Olli Maatta likes LA Kings playoff chances in 2021 season

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
LA Kings Training Camp Drew Doughty
LA Kings Training Camp (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Olli Maatta said he hopes to get more special teams play with the LA Kings

On Drew Doughty suggesting you both have similar styles of play

Well, we do think the game the same way. And that’s a big thing. I think especially the last two days being with him…he talks a lot, so that’s one of the key things. We have to both just communicate — like what do you like to do in different situations? So when the game comes, you know, it’s automatic.

You can’t really think and hesitate out there. It has to come naturally. But I think all the things in the last two days, I think it’s felt pretty good. Especially breaking out on the blue line. I think I almost already know where he’s going to be and, it feels like there isn’t a big gap in how we approach a game.

On whether Drew Doughty is similar to anyone he’s played with before

I think he’s one of the best D-men league, I do. And he’s definitely shown that. And I think he’s a little different. I can’t really think of anybody who kind of plays like that. He understands the game so well. And he sees the ice, and I feel like he’s just making the right plays all the time. I guess he’s just Drew Doughty.

On what he learned from Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews

I think just the work they put in every day. Both of them on and off the ice. I think that’s huge. They’re awesome guys. They’re really, really good to everybody. They take everybody into teams like it’s nothing. Young guys, it seems like everybody who came whether it was Pittsburgh or Chicago, were welcomed, and right away it didn’t it take long to get settled in.

Because that’s what it takes. When you have new guests coming in, you have to be a team right away. You don’t have that time to get to know the guy. It’s always started from those guys. I think they were awesome, but then the other thing, how professional they were on the ice — how much work they put in, how much time they probably think in a game.

They’ve definitely been taking care of their bodies and staying healthy. I think that was something I’ve definitely learned from those guys.

On what he considers to be the strengths of his game

Yeah, I think one of the things is, I gotta be reliable and solid. The breakouts are one thing. I think we have to get out of our own zone quickly and that’s what I take pride in obviously. It’s a two-parter in today’s game. You got to get the puck to your forwards. That way, you don’t spend so much time in your own zone defending. I get tired there and then you kind of lose the momentum in the game.

Other things, just defending, especially within the offensive zone, just shutting down plays nice and early. That way, it just makes it easy for everybody. I think that’s the way he (Doughty) thinks the game, too. Obviously, the less time you spend in your own zone, the more time you’re going to be offensive zone, and that’s how good things happen.

On getting time during special teams in Pittsburgh.

I think being on the powerplay went down a little bit the more I progressed in my career. The penalty kill was always there. Five on five. yeah, definitely all that, but I think powerplay — that’s something I’ve always wanted to work on more, just be more reliable offensively to produce more there.

But not taking anything away, not giving up anything on the other side of the game. So I think that’s something I’ll always think of how I can produce more offensively without giving up anything. That’s something I’ve been working on and trying, still trying to work on.