When the LA Kings players and coaches gathered for exit interviews on Sunday, following their elimination from postseason play on Saturday night, defenseman Drew Doughty shared the following thoughts…
Doughty on his overall thoughts of playing in the postseason this year compared to being on the sidelines last season:
I really felt good about it before the series started. I was excited to play. I did think I played well, I played hard. But I would like to have done more. I didn’t play my best in every game. There are some I played really well; but, overall, I would like to have played better.
On if this team is good enough to reach a Conference Final:
Yeah, I think that we are. Unfortunately, we hit a good team in Edmonton again this year. They got better, just like we did. But we didn’t perform to the best of our abilities in this round. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. There were moments where we did play our best, but I do think we have the talent and the team to get to a Conference Final.
On the similarities to this team and the 2010-2012 years, where the Kings lost two years in a row in the first round before going on a deeper playoff run — and if this team is getting close to that:
Yeah, I do. I think we have a really, really good team in here. I think we did some great things at the Deadline there to get those two players. Hopefully we can get them re-signed. You have to experience those tough moments at times to grow your team and get that experience. Obviously, we would like not to lose, but it’s good to get some more experience for some young guys. We’ll come back next year with a vengeance. We can’t be losing in Round 1 again next year.
On what Joonas Korpisalo brought to the team:
Korpi is great. He played unbelievable. He’s a good goalie, great guy, fits in with the boys amazing. I thought he played fantastic. And you can’t forget about Copley. He played great for us in the season. He kind of turned around our season a little bit when he started playing. Both of our goalies, hopefully — I don’t know what will happen, but I would love for both of them to be back.
On what he can do to help get Vladislav Gavrikov re-signed in Los Angeles:
I don’t know. Give him a million bucks of my contract? (laughter) I’m talking to him. I’m trying to convince him. It’s a pretty easy sell. We play in a great city here, we have great fans. It’s an easy one. It basically just comes down to taxes, I think, to be honest. I think that we’ll hopefully be able to sign him, and I think he wants to be a King.
On if GM Rob Blake needs to improve the roster this offseason:
I don’t know the situation. Obviously, you always want to try to improve if you can; or young guys getting better, that’ll obviously improve it too. I’m not saying we need to go out there and get pieces this year. I think that he did a great job with that. We just need to perform better. I still think that we didn’t show our best hockey, and that’s why we lost. If we had played our best, obviously, I hope it would have been different. I’m really happy with the team we have here. I think that we’re much better than we just showed this year.
On the fact the Kings will likely be playing Edmonton again in the playoffs…
[ed. note: he cut the reporter’s question off and jumped in] We want that. I want to play Edmonton again. I want to beat them. We made some adjustments before last night’s game, and we were, I thought, the better team in last night’s game. I would love to play Edmonton again. That rivalry is growing and growing, and that’s the type of things you live for. That’s all I’m going to be thinking about all summer is the Edmonton Oilers, losing to them, and getting another chance at it.
On if there are any players still competing in the playoffs who he would like to see win the Stanley Cup:
I don’t really want to see anybody. But, I would like to see some of my buddies in Toronto, like Wayne Simmonds, lift the Cup. I think he really deserves it. He’s had a long, tough career; a lot of injuries, played his ass off. I’d like to see Wayne Simmonds lift the Stanley Cup. Besides him, no one else.
On if he’ll be tuning in to watch other games over the balance of the playoffs:
I’m sure I’ll watch it at times when I’m at home. I’ll definitely watch it sometimes, but you definitely have to unplug a little bit. All we’re going to think about is Edmonton for the next week, and how we could have done better, played better, whatever. So I need to turn it off, go on a trip or something like that.
On if the Kings maybe showed the Oilers too much respect when Edmonton was on the power play and LA was trying to defend it:
They have a great power play, first off. Second, I don’t know. We tried to make adjustments. I don’t know if they worked or not, but I think it kind of came down to blocking more shots at times. I don’t really have a direct answer for you about the PK there, but it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why we lost. It’s frustrating because I think PK comes down to just how much you want it and how much you’re going to put yourself on the line to get it done. Not that the guys weren’t trying to do that, we were. They just really do have a great power play.
On what more the younger players need to do to help LA go deeper in the playoffs:
You need your top guys, your veterans and your leaders, to obviously play great. But you’re not going to go anywhere with just the top guys being great. You need everyone to be pulling along. You need to be able to play four lines. For the [younger guys], just have a great off season, work your butt off, be ready to go next season. That’s for the whole team; just everyone do the same thing. Come back stronger next year and excited to play and excited to win.
More on his play in the postseason:
I was frustrated with the amount of offense I created in this series. That was probably my flaw, but I was really happy with my defensive game. I played hard, made big hits. I love playoff hockey. That’s what I’m built for most. Against a team like that, as frustrated as I am about my offense, sometimes you just can’t try to create too much when you’re playing against such great players like that. That’s just the bottom line. I think that is part of the pedigree to winning, is sacrificing something to try to help your team win. I tried to do that. Unfortunately, I just didn’t keep them off the board enough.
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