Several days of practice, a new player in on defense, and line shuffling among the forwards wasn’t enough for the Kings. They still lost in Vegas again, this time falling 4-1 to the Golden Knights on Monday.
Following the game, coach Todd McLellan had this to say:
On if he regrets leaving the first 10 minutes of the game with only one goal
Well, that’s an easy and obvious answer, of course. If you can get up another one or two, you have a cushion for some of the mistakes that we made. From that point on, I still didn’t think we played a real poor game. It’s a hard game to evaluate right now. We’ve been in this building where we’ve been under siege and given up 50 shots and our goalies have had to stand on their head. Tonight, it didn’t feel like that. They were a lot more opportunistic than we were. They took advantage of some bounces around the net and put the puck over the goal line. When we had those opportunities, we didn’t do it. Special teams, they end up plus-one, we’re minus-one. There’s part of the result right there, as well.
On if he is happy with the lineup changes or if more are coming
We need to find some consistency. We go from having a good offensive and defensive night from one group of three; and then one line may give you a lot of offense, but they’re a disaster defensively. We have to get a two-way game going with nine consistent players on a consistent basis. I’d like to keep it as similar as much as possible. We’ll look at it again and see if we have to insert somebody different in there as well.
On if the penalty to Carl Grundstrom early in the second period changed the game
Yeah, it was, only because they scored on it. We had our opportunity, our power play opportunity, prior to that. We played in their end for probably 1:40. We looked good, but we didn’t do much with it. They keep you to the outside, we had very few shot attempts. We moved the park around well, but you don’t get marks for that. They came down and found a way to score one and that was the difference. I don’t know if the [Grundstrom] penalty itself changed the whole game, but it was a factor because they scored on their first one and we didn’t.
On what the team has to do to get back on track with the power play
[Anze Kopitar] is on to something, there is a shooting mentality that has to exist. We scored some nice goals lately and sometimes that can mislead a group into thinking that’s the way it’s always gonna be. There were some opportunities tonight, some close touches in and around the net. [Kopitar] to [Dustin Brown] back door was within inches. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. [Kopitar] is certainly on to something with a little more of a shoot mentality, get it back, and then let’s see what happens off of that rather than trying to break them down with a nice play.
On if he saw anything tonight that was a positive change from what the coaching staff preached over the past few days
We improved in some areas. It’s hard for me to sit here and tell you that. People are going, ‘What the hell is this idiot talking about?’ But we did some things better than we did in San Jose when we outshot a team two-to-one and lost. It’s just a simple fact that these guys really make you pay for your mistakes or your errors. In fact, we made fewer tonight than we did when we beat them 3-1 last time. They had us under siege in the third period and we made more mistakes in that game, probably than we did in this one and we lose 4-1.
Anze Kopitar’s postgame quotes have been published here.
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