The Los Angeles Kings' four-day break ahead of their game against the Dallas Stars did them no good. As they came out looking flat and rusty Thursday night.
To make matters worse, the all too common theme of shaky goaltending came back to bite the Kings. This time in the form of Pheonix Copley struggling and eventually getting pulled halfway through the second period.
It was a game where things just weren't clicking for the Kings, as they struggled to connect on simple passes and weren't doing the little things right all night.
Hear from Anze Kopitar and Todd McLellan on what went wrong against Dallas.
Kopitar on how the four-day break impacted the team:
It's definitely a factor, but we could have played better and made it closer, or at least made it interesting.
Kopitar on what the players can do to compensate for a slow start:
Keep it simple, do the little plays. The puck was bouncing on us, it was a lot of factors and, obviously, the first period didn't go the way we wanted it to go and it showed on the scoreboard.
On the upcoming road trip not giving the team time to dwell on this loss:
Yeah, it's probably the best thing to happen, to go right back at it. Obviously, have three (games) in four nights. I personally like to go back out there and correct it in a game, not a practice.
McLellan on the effort the team put in:
I think this whole four days off, we didn't take a century off, we took four days. And every team has a four-day break here and there. We didn't play well in the first period. I thought as the game wore on we found some legs a little bit, we started putting two or three passes together. We created more momentum and chances in the offensive zone. But we also have to think about their mentality, they played back-to-back. They had a three-goal lead in San Jose last night; there's no way that team with their leaders, at least I know one of them in there for sure, and the coach real well, they weren't giving up a three-goal lead in back-to-back games. So, we self-inflicted our own misery early in the game and tried to find our game as it wore on. I don't know the outcome until we play again but we kept stressing 'find your game, find your individual game, find your hands, find your head,' the whole night. As they (the players) drive home they have to self-evaluate. 'How am I feeling, what did I get out of that game?' Because we're going on the road, we're going to need to perform at a higher night than we did tonight.
McLellan on if the Kings have a goaltending problem:
We have goaltending moments. But we have d(efense) moments and forward moments that don't go our way.
McLellan on if switching Pheonix Copley for Jonathan Quick was a momentum switch:
Yeah, well Pheonix, obviously, has played well for us. Maybe his poorest game that he's had with us. We thought about it after the first period, but he hadn't played in eight days, so we wanted to give him more time. But it was a good time for Quickie to go in and I thought Quickie played well. He didn't get a lot of action, but he was in the game. He made some good puck-handling touches and stops right off the bat on the penalty kill. If there's a positive, he got a few minutes in and got to feel good about himself.
On the plan in net for the upcoming road trip:
It's an odd trip the way it's laid out, we're going to play three of the first six games in the first four nights of a 12-day road trip. So, common sense is, we can't run one guy there and we know that. So, they'll both get to play in those situations and then after that, we'll have more time, we get rest, we get practice we'll see where the team is at.