It’s two interviews for the prices of one today. Don talked to forward Matt Moulson, who made his debut with the Kings this season and totaled five goals and four assists in 22 games. Moulson also had 28 goals and 28 assists in 57 regular-season games with Manchester. Here’s a video of Moulson’s first goal, followed by his chat with Don…
In 57 games for Manchester this year, forward Matt Moulson tallied 28 goals, exceeding his previous season output by three, and it took the 24-year-old 77 games in 06-07 to score 25 goals.
And why only 57 games for the Monarchs this year?
That would be due to the fact that Moulson spent 22 games with the Kings from two separate call-ups during the season.
Moulson ultimately scored five goals and nine points total during his time with Los Angeles, and scored his first goal in his first NHL game against the San Jose Sharks.
Moulson is setting his sights on a permanent roster spot when the Kings head to camp this fall, and took a few minutes to talk about what it will take and how his seasons with both Manchester and Los Angeles helped in the development of his game.
Q&A: Matt Moulson
Question: Tell me a little about the season with Manchester.
Moulson: It went pretty well. I played with some really good players, but it was a little different from last year when we had a little bit older team. We had more ups and downs as a younger team. It was definitely a different path that we took from last year, but we all worked hard and dealt with a lot of adversity to get into the playoffs. Then we get there, and if there had been a few bounces our way it could have just as easily been 4-0 for us.
Question: Did it seem like you guys expended all of your energy in those last few weeks just to get into the post season?
Moulson: I don’t know if expended all of it, but all of those games against Providence were close, with three overtime games and a one-goal game with an empty-netter. If anything those last few weeks kind of put us in the right mindset for playoff hockey, but we came up short and we have to learn from that.
Question: Including the playoffs, you guys ended up playing Providence seven times in a row. Did you ever get the sense that they were a better team?
Moulson: I never did think that, especially in the dressing room we all felt like we could beat them. Even when we were down 3-0 I still felt like we could come back and beat them. I definitely won’t take anything away from them because they are a good team and got timely goaltending and some bounces and key goals and ended up beating us.
Question: You had another solid season in Manchester. How do you feel your game developed this year?
Moulson: Getting called up and getting to play in the NHL allowed me to play with a lot more confidence when I went back down. I think I learned a lot from the players and coaches in L.A. and in Manchester. When I got to the NHL and played in the best league in the world, it just really helped with my own game.
Question: Do you have anything left to prove in the American League?
Moulson: (Laughs). Well, the NHL is where I want to be next year. I want to be there the entire year. That is all I am going to be gearing for this summer.
Question: Between two call-ups with the Kings you played 22 games total. Did you have some serious butterflies in those first few games?
Moulson: It’s funny because the other day a couple of people were asking me about what it was like to score my first goal and I had to tell them that I honestly couldn’t remember (laughs). The first few games were just a blur. All I remember is eating the pre game meal before my first game in San Jose and stuffing myself because of all the good food (laughs). The first time I got called up I was just excited to be in the NHL, and then the second time I felt like I had a little more to prove. I didn’t just want to be there, I wanted to play there and play well. Not that I didn’t want to play well before, but I think I was just more determined to do better this time.
Question: How bummed out where you to get sent back down after the first call up?
Moulson: You can’t really get too bummed out, but I was pretty disappointed when they told me, but you owe it to your teammates to play well when you go back to the AHL. I knew I was going down to work on some things and I knew we were making a push for the playoffs in Manchester, so I was excited in that sense, trying to get the team in the playoffs.
Question: You had some positive impact for the Kings while you were up. You played in 22 games and the Kings won nine and lost two in overtime.
Moulson: (Laughs). I never really knew that. I got to play in some pretty big wins, like the one in Detroit where we came back after being down 3-0 and I also played in the Dallas game where we were down 4-0 and scored all of those goals in the third. We had some good wins and it was awesome to play there.
Question: What sort of feedback did you get from the team once the season was over?
Moulson: They said just to keep working on getting faster and stronger. Everyone needs to work on that. Just work on some things over the summer and hopefully battle for a spot next year.
Question: What sort of physical and mental training will you do during the off season to be ready for the next level?
Moulson: The mental is kind of tied up in the physical aspect because there are some pretty grueling workouts and training. I’m really just working with the trainers to get stronger and faster, and some of those workouts really test you mentally.
Question: I see you are listed at 210 pounds. Is that what you weigh today?
Moulson: I’m more like 205 now. I went into camp at 205 and was able to maintain that throughout the year, so hopefully I can be the same when I get to camp.
Question: It seems like you have been able to stay pretty healthy with minimal injuries.
Moulson: I’ve been lucky in that sense and I’ve been a quick healer. Every time I’ve had some bumps and bruises I’ve been able to recover quickly. I’ve always been able to bounce back.
Question: So what are you doing for fun in the offseason?
Moulson: Well, I’ve never been much of a golfer, so I don’t really do that. My brother plays lacrosse, so I’ll go watch some of those games. Nothing too exciting, but I’ll be working-out and hanging with my family and take a couple of trips – I’ll be going to Las Vegas with my friends. Oh, movies. A lot of movie time.
Question: Have you seen anything recently?
Moulson: I saw “What Happens in Vegas” yesterday.
Question: No wonder you are going to Vegas. How was it?
Moulson: It was hilarious. Loved it.