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Running Quotes for Bruins vs Canadiens on 1/1

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Friday, January 1, 2016

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On the disappointment of today’s game considering the stage…
Yeah, it’s disappointing for sure. You know we weren’t skating well, we weren’t moving the puck well. On the other hand, they were doing everything they were supposed to. You know it’s for sure disappointing, it’s a big game, it’s a big stage. It’s obviously a game that you want to have a good game, have a good performance and we didn’t.

On the team’s mindset after being down 1-0 and struggling to get shots in the first period…
Well we knew we had a chance at that point, we knew we only had a few shots. They were controlling the first twenty. At that point even after having a bad first twenty we were still only one goal behind. That was kind of the only positive that we could have took out of the first period.

On how frustrating a game like this is for Tuukka Rask…
Obviously he made some big saves, he was our best player. We didn’t play, like I said, the way we should have in front of him.

On the momentum turning on Matt Beleskey’s goal…
Yeah I think that we were all waiting for that first goal to come earlier. We were obviously close in the second, our power play a few seconds later would have had that goal. We were playing much better after we had our first goal, we were feeding off the energy, but again that came late.

On how much Brandon Gallagher changes their lineup…
Well he’s an effective player for them. It’s always positive when injured players come back.

On not having Krejci or Marchand…
Yeah I’m sure it was noticeable a bit that we were missing these guys but we can’t use that as an excuse. In the course of a season you run into injuries and that’s the way it is.

On the positives that can come out of this game…
I think that when you look at this game the most important thing that we didn’t have were legs and the pace of the game and if you don’t have that, I don’t think anything else will follow. Those were the two major things that we didn't have.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LANDON FERRARO
On when he felt the Bruins generated some momentum…
I thought five minutes into the second — I thought from there on we were playing well. We got on the forecheck more, we started getting around their net. I think we had three shots after the first or something like that and we got 10, 12 more in the second. I thought we carried it, but again, we gave up another goal. When you have not much going for you and you finally get on your horse a bit and they score again, it takes a bit away from you.

On the reason why it was so hard to find a spark…
I have no idea. I don’t want to say anything that’s going to be an excuse. We have guys out and everything like that, but we found a way last game, and we lose Marchy [Brad Marchand], but we have players here that can take control, and step up, and we didn’t tonight. So kind of just leave it at that, I guess.

On wanting a better performance from the team on the big stage…
It’s something that you want to leave here with a good memory, not how we’re feeling right now. It’s something that you’ve looked forward to for a long time, and we’re not happy with how we played and how we came into the game. So we need to figure that out moving forward here. At the end of the day, it’s another game where we lost two points to move ahead of them, and we’re going to have to try and keep climbing now.

On what Brad Marchand brings to the team…
Well, he brings energy, he brings skill — he’s leading us in goals right now and he’s a big part of the team, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter. It’s no different than guys going out for long periods of time with an injury. He’s out for three games. We can’t sit back and say, OK, we’re going to lose three and figure it out when he gets back. It’s tight right now, but if you lose three like that, it’s — we could be far back down and have to work our way out. It’s getting too late in the year to be doing that all the time.

On the atmosphere at Gillette Stadium…
It was great, for the beginning. You enjoy it, and it was loud and exciting, but it loses momentum pretty quick when they get on top of you and you can’t seem to get back up to the surface quick enough. So it’s disappointing, and there’s 70,000 people here coming to see us play, and wanted a little more effort out of that.

On the team’s jump in the third period…
Guys just having enough of not playing. We weren’t happy with how we played in the first, and we were a little happier in the second, but just knowing if we get one early, which we did — we were confident we’d come back on the team before, and we scored three in the third last time against them — there was no reason we couldn’t do it again tonight. But there was no — I don’t want to say it wasn’t going our way because we didn’t give ourselves a chance to get those bounces.

On his observations of Gillette Stadium coming out of the tunnel at the beginning of the game…
You look up, and there’s — how big the stands are and how filled they were, and right from the anthems and everything, and all the fireworks… It was really exciting, and you try not to look around too much, but the anthem’s going on, and you’re look around, you see the plane over top — it’s exciting. It’s everything you thought it was going to be.

MONTREAL CANADIENS DEFENSEMAN P.K. SUBBAN
On how satisfying today’s win was …
It’s very satisfying obviously.  It being the new year and we know how tough of a month December was for us, we wanted to come out and start on the right foot and just give ourselves a chance to win the game and I felt everybody was ready.  Everybody was prepared and was sharp.  It’s a tough game sometimes to be fully focused for, a lot of distractions and things going on but right from the drop of the puck, we were on the puck, we were on them.  We didn’t give them a chance to breathe and that’s the type of game that they play but I thought we were just sharper today and it showed.  Throughout the whole game I don’t think there was a time that they pushed back and we didn’t have an answer.  Our power play generated a lot of momentum for us, we kept it simple, we got pucks to the net and that’s where it started.

On if he was surprised that the Bruins weren’t as into the game as the Canadiens were... No I thought that they were into it, I just think that sometimes the way a team is playing, it doesn’t allow you to get momentum and build momentum.  The moment when they did get things going, or they had a bounce or two, we took care of the puck and we got it out of the zone, we released pressure and we set up our system again and made it tough for them to come through the neutral zone.  It’s tough to get your forecheck going when you’re chipping the puck all game and you’re chipping it to nobody.  We’ve been in that position before where we aren’t able to get the ball rolling and just build momentum but for us we were able to keep our foot on the gas and just roll it.  It didn’t matter who we had on the ice today, whether it was our first line or fourth line we had everybody going.
 On what the atmosphere was like out there… Yeah it was great, I think the message though was also like you know, do you want to be just a participant in the Winter Classic or do you want to win it?  And for us we wanted to win.  You could tell in the dressing room, we all looked at each other and said “listen we are going to enjoy this a lot more if we win it so lets give ourselves a chance to win that”, and that’s what we did today.  The puck went ion the net for us too.  It’s a lot easier to play your system and be more patient when the puck is going in for you.

On the play of Mike Condon… Yeah I thought he played well, he was our best player today period.  There is no question about it.  When you look at the success we have had over the last month and a half, when he is our best player, we win.  He was great today and he gave us an opportunity to win the game and he was sharp.

On if winning a game like this makes you forget about December… Well listen, you know there is going to be ups and downs during the season and you have to be prepared for that and just respond the right way to the ups and the downs.  I felt that when we have gone through rough patches we have done a pretty good job of sticking together and focusing on the next opportunity to kind of right our wrongs.  Today was an opportunity for us to set the tone, a statement game to prepare us for the new year and I thought that we responded the right way.

On if it feels better to win this game over a normal regular season game…
You know it’s big, you know for us maybe this game means a little bit more because of the way things have gone over December but a win is a win and the thing is that now that it’s over you gotta get ready for the next game you know.  This is not a Stanley Cup championship game, this is a Winter Classic and obviously it’s a big stage and a lot of people are watching but it definitely feels good to win this one.

On the conditions of the ice today…
You know what, usually in these types of games you hear a lot of negatives, you know maybe from players and as a player in the NHL, I am very happy with the way that the NHL prepared the ice.  Yesterday it wasn’t great, today it felt better than some NHL rinks on some nights.  It was hard, it was fast and the ice was not a factor in the game today.  If anything it complimented the game and it’s easy to say for the winning team that scores five goals, you know I don’t know how they feel on the other side but for us definitely the ice was great.  I played in the Heritage Classic before where the ice was terrible you know so.  It was a fun game to play.

On how it felt to score early in the first and second period… You know what, the goals were just sort of the result of the process, the way we played.  I thought we played so well, we managed the puck, when we didn’t manage it and we turned it over we had guys backing each other up.  All over the ice I thought we just took care of the puck, we were just sharper, we were on the puck, a lot more jump, a lot more jam and I think the fact that we haven’t gotten the result that we wanted over the past month or so maybe was us kind of seeing it as an opportunity for us to start off the new year the right way.

On what it’s like to beat the Bruins in an outdoor game… You know what it’s big, it’s big.  The two points, I mean especially in the standings is big because we know what the standings are right now.  I know I think we were just one point ahead of these guys and they had 2 games in hand so it was a big game for us.  We wanted to at least come out looking to give ourselves like I said an opportunity to win and we did that today.  Listen, at the end of the day we got the two points and that’s all that matters.

On if he would agree with Max Pacioretty that this was the most fun game to play in… Yeah it was a lot of fun, it was a lot of fun.  It was really really cool.  The NHL did a great job today preparing it.  Like I said, it’s easy for the winning team to love everything about the game because they win but the fact is when you look at the whole pregame show and the national anthem, the fireworks, the plane flying over, you have family and friends there, it’s great.  The icing on the cake is obviously the win.

On if he caught himself looking around the stadium at times, taking it all in… I mean, you know it’s Gillette Stadium, the stadium Tom Brady built so you know it’s one of those.  It’s a pretty cool experience being there but it’s one of those things that you remember for the rest of your life and I think it’s not so much where the game was but against who it was and you know there will be a ton more Winter Classic games but Montreal Boston, I don’t think it gets any bigger than that so I’m very happy to know that I played in it.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMEN TOREY KRUG
On why the Bruins didn’t play well…
Good question…I think with so much on the line I just think, uh, we weren’t prepared, we weren’t ready. They were obviously ready to play and it showed. Um, they were first to the puck the whole first period and for most of the game, even in the second period. And, really almost felt like we were waiting for someone to take control, and, um, that’s really unfortunate and tough for the stage that we were on today. 
On how the team couldn’t be ready especially with the importance of standings...
I mean if we had the answer we would have been ready for sure. Um, you talk about it, I mean, it’s such a big game guys talk about; I think maybe we were over hyped, a little bit over nervous to start. But, at some point you think it’s going to click and it seemed like, uh, I said before, we were just waiting around, waiting for a bounce or a something and, you know, finally in the third period, uh, we score a goal and it seems like we have things rolling a little bit and we have them back on their heels and, uh, all the sudden they get one really quickly and, um, that’s frustrating for sure. I mean, uh, there’s no excuses, we just weren’t ready to play and, and we weren’t, um, you know, we didn’t represent the Bruins or the city of Boston very well today.

On if the Bruins had scored earlier in the game would the outcome have been different…
Yeah, I think it’s always what-ifs, I mean, uh, forever now it’s going to be a game we’re not very proud of and we’re always going to look back and, um, be embarrassed about, you know, we just didn’t do a good job of responding. I thought emotionally, you know, it was there for them and it wasn’t for us, and when the other team scores a goal or a big play happens we need our, our best players to step up and, um, make something happen for us and unfortunately we were just waiting around tonight, and uh, it’s not acceptable.

On not having Brad Marchand in the game…
Yeah, uh, he’s a spark plug for this team; he’s one of the leaders and, um, he obviously helps us tremendously. And, you saw what [Brendan] Gallagher did tonight or them; I thought he was a, a very good player for his team and, uh, it’s kind of what [Brad Marchand] Marshy brings to the table for us and he’s huge for us he plays in all situations and it’s just, uh, too bad. We don’t make any excuses, I mean, we know that, uh, with the group that we had tonight we were capable of winning this hockey game, so it’s, uh, it falls on our shoulders, nothing else, it’s just the players.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On not executing the game plan…
…I don’t know I just think we just mentally not there I guess. Weren’t executing the game plan like we wanted to in skate. When a couple little things go wrong like that it becomes big and then that’s the way it looked like. We gave them a ton of scoring chances in those two periods, which is unlike us. The chances you give up then you have to create some scoring chances, you know. We didn’t do that.

On if he knows why the Bruins weren’t mentally prepared for the game…
I don’t know - tough to say. But you know when things go wrong you have to stick with the game plan and you know play your system and we didn’t do that. So then it just snowballs and it becomes 5-1.

On their first three goals…
Well you know, we were trying out there and sometimes you just don’t have it. And today we got scored on a couple times right in front of the net and it definitely hurt us.

On if there was any adjustment for him…
No I felt fine, it was just like a normal game. A little breeze sometimes, but it felt like a normal game.

On if was tough to lose while having so many fans there…
Yeah, yeah great event. But you know losing like that obviously takes the fun out of it, you know. Too bad we couldn’t give the fans a little bit more to cheer for, you know.

On if it annoys him that the team didn’t have more energy…
Yeah, yeah that’s it- we looked flat out there and they kind off caught us off guard. And it’s just disappointing… it’s very disappointing. I really don’t know what else to say.

On what to do next…
We’ll look at some game tape and try to move on. I think next game is going to be Washington [Capitals], definitely not going to get any easier. So tighten up a little bit and move on…yeah.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On how he explains the first period and going nearly 15 minutes without a shot…
We couldn’t generate any rhythm. You know, we weren’t first on pucks. We were second on every one of them and you can’t get any pucks on net if you don’t have the puck, so that was basically the reason why.

On Tuukka Rask being the reason why they were only down one…
Yeah definitely. I think Tuukka [Rask] was the reason why we were down by one and we had to, you know, find something to get back in the game and it wasn’t happening. Even the chances we got, you know, the few chances where we could, you know, maybe get a goal and we weren’t bearing down and we weren’t making plays, and, you know, it can’t happen and it’s definitely a tough loss for us.

On whether the high expectations contributed to the team’s nerves…
I don’t think so. I mean, you know, maybe some of the nerves were there, but, you know, it was there for both sides so you have to manage that and find ways to step up in games like this and we definitely didn’t do that tonight, today actually, so we’ve got to be a lot better.

On how important it is to put this loss behind them and prepare for the next game…
You have to. I mean, I guess bottom line is it’s a two-point game. It’s a regular season game, and that’s all you have to do is to, you know, we’ve lost some games this year where we didn’t play our best and it’s disappointing tonight on a big stage like the Winter Classic to not show up like that, but at the same time you have to put it behind you and move forward. We’re playing some big teams coming up and it’s huge points for us.

On whether he could appreciate the moment even though the result wasn’t what they wanted…
Yeah, I think I was trying to do that in warm up and kind of appreciate and soak everything in and realize how special it was to be on the ice and be there. After that I was trying to get focused and get back to being ready and yeah, so it’s tough to enjoy when you’re playing catch up hockey all game.

On Tuukka Rask being very upset after the game and whether he could sense his emotion during the game…
I think everyone’s really disappointed, really frustrated with the way we showed up tonight, today, sorry. And I can’t pinpoint one reason why, but yeah it’s tough to get embarrassed like that in a big game.

On whether the lack of Brad Marchand affecting things…
Well, I mean, you know, we’re missing some key players. We’ve always said that we can’t use it as an excuse and we’re definitely not going to use that today and, you know, he’s a big part of our team on all of, I guess, the facets that he plays that he does on the ice, but we have to do the job without them.

On how he felt playing with Loui Eriksson…
I felt fine. I thought, you know, I’ve played with Loui before so it’s not necessarily, you know, I know how he plays and his tendencies, but, you know, we have to definitely generate more offense.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG
On how disappointed he was with the loss…
Very disappointed. Obviously we wanted to play harder, come out with more jump and move our legs more, just have more of an attack going, getting pucks to the net with guys there. But we never were able to establish any offense so that’s why we lost.

On if it was something that Montreal did that caused the Bruins issues…
No, I don’t think so. They played a clean game and we just didn’t play our game; we didn’t move our feet, we didn’t support each other whenever we had the puck, whether it was in the battles or on the attack. I think that was the main problem, we just didn’t help each other out and that’s why we didn’t create anything offensively and we lost.

On how important it is to put this behind them with Washington next on the schedule…
Very important. You can’t dwell on the loss too long, you play the second day. So maybe it’s a good thing that we play a good team next and get back on our horse and hopefully win the next one.

On if he feels that the team let the city down…
We did have high expectations as well. Like you said, we definitely feel like we let everybody down. It was such a big buildup, I’m sure everybody in here wanted to come out on the ice with a little bit more jump and bring a little bit better effort. But that wasn’t the case today. We have to  look forward, our next game is in a couple days and that’s our main priority right now.

On playing from behind…
Well, that always changes the game. You have to open up a little more, you hang into the offensive zone a little longer to create something offensively. That’s why we gave up odd-man rushes at the end and they used them to their advantage. But again, just didn’t play good enough overall.

On what the ice conditions were like…
The ice was very good. Way, way better than yesterday. The lighting was good too. The conditions were great, nothing to complain about. We just didn’t execute.

On not answering after Montreal scored…
I think the whole game we didn’t play the way we wanted to. Our game plan was to come out and skate hard and put pressure on them, but we never created anything offensively. We didn’t support each other defensively, getting out of the zone or in the offensive zone. That’s why we never got momentum going and that’s why we didn’t score enough.

On if it was tough to for them defensively right in front of the net…
They got the puck to the net with guys there. That’s what we wanted to do too, the just did it better and they’re good at it. You saw [Brendan] Gallagher batting it out of there. That’s their game. But overall, we just have to be strong in front and just clear guys out.

On if the team must remind itself that it is just one game…
It is. But when it’s such a big game, such a big hype, you want to perform and show everybody what you can do. We let everybody down, basically, didn’t play the way we wanted to.

On if there was too much excitement at the start…
No, I think everybody was excited, coming out of the corner there and seeing everybody; it was great. There’s no real explanation for us coming out a little flat and not playing the way we were supposed to.

On if he was surprised by the performance…
I’m sure everybody in here wanted to play better. Surprised? I mean, games like that happen. It shouldn’t happen, especially in an event like that. But again, we can’t really dwell on it too long. There’s another game in a couple days.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD JIMMY HAYES
On how disappointing this loss is…
Yeah, you know, when you’ve got a big game like that, it was a big game in the standings for us, but you’ve got to be ready to go and we came out flat and they took advantage of it.

On whether it was frustration that led to his fight with Lars Eller…
Yeah, it was just two guys competing. That’s all it is.

On Tuukka Rask’s performance…
He played well. He kept us in the game for majority of the game and they got a lot of pucks on net and he kept us in it throughout the game and we didn’t put any pucks in the net.

On whether he was able to enjoy the game at all knowing how close they were in the standings…
Yeah, I mean, we got beat so that’s tough to enjoy taking a beating like that, but, you know, it’s hockey and we’ve got to get back on it and get back on the right track and win some games and catch up in the standings.

On the ice conditions…
They were great. The ice was, you know, a typical outdoor game, but we came out a little flat and we’ve got to be better.

On creating a screen on Matt Beleskey’s goal and his battle in front of the net…
We had to do that more tonight. [Mike] Condon’s a good goalie and you’ve got to get traffic on him to get some goals and, you know, he had a great deflection and it beat him.

On whether the Canadiens’ speed caused any issues…
I mean we’re a good skating team too, but, you know, they got the best of us today so we’ve got to find a way to maintain that speed and generate some more quickness in our game.

On what made the difference in their play at the beginning of the third period…
Well, you’re down 3-0, so you’ve got to come out hard, but I mean you’ve got to come out like that the whole game to keep yourself in the game and give a team like that three goals it’s kind of tough to come back.

On what he thought about playing in the Winter Classic…
I mean it was a good experience but you always want to get a win and that’s what we play for. We play for wins and didn’t get the two points today.

On whether it felt different hearing “Let’s go Bruins” chants from nearly 70,000 fans…
Yeah, it was pretty loud today.You know, we’ve got some great fans and, you know, they’re always there to support us so it was fun hearing them get into it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MATT BELESKEY
On not being able finding the spark...
I think we.. we just didn’t respond well to the big stage I think. We were a little hesitant, it showed in the first period, they kind of got their momentum and it’s tough to come back on one like that.

On what Brad Marchand brings to the game and how he could have been helpful...
Oh he brings a lot, everyone knows what he brings. He brings the spark plug, he’s a great player so.. you know we are missing some key guys and that’s not an excuse, I still think we.. we didn’t respond pretty much.

On their tough schedule up ahead...
Yeah I wouldn’t, at the end of the day, it’s one game. It’s two points, and they were two big points, but you know we got to look at this as a great experience, we had a lot of fun with it and now we move on. We try to get ready for the rest of the season there.

On how they gave up some goals early in the game...
Well obviously not, it didn’t pay off. When you give up goals early in the periods, it’s tough to get that momentum and to build back and that happened tonight. I think in the third we were... we were building and unlucky bounce, Frankie [Vatrano] catches a toe pick there and you know it’s four-one, that’s kind of an even bigger hill to climb.

On if he felt like they started off flat...
Yeah, I think guys respond to the big stage. This is a big game, this is you know everyone is watching this game you got to be ready and I think we didn’t show up when we needed to show up, it showed.

On how this stage can feel similar to a playoff game...
It’s very similar, obviously playoffs are more important. Winter Classic is more for the fans and it’s a fun event but playoff are the playoffs and I always like these types of games. You know not too much more to be said about this game, I wish we would have came out on top.

On what it feels like when he is making big hits, but it’s not sparking the team...
I don’t think it didn’t spark the team. I think we had good moments where we showed good pressure and I think they batted two pucks in the air. You know they kind of got those bounces a little bit…

On how he felt about the crowd...
Oh yeah that was a great crowd and great atmosphere to be part of. I’m sure once the loss kind of wears off you are going to look back and think how great this experience is being out there. We appreciate the fans staying right until the very end, you know obviously we would have been liked to be better and came out with a better outcome.

On if he feels shell shocked with the outcome...
Yeah I don’t know if it’s any more than another game, it’s just that I wish we would have came out more assertive. We just needed to be on our heels from the get-go and it showed, I mean with three shots on net in the first period. We’ve got to be ready for a big stage and when it comes down to the playoff season, these are the types of games you have to play and I hope we learned a lesson and learned that we got to be better.


MONTREAL CANADIENS FORWARD MAX PACIORETTY
On what a win like this does for the team moving forward…
You know it’s a new year and it honestly felt like a new season going into this game. It’s a big stage, it’s a new month, new year, you know we got Gally [Brendan Gallagher] back. It was just a really, really nice way to start the year, and we played a great game, and we came out strong at the beginning of the game, and really played our best in the first period, and that means a lot. And there’s just so many people that deserve a lot of credit tonight. I thought a guy like [Mark] Barberio might not be talked about, but in my eyes was one of the best players on the ice. And then the obvious guys. It’s just really nice to see a lot of guys up and down the lineup really play their best tonight.

On the effect Brendan Gallagher had being back in the lineup…
Huge. You know Gally [Brendan Gallagher] is a huge part of this team, and you know we all know that, everybody knows the way he plays and why he has success is because he plays the same way every night. And he had some lights tonight, and he really helped out our team and our line a lot.

On how Mike Condon played being here in Boston…
Yeah I mean that’s the obvious first star and top player of the game in my eyes. He made a lot of really big saves early on, and I think that big glove save really got the boys going. You know it’s really impressive you know the pressure that he’s had on his shoulders, and at this stage to step up and play that way really says a lot about his character.

On the ice conditions…
The ice was perfect. I mean whoever made that ice deserves a lot of credit. I honestly thought it was some of the best ice I’ve ever played on. So it I thought it was absolutely perfect, and it made the adjustment to playing outside that much easier.

On how big of a boost they get from a big win on a big stage…
Yeah you know we genuinely felt like it was you know a new chapter of our season, you know coming in to the new year, a big stage like this. You know we played the right way tonight and we’ve got to keep going that way from here on out. It obviously wasn’t good losing one player there. You know we hope we keep rolling the same way. It takes everybody, and like I said, up and down the lineup everyone played their best tonight and that’s what it takes to win games.

On whether he thinks this was one of the team’s best performances this season…
Yeah I thought so. I mentioned a couple of the D-men and you know Eme [Alexei Emelin] who hasn’t been in the lineup for a while, he stepped up and played an awesome game. You know it’s easy to give the obvious guys credit, but I was just so proud of the way a lot of the guys who people probably aren’t talking about – I’m proud of the way they played, especially on a big stage, especially all things considered. So up and down the lineup, you’ve really got to give everybody credit.

On whether his arm is OK…
Yeah. (That was crazy.) Yeah, I felt bad I got kind of mad, upset after it, but yeah it’s OK.

On whether a win like this makes him forget about their struggles earlier in the season…
It really – It’s so weird, I didn’t even think about our struggles or our scoring struggles or our winning struggles, you know throughout that game or going into the second or the third period. It really felt like just a new year. You know we turned the chapter on some of the last month actually. We don’t want to think about December, we want to think about 2016. And we started off on the right foot, and we’ve got to keep going the same way.

On whether he expected this game to be a springboard…
Yeah. I mean obviously getting asked that often and feeling that way gave us a little bit more energy. We knew that we had to get out of this, but being able to do so on a big stage could, like you said, jumpstart our team success for the new year.

On getting an early lead…
That was huge. Yeah you know scoring has obviously been where we’ve been lacking, so for Davey [David Desharnais] to get that goal early really gave us a lot of motivation you know to step up and keep going. And I think that first period was one of our best periods of hockey this year, and that jumpstarted the period.

On where his personal mentality has been throughout the last month and where it is now…
You know, people might make assessments or judgments of how individuals handle different things, but I think everything we do, everything we say, everything that happens has a reason behind it and has a plan behind it. So you know I think about this often – the way I have to handle myself, the things I have to do, the things I have to say, and you know I’ve never been in this position before, it’s obviously my first year being the captain. I really I’ve had a lot of great people in my ear telling me the right things and how to get out of it and you know I really am thankful to be surrounded by people like that, because they really help me out a lot, and I honestly stayed as positive as I could I think during that struggle, and hopefully that’s behind us. Hopefully this new year we go back to our old ways and it was a good start to that.

On whether his shootout goal in Tampa sparked something in him…
It could have. Yeah you know obviously feeling confident with the stick. I think it could have. And you know I couldn’t believe that I even got picked to go, with my drought and not being able to put it in the net. You know like I said, being surrounded by the right people, seems like every time Mike [Michel Therrien] plays a hunch it works out, and you know I’ve got to thank him for putting me in that situation. And it could be the reason why personally my game has been a lot better since.

On the return of Brendan Gallagher…
Obviously with him coming back we don’t want to lose anybody, and we were unfortunate to lose a player tonight, especially on the right side. But the way he plays, the energy he brings, his leadership, we all feed off of that. He’s a player we all admire the way he plays, the way he handles himself. And for him to come back and have some fresh legs and play the way he did in his first game back, it really meant a lot. And you know like I said, I just feel like when I see him next to me, you know he wasn’t here through the struggles, so he kind of has had an extra smile on his face, he doesn’t really know what’s going on on the road, it’s hard for him to be as down as us. So for him to come in with that energy and play that well, and we all fed off of that I think.

On where this game ranks in his career…
This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing hockey in my life, period. Gally [Brendan Gallagher] said the same thing. It was just unbelievable. The atmosphere, the way we played, the guys that stepped up, the way they stepped up, you know it really was the most fun I’ve ever had playing hockey in my life.

On whether he was upset when Dale Weise left the game…
Yeah, I definitely was, especially – he started the game off making that play on Davey’s [David Desharnais] goal. To see him go down was very, very unfortunate. We just hope for the best for him. He’s a huge part of this team and this lineup as well. I think hopefully that doesn’t get overlooked, because he’s a big part of this team, especially on the right side there.

On Mike Condon having a big game being back in Boston…
Yeah I mean in front of his friends and family. To see his dad and how much it meant to him, to be a part of the day yesterday, to see his son – the way he came up and his story, it’s just unbelievable. I think about his dad every time he makes a save and probably the expression on his face when he’s watching. That’s really special, and I think everybody saw how much it meant for his dad and his family to be a part of this team and to play the way he did was even more special.



On whether seeing Brendan Gallagher respond to being “ragdolled” by Zdeno Chara made him more confident in Gallagher’s recovery…
No I didn’t. I know he does the right thing to be ready. Maybe with some people – I don’t know, I just knew right from the start I had you know total confidence in him. He’s been working hard, he knew he was going to have the best legs on the ice tonight you know being able to work out and skate like that. You know I had total confidence going into the game that he was going to play his best. He’s a big stage player, and I didn’t need confirmation. Maybe it’s because I’m in the room with him, and seeing him behind closed doors I knew he was ready to play.

MONTREAL CANADIENS FORWARD BRIAN FLYNN
On getting the win today and picking up a point for himself…
That’s not something, I mean you just want to win the game, and we came out, we started strong. I feel like we kind of took the crowd out of it a little bit out there, and it felt like we were in control pretty much the whole game.

On the trickle-down effect of having Brendan Gallagher back in the lineup…
Gally [Brendan Gallagher] plays hard. He kind of sets the tone I think, for the start of the game, and a lot of the guys follow the way he plays. So obviously getting that line back together was so good at the beginning of the year for us, and then able to get Davey’s [David Desharnais] line, unfortunately [Dale] Weise got hurt, but that line back together, they were really good to start, before Weise got hurt. And then I think the other two lines kind of started to follow.

On if this was a perfect day for him…
Yeah, it was fun. It was a cool experience, obviously. It’s tough to describe when you get out there and you’re, even at the whistles, the TV timeouts, you’re just looking up and kind of taking it all in. There was a lot of people there, and it was really fun, and I’m happy to have a lot of my family and friends here who helped me get here experience it all.

On being able to play in front of a lot of friends and family…
Yeah, I was able to get at least my immediate family, my wife’s immediate family, and I was fortunate to play at Fenway outside, but that’s probably half the amount of people. So I knew what to expect a little bit, but that’s not something that you do often, so you just try and take advantage of it in the moment.

On if it was hard to deal with the distractions…
No, just approached it like a normal game once we all got to the rink. It’s just a little bit longer walk out to the ice and back, that’s all.

On seeing Mike Condon play well today…
Yeah, he played real well. I thought we dominated the first, and then he made that big save, I think it was maybe in the second, that big glove save to keep it three-nothing, and just made some timely saves, and then made all the other ones that he should have.

On if it seemed like Mike Condon was extra motivated today…
Goalies you kind of leave alone before the games. They kind of do their own thing, so you don’t really notice.

MONTREAL CANADIENS FORWARD TOMAS PLEKANEC
On the whole team contributing to today’s win...
It looked like it. Yeah, definitely. We all played together before and Gally [Brendan Gallagher] you always know where he’s going to be, what plays he’s going to make. So, yeah, I would say yeah.

On Brendan Gallagher’s importance to the lineup...
Yeah, for sure he’s important. I mean, every player is important and then as coach said, when you have all the players in the lineup they play in the proper role that they get used to and you can see that everybody contributed the way that they did before. Every time you miss a guy from the lineup, you’re missing him even though you might be winning games, losing games – you always miss those guys because that’s your lineup; that’s your team chemistry.

On the chemistry between his linemates with Gallagher’s return...
Well, things that Gally [Brendan Gallagher] is doing, not too many players in the league can do those. So, obviously you try to take advantage of it and we played so many games together that the chemistry is there and like I said, it’s nothing spectacular, nothing fancy, but it’s a game that you used to play before and you can tell.

On the interaction between Brendan Gallagher and Zdeno Chara in today’s game...
It’s nothing unusual. I didn’t really pay attention to it because it’s normal and that’s Gally’s [Brendan Gallagher] game and you know, it’s awesome to have a guy like that in the lineup, for sure.

On Brendan Gallagher’s net-front presence...
Well, I mean, whoever is on that line or whoever is on whichever line, everybody is trying to be a net presence when you’re having trouble scoring goals. But obviously he’s so good at it; he’s so small but he’s fighting for those spots and you can tell that’s his game and again, you could see it tonight with that goal that he scored.

MONTREAL CANADIENS FORWARD DAVID DESHARNAIS
On Brendan Gallagher’s return to the lineup…
We all know what he can bring to the table and he did tonight. When he comes back like that our first line is solid. Everybody goes back where they are supposed to be. That’s why we were successful at the beginning of the year, everybody was contributing and with him back I mean he’s a big part of our team. We saw that tonight.

On his and the team’s commitment to getting bodies in front of Tuukka Rask…
We knew it was going to be like that tonight, you know? Greasy goals and we got a couple. Like you said, that first goal gave momentum to the whole team and we never looked back.

On scoring in the Winter Classic…
It was pretty special, that’s for sure. I’m probably going to look back in ten years and be pretty proud of it, but it’s a good feeling.

On what this win means for the team…
It’s a new year, a new start for us. We got Gally [Brendan Gallagher] back. I mean we’re trying to forget our month of December - it was pretty bad. It’s a great win to give us some momentum for the rest of the year.

On if there is a correlation between his most recent goal occurring in Gallagher’s last game and his drought ending upon Gallagher’s return…
Yeah that’s probably it, it’s probably because of him. No I don’t know what to say, you’re going to have a bad stretch during the year, it’s just like that. Obviously I like the matchups when I’m on the third line, it’s just like that.

MONTREAL CANADIENS FORWARD PAUL BYRON
On his expectations of the ice…
Oh yeah yesterday’s practice was crazy, pucks were bobbling everywhere, you couldn’t stickhandle so we knew we needed to simplify our game, since the easiest thing to do to simplify is go to the net, drive it and good things happened.

On if he got a chance to soak in the atmosphere as Super Bowl-like…
Yeah that’s exactly what I would describe it as.  It was unbelievable, you can't really put it into words the way it was such a fun thing to be a part of out there. You know yesterday you were a little bit worried, you weren’t sure how it was going to be – it was sunny, the ice was a little slushy. It seemed everything went perfectly today. You couldn’t have written a better script for us.

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