What were your thoughts on what happened tonight?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.11 | Sv%: .927
"Obviously not enough. We want to bring two points but they played well. We knew if we were going to go chance by chance with them, that's what they want. They scored more than us."
How tough was it with the way they were swarming you in your own end?
"Obviously they played well, they came hard and they had a lot more chances than we did."
You've given up five goals in each of the last two games, can you pinpoint anything?
"No, it just happens. How I said before, sometimes they go in, you have to find a way how to stop those pucks. They had some lucky bounces the first one and the second one I had a piece of it. You just battle hard and go get the win next game."
Does it seem like the team is going through something defensively the last few games?
"I wouldn't say we're going through something. The game starts 0-0 every game, you have to play hard 60 minutes. We have to learn from that for next game."
Did you feel any momentum shift after you scored and then they scored 25 seconds later?
"That was a big one for them for sure. When we tied the game, if we keep it 2-2 for longer, it may be a different game. I feel like the fourth goal was maybe the break point there."
How would you assess tonight's game?
Center - DET
Goals: 5 | Assists: 13 | Pts: 18
Shots: 113 | +/-: 3
“They got talent, but we weren’t as sharp as we usually are mentally and detailed. When that happens and they are, they’re going to get chances and they buried them.”
What about the lack of mental sharpness, maybe a trend the last three games?
“Every game is different. I don’t think against Boston we had huge breakdowns. Sometimes pucks find their way in. Maybe back to back … every game is different. Tonight, we had rest, we had practice yesterday, we came in, we had lots of time to be sharp. It happens. It’s how you respond next game. You can’t let that compound and keep going.”
Hard to build momentum after you scored that second goal?
“That goes with how everything was tonight. I think we’re usually a lot better than that in all areas, mentally, knowing when not to turn over pucks, where to put pucks, shifts after goals, all those things are part of what we’re talking about, so I’ve never been on a team, that hasn’t had one of those in 82 games. It’s how you bounce back and regroup and what we learned from it and how you apply that next game.”
A couple of tough starts for Mrazek now, what did you see from him tonight?
“If we’re going to break down then you’re leaving it to chance. Some nights he’s going to stand on his head and some nights he’s going to be human. It’s a group thing tonight, where we all know that’s not how we’re going to play hockey the rest of the year and how we’re going to win.”
What is your assessment of this one?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 12 | Assists: 29 | Pts: 41
Shots: 138 | +/-: 3
"Playing a team like this who is real offensive and really leaving their guys early from their own end, you have to play a little more defense, a little bit more poise. We didn't do that early. They got some odd-man rushes right away and kind of got us a little bit on our heels. It's tough to play like that against a team like this."
It seemed like they were swarming you in your own end, how did that affect the defensive game plan?
"That's kind of what happens when you got a start like that. You're on your heels and you're thinking a little bit too much and they're coming on the forecheck instead of making one good play and you will have the odd-man rush. You're holding the puck a little bit too much and it ends up you're spending too much time in your own end."
What has happened to the defense in the last three games?
"Probably turning the puck over a little bit too much. I don't think we did that in the stretch when we didn't give up that many goals. I think just a little bit more urgency from the beginning of the games, that's on me. We got to be better from the start."
How disappointing when you score and they come back right away and regain the lead?
"It's been like that lately here and it's hard to win games when that happens."
On the positive side, both Jurco and Larkin scored?
"We'd rather have two points though than see guys get on the scoring sheet. But we need everyone to play good and those two are a big part of our team and it's nice to see them score."
|Tomas Jurco reacts to his first-period goal that pulled the Red Wings even at 1-1 in Pittsburgh. It was Jurco's fourth of the season. (Photo by Getty Images)) |
Can you assess tonight’s game?
“I didn’t think we were good enough defensively. I didn’t think as a five-man unit we weren’t even close. We cannot play that way and have long-term success. I thought we were way too loose, we gave up way too many chances. Certainly credit to them, they played really well but I focus on our team. I thought it was our weakest five-man unit defensively we’ve had in a while.”
How disappointing was giving up the third goal after you had tied it at 2-2?
“You certainly can’t give one … momentum is a big thing and we were able to tie it. When you’re on the road and you’re chasing the game the whole night it’s a hard thing, so that certainly was a big moment. I thought there were lots of moments throughout the game, you can point to a lot of different ones. Overall we just got to make sure we play at a way higher level than that. One, is defensively certainly. Two, our overall compete level has to be better than that.”
Mrazek has surrendered 11 goals now in the last two games, are you seeing anything there?
“I didn’t see anything tonight. I thought he was fine tonight. I thought the other night he was a bit off. He would tell you that as well. Tonight I didn’t see that. The only thing is making sure his crease management is real good, where he doesn’t get too far out of the cage, so he can continue to battle for all those rebound goals. But I just think – I don’t care who’s in the net – you can’t play that way defensively and have long-term success.”
Was it good for Howard to get a little action in the third period?
“I think it’s good for him. That was the No. 1 reason we wanted to do that at that point, to get him in the game and hopefully he’d see some shots and stop them and get his game going a little bit and he looked good. But I thought he looked good on the Island, too, I guess it’s Brooklyn now. But I thought he was on his game. The result wasn’t what anybody wanted but I thought he was on his game. It’s good. He’s worked hard to prepare himself, so hopefully that’s a positive sign.”
Do the lapses in defensive play come down to mental mistakes?
“I said to Trevor (Thompson) we got to go to work, but it’s not necessarily work in practice. It’s grinding and things like that. We got to get our mental energy up a little bit, where we’re executing at a high level mentally. We just made errors that I don’t think are normal errors for us. We didn’t get above people when we should have been above them, gave them rushes against, didn’t cover people in front of the net when we normally cover people in front of the net. So we’ll definitely have a good video session tomorrow to make sure we make those corrections and put ourselves mentally in a better spot.”
Can you describe your goal?
RIGHT WING - DET
Goals: 19 | Assists: 20 | Pts: 39
Shots: 157 | +/-: 21
“It was good to try and change up the lines and I think the first shift with Helmer just … I was able to find a loose puck and we were able to generate some offense as a line. You always want to score but it would have been nice as a team to get a few more and stop a few more.”
Did it seemed like the Penguins were sending two guys in on the forecheck and limiting your time in space?
“They did a good job. They’re a fast team, a skilled team and they work hard. We got to be aware and pay better attention to detail but that’s just the way it goes.”
Mrazek said he thought the Pens’ third goal was a back breaker, what did you think?
“It was a tough one. It was a good shot. I don’t know if it was a back breaker for me. But there’s still a lot of game left. We did a good job in third. We kept playing but just a few bad bounces.”
Earlier you said you were excited for a chance to play in Pittsburgh, what did you think?
“It was kind of a sloppy game. It’s a beautiful building. The fans love the Penguins and I think it would be a great playoff atmosphere. It was a great atmosphere.”