Following the Kings 4-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday afternoon, LA coach Todd McLellan shared these comments:
On if he liked the quality of offensive looks that the team got today
Yeah, I thought we did a much better job than we did in games prior. You go back to the game in in Los Angeles when we played against Anaheim, we’re non-existent in that area. Today against a good team and good goaltender, I thought we created a lot of good looks. I thought we kept plays alive in the offensive zone. Maybe with a little more polish we would’ve had one more, I’m thinking the power play, the one-timer across to [Adrian] Kempe, had a great opportunity there. Offensively, I thought we improved as a team tonight.
On Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s first NHL goal
Absolutely. What’s happening over the last few games with [Arthur Kaliyev] getting his and Jaret [Anderson-Dolan] getting his tonight, the bench was really excited for him, it up lifted all of us. He’s worked really hard; he’s bided his time and deserved all the ice time he’s got over the last two games. Did a good job penalty killing, played well five-on-five, and was rewarded with the goal. We’re happy with what he’s been providing.
On if the team made the defensive adjustments that they talked about, or if the number of rush chances are still a concern
There’s still a concern, we gave up way fewer of them. You look at the goals, we turn the puck over in the neutral zone on the first one and they came right back at us. The second one, I think we can handle so much better and we’re very capable of doing it in our zone and d-zone. The third one was the one that was very poorly played, but it was by a couple of relatively inexperienced players, and they make you pay for mistakes and as a result, that was the one that probably broke our back more than anything.
On what needs to happen to end the losing streak
Well, we’re addressing them as we go. We just don’t wait for practice, we do it every day. I’m gonna say this again, our game as a whole needs to get better and every area. Structurally, in the offensive zone we can see improvements as we go forward night after night, and that’s good, we’ve got to continue to keep plays alive. Our neutral zone, there’s times we’ve been sagging and letting them take the plate to us. Our zone, we pick some things, we’re not in our zone for extended periods. It’s hard when you’re interviewing me to give you a checklist of all the things that we need to work on. We’re a young team, we’re a team that’s working its way through a lot of adversity with bodies missing and that type of stuff, and our practices are going to be our practices. We’re going to address the whole area. Power plays been really good, tonight it didn’t quite get us one, our probably kills been outstanding, they got one off a stick. Sometimes special teams are a bounce here and a bounce there, so I can’t give you a checklist.
On if the lack of success on power play tonight was more about what the Knights were doing, or what the Kings weren’t doing
A combination of both. We were sloppy at times, there’s other times we had some really good looks at the net we didn’t finish it. I’m not overly concerned about it, I think it’s in a good spot right now. There’s gonna be nights where we execute well, there’s other nights where the opponent we played does a really good job to stop it. Sometimes the goalie is gonna get in the way and some nights we’ll get a lucky one where it sneaks in. I’m more concerned about our five-on-five play.
On Austin Strand looking more comfortable in his second NHL game
I think any player who gets through game one – and let’s face it, it was coming pretty quick at him – is gonna feel a little better than next night. I think your your assessment of him, I would agree with, for sure.
On if the reassembled line of Andersson-Vilardi-Kempe gave him what he needed tonight
Not defensively, but offensively I thought they were involved in some good opportunities. Gave was much better in the face-off circle, they started with the puck a lot more, he looked like he was in command of the line. Kempe skated, so they were good. But, when you look at some of the defensive play, they were on for the second and third goal. I think those that were responsible can do a better job of defending in those situations.
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