At the age of 27, Winnipeg Jets centre Bryan Little experienced two career milestones in 2014-2015. He played in his first NHL playoff game when the Jets opened their series with the Anaheim Ducks, and he also scored the franchise’s first hat trick since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011.
Here are a few of the quotes he said following those achievements:
On his hat trick, recorded December 5, 2014 against Colorado:
Honestly, two out of the three goals, I didn't celebrate because I didn't know they were in. The first one, looked like his glove was across the line but I wasn't sure. The second one, I thought it hit the cross bar. So I didn't even know until after.
Our crowd is always loud. They're like that all the time. Tonight it seemed like they were really into it. Probably the loudest I've heard in a while.
On making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, prior to game one against Anaheim:
It's been a long time. The last four years have gone by pretty fast. This team has been on an upswing. We've added some key guys, and our young guys have played well down the stretch. There's that excitement from our fans and in our dressing room, that we've finally got to this point.
On his expectations for the atmosphere in MTS Centre prior to game three:
People have been waiting for this moment for a while. At first they were excited to have their team back, now they're excited we're in the playoffs.
On if players can hear the fans prior to games:
Honestly, even going out for warm up. Everyone gets here early, you can hear people in their seats getting the "Go Jets Go" chant going even before the game starts. Right before we're about to go out before the game it's always loud and you can always hear it. It's almost like the building is rumbling a bit, because we're underneath it all.
His thoughts on the season:
You have to take it as a learning experience. It's tough to lose in the first round and be done early, but we're going to try and be back here next year. Hopefully what we went through at the end of the year, helps us next year. There were a lot of guys that didn't have any experience playing in the playoffs in that room, including me. It was definitely a good learning experience for us.
You realize, for me personally, how hard it is to get in. We nearly needed 100 points to make the playoffs this year. That speaks to how tough our division is, how tough our conference is. You have teams like Los Angeles, not even in the playoffs this year. There's no guarantees any year, of getting in. You definitely see how hard it is.
On preparing for next season:
I think everyone is excited to come back and see what we can do next year. It was definitely a battle to get into the playoffs, but I think this team is growing every year. I'm excited to see what it can do in the future.
This is one experience. We have a lot of young guys, and next year, we want to be back again. We're a young team. There's definitely going to be changes to the roster but, that's our goal. Get back, and go farther.