Following the Kings 4-3 loss to the visiting San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, LA coach Todd McLellan shared these comments:
On the response of the young defensemen after losing Drew Doughty late in the game
We were. That’s a lot of experience that a lot of them probably weren’t going to receive two weeks ago, but they’ve earned the right to play. Guys like Austin Strand really opened up our eyes, he’s been a pretty good defensemen for us the last three or four games that he’s had to play. It’s a lot to ask of five younger, four young guys, four really young guys like that to be put in those situations. They’re only gonna be better for it down the, line but right now it stings a little bit, but I thought they played their hearts out. They were pretty effective for most of the second half of the game. Even the last goal, I don’t think we lost the game because of the empty net goal. I think we lost the game because of the first goal. A lot of those young players weren’t on the ice for that.
On if Cal Petersen has jumped Jonathan Quick on the goalie depth chart
We need two to play and Cal [Petersen] has been really good, there’s just too much hockey to declare one the leader and one the follower. [Jonathan Quick] had some really good games at the beginning of the season, so we’re gonna count on them both.
On if he has an update on Drew Doughty
No, I don’t.
On if he has a clearer idea or an estimate on Doughty’s injury
I don’t have an update. He blocked a shot. I would give you something if I had something. Blocked a shot.
— Eric (@Kingsgifs) February 10, 2021
On what Jaret Anderson-Dolan did to earn extra ice time tonight
That line has been effective since we put them together, all three games. They’ve worked real hard, they’ve been very conscientious defensively, they haven’t given up very much, and they play a simple, straightforward game and they deserve to be out there. Their minutes came at the cost of some others that weren’t playing well. We went to three lines in the third period, and they earned the right to be out there.
On if he liked the chemistry of Carter playing with Vilardi late in the game
Well, we shuffled some lines around going into the third and that was one of the changes we made. I thought Carts played better once he got there.
On what he expects from his veteran leadership group
I expect a lot from the veteran players right now. They have to guide the youth through some rocky roads right now. Like every other team, we’re dealing with injuries, we’re dealing with COVID issues and they have to come to the rink every day and set the tone. Their professionalism is really important. They’re early energy and dictating the pace of the game, I didn’t think we did a good job of that tonight. But the fact that they were there to lead and keep the team focused to get through a bad start, I think was really important. And as we move forward, some of that has to rub off on some of the younger players. As we move down the road here, Gabe Vilardi and players like that are going to become veteran guys, they’ll have to take the reigns eventually. I think they have good leaders to watch right now and learn from.
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Ed Shapiro says
I personally never had hopes this squad would make the playoffs. It’s a learning year that allows our young players to get more experience both in the NHL and the minors. Vilardi looks great when he’s in the open. I’m still waiting for him to crush or get crushed against the boards to test his back. Strand definitely opened eyes tonight. Mikey Anderson seems to be getting caught out of place a bunch. He may not be ready for prime time minutes.