Crawford interview

He of course liked the competitiveness of the team to come back. He thought losing Brown for fighting was a big part of the second-period breakdown. He didn’t even realize that it was Kopitar who knocked in the tying goal. He must have been fixated on the play by Jack Johnson to make the diving block of the shot on the empty net and control it to lead the final charge — as we all were. And he talks about the NHL debut of Ersberg.

“This is as good an overtime loss as youre ever going to see. It was special to see our guys battle the way they did, and everybody had to be involved in it. All 20 players played in the third period, and I thought all 20 players contributed. Ersberg had to make a couple of saves, especially on the breakaway. When youre taking chances, youre going to give up some chances especially to a team that has good offensive ability and good speed. The real gratifying thing was we didnt stray from what we needed to do. We had to get pucks to the neck, we had to get bodies to the net, we had to outmuscle them for goals. And that takes determination. I really compliment our guys. That was a lot of blood and guts there in the third period. And, like I said, it was a real team effort to be able to come back like that.

“We were out of sync in the second period. For five minutes, we were totally out of sync. We gave up some uncharacteristic big chances. We left Danny alone. Thats a compliment that we were able to respond and rebound like that. I thought that its a real character-builder for our team. Weve done it twice now, comeback. Weve won one and lost one. That doesnt take away from it. Thats a real character builder and hopefully it gives our guys some insight into what you have to do and how hard you have to work to be successful.

“I thought we had a great first period. It seemed as though the timing kind of got to us in the second period. There was the fight with Brown and Seabrook, so we didnt have Dustin for those five minutes and Dustins a big part for what we do. He often plays on two lines. Not having probably threw us out of sync. It threw our lines out of sync a little bit. And we got caught standing still, especially in defensive coverage, against a team that skates very well and has good puck movement. Chicago thats a team that has as good of forwards as there is in the National Hockey League. They tax you. Theyve got the young Ruutu kid playing on arguably their fourth line and hes a talented player. All those other guys, Toews and Kane and Lang and Williams. You go down that list and their all talented forwards. We unfortunately didnt collapse back, left some open space and they took advantage of it. But we were able to regroup at the end of the second period and I thought we got the game back to where we at least got a few chances. And then in the third it was just a matter of staying with it. The guys did a terrific job of getting pucks to the net and battling. The compete they had to show in the third period was an extremely high level of compete. Thats a desperate team over there. They still think they have a chance and dont think they sat back on it at all because they didnt. We had to force our way through to get all those chances and those goals. They were all hard-working, go to the net, crash the net type of goals.

“When we made it 5-2, thats the first one. The 5-3 goal we recognized OK, now we got to make a real strong push. We pulled our goalie and tried see if we could get it going and we got it. We got the one with one minute to go. We still had our timeout left and we were able to utilize that. And I think Jack Johnson made the play of the game. His effort to fight off a very competitive Toews and keep the play alive. Then we went down, Fro showed a lot of patience with the puck and Im not even sure who got the goal, but obviously it was a real good battle at the net.”

On Ersberg: “I thought when he came in he did what you expect. We werent very good, lets face it. For the five minutes in the second period, we were terrible. We got out of sync, we had to change some momentum. So he came in. He didnt have much work in the second but he had to make those two big saves in the third, especially the one on Sharp. Unfortunately, he was tagged with the defeat but that was a pretty good outing for him and he was as big a part of the point as anybody in the room.”

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  • Paul

    One thing games like this, and the Stars game, and the Wings game will do for a young team like the Kings is teach the key players how to win, and that they’re never out of a game.

    Experiences like this will be HUGE for the Kings over the next few years as they continue to improve.

  • daveS

    i am sure in am a small minority here, but this has been one of the most enjoyable seasons for me in a long, long time.
    the Kings have been in most every game and they have imho grown substantially with every game, win or loose.
    the only downside for me is reading all the haters before, during and after the games.

    go Kings

  • DuckBasher

    daveS said: “this has been one of the most enjoyable seasons for me in a long, long time”

    I agree Dave. The team overall has played super boring hockey for quite a few years now (and yes, losing is usually boring). The Murray years had me wanting to become an ex-king fan. The losses were boring losses. But like you said, this year… there’s something special on most nights. This team is going to come together, and I’m thinking sooner than later. It will be interesting to see if DL can find those last few pieces to the puzzle. But for me… I’m seeing the picture he’s trying to put together, And I like it!