You have to feel bad for Jimmy, the way he played and didn’t get the win?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 12 | Assists: 29 | Pts: 41
Shots: 144 | +/-: 2
"Howie was really, really good tonight. He made some unbelievable saves. It's fun to see that he played that well. He played some tough situations, a lot of back-to-back games when team's a little bit tired. Today he was outstanding."
It looked like you got going after the first five minutes, just a case of good goaltending both ways?
"Yeah, I thought it was a good hockey game. For us, we needed a little time to get going after last night but we worked ourselves into the game and I thought we played overall pretty good."
How difficult was it getting shots through on the power play?
"They blocked a lot of shots but we knew that, too. We got to be better, too, to get pucks to the net. It's not always from the point, maybe we have to get it from down low, too, to create some more chaos in front of the net."
How about the job that the Rangers’ Lundqvist did?
"He's a good goalie. He played well. It was a great battle between the pipes tonight."
One point a game is a hard way to get into the playoffs, does this team need to find an extra gear?
"It's no secret, it's tight. It should be tight this time of year. I thought these two games just a step forward for us as a team. If we keep doing this we'll be fine."
What did you think of Jimmy Howard's play?
Defense - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 6 | Pts: 8
Shots: 34 | +/-: 3
"I think I told him through the 11 years of on an off that might have been the best game I've ever seen him play. I'm happy that he had such a great game and hopefully he can keep going with that. If he does that, we're in great shape."
Did you sense he was on his game early?
"We're coming off a back to back and they always come out really hard in the first period. We knew that was going to happen and that's exactly what did and he held the fort for us. That was huge."
When he's in a slump like that do you support him much, say anything to him?
"Goalies are in their own world. But just knowing Jimmy, from this morning, he was dialed in right from the start. You can kind of tell when he's on and he obviously was tonight."
When he stopped the penalty shot, he says he pumped his fist at the bench to fire you guys up, did it?
"I wasn't watching (laughs). That was a huge save. If they put that one in, they were playing so well we were going to have a tough time scoring. We were excited for him and excited for us. That was a huge save for us."
A few minutes later, he had another huge save on Fast?
"A 2 on 0. A couple of guys fall, they do a great play again, 2 on 0, a guy fakes, throws it backdoor and he still makes a huge save. He was on. I don't know what else you want me to say. It was pretty remarkable, his play."
With 22 games left, two points on the weekend indicative of how tight the standings are?
"Every game is going to be a battle and we all know it's going to come down to the last game. But we have to get points and wins. We know every game is important. We know we played really well in Ottawa, but they did a good job of battling through. We knew tonight was going to be a war. The one point we got was huge. We have a huge game with Columbus (Tuesday). We have to get two points there, and then the outdoor game (in Colorado). We're just taking it one game at a time and we know we just have to get points on the board."
How satisfying was this one for you?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.82 | Sv%: .906
"It’s not satisfying because we didn’t get the win. It doesn’t matter. You still want to get the two points. But it was a fun game to be a part of. It’s always fun being a New York boy and being able to come back here and play."
Did the early barrage of New York shots help you in the first period?
"We knew they were going to come to the net hard early and just throw pucks from everywhere. Just wanted to get my body in front of it. Didn’t really matter how I got it done. Just wanted to get the job done for the boys tonight."
Did you guys feel like you did everything possible?
"Yes and no. Like I said, first and foremost you want to get the two points and walk out of here feeling really good about yourself. But on a personal note maybe this is a step in the right direction figuring out my role here. It’s been hard. It’s been tough to figure out but hopefully I’m starting to get it."
Take us through what happened on the penalty shot, stopping Jesper Fast?
"Believe it or not I think just working on it every single day … at the end of practices, the end of pre-game skate, I take about 20 breakaways against the guys and I really put some onus on myself to get better in that area too."
How about the 2-on-0 stop moments after the penalty shot?
"That was just a case of I figured he was going to pass it across and the one-timer. I was just thinking definitely cheated a little bit there. If he would have went backhand probably would have had me but I figured he wasn’t going to be selfish and he was going to slide it across and I cheated a little bit."
What did you think of the challenge?
"I thought it was a great challenge. It doesn’t matter who you are. When you get kicked in the face it’s going to take you a second to figure out where the puck is again. So I thought it was a great use of the challenge here tonight."
How pumped were you after stopping the penalty shot? You showed a lot of emotion?
"I just wanted to fire up the guys the best I could and that’s Petr and my job, to be in those moments and come out on top for the guys. It was a huge moment in the game and it’s just too bad we didn’t come out on the right end tonight."
How about getting a point for the second straight night?
"At least we got a point both nights but the push has begun, something like 22-23 games left and every night points are critical and you need them. I thought we played a great road game here tonight and it’s just unfortunately Gus’ just didn’t have a little more momentum."
|Darren Helm collided with Rangers center J.T. Miller in the second period. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings) |
What did you think of the job Howard did tonight?
“Jimmy was great. I thought Jimmy, he certainly deserved the win. Especially when he made a big save on the penalty shot and just had real big moments. I thought Jimmy was great. That goes back, I thought he played real well when he went in against Pittsburgh (last Thursday) and thought he was good against the Islanders. I think he’s had three good outings in a row and hopefully he can continue to build on that.”
Did you see anything you hadn’t seen in a while, perhaps from a technique standpoint?
“No. As I said, from a process standpoint, I actually think he’s been fine. He looked really good against the Islanders. The one thing about goaltending is sometimes pucks go in, you can be playing great and pucks go in. I know that, I played the position, that’s what happens sometimes. I try to judge it from a process standpoint. I thought he looked good there and thought he looked good against Pittsburgh. He seems to be filling the net well and seems to be in control of his body and I thought he was real sharp seeing the puck, so I think he’s in a good spot.”
What did you see from the play where you used the coaches’ challenge?
“Right away (assistant coach) Tony Granato came to me and said challenge it. He saw Jimmy get kicked in the head. When I looked at the replay I thought for sure we’re going to challenge it. He gets kicked in the head and in my opinion doesn’t have enough time to get himself gathered back and the puck goes in.”
If something were to be blamed for tonight’s loss would it be your power play?
“The power play wasn’t good enough. Game on the road you got to win the special teams battle to give yourself a real chance. I thought our penalty kill did a good job, but our power play, we had shot attempts but we didn’t have nearly enough shots, one shot on the power play. We need it to be better for us to have success.”
What do you have to do when you’re getting as many shots blocked like tonight?
“Shooting off the pass and being real smart about shooting off the pass and we probably didn’t do enough of getting the puck low and working some zone play options out of that. We were probably up high too much and just shooting it. We’re going to have to work on it and make sure we’re better on Tuesday.”
Are the last two games steps in the right direction for your team?
“I thought they were steps in the right direction. Certainly yesterday we played real well defensively. Today’s a little different element. You got to gut out back to backs and I thought we did that fairly well. I didn’t think the first 10 minutes were good enough and then I thought the second 10 in the first were good. In the second period we probably had two fairly empty nets that we didn’t score on. If we score it’s probably a different game. They pushed a little bit in the third but I asked a lot out of our guys, a lot of our guys played a lot of minutes.”
Why not give the Larkin-Tatar-Nyquist line much ice time tonight?
“I’d say it had more to do with a little bit in the match and they didn’t get much time on the power play. Pavel’s unit ended up twice out there for 1:30, so there’s a full minute of power play that they would have got had it been normal. Usually it’s a minute each and then you get off, but they (Datsyuk’s PP unit) had zone possession the whole time. That’s a little bit of it. They ended up going third a lot and sometimes you go third and you have specialty teams and that’s what happens.”
Was Larkin still feeling the illness that kept him out of Saturday’s game?
“I was certainly worried about … I didn’t want to grind Larkin into the ground. The other side of it is they have to go out and scream at me that they want to play more, too. I didn’t think they screamed at me that they want to play more. That’s one way to make sure you get more ice time.”
Quincey said it was the best he’s seen Howard, do you have the same view of your goalie’s performance?
“I’ve seen Jimmy play lots of good games. I thought it was right up there. He looked determined to win the hockey game, it’s unfortunate we couldn’t win it for him. He did everything he could have done to win it and we couldn’t score a goal.”
Seems like anything can happen in 3-on-3 overtime, would you agree?
“Yeah, those were big points, so we got to make sure we’re winning our share of them. As of lately, I have said in the past, you get to overtime and shootouts it’s a little bit flip the coin but right now the coin isn’t being flipped evenly enough, so we got to make sure that we get ourselves back to a spot where we’re winning more of those.”
Are teams defending in overtime better?
“It’s hard for me to say. It has lots to do with who you put out there. More offensive players you out there the more it’s going to be offensive, so they might be defending a little bit more.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contriuted to this report.