We had four goals the first day of camp. One was to win the division, which we were hoping we would be able to do. We viewed that as winning the quarterfinals though, you don’t even get a medal for that. We also wanted to win the conference because it would be better than what we did last year when we finished second in the conference.
I was watching the Philadelphia and New Jersey game last night and I was worried because I did not know who was going to win. After it was over, I got a text from somebody that said, “Congratulations,” and had to remind myself that we won the Eastern Conference because of that game. But it did not feel like we won it because I was still bummed out from the game we had just played.
Outside of me congratulating the guys this morning about clinching the Eastern Conference, there was not a word in our dressing room about it. I think the guys felt bad because when you do something like that you want to do it in the proper way and the proper way is winning at home and having a big cheer from the fans. We will hopefully have the opportunity to do that for the Presidents’ Trophy and hopefully we will be able to take advantage of it.
Finishing first in the conference gives us home-ice advantage in the playoffs. We always love to play at home, but we also think we are a team that can play at our best no matter where we are playing. We love the fans and everything that comes with playing at Verizon Center, like how the guys can sleep in their own beds and we have the last change during the game. Those things are very important to us, but we do believe that we are very capable of going on the road and winning.
Our third goal back at the first day of camp was to win the Presidents’ Trophy and we still have an opportunity to do that. If we win the league, then there is one more thing we want to win. That is still our ultimate goal. We do not want to be a team that gets too high or too low. We have not played great recently, and that bugs us, but we cannot afford to let it fester because we have been so consistent all year. We just have to believe that we are going to come out of it.