With Monday being a holiday this week, our traditional notebook clearing was pushed out one day. We’re still interested in starting off fresh, though. With that in mined, here’s another random collection of unpublished thoughts from recent chats with LA Kings players…
Trevor Moore on playing with Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Carl Grundstrom
I think it’s gone pretty well. I told [Anderson-Dolan] his first game I was looking forward to playing with him. He’s a guy who works hard, he’s direct, and he’s responsible. Carl, same thing. I’ve played with him for a while now and I think that’s a good foundation to build on. As far as moving forward, we have a do better job of creating more offense, myself included. We just have to be able to keep more plays alive, get more pucks back in the forecheck. That’s gonna come through hard work and all that kind of stuff.
On the message in the locker room on the importance of good starts in games
That’s the goal every game; you hear from the leaders and hear from the coaching staff. At the end of the day, we just have to be more prepared and come out and do it. We can talk about all we want, but we just have to go out there and get it done.
On the little things that the team has to do to have better starts to games
Just simplify early, right? Just get pucks in and get on the forecheck. Todd was talking today about winning changes and getting them tired, getting our fresh legs out there against their tired legs. If you can start doing that early, it just builds, and it makes the game a whole lot easier from there. Focus on ways you can tilt the ice like that.
On what his line wants to accomplish as their role on the team
I’ve been in pro hockey for a little bit now and you notice that the bottom six guys, to gain the ice time, you have to build the trust of the coaching staff and the team. As a line, we know we want to be responsible, which is something we all do anyway, so that’s good. Then, we want to just be a line that’s hard to play against and in all three zones. It’s something we’ve talked about, and we have to keep going. Like I said, we just have to start making more plays in the o-zone, but the foundation is there and we’re just going to keep building.
Carl Grundstrom on what’s clicking between him, JAD, and Moore
I think we’re all skating a lot and help each other out. We want to play play fast, so I think we have the have the same mindset. I think that’s a big key.
On putting the team’s record aside, if he’s accomplished what he wanted to as an individual so far this season
It’s been a good start, for sure, but I’m not happy yet. I think I can do more offensively, but I’m pretty happy with the way I’ve played and our line has played. I think we should just keep keep going that way and hopefully we can can help more offensively, as well.
On if tries to pick up small tendencies from other guys he plays with or is still more focused on developing his own skill set
I try to see and learn from the veteran guys, of course. But everyone is not playing the same way, so I try to adjust a little bit to who I’m playing with. They’re all great guys here, so it’s really easy.
On if there’s one veteran player who he spends the most time trying to learn from
I would say Dustin Brown. I like the way he plays his game and I’ve tried to learn a lot from him.
On being added to the power play recently and what he hopes to bring to his PP unit
I think I’m pretty good around the net. Hopefully, I can help out in that area. I think that’s why they put me on the power play, to be a good around the net and screen goalies, and put in some rebounds and stuff like that.
Matt Luff on working his way back from injury
Obviously, that’s not what – two games into the season to go down with an injury. But Kinger and his training staff did a great job making sure I could skate a couple days after, just to stay in shape. When you’re not skating, it’s tough to come back. Luckily, I was able to skate with Frky and Turcotte. My overall conditioning is good, it felt good to be out there last game. First two periods were good, inda got a little tired there near the end of the third, but overall it was good.
On the stress of being having a great offseason, strong camp, then being sidelined with an injury, and seeing other players perform well and begin to secure limited NHL roster spots
You have to be happy for those guys. You see Jadey (Anderson-Dolan), Grundy, and Moorsey doing well. At the end of the day, those are your teammates. I played with Jadey last year, and all three of them are such great players. It just adds competition and that’s kinda what you need. You can’t really let it affect you. I have to go out there and play my game. I think I did that last game. Just keep going, you can’t compare yourself to other guys on the roster. I play my own style and they play their own style. If it works, it works, and you just keep going.
On if there are game details he notices while in the press box that he can use in his game when he comes back
Of course. When you watch the game from a higher angle, you see how things develop and how plays come about. You watch that top line of Kopi, Brownie, and Iafallo, they just work so well defensively and offensively. You watch older guys like Carts, he’s one of the guys I’ve talked to more this year about what he does and how he works. Watching the game from up top, you see how plays develop and where you have more time versus making the quick play. You just get to see it from a different perspective.
On McLellan asking the bottom six to bring a spark to the lineup and what he’s doing toward that goal when he’s in the lineup
Automatically, first shifts, you wanna get out there and lay the puck in, whether it’s a rim or just a soft chip, just create a good forecheck. You want to be a ball of energy that hands it off to whoever comes on after you. As long as you hand off a good shift to another line, it’s going to keep going. You saw that in the first and second period of last game, guys just building off each other and we had success. Going out there with your linemates, being hard on pucks, and wanting to have it. If you’re first on pucks all the time, you’re probably going to have the most chances.
On talking with Jeff Carter
Carts sits right in front of me in the room now. When we’re getting dressed or whatever, we will talk. And when we get out in the hallway, we’ll be the first two guys out there before games. He just talks to me and it’s easy. He’s one of those guys that’s been around for a while and he’s been so successful. He’s a guy I can use. Every game, he tells me to use my shot, he’s been doing the same thing. Whether it was in training camp or in games, he’s been shooting the puck and its been going in. He only has two goals this year, but I think he’s a guy who in these 50+ games, he can easily put up 20. With his speed and such, it’s insane. I just talk to him about the ups and downs of it, being a young kid and how to stay in the lineup consistently, how to create chances. You’re gonna have to get some dirty goals. He’s just easy to talk to and I really enjoy the conversations with him.
During the offseason, Luff joined Kings Of The Podcast – if you missed that episode, click here to listen now.
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Lead image via Getty Images / LA Kings
Some quotes may have been slightly edited for brevity and/or clarity.