Today is the NHL Media Day at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. This is where the players and staff are available for questions from the media and it’s exciting to hear from them and what they are thinking. I have a few great quotes from our guys but first we have a few pictures from practice before the Kings left for New Jersey. A couple King’s fans took these pictures at the Practice Center this past weekend and have shared with us. Thanks so much!:
Greene, Kopitar and Penner. I think this really shows you just how big Penner is compared to the other players!
Hard working Dustin “Captain America” Brown.
Drew Doughty complete concentration.
Gagne in a contact jersey. Gagne played 34 games in the regular season. In order to have your name on the Cup, you must play 41 regular season games or 1 Stanley Cup Final Game. So IF we were to win, Gagne must play at least in one game against the Devils to have his name on the cup. Stick him on the Power Play!
NHL Network has covered the Media Day event the past few years and this year we were able to watch online and pick the players we wanted to see in their entire interview. I liked this because the screen was split into 4 panels and I could switch around to hear from our guys. I am paraphrasing the quotes as I did not tape the interviews but wrote down interesting tidbits. So here are a few pictures from Media Day to go along with their quotes.
Jonathan Quick had a lot of questions about how he had to carry games. His replies:
- He never stole games. It was a whole team effort.
- His job is to stop the puck – that’s it.
- Whoever is going to work harder is going to win and we have to continue to do that.
Dustin Brown spoke so eloquently regarding the Kings. I was very impressed. A few of his thoughts:
- Sutter pushed him to be a better coach and player. He had to look himself in the mirror and Sutter helped him do that.
- It is easy for him to put his head down and work and not get caught up in media.
- He is excited to be here but doesn’t want to just be here.
- Hard forecheck is key to the Kings game and get through the neutral zone successfully.
- The Kings need to play like they have been with contributions from everyone.
Drew Doughty faced a few very tough questions and he came through as honest and genuine. His thoughts:
- He talked about how Terry Murray helped him be the player he is today defensively.
- His teammates made fun of him because of his outburst at the last Coyotes game. He said he was so mad at the refs and lost his emotions and he will not do that again.
- He talked about how he signed a huge contract and wanted to live up to it and feels he is doing that now.
- He talked about how you don’t get this chance very often and how he and Carter especially getting this chance again is something they do not want to let go.
- When asked about how his numbers were down with the Kings, Richards said he felt that the Kings are in the final because of their style of defensive play.
- He is not surprised the Kings are here at the finals because they worked hard and found consistency.
Kopitar was so happy to be there and was extremely genuine:
- He feels that the Kings will have their hands full with the Devil’s forwards.
- He felt excited to be playing against one of the greatest goalies in history (his words).
- It has always been his dream to play in the NHL.
- He feels that he has room for improvement. He said you need to take care of yourself in the off season and then continue to work during the season to improve.
You can go to NHL.com for more quotes and video coverage of Media Day.
NHL.com also takes a closer look at six potential candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles
2. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey
3. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles
4. Zach Parise, New Jersey
5. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles
6. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey
Who would you pick? I think as of today, I’d go with Dustin Brown. His leadership both on and off the ice during the playoffs is heads above the rest. But I’m biased.
Go Kings Go!