Thoughts from Kings coach Todd McLellan on Friday, January 8…
On Mikey Eyssimont
We’re in a situation here where, we have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to taxi and the 23-man roster and all that type of stuff. At this point, I can’t give you an update on who specifically would be in those situations, including Mikey. But I can talk positively about Mikey. He climbed the ladder last year in the organization. I think that he is a quality player. He has a tenacity and some speed that the organization can use. Is he ready to push somebody out yet? We’re not sure yet, but we will continue to monitor his progress and we think he’s really important. Let’s see where all this takes us. As the year evolves, there’s a chance he could be a part of the big club.
On if he’s looking for anything specific during the scrimmage tomorrow, or it’s just more of the same
I don’t think it’s ever more of the same. There are things that we’ve worked on during camp. The thing that will come out of this is the fact that we’ll have, a big-building intensity – there won’t be any noise, though. The whole environment we’re going to experience for the first time; we have to remember that there are rules in the game and we have to get away from hooking and holding and wrapping, doing some of the things that we’re doing in practice right now. I’d like to think that the officials will call numerous penalties. That would put us in a situation where we can be penalty killers. It’s more about just getting back to what a gameday routine is gonna feel like in this new world. There’s gonna be a lot of changes.
On who will be officiating the scrimmage
I’m not exactly sure who it’ll be, but it’ll be professional officials. I don’t know exactly who it is yet, but they will have professionals.
More on the scrimmage, including if it will be controlled situations or more game-like in nature
It will be a drop the puck and play situation and they’ll create their own situations. We need that right now. It’ll be that type of scenario, where line changes will be important and shift length will be important. Stuff that you can’t always control and practice.
On what Olli Maatta has brought to the penalty kill during camp
When you think of Chicago and Pittsburgh, they had a lot of success over the the chunk of time that he was there and played a prominent role on those special teams. We think that he’ll do it here. His experience and ability to adapt to the new way, or to the way we want to do it here, as been really impressive. He’s confident, he has a good anticipation skills, good legs, things that you need on a penalty kill.
On Kurtis MacDermind maybe being overlooked by some people
He’s not overlooked by anybody in the locker room or the coaches room. Not one bit. He’s front and center, period. He’s a real glue guy, can’t stress that enough. He looks after players, he has an intensity to him that’s really important, off the ice and in the gym. On the ice, he works on his game as hard as anybody. He’s the type of player that everybody cheers for and appreciates what he does. He’s appreciated that way. On the ice, he’s learned to defend even better. He’s not just a one-dimensional player, he has multi-dimensions to him and we hope that he can continue to improve and have a really good long career here in Los Angeles.
On the thought of doing zoom calls for the next four months
I enjoy — for the most part, not all the time, you guys — but for the most, part I enjoy gathering around with you guys and talking. Often it’s the conversation after the the interview, that’s even more important; finding out a little bit about you guys, what’s going on in your lives, and that type of stuff. I think it’s really healthy. I miss that and I’m getting tired of talking to computers. I can’t wait for the day we get back to normalcy, hopefully soon.
On if either goaltender has pulled ahead in camp
Not yet, no. They’re both having good training camps, getting better as camp goes on, as we expected. An analogy would be the pitchers in baseball, they start out and they just keep improving as training camp goes on. That’s where we are with our goaltenders. They’ve worked extremely hard, a lot of extra time put in and they both look like they’re they’re getting there. We’ll be ready to start.
On how the goalies will be used during the season
Camp isn’t over, we still have a week left. We’ll see how the rest of this goes. We’ll see how the scrimmage goes tomorrow. We haven’t sat down and said, ‘Here’s how we’re gonna lay the schedule out for the goaltenders’ yet. Not sure if that answers your question, but that’s where we’re at.
More on tomorrow afternoon’s scrimmage at Staples Center
We’ll definitely go the the full, regular season game routine. We’re gonna have warm-up, we’re coming off, we’re gonna have TV timeouts, we’re gonna scrape the ice. I want our guys to get back to feeling what the whole rhythm is of a game. We’re not just going there to play 30 minutes of straight time. We can do that here in our own building. We’re gonna try and live it, as much as we possibly can for reality. Then, there is the potential of overtime and a shootout. We’ll consider that when we get near the end of the game.
On how ‘confidence’ shows up when watching Maatta’s game
One, the way he carries himself – shoulders rolled back, his head is high, there’s no doubt in his game when he when he goes to make a play. Even if it’s a mistake or a bad read, he does it with some authority on the ice. The way he carries himself in the locker room, the type of questions he asks and when he asks them. There’s no fear of speaking up and wondering what you might look like in your teammate’s eyes. He has the courage to do that type of stuff. It’s very easy to tell that he’s been in the league and won Stanley Cups; just in the way he behaves.
On the passing of Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda
I remember growing up and watching the Dodgers play, and Tommy. How he carried himself and how he represented the the Dodger organization and the city of LA. He’ll be sorely missed. I’m sure that for a lot of us in the sporting world, there’s some mentorship that he can hand down to us. We’ll see more of the Tommy Lasorda memories over the next few days on TV and we should all be paying attention because he found a way to win in a lot of different ways, not only on the field, but a real classy guy. Like I said, he has a lot that he can pass down to all of us in the sporting world.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com