Notes and quotes from the locker room

Not a bad way to go into the break, winners of five of seven and with a big victory over your rivals.

“Any time you beat a team like that and a rival, its huge, Jason LaBarbera said. “Its a great way to go into the break. We can enjoy ourselves for the next couple of days.

Kopitar had his 19th goal of the season, one short of the 20 he had as a rookie.

“Were playing much better and I think everyone sees that, Kopitar said. “We arent giving up a lot of goals. We are limiting the chances we give up and were creating offense better than we did before.

Teddy Purcell got his first NHL point on a sweet, backhanded pass from the left boards to Derek Armstrong in front of the net for the second goal.

“Yeah, that was pretty nice,” Purcell said. “It was a great pass from Modry on the breakout. We had a 2-on-1 and it was a good job by Army letting me know I had some time there and he was going to net. I just made a pass and he made a nice goal.”

Matt Moulson also had a point, helping to set up Alexander Frolov for the third goal of the game — the one that knocked out Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

“We really like the contributions of these young guys that have come in, Marc Crawford said. “I think our players are getting more excited to have youth in our group.

Crawford said Purcell and Moulson are likely to stay with the team for the eight-game road trip that follows the break.

“Right now we have so many injuries that I dont think it’s a question,” Crawford said. “It doesnt look like Cammalleri will be back immediately. It doesnt look like Nagy will even go on the trip. Willsie is probably the closest but I think he still may be a little bit away. So I suspect those guys will continue on with us. I dont know if they will go back and play some games for the Monarchs here now during the break. They have played well. I thought their contribution ton was good on the scoreboard but particularly good just overall.”

I caught Nagy coming out of the locker room and asked him about the injury. He said it occurred during the game at Calgary and he felt a twinge immediately then woke up the next day with it extremely sore.

“I thought it would be better the last four or five days but it’s not getting better so I’m staying here,” Nagy said. “Hopefully the next couple of days it will be much better because it’s getting frustrating. It’s like a detachment of a nerve. There’s a burning that goes all the way to my left side. I’ve never felt anything like it before. I had knee surgery and that didn’t bother me like this one.”

Click the continuation to read Crawford’s full post-game quotes.
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Kings-Ducks underway

I’m reminded of earlier this season when Raitis Ivanans expressed dislike for Chris Pronger and the way Pronger attacked Michal Handzus when Ivanans was injured. This is the first Kings-Ducks game since where Ivanans has been healthy enough to fight.

Crawford shook up the lines a little bit. Moulson is playing with Armstrong and Frolov on the second line. Calder is down with Handzus and Purcell.

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Online commentary: Blake needs to go

So says Matt McHale, who preceded me on the Kings beat. As part of the Daily News’ expanded and (hopefully) improved online content, he will be writing periodic commentaries on some of the bigger issues in the Southern California sports scene. Today, he tackles the question of whether Rob Blake should be traded. You can probably guess the answer by the headline…

Kings’ Blake needs to go

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Clarification on Kopitar’s father

Matjaz is going to coach the Slovenian national team in three tournaments. After joining Anze in Atlanta for the All-Star game, he is heading to Europe for one of the tournaments. He will rejoin Anze in Los Angeles Feb. 18. When the other tournaments arrive, he will again go to Europe for around two weeks each time. But he will continue living here.

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Brian Burke on Oscar Moller

The Vancouver Province had a quote from Ducks general manager Brian Burke on Kings prospect Oscar Moller.

“His hockey sense is terrific and I think the sky’s the limit,” Burke said. “His skating has to improve a bit and he has to get bigger, but what great hockey sense and what a high battle level.

“If he plays for L.A., yeah, I won’t be a fan of his.”

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Anze’s namesake

Someone recently e-mailed to the Kings Insider on the official Kings Web site that he and his girlfriend had named their daughter Anjae, after Anze Kopitar.

I asked Kopitar what he thought of that, and here was his response: “That’s actually pretty funny. If they want to do it, it’s fine with me. They must be really passionate Kings fans.”

Kopitar said his first name isn’t very common in his homeland of Slovenia, but that he knew of a couple other people with the name growing up.

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