Looking to end a three game losing streak, the Kings took a 2-1 lead late into the third period of their Friday night game with the Blues. Unfortunately for LA, St. Louis managed to tie the game and then eventually win in overtime. Although the Kings picked up a point in the standings, that’s not exactly how coach Todd McLellan saw things. Following the game, he shared several thoughts:
On if the team was chasing the empty net goal before allowing the game-tying goal
100%, I couldn’t say it better myself.
On not being able to finish chances that were frequent throughout the game
When I look at the game, I think of the too many men on the ice penalty right off the bat. The line that took the penalty hadn’t been on the ice yet, that’s unacceptable. You got to know who you’re going for and when to go. We’ve had a couple of those early in the year and it hurt us. Then at the back end of the game tonight, the last minute, we chased that empty netter and we didn’t need to. We needed one to be aggressive, two maybe to help, and three to be safe. We weren’t that. You take those two moments out of the game and I thought we played a pretty good night.
On the veteran response to late losses like this one
Our team as a whole, it doesn’t have to be the five senior veterans, our team as a whole is fairly responsible. They’re accepting of responsibility and, not necessarily consequences, but they understand the game, they understand the mistakes, they’re open to repairing them. It’s not a hard group to coach, it’s actually an enjoyable group to coach. We got to fix some things and we can’t take two steps forward and one step back. We’ve been in this situation numerous times where we’ve had leads and even with pulled goaltenders we’ve given up opportunities to win games. When it’s all set and done, we’ll look back at it and we’ll likely regret it. It’s a part of the process, part of growing.
On Rasmus Kupari’s NHL debut
Pretty solid night, little nervous to begin with but who wouldn’t be. He settled in, he was good in the circle, he was responsible in his own end, he forechecked, he had a couple scoring opportunities, that’s a pretty good night for a 20-year-old to have in his first one.
On how he would grade Kupari’s debut as a test, and if he’ll play tomorrow night
Passing. I’m a pretty simple teacher, you either pass or you fail, so passing. There’s a good chance [that he’ll play tomorrow].
On if he liked what he saw from his bottom-six forwards tonight
I didn’t like the fact that we took too many men on the ice penalty with our third line, that’s very irresponsible and it’s certainly cost us. There’s not a passing grade in that situation, but I thought that they found ways to contribute throughout the night. They played in the offensive zone, they didn’t give up many chances, some of them were relied on to penalty kill, others played on the power play in certain situations. If we take out minute three and minute 59, you’re leaving the rink fairly happy with the group as a whole.
On the procedure with players prior to tomorrow night’s game
Well do what we always do. We’ll look at the video, we’ll try and fix things that need to be fixed, whether it’s individually or collectively. The penalty to start the game with, there’s not much we can go do and say to that individual right now. He knows it, he feels really bad about it. Let’s just make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s just not being sharp. It’s unacceptable, but team game. Guys make mistakes in a team game and everybody pays for them, but that’s what we signed up for, and we’ll get better as we move forward.
On if this point is a bad point after losing the second one in the last minute of the game
59, 58 and a half minutes were pretty darn good. There’s still mistakes, we could be happier with that part of the game. To let it get away in the other minutes the way it did is disappointing. I don’t know what the most important minute of the game is, I never do, usually don’t know until after. Was it the too many men on the ice penalty that they scored on? Maybe. Was it the 6-on-5 goal? Maybe. Overtime is overtime, but those are two moments that stand out.
On not having enough 5-on-5 scoring to win close games like this
The simple answer to that question is yes. To get it to three and the cushion is much greater, you have room for error. We didn’t get it there. The answer to that would be yes.
More postgame quotes:
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