What will make you successful against the Canucks tonight?
“If we can get the same start. The first 10 minutes are always important in a game. Lets focus on getting that first 10 minutes in and after this just build on our game. We know this group. We added a few pieces. We had a very good training camp. It’s all about getting in gear, getting our game back and staying focused for a full 60 minutes.”
Is it any different tonight knowing that this is Vancouver's home opener?
“Home openers are always special for the ceremonies and everything. Once the puck is dropped it’s just another game. We have 82 regular season games to play. Obviously there’s always emotions and guys are anxious to get going at home. They’re going to get their ceremonies while we’re going to be in the room. It’s up to us to prepare accordingly.”
What does Mason Raymond bring to the lineup?
“We had many talks and Mason knows what he has to bring to the table to be a regular member of this hockey club. He has tons of skill. He’s a great skater. It’s just a matter of getting a full game. He’s in tonight. Hopefully he’ll be in for the next 80 games.”
What are your thoughts on defenceman Brett Kulak?
“Great kid. Lots of upside and lots of potential. This young man at this time last year, he was playing in the East Coast league. He had a great camp, put in a great summer of work, and it shows. This business, 99 percent of the time, you get what you invest. It’s a great lesson. We’re very happy for [Kulak] because he deserves it. He beat out some veterans; he beat out some other guys that were fighting with him for that spot. That’s the way we do business in our organization. We always try to reward the ones who deserve it.”
Do you want your team to be angry about the loss Wednesday or just forget about it?
“Be under control. Yes, to a certain point after the game and the next morning there was frustration and that’s a good sign. That’s a good sign because it shows our guys care. It’s not a surprise for us but at the same time you have to move on. You have to move on. The beauty of the business is you have game after game after game. Even if you play a great game, you can’t sit on that great game. The same thing applies to that first game. We were not good. We know it. Lets move on.”
What do you expect from Jonas Hiller tonight?
“That’s a little bit the recipe of last year. They’re aware if they win they keep going. If they play very well in a loss, they could force our hands into giving them another start. We have three goalies that get along great. Three goalies that are easy to deal with. That facilitates our job a lot. Three goalies could be a nightmare. I give those guys a lot of credit because they make our job really easy right now. They’re good workers. They’re focused. [Ramo] was like the rest of the team in Game 1. Now it’s [Hiller] that gets the start. Hopefully he gets on a good run.”
What went wrong with the Flames in the season opener?
“Our all around team game was no where close. We have to have that passion, that intensity that we didn’t have in game one. It’s on us, it’s on myself, on the leaders of this team to pick that up from the get go tonight and our young guys too to bring a lot of energy. Our system play wasn’t good. A lot of things weren’t good but it was all a result of not being hungry enough and didn’t play with enough passion which is very uncharacteristic of us. We’ll change that tonight."
Does it make is easier you are facing the same team again tonight?
"I mean any time you have a tough night or a bad night, you’re hoping that there’s a back to back. We sat on it for a few days here and we went over a lot of things in video and meetings. It’s nice to get back and play a game tonight."
Did it surprise you that there was a lack of jump the other night?
The first ten minutes we were fine. We were playing our game, there was a lot of energy. After that a couple bad things happened and we sort of let that get to us, which is uncharacteristic. They came to play. Give them credit, they played a solid road game, did the little things right and we didn’t. We’ll have to come in here and play a solid road game like they did."
Is this more than just another start for you tonight?
“It kind of is. At the end, I try not to worry about too much what the situation is and too much of what’s happening. I try to go out there and play my best. It’s the same thing. It’s what I want to try to do tonight. I’m definitely excited to get the chance to play. I’ll do my best to stay in the net as long as I can.”
Do you think back to the post-season when it comes to success in Vancouver?
“I think especially if you had success in certain buildings or feel good about the games you played there you try to remember that and build on that. If it’s the other way around you try to forget it. It’s definitely something you think about but at the same time I know all those games are not going to help me. Once the game starts I have to be ready again. It definitely gives you some confidence and something you can feel good about, if you can go out there and know you’ve been playing well out there. Hopefully it will be the same thing tonight.”
They spoiled your home opener, how mindful are you of doing the same to them?
“For us, we know we didn’t play our best that first game and we want to do better and we have to do better if we want to have success. It’s a good chance to show it right away again. We play the same team. We know they outplayed us last game. We’ve got to address those things and definitely play better.”
What do you expect from Calgary tonight?
“I know that they were really disappointed with their game, based on the comments in the paper. I thought it was fairly close game. They had some chances that didn’t go in. If they went in, then they would have got some momentum. I think we’ll see a similar game. Maybe they’ll go harder. I don’t think they’ll change a lot of what they do, but they think they’re intensity has to be higher. I would expect them to be ready and playing hard tonight."
Does this home opener mean anything different to you?
"I think every night is a big night. You can set a mark tonight, but the next game you play is going to be that as well. We’d like to show the fans here that we’ve got a good team and that we’re going to play hard this year. It’s the first time to show your home fans what type of team you have."
How would you assess your team's powerplay Wednesday in Calgary?
"I thought it was real good in Calgary. I thought it moved the puck well and we got some good chances off of it. I think it’s a young power play, but it’s certainly a power play that we feel can be a threat. I like the eagerness to go out and play."
What do you have to do to be successful tonight?
“Come out with a lot of energy and play as good as we did the other night."
Would you prefer to open the season at home or on the road?
"Personally, I always like to start on the road. The pressure is on the home team, they want to put on a good show for their fans. Now we’re in the same boat. Guys feel like they need to play well and give a good show and make plays. But that being said, you’ve got to make the right play. If the play is there make it, if not chip it in and play a good game.
How important would it be for your team to open the season 2-0 against a division rival?
For sure. Every year you want to start off well and break it down and get as many points as you can. We won the first one and that’s behind us now and tonight we’re going to focus on this one. It would be nice to get this one too.
How special is tonight's game for you?
“Obviously it’s a special game. We had a good start in Calgary, but that was it. Now we have to look forward and look forward to today’s games. It’s a special game at home. I’m sure ti was a long time for the players and the fans since we last came here, so it’s something special.
How important is it to get as many pucks to the net tonight as you did in Calgary?
I think we did a lot of good things last game. Obviously, we did look at the tape and we want to continue doing the things that we did well. Like you said, putting pucks on net, playing pretty simple, playing a South North game. At the same time, we want to not give them as much time in certain situations, especially on face-offs in our own zone. Other than that, keep doing what we did. We skated the puck really well and kept it simple. Basically go out, work hard and get the win.
What do you expect from the Flames tonight?
From what I’ve heard, they weren’t happy. It doesn’t take much to really that. Every time you lose you’re not happy, especially when you lose your home opener. At the same time we want to focus on us and our game, that’s why we won that game there. We didn’t really think too much about what they were doing. Just focus on our system and do what we’ve done well in the pre-season. Just try to carry that stuff over into the game and it worked. Tonight we have to have the same game plan. We got to know what they are going to do, but if we play our game, we are going to be fine.
How do you expect the Flames to come out tonight?
“I’m sure they’re going to come in better. I know that they weren’t happy with their performance. I think we have a lot of things that we can do better as well. We just have to focus on our game and come in and play the best we can. Try to have them matched up."
Do you worry about who's in net for the Flames?
Not me. Hiller is a lefty, so that’s different. For me, I don’t change the way I look at it. A scoring chance, you do what you can do to score. They have three good goalies there so it’ll be interesting to see how they play them this year. You knew that the way the last game ended, there was going to be a switch, so it’s not a big deal for us.
How much different is it lining up in the wing?
It’s no different at all. The way that the NHL is played, as of now, if you’re the first guy back, you’re going to play in your own end. Sometimes it’s a winger, sometimes it’s a centreman. It’s more about a three man unit as a forward. If you’re first on the forecheck, you forecheck. If you’re the first guy back, you play defensive zone coverage. It’s no different. I played with Kesler before too where he took a lot of face-offs. It’s just good. We start with the puck more when I don’t take all of the face-offs.