A day after the Kings suffered one of their worst losses this season, goalie Jonathan Quick found himself surrounded by familiar allies, all of them saying mea culpa.
Little went well in a 5-2 loss to the Canucks at Vancouver on Saturday night, but everyone was lining up Sunday to share the blame. Quick is often his own worst critic and he had accepted responsibility immediately after the loss.
As Kings defenseman Drew Doughty pointed out: "Quickie can't take the blame for that — some of those goals were two-on-ones, or shots that are going high, back-door passes, so definitely don't blame the game on Quickie.
"A lot of it is us defensemen need to help him out more and take away those opportunities, and forwards need to do a better job of not creating those turnovers and keeping the puck in their zone more than ours."
Quick, the most valuable player of the playoffs last season, watched his save percentage slip from .906 to .901 after the Canucks game. Typically his frustration is aimed at himself, not his teammates, and that attitude goes a long way in cementing positive relationships, something that sets him apart from other goalies.
It is also what endears him to his teammates and makes them want to play even harder in front of him.
"You don't want anyone on your team throwing teammates under the bus," Doughty said. "If we're watching TV or whatever here and we see another guy on another team throw his team under the bus, immediately we just think that guy is a bad guy.
"You don't ever see anyone on this team do that. That's because we're such a close team, a good group of guys. We all love each other and play for the man beside us."
Several minutes later, the most veteran of the healthy Kings defensemen, Rob Scuderi, was saying what he could have done differently, noting he was not aggressive enough on Vancouver's fourth goal. "You tend to back off and be a little cautious, and usually bad things pile up," Scuderi said.
Scuderi and his defense partner, Slava Voynov, had an off night against the Canucks and were a combined minus-six, this after Voynov had been one of the stronger defensemen all season. The two discussed ways of improving their communication.
"Every once in a while there's a new situation that comes up that maybe we haven't been a part of it," Scuderi said. "We'll take a look at the video the next day and see if there's anything we can do better or maybe especially on the ice, with the language barrier at times.
"Just what word he wants me to say or what word I want him to say. You try to figure out things so we're better together."
Scuderi, who is in the final year of his contract, said he does not want any outside issues to take center stage. There have been informal discussions between his camp and the Kings on a new deal.
"I'm a conservative person," Scuderi said. "I don't like there to be a lot of distraction. I just like to play. That's not to say I'm not interested. But it's one of those things.
"If we want to talk, I hope we can talk. I hope we can get moving on it and if it's one of those things where we feel it's going to drag on, I would rather say politely, 'Look, let's just deal with it at another time so we can focus on what's important, which is the hockey.' "
Where: Staples Center.
On the Air: TV: FS West; Radio: 1150.
Record vs. Predators 0-1-1.
Etc.: The Predators slipped to the lowest-scoring team in the league at a stunning 2.00 goals-per-game average.