Thursday: Gaborik talks fitting into such a tight-knit team

Kings Ducks GaborikComments from Kings forward Marian Gaborik during Thursday’s media availability in Los Angeles…

Q. What was it like last night playing against some of your former teammates?

GABORIK: It was a little weird to start out with. But as soon as the puck dropped, it was playing like any other team.  Obviously it was a huge win for us. Wasn’t pretty one, but we’ll take it for sure.

Q. Do you ever shake your head wondering, How do we keep falling behind and have to keep coming back and being able to do it as often as you have?

GABORIK: Yeah, I don’t know, it’s not a perfect situation. We can’t always get away with this, losing 2-0 right from the get-go. We have to make sure we learn from it and just have to have a better start next game because it could have been 3-0 easily.  Quicky made some great saves. We were able to come back. We just have to play like we did in third period.

Q. As a relatively new member of the team, how would you describe what the Kings do well that has brought so much success for them?

GABORIK: Well, I think we have four centers that maybe on the other team would be top two centers. We roll four lines. We have great depth with great goaltending.  That’s a big part. I would say that would be it.

Q. You waited a long time to get to this point, to have this chance. Three wins away from a Stanley Cup, is it hard not to think about it?

GABORIK: It feels great to be in Finals. I was in league since 2000. It’s been a long time coming. I’m grateful to be in this position. Of course, last night was very important for us.  We know it’s not going to be easy down the road. We have to play a better game overall in terms to be able to beat this team.  I think we got away with one yesterday. We just have to be better in Game 2.

Q. Dean talked about when he made the trade, he had the opportunity to be able to talk to you, your desire to want to play. What made L.A. such a good fit for you?

GABORIK: I don’t know. When I got traded, I wanted to fit in in terms of on the ice and off the ice. This team has been together for couple years here. 90% of those guys won Cup two years ago.  When you’re coming to a team that has won and been contender past few years, you want to make sure you fit in, buy into the system, try and contribute. That was my focus.  Also off the ice it’s important to be part of the team, to have the team take you in, to feel a part of it. It feels great.

Q. Mike Richards took you around. The guys welcomed you immediately. Talk about that.

GABORIK: Yeah, I mean, I started on the road which was good, too, to get to know the guys a little bit better off the ice. We were in Canada for a week. It was great.  Yeah, him, Kopy, Willie, those guys really helped me out. You could tell that this team has a great locker room. Without that I don’t think they would be able to be a winning team.

Q. I think in the off-season back home you live with Chara and Hossa. If you touch the Cup or not, you were probably happy for them but at the same time wondering what that would be like.

GABORIK: I went to all of those parties. That maybe gives you that extra motivation to see those guys winning the Cup.  No, I didn’t touch it, by the way. I was very happy for them. That gives you that extra motivation, seeing guys living on the same street, to have them win it, give you extra jolt, extra motivation to be right with that group.

Q. What surprised you about the Rangers last night?

GABORIK: Well, I mean, nothing really surprised me because everybody knows, and I know, that they have a really balanced team, great goaltending. Their speed, you could see that. We just have to adjust to that, not give those guys that type of room to skate with.  Our special teams and power play have to be better. We have to watch out for those loose pucks. Speedy guys like Hagelin definitely took advantage of that last night. We have to do better stuff there. There are few things we have to clear up, as well.

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