Was there a goal you wish you had back?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.18 | Sv%: .935
“It was a bad bounce in the second period, the first goal, I think I lost it in the air and then a couple of goals they scored and we just couldn’t come back.”
Does that first goal eat at you because it became as easy tap in?
“Yeah I lost it in the air and then someone just put it in the net. That shouldn’t go in and the game would be different.”
Do you get a sense that your team was more on their heels than on their toes?
“You know, we play on the road, it’s hard when you play last night and they try to push hard on you. But we tried good in the third period, had some chances, had some good looks. We have to do that in the next game in Ottawa.”
This is an important stretch for your team, right?
“We just have to find a way to play 60 minutes, how to play the third period that we played today, just play three periods in Ottawa.”
How tough has this been for you and Jimmy Howard?
“Just try to go at each game and play hard, try to win the game for our team. Sometimes the puck goes in, sometimes is doesn’t. So we just have to work hard and I hope it’s coming in Ottawa.”
Was there a goal tonight that you weren’t happy about?
“The first one I just … it hit my blocker and in the air, I just lost it there. If that wouldn’t go in the game would be different.”
Concerned that this team isn’t scoring much?
Center - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 4
Shots: 26 | +/-: -5
“We’ve just got to figure out a few ways to get the first few in and then go from there.”
Does it get frustrating?
“It’s still early. We’ve got a lot of time. We know we’ve got a good team and we’re confident with what’s in the locker room. It’s not frustrating but obviously we need to be better. We need to play together as a team but it’s still early. There’s a lot of time to be successful.”
It seems like a lot of games you wait until the third period to really show that desperation. Are you seeing the same thing?
“It’s hard to pinpoint it. I think just from the get-go we’ve got to get the puck deep rather than try to make cute plays through the neutral zone. We’ve just got to get puck in deep, cycle around, through some pucks at the net and then make plays from there. I think it’s just one thing to start the game on time and build momentum and play with consistency.”
Do you need to be more physical?
“You’ve got to be willing to get cross-checked and battle in front of the net. We need to do that.”
What did you do early in first two games of season when you scored so many 5 on 5 goals that isn’t happening now?
“It’s hard to say. It’s hard to really put a finger on the scoring aspect of it. I think maybe we were shooting more, driving the net a little more harder. We were kind of skating a little better in the O-zone. We’ve just got to get back to the basics. Get pucks on the net and get that net-front presence."
Did you expect Boston’s best, especially since they only had one win at home?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 11 | Pts: 15
Shots: 35 | +/-: -2
“You’ve just got to match it with the same desperation. That’s a start. I think tonight was tough from the beginning but I think we found a way to stay in the game after the first. They got the goals, we didn’t. We’ve just got to somehow create more chances five on five.”
How frustrating is it to stay with a team like Boston when you’re trying to find your way into that?
“You’ve just got to bear down even more. Get on the inside, get pucks to the net. Do a lot of the little things right. I think we did that in the third and we created more chances.”
They’re been a couple of games in a row now that the team has found its legs in the third period, so why is it taking half the game or more to get going?
“I don’t know. Last game I thought we had a really good start. In this game it was the second played in as many nights so we knew it would be tough from the beginning. Obviously it would be better to have a tie game going into the third than to be behind.”
What’s the secret to finding ways to create offense?
“We’ve just got to get more on the inside. Play with a little more grit. We’ve got to bear down in practice, and bear down in games when we get our chances. We’re creating chances but we’re not finding the back of the net.”
How nice was it to finally score a goal?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 5 | Assists: 3 | Pts: 8
Shots: 27 | +/-: -4
"It's always nice to score, had some chances tonight. As a team, I thought we had some chances. Just giving up too many grade A chances against. Anytime you're struggling to score goals, you've got to play really tight defensively. I thought we gave them too many good chances. Just gotta keep at it here, know we've got to be better. Did a lot of good things tonight, but big mistakes that cost us."
Did you guys spend too much time on the perimeter in the first two periods?
"Yeah, I think we did some good things there. Once they got that third goal, it kind of put us back on our heels again. Just gotta stick with it here. Getting to the front of the net's never easy, especially against a team like Boston that really likes boxing out. I thought our D did a better job tonight of getting pucks through. We just gotta get sticks on them or get tips and hopefully hit the net. Just keep going at it here. We had a good stretch of games, now we kind of let off it a bit. It's a big game Monday to salvage some of the road trip."
The last two games you’ve played comeback hockey, which isn’t good, is it?
“Losing hockey. We said it a long time since I've been here, Babs always said it. We always believed it. When you put yourself down a couple goals against a good team, most nights you're not going to come back on them. We're struggling a bit to score goals. I thought we had chances, some posts, some crossbars, eventually they'll start going in. In the meantime we can't give up great chances or 2-on-1s or breakaways, stuff like that."
Was it an emotional start with the French national anthem for show of support for terrorist victims in Paris?
“They're a good team over there, obviously never easy playing on back to back nights. I thought we got our legs second half of the first period, got going a little more. Still gotta try to get more pucks to the net. Their D did a good job and forwards of blocking shots. We had some zone time. We gotta play a patient game. When we're not scoring goals, we gotta keep them out of our net."
Do guys begin to squeeze the stick when things aren’t going the right way?
"You maybe could say that. It's never fun when you're struggling to score goals. You just gotta find ways to get pucks on net and get second and third chances. We're getting opportunities. You gotta work on them in practice. Every shot you gotta think like you're going to hit the back of the net and just keep going at it here. Defensively, tighten up some things defensively, and get back on track."
There was no penalty called on the third-period goal, were you surprised?
"You can't make comments on the refs' calls, it's what they see. It is what it is. It's unfortunate, a 2 on 1 like that, it's tough. It seems like we fight really hard to get any odd-man rushes, 3 on 2s, 2 on 1s, teams play pretty tight and I think we gotta try to do the same as much as we can."
Do you need to have more second and third chances?
"I think those battles in front of the net, those are important battles in front of both nets, whether it's you're getting boxed out, you gotta try to get in front of the goalie, get a stick on a puck, get those second and third chances, it's not just those but it's trying to get in front of the goalie, screen the goalie, 'cause they're not just going to let you go in front of the net. Any team isn't, they're going to be boxing you out. It's those one-on-one battles that you gotta dig down and win them."
|Alexy Marchenko battles in front of goalie Petr Mrazek during a scoreless first period Saturday night in Boston. (Photo by Getty Images) |
What did you think of the team’s performance tonight?
“Previous games we’d done a lot of the things right that would allow you to score and if you kept doing it you’re going to score, I really believed that. I thought we did tons of really good stuff last game, we just didn’t score. Tonight, we didn’t do enough good things. Ultimately, one thing we have to do is hit the net in order to create second opportunities. Most goalies in the National Hockey League aren’t giving up one on the first one, so you got to be able to get to those seconds but you can’t do that if you don’t hit the net. I don’t think we passed up tons of shots, I think we got to be more shot-ready, especially from our defensemen. We got to be ready to shoot the puck but we also have to do a better job of hitting the net.”
Do you have to get to the net more?
“I can talk more about that if we hit the net. I thought we had better net presence, when you go back a few games, we didn’t have good enough net presence, like against Dallas. We’ve talked a lot about getting to the inside. That’s part of it, but if you don’t hit the net you can’t get seconds anyways and we just missed the net on too many opportunities.”
What can the team do to generate more five-on-five goals like they did in the first two games of the season?
“Tonight’s a different story than the four games previous to that. We’re not necessarily scoring but the chances we got in those games, the shot opportunities, the number of shots, that process was right. We took a left-hand turn tonight and the process wasn’t good enough. But I don’t want to group this game with the previous five. I think we did a lot more things well in the previous four or five than we did against Toronto the first night, than we did against Carolina for sure in Game 2. I think there’s lots of things there. We took a left hand turn and weren’t good enough tonight.”
Are you running out of line combinations?
“We had them together just for little short stints. Pav was winning a lot of faceoffs, we were trying to get them out there on the faceoff and see if we could get much out of that and we didn’t. We’ll re-evaluate it again. I don’t like juggling them too much where you don’t have any rhythm and you don’t create any chemistry but we also have to keep finding different ways to score, so we’ll keep re-evaluating.”
The power play chance with 3½ minutes left in regulation, did they spend too much time on the perimeter?
“On the first part of it. We just scored a power play goal, we didn’t seem to generate much around the net on that power play for sure. We want to do a good job of pucks at the net and people at the net and this group has done that in the past but we weren’t good enough on the power play.”
Are guys squeezing sticks too much?
“I don’t think it’s too early (to be concerned). That’s just the nature of athletes. There’s a lot of guys that haven’t produced a whole bunch, so you have a tendency to squeeze the stick. I don’t really accept that as an excuse. We got to find a way. We have too many good players not to score. Some if it is just digging deeper inside yourself and making sure you find a way to get it done.”
Was it nice to see Abdelkader finally score?
“I think Abby’s play has been better lately. He’s got to make sure he’s a worker and if he’s a worker than he’s got a great skill set in terms of a worker, big body, can score. But if he’s not working than we just can’t try to find a way to carry him around the ice sheet. It was good for him. Confidence is a huge thing. When you’re not scoring you don’t have confidence. When you start scoring you gain confidence.”
The fourth line still hasn’t scored, what are you seeing from them?
“I thought tonight they had moments that were really good. I thought that was one line that really generated some zone time. I thought Sheahan was very good. On that line he did a good job. They are lots of times have a tough task with having to try to match up with other teams’ better lines. We didn’t get the chance tonight to match as much as we wanted to but that’s part of the tough task they have. But I thought they took a step in the right direction, that line in particular, for large parts of the game was our best line.”