Up 2-0 early in the game, things were going the Kings way on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Even after Anaheim tied it up 2-2, LA controlled most of the third period and had several chances to put the game away. Instead, Cam Fowler potted a goal in the final minute of regulation and that was that.
Following the game, here’s what coach Todd McLellan had to share:
On the pros and cons of the powerplay changes he made
There were a lot more cons than pros, I can tell you that. It should be a time for us to drive a dagger into another team and get hungry and put the game out of reach, and it’s not that right now. It starts from right behind our own net, breaking out, guys aren’t alert, they’re not sharp for the puck. We very rarely attack north-south right now in the offensive zone; we want to go east-west through everything. Sometimes the puck gets through, and we just start all over again. Yeah, we got a goal tonight, and it was the most direct our powerplay has been in awhile, but the rest of it didn’t meet NHL standards.
On how he thought Quinton Byfield settled into the game and if he got better as the game went on
[Byfield] started strong, I’m sure that that made him feel comfortable. He contributed to a lot of offensive chances, he was good in the circle, he had a pretty good idea and understanding of the structure and how we wanted to play. Overall, definitely a passing grade for him; he was probably one of our better players. We had some guys that we certainly count on night in and night out that didn’t have very good nights tonight, it’s something they need to fix.
On if the thought coming into the game tonight was to play Byfield 18 minutes, or if he earned it as the night progressed
He earned the opportunity as the game went along; he was one of the better players. If we didn’t trust him, we didn’t feel good to put him on the ice, we wouldn’t. His minutes and the opportunity he got reflects his play and hopefully we can grow on that.
On if Byfield’s success in the defensive zone faceoffs (4/4) help take the load off other centers
We certainly hope so. He’s gonna play in the league for a lot of years by the look of it tonight. He’s gonna take many, many faceoffs, certainly believe he can win his share. The fact that he had a positive night tonight is a good start. A lot of things he can take out of the game tonight to gain confidence.
If the team was able to match the Ducks intensity after Adrian Kempe’s shorthanded goal
Obviously, the game went their way after that. I didn’t think the rink was tilted one way or the other. It wasn’t a great game, at least from our perspective. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play, the execution. When you’re not sharp, and you’re not executing properly, it’s gonna be one ugly game, and it was that for us. I don’t know about their team, but certainly for us it was that.
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