You guys talked about starting on time and had that today, scoring first?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 13 | Assists: 31 | Pts: 44
Shots: 184 | +/-: -5
“We needed a solid game, two points. We wanted to have a little better start than we have lately. I thought we had a good first period. Got the first goal, that helps. The second period I thought they, we got on our heels a little bit again. When you play like that teams get momentum and spend more time in our end. We just have to keep playing, foot on the gas, and I thought we did that in the third. It was nice to see to get some insurance goals.”
How big was first period?
“Especially in Philly that game I thought we had a decent first five (minutes), but then they completely took over. Obviously when the shots are 24-2 or whatever it was it doesn’t help. We wanted to be better here today. I thought we minimized our turnovers a little bit more. If you do that you can spend more time in their end.”
Your goal give breathing room?
“It’s always nice to get the insurance goal and then definitely when Helm scored his, the third one, that felt really nice.”
How did Howard look tonight?
“Really good. I thought he played with poise, was big in net. I thought he handled the puck really good. Even though he didn’t get the shutout it was the closest you could get. It was huge. We needed a good game from goaltending and we got it tonight.”
How difficult is it to play against a Blue Jackets team that has nothing to play for?
“You’ve been it before with Columbus, they always get hot in the end. It’s not an easy arena to come in and play. For us it was important to get the win and now we’re going to move on.”
What did you say to the team as motivation tonight?
“Whatever is said in the locker room stays here in the locker room. I think everyone knows the importance of the game and the importance of the two points.”
Was there something you didn’t like about the last two games?
“I think we just have to realize where we are. We have to play with more urgency. We did that in the first, we didn’t do that in the second, but in the third we got back to play the way we should.”
How big was this game for you?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.75 | Sv%: .910
"It was great but the guys played a tremendous game in front of me. All night long they battled hard in front, they didn't really allow them to establish net presence and it made my night relatively easy for me."
You guys talked about starting on time, what did getting the first goal mean to you?
"It's huge. I thought we did get started on time tonight, right from the drop of the puck in the first period. I thought we controlled the play in their end and we didn't give them anything. It's great to see. There wasn't really a lot of flash out there tonight. Boring hockey's playoff hockey."
What aspect of your game are you most pleased with tonight?
"Just competing. Like I said, the guys in front of me did a tremendous job and they deserve all the credit."
Was something said after the last couple of games?
"Captain. Z, he leads by example. He leads on and off the ice. Tonight I thought he played -- he always plays a great game for us -- but tonight I thought he was extra special for us. We're going to need that down the stretch here."
How much did you enjoy being out there in this situation?
"You cherish those moments as a player, as a competitor. You just want to go out there and you just want to play. I think everyone in here just needed to take a deep breath, relax a little bit, regroup and just get back to paying attention to details and being smart."
Do you think you guys were able to hit the reset button and get some momentum?
"I think we can. We can enjoy this on the flight down to Florida and then we've got to forget about it and get ready for the Panthers. They're ahead of us in the standings and we're scratching and clawing for points here and we're going to need to build off of this."
In the second, the puck came off your shoulder and Green and Tatar came back to help, how about that play?
"It was a bang-bang shot, Hartnell got it off quick. I saw it hit my shoulder and then sort of just roll up, I could feel it rolling down. Then Greener there tied Hartnell up pretty good. I just sort of swung my skate and then Tats was there on the post. Like I said, the guys did a great job in front of me tonight."
That goes to the compete level you talked about this morning?
"That's what we're going to need. To be able to get into the playoffs and then to perform well in the playoffs, you've got to play a team game, you've just got to do all the little things correctly."
How big was that goal?
Center - DET
Goals: 5 | Assists: 12 | Pts: 17
Shots: 70 | +/-: 2
"It was good for the team to get off to a good start and play with a lead. We haven't done that for a while. Doubles made a great play there and I was just standing in front and I think maybe it hit my shin pad or something."
Is that just net-front presence, doing things to get dirty goals?
"None of mine are pretty, so I'll take them any way I can get them. It's a good win for our team. Howie was outstanding. We you need a win the most, it's great to see your captain score the game winner."
What did he say to the guys to make them aware of importance of showing up on time?
"I think we all knew the situation we're in but there's no better captain than Z to take it. You could see he was playing inspired tonight right from the first shift and that got us all going."
How much sweeter does this win make the ride to Florida tonight?
LEFT WING - DET
Goals: 11 | Assists: 11 | Pts: 22
Shots: 139 | +/-: 4
“It’s definitely a lot nicer. It was a must-win game and we found a way despite some second-period flaws I didn’t think we played that great. But when you come out with two points when you need them it’s a good feeling. Move on to Florida and hopefully keep it going.”
What’s it mean in the room when you rise to the occasion and win a game you needed?
“It is extremely important. It feels good and hopefully we can build from this, use this momentum heading into a couple more games that we need to win.”
Zetterberg said his goal was a little insurance and then you scored. How big was your goal?
“It definitely helps late in the game when you’re up three instead of two. Obviously any lead is nice but the higher the better. They get that one late on the power play and anything can happen if it’s still a one-goal game. Definitely huge that Hank scored and obviously the extra cushion felt nice as well. We’ve got to find ways to keep throwing pucks at the net and scoring goals.”
Howard alluded to the fact that the captain had something to say. Can you share with us what was said?
“He’s been kind of talking the last few games about how good of a team we really are and how we’ve got to rise to the occasion, find ways to win, get to the playoffs and see what can happen there. It’s so nice getting into the playoffs. Anything can happen there. If we don’t dig in and find ways to win right now, then that’s not going to happen.”
Did you sense the urgency was there tonight?
“You’ve just got to keep that same message going that the playoffs is a special time but nothing is going to happen in the playoffs if we don’t do it right now. That’s why it’s so important, these two points. We need to find ways to win each night. Those games that we have left we’ve just got to dig in, play to our capabilities and good things will happen for this club.”
Was it unusual for Zetterberg to be so vocal?
“I wouldn’t say unusual but when things need to be said he’ll step up and speak his mind, say what the team needs to hear. I’m not surprised that he’s done it. He does it. That’s a good leader. He’s not always rah rah or yelling at guys but when he steps up and speaks, you listen. He’s leading in the dressing room, leading on the ice. You want to play hard for the guys beside you. You want to play hard for the captain.”
The last couple of games you just didn’t like the way things went, right?
“The first period in Philly was horrible. I don’t know what happened with Toronto. I was in my bed (ill) the whole day. It was a tough one for me. I wish I would have been out there but Philly I thought we played good in the second and third but that’s not good enough when you’re playing a team that obviously was ahead of us tonight. We’re chasing, they’re chasing. You can’t lose a game, especially to a team like that.”
|Anthony Mantha heads to the dressing room after he went hard into a goal post late in the first period Thursday. The Red Wings' rookie did return for the start of the second period. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings) |
What did you think of the leadership that Zetterberg is exhibiting?
“He’s a great leader. That’s what I’ve said all year long, these guys are winners in our locker room and he’s at the top of that list. … What I do know is that he’s a great leader and he does it first by example. Talk is cheap lots and he does it by example first and when he does talk it means a lot and I’m sure it meant a lot to the guys.”
How important was it to score first tonight?
“You always want to score first, you can’t necessarily control that but you always want to score first. You look around the league the team that scores first generally wins more than not. Momentum is a big thing. When you score you can build momentum, if you get scored on you can lose momentum. I think the bigger factor is what we can control is how we play for 60 minutes. We just got to continue to focus on playing as well as we can as hard as we can for 60 minutes.”
Did you like the good start tonight?
“I thought from the drop of the puck we had a first good number of shifts. As I said the other night I thought we did for the first five minutes in Philly but we let it get away from us once we got scored on. So it was good to score first, one, and then two, I didn’t love our second, I still think we got better in us. But I thought we came out in the third and played real well and didn’t give them traction. One thing we talked about between the second and third was not giving them any easy looks and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
What about the job that Glendening did?
“I see what I see every night. Luke plays hard. He’s very, very good defensively and he goes to the net and stands in front of the net. Obviously, the first goal he went to the net and stood in front of the net and did a good job. He’s a winner. That’s what he’s been in his whole life. He’s a big piece of our puzzle.”
How big was it for the collective mindset to win tonight?
“I just think right now it’s a matter of winning hockey games. There’s no question you want to end any kind of losing as soon as you can but I think right now we got to win every single night. We got to go out and play the best we can and try to win as many hockey games as we can down the stretch.”
How about Howard’s performance?
“I thought Jimmy was great. I thought Jimmy controlled his rebounds well, I thought he had good body control, I thought pucks stuck to him well, all the things it takes to be real successful.”
Does it seem like Howard has ironed out his problems from a few months ago?
“He’s been good for the last number of games, real good. Some of that, you’re going to have an ebb and flow in the year and sometimes confidence is a big thing. He’s really, really earned his confidence by the way he’s practiced every day and the way he’s played in the games he’s played in the last little bit.”
What did you see on the play where Mantha went hard into the post?
“I thought it was a great move for Mantha to drive the net and obviously shook him up a little bit but I thought it was a great move for him to drive the net hard.”
Were you concern that was hurt worse than he was?
“I’m concerned anytime any of our players are potentially hurt. That’s certainly not what I want for them, first and foremost. It’s part of sports but you certainly don’t want to see anybody go down. Lucky, he was fine.”
Mantha had plenty of ice time tonight, how did he look to you?
“I thought he was good early. He had some wall-play issues, breaking out of our zone. He’s going to have to make sure he’s better at but that’s all part of the learning process. We understand that when we brought him up that’s part of it and we’ll keep putting him out there and hoping that he’s successful.”
Is Coreau staying with the team or heading back to AHL Grand Rapids?
“He’ll come with us to Florida and we’ll see where Petr is at tomorrow. For sure we’ll have two healthy goalies to practice and then we’ll evaluate it from there.”
How concerned are you about the bug going around (Helm and Datsyuk have also missed games with flu recently)?
“I think it’s part of life, so we better deal with it. Honestly, you can’t control that. We’ll have 20 bodies ready for Saturday night and we’ll have to execute and win.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.