Can you describe your goal?
Center - DET
Goals: 6 | Assists: 5 | Pts: 11
Shots: 67 | +/-: -11
“Tried to take away the goalie’s eyes and get my stick sort of available and I got a good bounce off of it.”
Did you have lot of family and friends here?
“Yeah, quite a bit, quite a few people to see after the game. It was nice being in the area and sharing some laughs with them after.”
Did it feel like a home game for your guys?
“Not really. They got a good crowd.”
No, for you, I mean?
“Yeah, I guess, kind of, knowing there’s a lot of close people to me in the crowd and having some of my family to visit and always good for someone from Detroit to be here, it’s special.”
How big is it to begin this stretch of six road games with a win?
“It’s huge. Obviously you’re comfortable playing at home, when you’re in your own house and you can stick to the same routine. When you’re on the road you need to gut out wins like this, so it’s definitely big for us.”
What did you think of the job that Mrazek did today?
“He was huge. We’re confidence when he’s in there. He makes big saves when we need him to. He’s been great for us and we’re definitely comfortable when he’s in the net.”
How much art form is it to tip pucks like you did on your goal?
“You just try to do it after practice, get your hand-eye going. Our D do such a good job at getting shots through. Greener did a great job and I was just fortunate enough to get a stick on it.”
How rewarding has it been for you to get points lately?
“It helps. Just gets your confidence going. when you can contribute on the score sheet it’s huge. Definitely gets your confidence going and makes you feel comfortable.”
How much has Smith’s confidence been growing, he has seven points in last eight games?
“It’s been huge. He’s been very good with us in the O-zone, making those little plays and jumping up in the rush, he’s definitely a good skater. When you can have your D jumping up in the rush like that and be a valuable guy to give the puck to it’s definitely a lot of help.”
How special is Jack Eichel?
“He’s a good player, you can see that by his (three?) goals tonight. Definitely got to keep an eye on him. He skates well and he’s very creative. He did a good job tonight.”
Was today’s win a weight off your shoulders?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 7 | Assists: 22 | Pts: 29
Shots: 90 | +/-: 5
“Yeah it was nice. When we had the 2-0 lead and they came back we found a way to get the two points.”
How much of a concern is it that your team is having trouble playing with a lead?
“Today has nothing to do with that. They scored one on the power play and then it was a tough break on the second one. That will happen. We’ve just got to be positive that we had that two-goal lead.”
What was special about Jack Eichel today?
“He’s good when he gets his open ice and his time. It was a nice shot there on the power play and he’s pretty high percentage on breakaways I would guess.”
How big is it to get a win in the first of six straight road games?
“It’s good. It’s nice to get a win again. I think we’ve been playing a little up and down. I think today was a little better and it was nice to get rewarded with two points.”
How big was it for Tatar to get a goal tonight, breaking out of his recent scoring slump?
“It’s always nice to see guys score who haven’t scored in a while. I’m not worried about him, though. He’s a hard worker and does everything right. But it’s nice to see him score again.”
Mrazek was certainly tested. Are you seeing his confidence grow?
“He saved us tonight. In the third period there were some key moments and he had some big saves and not a lot of rebounds coming off him, either. That makes it easier for us to play defense.”
How big was it to come back and get up on top of them late in the third period?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.35 | Sv%: .924
“After the goal we got up 4-3, we got the lead, they pushed hard, had some chances there, had some shots that missed the net.”
How confident were you that you would step up after the team blew leads twice?
“The game is 60 minutes, so if it’s 2-0 in the first or the second it doesn’t matter. We have to play hard, play 60 minutes and stay sharp in the net.”
How much confidence do you have right now after playing in seven straight games?
“I’m trying to work hard on the ice every day, just be big in the net and try to make some saves.”
But playing seven straight, does it help you get into a rhythm?
“It helps the goaltender. You want to play lots of games, just to get confident and you get experience.”
Is it a good opportunity to establish being the No. 1 goaltender?
“I don’t want to talk about it, the season is long, have lots of games left.”
How important was it to win this game at the start of a tough road stretch?
“Huge win for us today, first game on the road. We have to come out every night like that, play hard, play smart and get the win.”
Were there a couple of bad bounces on a few of their goals?
“The second and third is kind of bad bounce. I think on Eichel goal, I had him, he didn’t have much space to shoot, it hit the side of the post and just hit my pad and went in. The third one, Nosie, DK or someone pushed it out and Nosie, it just hit his stick and went in, so that’s two lucky bounces by them but it doesn’t matter about those two goals now.”
How big was the late save you made on Zach Bogosian?
“He got the speed, I tried to stay patient in the blue zone because when the guy has speed he can go around you, make a move. I just tried to stay big and it hit my shoulder.”
How did it feel like to finally get a goal?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 12 | Assists: 13 | Pts: 25
Shots: 88 | +/-: -5
“It’s a good feeling. When you’re on a stretch and the puck won’t go in you obviously think about it. But the most important thing was that we won. We got the two points tonight which is huge and we feel good.”
Were you getting frustrated?
“Obviously like you think about it but there’s not really much you can do about it. You are getting your chances, you just can’t score a goal. Now hopefully the confidence is back on the stick and you can maybe hold on for a second and just do the right thing.”
How big was Mrazek’s save on Bogosian in last minute of the third?
“For sure that would be a little bit unsettling to lose the lead again, especially that close to the end. He made a nice save. That guy actually came in there flying and Petr was ready for it. Good two points and now we have to focus on the next game.”
Can you pinpoint why the Sabres have come back against you in all three games this season?
“It’s just playing tight hockey. Hockey’s a real fast game. A 2-0 lead is not much. They got a power play goal to get back on track and then they just played tight game. We were happy we won a game.”
Can you describe Green’s pass to you?
“He’s a really skilled guy. He’s great with the puck and we’re really happy to have him on our team.”
What was it like to meet actor Daniel Radcliffe the other night?
“I think his girlfriend is from somewhere in the Flint (Michigan) area so I guess he decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Detroit. It’s nice that he’s a Red Wings fan, obviously. That’s a huge name to have behind us. I was watching his movies (Harry Potter), too, so it was great to meet him.”
Are you a Harry Potter fan?
“It’s not like I was crazy about it but it was a great movie. Hands down he did a great job there and I think the whole movie is really famous. Everybody in the world I think knows who was Harry Potter.”
|Riley Sheahan reacts to his second-period goal that gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead over the Sabres at First Niagara Center on Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Getty Images) |
How did this win feel?
“I think every win feels good. What I liked is we had two things we really wanted to do a better job of: we wanted to manage the puck better, and I thought we did that overall, and we wanted to have a real high compete level. Not that the compete level hasn’t been high, but we thought it needed to be heightened. I thought it was heightened. I thought throughout our lineup guys were battling hard. I thought it was a close game and I thought it was a real good process.”
Is Mrazek getting close to being the No. 1 guy?
“We look at things day to day so I’ll look at New Jersey who is going to start there but what Petr did tonight was to make a big save at a big moment to insure the win. That’s something he’s done throughout his career. That’s something I think he’s real good at. He’s played pretty good hockey overall so we’ll continue to evaluate.”
How big were those saves he made before your first and fourth goals?
“Again, he’s got an ability to seize the moment. That’s one thing he’s done real good. Not that Jimmy (Howard) doesn’t. Jimmy does as well, but Petr has done it well throughout his career. You don’t want to give up the breakaway there obviously at the end to Bogosian but he made the big save on it. We still go areas to get better but I was happy with the way he played.”
How nice was it to see Tatar end his slump?
“It’s important for Tatar. I think he’s actually played well. We talked about it yesterday. We knew his 10-game stretch or 11-game stretch has been tough, but honestly he’s played well. He’s had chances. He competes hard. So when you see that you know the guy is going to come out of it if he can just persevere through it and not let it crush him. And I think confidence is a big thing and scoring breeds confidence, so it’s important.”
How big was Sheahan’s effort today?
“I thought Riley was great tonight. I just thought he was skating. He’s such a load when he’s got that type of jump in his legs. I’ve been really happy with Riley all season but certainly he’s had moments where he’s been great and I thought he was great tonight.”
How nice was it to see Zetterberg also end a scoring slump?
“I just think again confidence, no matter who you are, as a player you always feel better if you score if you’re a scorer at all. If you’re a penalty killer, you always feel better if you block shots and kill penalties. If you’re a scorer you want to score. So a guy like Z, who is such a great two-way player, who is such a great 200-foot player, he still wants to score so certainly it helps.”
Are you at all concerned over blowing another two-goal lead today?
“It’s 2-0, you’ve got to play 60 minutes. We talked about going into the third period, I don’t care how we got it we’re tied 2-2 on the road. Let’s go win a period and win a hockey game. So I don’t worry too much about how you get to those points. What I really liked is when they tied it 3-3 our next couple shifts were great. I thought we did a great job of responding. We didn’t let it affect us. We didn’t let momentum get away from us. I thought we turned the gas on at that point so I was real happy with that.”
Is the penalty kill starting to be a concern?
“We got to be better on our penalty kill. We talked about it the other day. Just special teams in general we gotta do a better job and if the penalty kill does a better job there we probably come out of that with an easier game, but we found a way to win and we’ve got an area to improve. So that’s what we look for. If we have an area to improve at that’s one and we’ll keep working at it.”
What were your thoughts on Green taking those two third-period penalties?
“The first penalty probably wasn’t his fault. It was a bad line change by us so he got put in a real bad spot. The second penalty we obviously don’t want to have to take that one so you know what, I love Greener. Greener is a winner. He wants to be great. He wants to get better every day. He’s got a skill set. Like everybody, he’s got his positives and negatives but there isn’t a player on the team that doesn’t have positives and negatives. I’m concerned more about what players can do and he certainly brings lots to our team.”
What are your thoughts on Smith’s recent play, he has seven points in past eight games?
“I thought Smitty was great, his overall game. Offensively, he’s good for sure. It makes you feel good about yourself. But with him in particular, he needs to have a real good 200-foot game. He needs to manage his game real well. I thought he did an awesome job of managing his game. I was real happy with him overall.”
Is this Smith’s best stretch of NHL career?
“You’re probably right about that if you go back for, let’s just say, a month. I thought he got a bit loose there the last couple of games. I don’t know what loose means exactly. Just a little bit maybe on the edge of turning some pucks over but, I’d say over the last month or whatever, he’s really, really done a good job, ever since he got back in the lineup on a regular basis. It took him about three or four games to get going once he’s got going he’s been really good. That’s a young guy that we want to make sure we continue to develop and he’s certainly done a good job.”
Is it easier to do that when he’s riding a high confidence wave?
“I think you can teach more when guys are confident just like you can teach after wins easier. It’s sometimes when you’ve lost a few you got to be real careful because you don’t want to hurt guys’ confidence or the team’s confidence. So it’s lots tons easier to fix mistakes after wins like that and certainly with the player. I think you can continue to teach and guys can get better when they’re confident in their own game. Otherwise you got to be real weary about that.”