Justin Williams – ‘I don’t really care much for petty battles’

2014 Williams Kings NHL MayorsManorComments from Kings forward Justin Williams upon arriving in New York City on Sunday afternoon..

Q. Justin, you keep doing this every game, no big deal.

WILLIAMS: We’re not proud of the way we’re starting games. We find ourselves in the same situation, regurgitating the same mumbo-jumbo every time.  We’re in a results-oriented league. The results are we’re up 2-0. I don’t care how we got here.

Q. Question regarding fatigue.

WILLIAMS: Guys are getting their rest. It was an early game. We got to bed at a decent hour.  You should have seen the plane ride over here. It was all lights out. Guys were sleeping.  We’ll be fine. It’s the Cup Final. No excuse for not being ready, not being prepared, being too tired. You can get yourself ready.

Q. You know the Garden will be electric tomorrow night. When you have a 2-0 lead like you do, coming in and quieting the crowd if you can get that first goal…

WILLIAMS: We’re a pretty comfortable team on the road. We’ve had a lot of success on the road. Maybe jump on them early.
The Garden is one of my favorite places to play. I know a lot of guys feel the same way, as well. It’s fun. Cup Final. Should be loud and exciting.

Q. Talk about the mental part of the game. Do you feel you’re winning that battle coming back each game? Coming to New York, does it change?

WILLIAMS: I don’t really care much for petty battles. It’s a waste of time and a waste of energy.  We’re winning on the scoreboard right now and that’s the most important thing. Not much more I can say.

Q. Dustin Brown was asked last night, Do you feel like you’ve broken their spirit? Do you sense you can win that mental part? Is it a factor at all?

WILLIAMS: Teams don’t make it this far out of luck. Teams are here for a reason. They’ve been able to dominate at times. They’ve been resilient. They’ve been able to do things that other teams haven’t.  Do we feel we’ve broken them? No, absolutely not. We should know that more than anybody, that it’s tough to put a team down. Especially when you’re playing for the Stanley Cup, it’s going to be harder to put a team down.
We can try to step up quicker tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned the word ‘fun’. How much fun are you having, especially the way you’re winning games? Is it an emotional rollercoaster?

WILLIAMS: Winning is fun. That’s it.

Q. How you win?

WILLIAMS: I don’t care how you win, winning is fun. It’s a lot more fun to be in the dressing room with the guys – our coach, too (laughter).

Q. You mentioned you weren’t proud of the starts. When you come back so many times, do you get more comfortable knowing you’ve done it before or does it still feel like more of a challenge?

WILLIAMS: Well, every series, every game, every year you play in the league, you go through experiences that ultimately will help you in certain situations.  I feel together as a team we’ve been through almost all of them that you can imagine and we’ve pulled through. So when we’re down, do we feel comfortable? No, we don’t feel comfortable. We feel like we’re able to come back.
Belief is a very underrated attribute. We have that going on in our team right now.

Q. In that sense, the fact that you’ve gotten to Lundqvist for an average of four goals a game, how important is that, knowing that he hasn’t been able to stone you?

WILLIAMS: That’s kind of a tough one. You don’t feel as though when you come into a series, you don’t know what the score is going to be. Did I think it was going to be lower scoring so far? Yeah, certainly.  Between the second and third last night, we said, We’re going to have to win this game 5-4 now. That’s not like us usually, but it seems to be what we have to do. Whatever we have to do to win is what we’re going to do. If we have to win 1-0 with an overtime victory, sure. If we have to score five goals to win a game, sure.  Rangers are pressing. We want it just as bad as they do.

Q. You talked about belief. Is part of that to do with Jonathan Quick at all? Late in the game or overtime, do you sense he plays a different way?

WILLIAMS: I think numbers can be construed either way. You can bend a story any way you want.  I mean, when push comes to shove, Jonathan Quick, just like everyone else on our team I feel, is able to relish an opportunity when push comes to shove. We’re not a team that wilts under pressure. We want to go out and make a difference and get it.

Q. Have you ever been on a team any other time that’s been like that, where you just go up and get it?

WILLIAMS: I played on a team in Carolina in 2006. I feel like we had a lot of comebacks. It has a similar type of feel whereas you never feel you’re out of it. Earlier on, especially this year when we’ve had trouble scoring goals, sometimes you might have felt like that. Now we feel that anything’s possible out there.  You get down two goals, doesn’t matter. You get down three, I don’t care. We’re going to keep pushing, and the term ’60 minutes plus’ certainly applies.

Q. How do you channel a negative occurrence and turn it into resolve to succeed?

WILLIAMS: I think you want to atone for a mistake certainly, but you want to be at your best. Anytime you get scored on, whether you’re on the ice or not, you’re like, We’ve got to get that one back.  Just talking with my linemates, I turn a puck over, they score a goal just like that, we’re down again, so…  We got that one back and said, You know what, why can’t we be the difference, why can’t we be the line to get it going?

Q. Regarding Dustin Brown, important goal last night. A guy that you’ve seen come to another level in these playoffs. He plays on the number one line. What have you seen from him this year? Probably where he wasn’t where he wanted to be offensively in the regular season. In the playoffs it’s been different.

WILLIAMS: I think ultimately you’re judged on the team’s success as the captain of any team. Whether or not he scores 30 goals for us in a year or scores 10, he’s still a vital piece of the puzzle, just like everyone else is.  He’d be the first one to say he didn’t have a good regular-season game. But, hey, another guy who could have wilted and went away and said, This isn’t my year, pack his bag. Instead he said, I’m going to do this, play whatever role I need to play and help this team.  Hits sometimes are overlooked. When Dustin is on the ice, you know it. Whether he’s running around or scoring goals, he has a huge impact.

Q. Does he lead differently now than in 2012? Has his role as the captain changed?

WILLIAMS: I think it’s another thing with numbers, right? Just because he isn’t leading in points like he was in 2012, doesn’t mean he’s doing anything different.  He’s doing what he has to do with his own game to be successful. Kudos to him. He’s got different facets to his game that if he’s not scoring, he’s able to do a lot of other things.

Q. Do you think this is going to be an emotional game for Marian? How do you think he’ll respond?

WILLIAMS: He was up here before. What do you think? He seems very calm, doesn’t he? He’s got the ho-hum attitude. Just going to come and play at MSG, a team that traded him away.  He’s going to be gung-ho. He’s going to be excited just like the rest of us are for him.

Q. You said the word ‘resilient’ earlier. Does that come through confidence in your teammates? Where does that come from in your team?

WILLIAMS: It comes from experience. It comes from looking around the dressing room. I look at faces when I look around dressing rooms when we’re down a goal, and you can read a lot about what someone is thinking about just by looking at their face.  Between the second and third last night, I looked around, and I didn’t see anyone scared. I saw a prepared team that knew what they had to do.


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