Leafs forward Nazem Kadri spoke to the media ahead of tonight's game with the Anaheim Ducks. Here's what he had to say...
On Anaheim as a measuring stick:
They've been playing well, they're definitely hot and they've got a good squad. Their lineup has been injured and going through some issues but they're finding a way to get points. It's going to be a good test for us. If we play the way we've been playing I think we'll be well prepared.
On playing against top lines:
That's something we thrive on is trying to shut down top lines. It's a team that definitely has depth so we're going to have to shut down more than one line for sure. We've been bringing some offence but the main priority is keeping pucks out of our net.
On the growth of the coaching staff's confidence in him:
Big time, I definitely feels like it. I'm just going to try to continue and evolve as a hockey player and gain that trust and earn my ice time.
On playing with Winnik and Santorelli:
They're safety valves and I just realize that sometimes I can try to anticipate plays and jump ahead of pucks and they're going to be right behind me. There's a trust factor in the line and it's not just our line, it's any line, it helps the offence and defence.
On his mental growth on the ice:
It's just doing your pre-scouts, being prepared for games and understanding what other teams' tendencies are and just being able to read off them. I think it's just becoming more mature and developing step-by-step.
On taking advice from other players:
The older guys are people you look to who try and help with your confidence and coaches, that's what they're there for is to help you. We're all in the same boat together and trying to help each other win. Not really (one person in particular), just everyone as a group. That's what's so good about our group, you can lean on anyone to help and get advice from.
On his improved defensive numbers in the last 10 games:
It can be a little deceiving sometimes those stats, but it just means we're playing well and we're playing consistently. If you can do it over a long body of work it means your game is coming to that consistent level where everyone wants to be.
On the defensive responsibility of his linemates:
They're safety valves, you know if one play you want to jump up and give yourself more of an offensive opportunity that guys are going to be behind you to back you up in case you make a mistake. That's the great thing about this group is there are always guys behind you and people you can rely on and trust if you want to make something happen.
On his chemistry with Santorelli:
We work together really well. He's a guy that's easy to work with, he works really hard and understands the game. He's smart out there. I've just got to find opportunity to get open and the same goes for him. We find each other out there.