Notes and quotes from the locker room

Practice was called off for tomorrow. This was actually the first time the Kings have lost back-to-back games since Jan. 8, when they lost to Nashville after falling to Calgary. Wayne Gretzky got his 100th career coaching victory, against his former team.

Crawford talked about the team looking tired. He said it was an observation, not an excuse. They were playing their third game in four nights, coming off the long road trip and with the flu bug going around. Kopitar said he still had some flu in him. Crawford was really hard on Dallman for the third goal.

At least the Kings showed some fire in the third and Ivanans got to vent his frustration, unlike previous blowout defeats earlier in the season.

The quotes aren’t that long (no one wants to talk much after a loss like this), so I’ll attach both Crawford’s and the players’ to this post. I did ask Crawford for his thoughts on why Boyle was sent down, so check out his answer …

“We didnt start very well. We took the penalty early in the game and they scored pretty quickly on that, and it seemed to not be our night from pretty much that point on. I thought the things that were disappointing in the game were that we didnt have a lot of compete and our skating just wasnt there. Any plays that we made seemed to get thwarted and any time we did anything it seemed we didnt counter-act very well.

“It was a disappointing effort. We looked like we were a tired hockey club. Its not an excuse, its an observation. I dont think we battled with the intensity you need to battle with. The guys squeezed a little bit in the third period but that should have been there in the first and second period as well. We didnt play well enough.”

On Phoenix’s second goal after Brown’s turnover: “A lot of times when teams get lift its the type of goals they score. We knew this would be a challenging game, three games in four nights with the amount of travel weve done here lately. We wanted as a team to do simple things well, and part of simple things is to eliminate turnovers. Look at goals they scored. They scored one power-play goal — OK, they got a shot thorugh and it got through, Then the turnover with brown, a turnover with OSullivan on the last goal and the young kid Carcillo beat Dallman one-on-one, which is a play that shouldnt happen. At this level, defenseman dont get beat one-on-one. After that, that was it. Other than that, there wasnt that many chances in the game for them. We didnt muster much because I didnt think we skated hard enough and we didnt do the things we needed to until it was too late. We had seven chances in the third period but the game was over.”

On Lauri Tukonen: “That was a tough game to evaluate him on. Our execution overall in the game was terrible, especially early in the game. When looking at players like that, you’re looking at execution, looking at hows the puck movement, how are we supporting the puck and that sort of thing. He tried to get in on hit early in game and took the worst of it, but he probably followed suit of pretty much everyone else in the lineup.”

On why the Kings sent down Boyle: “Well, they want to give guys like Lauri Tukonen a look. They felt that, in the case of brian, hes still got stuff to learn. Brians going to be a good player. Hes performed really well at this level. Hes a guy we know will be in our lineup, yet when talking about development you can develop in a number of different ways. I think hell probably get another opportunity here before too long. I believe thats what the plan will be. On other side of it, he’s just got to go down and be the best player down there. If you try to figure everything out as a player, you usually end up thinking too much. Organizations feel that development is huge for young players and development comes in different forms. Down there hes going to play a little more, play in all situations. Here he was getting some power-play time and about 12-13 minutes a game. He certainly played great while he was here but he probably needs to play a little more and then hell get another chance up here.”

On the struggles with Phoenix: “It’s perplexing to all of us. I think we match up well against them but, for whatever reason, they have our number. They find ways to beat us. We’ve had a few close games with them, and a couple games like this. They’re in the playoff hunt too, and they did a good job of coming out early and establishing their fore-check and coming out with speed. We sat back and got caught on our heels early and they took it from there.”

“There’s still some flu in me but I feel better. When you play, even if you have the flu, you kind of forget it during the game. I was a little more fatigued but it didnt really affect me.”

On struggles with Phoenix: “It is strange. We really dont know why. We all know we should beat this team if we want to be a playoff-type of team. There should be no excuses why we didnt play the first two periods like third one, when I think we got shots on the net and played a simple game. ”

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