Justin Williams hasn’t been shy about addressing the Kings’ lack of scoring punch during their second-round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks. The Kings have scored eight goals in four games for the same two goals-per-game average they had during their first-round victory over the St. Louis Blues. Williams wasn’t sure what to say when a reporter asked him about the struggles of line-mate Anze Kopitar.
Here’s the exchange:
Question: You’ve played alongside Kopitar and known him long enough, you’ve seen him go through slumps before, goal-scoring slumps before, do you see anything different in him now in terms of goals not going in?
Answer: (After about five seconds) Um.
Q: I mean he’s playing against some big boys, too, (the Blues’ David) Backes and the others.
A: (After about five more seconds) Um. Do I see anything different? I don’t know. I always think … I mean … Kopi’s our best player. I think he’s … regardless of whether he’s on the score sheet or not, he’s doing something to help the team. Just because he doesn’t score … I put a lot of the responsibility on myself, as well. It’s not as though you’re going to pass up a shot to give him one. Recently, we all haven’t done the necessary things to score goals come playoff time. He’s included in that, and a lot of players are. Yeah, I couldn’t say one way or another.”
Q: This is the time the best players have to be the best players. Is this happening for this team right now.?
A: “Obviously, not. We have some guys who are stepping up. But … I mean, it’s pure broken record is what it is. Scorers’ got to score. If they don’t score, they’ve got to create more offense. We’ve been out-played so far, top line to top line, in the series. We’re a proud bunch, and it’s 2-2. We’re still in a good spot here.”
Q: Do you think there will be any carryover from the way you ended Game 4?
A: “Every game’s different. Every game’s got its own story of ups and downs, momentum swings, push back. It’s in our building. We’ve had success here. We need to maintain that, obviously, because they’ve had success at home. We won the last game of the regular season for a reason. Let’s make it worth our while.”