How tough was it to be chasing from behind all game?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 13 | Assists: 36 | Pts: 49
Shots: 212 | +/-: -15
"Yeah, you're right. It was tough when we got down 2-0. After that, it didn't really, even though we got that one goal and it was 3-1, two-goal game again, those two first shifts in the third just kills the game. I thought overall first period, we out-shot (them), I thought we had pretty good pressure in the first period but they were up 2-0."
Do you let yourself think what might have been if Ericsson scored shorthanded in the first?
"You can't think that. What happened in the game happened in the game. Now we've got one game left and just have to take care of business here."
You had some chances on the power play but couldn't get the puck to the net?
"You're right, from the beginning, I thought we had some chances but then I think we, a little bit too much, over-thought stuff instead of just getting pucks to the net. We tried to make one pass too many."
How about not building on momentum after scoring the goal to make it 3-1?
"When we got that 3-1, when we were sitting here going into the third, we knew if we scored the next goal, we had a pretty good chance of turning the game around. We know we've been in that situation ourselves, being up two goals going into the third but when they scored their fourth one and got the fifth one right away, it's game over."
How difficult with so much emotion last night to come play the very next night?
"There's no excuses. We've played 17 back-to-backs this year so I think we're used to these turnarounds."
At least you still control your own destiny, right?
"Yeah. Obviously you want to win them all going in here. If you're realistic, there's teams that are real desperate too and need their points. We took care of business last night. Unfortunately we couldn't do it tonight. Just got to go into Madison (Square Garden) on Saturday."
What happened in the start of the third?
"It was a bang-bang play. I think it started, we couldn't really get the puck out of our own end and ended up on their D and shot it, rebound goal. The fifth one I didn't really see so I can't comment on it."
There’s one game left, the veterans in the room, how does that experience get everyone going?
rIGHT WING - DET
Goals: 10 | Assists: 17 | Pts: 27
Shots: 162 | +/-: 3
“I don’t know if it’s because of one game. We were supposed to get ourselves going for a while now and we’ve had to win some games and dig deep. You look to the schedule and probably two or three weeks ago and figured it might come down to the last game. In a way it’s a good thing. You always wish you would have clinched but we still have a lot to play for. That was a tough turnaround. They were sitting there waiting for us. We have to park it and move on.”
Going down 2-0 early, how big a hole was that?
“They probably really concentrated on a good start, as did we, but that’s hockey. When a team sits and waits for you, they’re going to put a lot of pressure on you early. We could have maybe scored on the power play in the first period to maybe get ourselves settled into the game. It just seemed like we chased it most of the night and they controlled it.”
The power play has been shut out the last two games, concerned?
“Every night’s different. It doesn’t really matter now. We’re looking forward. Hopefully our power play can maybe score a big goal or two on Saturday. We’ll look at it and learn from it but it’s a different team Saturday. They kill different. We’ll look at that and try to get better, but it’s get back to basics, what was done during those eight games. We’ll work on that.”
How key is it that you still are in control of your own destiny?
“It’s great because there’s no other thoughts, no other distractions. We can focus on us and go play hockey. No scoreboard watching or any of that stuff. We’ll wake up Saturday morning and get right at it. It’s good that it’s an early game. No thinking. Just go play.”
What was your thought on the whole night?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.82 | Sv%: .906
"We didn't get obviously the start we wanted. Playing catch-up hockey, it's a tough way to play in this league."
What is your sense of the feeling in the room right now?
"I don't think it's frustration, we know what we've got to do. It's still in our control. We've got to go out and win a hockey game here in New York. We can do it in this room."
The team had been so strong defensively, was it just breakdowns tonight?
"I think it's just a little bit of everything. Having such an emotional high last night, coming off a big victory, getting in relatively late last night and having to get up for another emotional game, it was tough and we just didn't have our 'A' game tonight."
You think the tank was a little low tonight?
"Yeah, last night, it was crazy but tonight we knew it was going to be another huge game. But coming in here we also knew it was going to be extremely tough. This is always a tough building to play in and they jumped on us from the start and they just kept going."
How demoralizing is that, two goals in the first three minutes?
"It is tough. You knew they were going to clamp down and they did. They did exactly that."
When it's 3-1 after two periods, you're still in it?
"Yeah, the fourth one just seemed to take the wind right out of our sails. Point shot, deflection and it went right on Stempniak's stick. We just got to be a little bit sharper, putting that in a better spot."
How big is it that you still control your own destiny?
"It's huge. Like I said, we got the character in the room to get the job done, we just got to go out there and play one game, win one game. We know what it's going to take and I know we can do it."
What did you see from them in front of you?
"Exactly that. Always when you play them, they're going to come to the net hard. You know they're going to throw pucks in from all angles and just get in there and try and get deflections and second opportunities. So they did exactly that tonight."
Is there a sense of excitement with one game left, everything on the table?
"Everything's out there. We know what we have to do, now we just have to go out and execute it."
Madison Square Garden is one of your favorite places to play, right?
"Yeah, it is."
You guys have been in this situation before, needing to win Game 82 like you did a few years ago in Dallas?
"We've been here before. We've had for the last several years, it's come down to the wire of getting into the playoffs. The confidence with the older guys is definitely there."
What was the emotion after this game?
Center - DET
Goals: 8 | Assists: 13 | Pts: 21
Shots: 86 | +/-: 4
“Frustrating loss for sure, not what we had in mind exactly. But we still control our own destiny. We just have to win a game here.”
How tough was falling behind and trying to come back against the Bruins?
“It’s tough anytime you’re chasing a game, especially in a back-to-back situation. We fell behind and couldn’t dig ourselves out of that hole. But tomorrow is a new day and Saturday’s a new game.”
Look like you guys were trying to make extra passes tonight?
“I think they were doing a good job of fronting pucks, blocking shots. But for sure we’ve got to get the puck to the net, create some chaos.”
You’ve been so good defensively lately; were there too many breakdowns and poor coverage vs. Boston?
“I think a little bit of that. I think we were a little sloppy tonight in comparison to the past couple games we’ve had. Just gotta get back to that in this last game.”
Was this an emotional letdown after the win over Philadelphia?
“I don’t know if there was an emotional letdown but obviously frustrating to have the result we had. But I thought there was good energy in the room. I thought good attitude. Just didn’t have it tonight.”
Is the fact that you guys still control your own destiny an upside?
“For sure, we could be in a much worse situation. If you said at the beginning of the year you’d have to win one game to get in, you would take that every time. Here we are and we gotta win a game.”
What did you think of Howard’s performance?
“He played good. He made big saves tonight. Redirects, rebounds, nothing he could really do on those.”
|Jimmy Howard makes one of his 21 saves during Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden. (Photo by Getty Images) |
What were your thoughts on the start tonight?
“We made a couple errors there and now you’re down 2-0. That’s a hard way to start a hockey game, being down 2-0 like that.”
You had chances on the power play, were guys too tentative?
“I think we’ve had a really good mentality on our power play of attacking the net to engage the defenders and getting pucks to the net with people going to the net and I thought tonight we stood too much on the outside. We shot pucks but from the outside with nobody else going to the net. So it wasn’t the same mentality we’ve had recently.”
Disappointed in the letdown defensively?
“Yeah. Obviously, you get down 2-0 right away, that’s a hard thing. We turned too many pucks over here. So we can’t turn that many pucks over and have success.”
What went into your decision to switch goalies, more to get Mrazek some work or Howard rest?
“Both. Get Petr some work and Jimmy some rest.”
You were still in the game at 3-1, how disappointing was it to give up two early goals in third?
“I thought we were still very much in the game going into the third period and you can’t give up that goal right off the bat. Biggest thing we got to do is – it’s a disappointing loss but it’s a loss, let’s put it behind us and get ready to win a game on Saturday.”
What happened with Abdelkader (lower-body injury in third and did not return to the game)?
“I’m not sure. He’s being evaluated, so I’ll have more information tomorrow.”
Was tonight too much following Wednesday’s emotionally draining win over the Flyers?
“I’m not sure. I think our guys had a good mindset. Pastrnak got behind us there on the one, it shouldn’t happen but it happened, and then they get a backdoor goal, so the next thing you know you’re digging yourself out right away.”
At least you still control own destiny, right?
“We put ourselves in a position yesterday by winning a game to control our own destiny, so let’s go win a hockey game on Saturday.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.