Earlier this morning, Head Coach Todd McLellan and General Manager/Vice President Rob Blake caught up with the media for their end of season "exit interviews."
McLellan, who confirmed he would be back behind the Kings bench next season covered a flurry of topics, ranging from his impressions, both good and bad this season, to the development of the younger players and prospects, to his expectations and focuses this offseason, and much, much more.
Here are some of coach McLellan's words as we close out the 2020-21 abbreviated season:
Evaluating the player's performances this season:
"We have to look at the whole body of work. There were ebbs and flows in every individual's play this year. We have to ask ourselves 'Why did their play start off well and then fall off?' Each player has unique circumstances we have to consider."
Where he sees the team's identity heading:
"I think we're still evolving. We're in the process of taking young prospects and honing their game for the NHL. There's a young group [of prospects] coming in based on their offensive talent, and that's great because we need it. We should evolve into a better offensive team over time, but we can't give up the defensive side.
What worked well in the first half of the season:
"Early in the year, we were a frustrating team to play against because we checked well and didn't give up much through the neutral zone. Our power-play was very dangerous and our penalty kill was good. We were also getting some really good goaltending early, and our team felt that our goalies could steal some games. A lot of those comments gives us the reassurance that we're doing the right things."
Video: Todd McLellan after the 2020-21 season
Following McLellan's virtual sit-down with the media, GM Rob Blake joined the zoom session and spoke with the media. The Hall-of-Famer and former Stanley Cup champion also covered a wide array of topics, ranging from the disappointment of the last third of the season, to the readiness of the ample amount of prospects going into next season, to addressing the team's offseason aggressiveness and plans.
Here are some of the responses Blake had to the media's questions:
The importance of this offseason for the team's success moving forward:
"This summer is very important. It's a step further in the direction we want to get to where we can progress and get better. We've put ourselves in a good position to do that. We understand where some of the certain holes may be and we're a year farther on the progression of our [younger] players.
Blake on Drew Doughty's comments that, "there's no point in waiting for prospects to develop, we've got to bring guys in":
"We want to get better. There's a reason you put yourselves in a position to get better. We are going to continue to see young guys filter into the lineup and see them develop, that's not going to change. But, we will take the necessary steps to get better."
If no changes were made this offseason, would the current roster be good enough to make the playoffs next year?
"It wasn't this year, obviously. We need to add to it. You do get a full season of gaining experience for some of our younger players, but we need to add to our roster to get better."
Is it imperative that the Kings make the playoffs next season?
"Yes. That's our goal. 100%."
Video: Rob Blake after the 2020-21 season