopitar leading the playoffs in scoring?
“We’ve been able to play a lot against him since I have been here and I truly believe that he is one of the best centerman and power forwards in the game. A lot of things that they do go through him. He plays in every situation. He’s a load to handle out there, that’s for sure. We can do a better job of taking away his time and space and limit his scoring chances. For the most part, in Game 1 we did a good job but players like that are going to create space for themselves and he did a good of that in Game 1.”
Is it easy to put Game 1 behind you?
“We have a rule in this lockeroom, win or lose. You have 10 minutes to do whatever you want. If it’s a win, enjoy it. If it’s a loss and you want to cry, then cry, but after 10 minutes move on, put the game behind you. Keep going. Learn something. There is a new opportunity ahead.”
If you are going to lose the way you did, better it happens early in the series?
“Absolutely! We felt we played good enough to win the game and there isn’t much that we have to change at all heading into the game tonight. We want to fix the power play.”
You see Kopitar atop the scoring lead. Has he taken his game up a notch?
“He’s a great player. I really like the way he plays. He’s so smart and strong and no real weakness. He’s fun to watch but obviously we need to make sure that his job is a little tougher than normal. That’s one area that we need to improve. If we can shut down him and Doughty it will give us a better chance to win.”
Despite the loss, was your goal still something special on a personal level?
“It was awesome. I can’t believe how loud the building was. Hopefully there are a lot more times for me to celebrate.”
Is it easy to put Game 1 behind you?
“I don’t know if we want to forget the game. We played really well and so did LA. I think that’s what you are going to see in the series. I wouldn’t be surprised if every game is decided by one goal. I don’t think we will dwell on the loss but we are definitely going to take the positives from Game 1 and apply them tonight.”
Easier to recover from a loss like Game 1 early in a series as opposed to let’s say if it happened in Game 6?
“Absolutely. You always want to win Game 1 and get off on the right foot but you look at the way the playoffs have gone in general and I think every team that advanced besides us (and Montreal) has trailed in their series at one point. It’s a new place for us to be and at the same time we have come back all year (in games).”
On Anze Kopitar…
“Sometimes he will have a quiet game where he may not do anything flashy and then you look on the score sheet after and I think that’s what happened last game other than the overtime goal which was a beautiful pass. He’s a guy that you always have to know where he is on the ice because you look at the end of the game and he has 3 points against you. He’s a player that we have keyed on all year. He’s the straw that stirs their drink over there.”
On the head to head matchup against Kopitar:
“I love playing head to head. I like that challenge. That’s the way hockey should be. You are playing against the best and you have to beat the best. They scored some big goals against us late in Game1 and we want to stop them from doing that in Game 2.”
COACH BRUCE BOUDREAU
On why he went with Hiller in Game 1?
“He played two good games in Dallas and he has been our number one goalie all season.”
With Game 3 not till Thursday does that change the way you play your top players?
“I think everyone lives in the present. we wouldn’t care if we were playing tomorrow. If I have to play Getzlaf 30 minutes we’d play him 30 minutes and then worry about tomorrow, tomorrow and I think they are going to think the same way. I don’t they will change the way they play Kopitar or Doughty. The score of the game will be what dictates the ice time. I do believe our guys will play like it is Game 7.”
Why you are going with Smith-Pelly and Etem and not Winnik and Palmieri?
“I have reasons. )laughter) Winnik and Palmieri are both very good players and if we have to use them there is no hesitation whatsoever. if it wasn’t for numbers then Smith-Pelly and Etem would have been on our team all season. We have an abundance of forwards that can play and right now I choose to go with those two.”
On Beleskey earning time on the top line:
“Maturity, comfortability. He was really good for us in the playoffs last year. He’s a big game guy and I think the other two like playing with him. They have played together in the past and had times of success and then it would deteriorate. I haven’t seen that yet in the playoffs.”
On Getzlaf wanting to play against Kopitar:
“If that’s what he wants…. it’s not about doing it for him but if that is something that helps to raise his game going against the best. Ryan loves the challenge. It ‘s the same like when he goes against Crosby or Malkin or any of the other great centers. It gets him fired up.”
For LA Kings morning skate comments from coach Darryl Sutter and Jeff Schultz – who will make his debut tonight, replacing the injured Robyn Regehr – click here.