What did you think of the job done by your wingers, Sheahan and Abdelkader?
Center - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 0
Shots: 1 | +/-: -2
“Abby and She were outstanding tonight. They were really skating and taking the body, so it’s just one game but it’s good to get a win.”
What about the defensive effort your team played with tonight?
“Yeah, I thought everyone battled hard tonight and we got a ton of energy from our fans, which was awesome, right from the … even before the puck drop. So to come home and get a win but it’s just one game, so now we gotta go get the next one.”
Holding Kucherov-Johnson-Killorn to zero shots on goal tonight?
“Yeah, I mean, like I said, it’s just one game and it’s a big win for our team. It’s a step in the right direction but it’s one game, and they’re gonna come ready next game so we have to as well.”
The energy that your line had with Abdelkader and Sheahan?
“I think it’s the first time we’ve played as a line together but two big bodies on the wings and they were hitting and skating tonight. They were outstanding.”
Could you tell that Brendan Smith was happy to get back in the lineup?
He set the tone early. What a hit (on Cedric Paquette in the first period) and to have a guy like that, a physical presence, who can fight, I mean, it’s that’s always helpful.”
How about the melee at the end of this game?
“I mean, it doesn’t do much for either team but I mean it’s emotional, it’s the playoffs. I mean, no harm, no foul.”
How much energy did Smith’s hit on Paquette provide for the team early on?
“Yeah, for sure. He hasn’t played in a while and to see how ready he was to play is outstanding for our group.”
Are you thinking about shadowing your man defensively when you’re faced with defending the Johnson line?
“No, I mean, you have to play within the system. You can’t just follow a guy around all night. There are four other players on the ice, so we just have to play within our system and do what we do.”
How unusual was it to see the Zetterberg goal get reviewed not once but twice?
“Yeah, it was unique but you know I thought our guys did a good job of staying composed and keeping the momentum on our side.”
The Johnson line also took four minor penalties, were you able to throw them off their game?
“I don’t really know if they were frustration penalties but maybe they were. I didn’t see. I know one was a tripping penalty off a faceoff. That’s not a frustration penalty.”
If you take the play to them aren’t they likely to commit penalties?
“Yeah, maybe, we’ll see what happens.”
What did you think the 360-degree shot by Athanasiou (didn’t score), but then he scored later on?
“Yeah, he was great tonight. You could tell from his first shift he was really skating. He has a special skill set, an outstanding player for us.”
What about the job that Petr Mrazek did in earning his third career shutout?
“Yeah, I mean, unbelievable. He’s gone through a little rough patch here and to be able to come back and play like that, backstop our team, is great.”
Did you see the outsides stairs with all of the names of the players who have been part of the 25-year playoff streak?
Did you find your name on the stairs?
“No, I didn’t but it’s pretty cool. I grew up obviously a huge Wings fan. I don’t know if my names on there but if it is it’s pretty cool to be etched in or painted on.”
Was this just a much better effort overall from start to finish?
Defense - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 1 | Pts: 1
Shots: 8 | +/-: 2
“Yeah, I thought so. More desperation in our game. In say that we got a few bounces. It was nice to see it bounce our way but overall it was a pretty good effort and performance.”
You didn’t convert on an early 5-on-3 power play, is it hard not to get down when that happens?
“Well, you can’t. That’s one of those things regardless of what happens you just gotta try to focus on the next shift. Of course, obviously we’d like to take advantage of that but we didn’t but we found a way to stick with it and kept going and kept going and we were able to find two (goals).”
How much of a lift was it to the team when Sheahan and Smith came up with huge hits early in the game?
“For Smitty to come in and throw a big hit like that early on, he gets right in to it. Obviously, everybody could hear the fans and it was pretty loud out there tonight, which was awesome. But of course, the physical play is something that’s a big part of this and I thought we did a fairly good job of that tonight.”
Mrazek has a shutout, only faced 16 shots, but made big saves when he had to, didn’t he?
“Yeah, absolutely. He came up big for us a few times. He played very solid. It’s good to have him back in.”
How about holding the Johnson line to zero shots on goal tonight?
“Well, that doesn’t happen too often. They had a few looks I thought where we got a little lucky at times. But in saying that I thought overall our line that matched up against them did a great job. DK and Marchie played really well as well.”
How much of a lift was it to get Marchenko back in the game after he was cut in the forehead during the second period?
“It was great. Anytime stuff like that happens you don’t want to see anybody get hurt. He’s a big part of our team so for him to obviously coming back in after the second (period), and hearing that he hopefully gonna be fine, it’s a big relief and it’s good to see him back out there.”
Did you have to tell the younger guys what the playoff atmosphere was going to be like tonight at The Joe?
“Not too much. These guys are just trying to focus as much as possible on the ice with what’s going on on the ice. Of course take a second to take it all in with the anthem and stuff like that, a few octopuses got thrown in. I thought everyone did a fairly good job of just staying with it tonight.”
Does a performance like this unlock the team?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 1
Shots: 9 | +/-: 3
"I felt we just wanted to keep building on what we did in Game 1 and Game 2. Obviously it was nice to be in front of our home fans. It was really loud from warm-ups and all the way through the game. It was nice to play a playoff game at home here. I thought we played pretty good, we minimized our mistakes, tried to stay out of the box as much as possible and play in their end."
What were you able to see on your goal?
"Yeah, it was just a scramble in front. I knew it hit my skate and it was a lot of people there. It was a nice feeling when after all the delays and saw it was a good goal."
How much difference did it make the way you controlled the puck?
"It makes it easier when we have it and we did that tonight. And I thought when they had it, we minimized their time and space and you have to do that. They're very skilled when they get time. We did a good job here tonight, now we just got to move on to Game 4."
Is this the type of play that can travel from game to game?
"Obviously it's a new game on Tuesday but we did a lot of good things. We got to go through the bad stuff tomorrow here and clear that out and just keep building on what we're doing right."
How much of a confidence boost can it be for Athanasiou, the way he played?
"He's one of the guys that doesn't get that much ice time but he really takes care of business when he's out on the ice. He almost had an unbelievable goal there in the first there. Then he finished a nice pass from Andy. So I thought that line played really well. Just got to keep going."
Did you get a boost from Smith with that hit right at the start?
"It was a nice hit there, first shift, I think. Got the crowd going, got us going. He's been out for a bit and it was nice to see him back."
How about the defensive effort?
"We did. We have to do that again. They're a very skilled and fast team and when you give them space and time, they will create stuff. We took care of business tonight, now we just got to move on to Game 4."
Is the power play still the sore point for this team?
"Yeah, it would be nice to see if we could get one there."
How did that hit on the first shift help you get into it and help set a tone for the team?
Defense - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 1
Shots: 1 | +/-: 1
"I think for myself that's what I want to do, I want to get a couple touches here and there. I've been out for a month so you've got to get yourself ready and used to the game pace. Sometimes that helps me. I thought it helped me and it seemed to get the boys a little bit of momentum and that just helped out the whole situation."
No shots for Johnson, Kucherov and Killorn, how about the defensive effort?
"I really got to attest that to DK, Kronner, Big E, Marchy, they kind of matched up against them pretty good. When Marchy went down, we had guys like Greener and myself step in. I'd say all in all, it's not just the D. That was a lot of the forwards back checking hard and being above, giving no time and space. It worked out for us."
Not a lot of work for Mrazek but maybe his biggest save was saving you from a big scrap at the end?
"Those are hard on goalies when you're not seeing as many shots and then you got a big opportunity, he makes the save, that's a good goalie. That's what you need and he helped us out there. Yeah, that was more or less to get that two minutes at the end there kind of sealed the game so Mrazek was on his toes and he grabbed me and we kind of just took it from there."
The defense has been maligned lately, how does this take the pressure off?
"It does but you're always looking at the next game. We're thinking about what we can do better. They're going to show up a lot harder, just how these games go. There's been a couple series and every game gets amped up more. Guys like Kucherov and Killorn and Palat, all these guys, Johnson, they're going to bring their game more so we have to up it, we have to up the ante so we make sure we don't give them as many shots or no shots, as you said. I'm not going to say we're going to shut them out in that sense but play hard and make sure we test them at all chances."
Is setting a tone like that just part of your game?
"I think so. I think right off the bat, our first game in Tampa, they came out and they were banging and they got the momentum. So for myself to jump in and do something like that, maybe I could help out in that sense and kind of mellow into my game and play hard defense and maybe chip in with a couple of shots. That's ultimately what I'm trying to do. If I play my game well, it's going to help the boys."
A 2-1 series is very different from a 3-0 series?
"Absolutely. It was a huge game. It's a big game for us. Every win's huge, every shift's huge and we're just going to go and try to get prepared here, flush everything and make sure that we have our best next game here at home. And our fans are huge. We love to play here at home, so they gave us some extra momentum. You guys are giving me a lot of credit but I think got to give everybody else credit and our fans up there."
You allowed three shots in the second, missing Marchenko from midway through the second to midway through the third?
"I thought we did well. I thought we rotated well. I thought Tony did a good job of putting the transition on the D and putting the pairs together. I thought that was good. I felt that our second period hasn't been our MO, like Pittsburgh scores all the time in the second, and I thought we played well in the second and that was something that we could do better and then finish it off with a third period where we shut it down. So that was something that we're happy about. We'll flush it and get ready for the next game."
Does it feel like momentum has shifted a bit or is it a game-to-game thing?
"Game-to-game thing but yeah, the momentum is shifted at all different times of the game. It's nice to get that one because if you go to 0-3, it's pretty tough. It's a big game, just flush it like I've been saying, and get ready for the next game and create some momentum right off the bat of the first couple of shifts and I was lucky to get one."
Athanasiou really earned a goal tonight, didn't he?
"He played great. I thought he could have had a couple. That one move right off the bat, he does that at high speed, there's not a lot of guys in the league that can do that. Unfortunately, that one didn't go in but he got a luckier bounce the next one. Speed kills. If you ever watch the movie The Legs Feed the Wolf (actually it's a Herb Brooks quote from the movie ‘Miracle’), and that's what he does. It's pretty impressive."
Goalie - DET
GAA: 0.00 | Sv%: 1.000
Did you feel any rust at the start?
“I felt pretty good from the beginning of the game. I just tried to stop as many pucks as I could at the beginning to get going in the game.”
You didn’t get a lot of action. How tough was that to get settled into this one?
“It’s always harder when you don’t have many pucks on the net. But I tried to stay focused and guys did a great job in front of me, blocking lots of shots and didn’t give them any easy chances.”
What did you think of Athanasiou’s spin-a-rama move?
“That was a nice move by him. It would be way better if he put it in the net.”
Are you starting to see his skills come through?
“He looks very sharp in there. It’s his third game but I think he’s playing really well.
What were you thinking what you grabbed Smith in bear hug to keep him from retaliating on Coburn?
“I try just to hold him a little bit just so he don’t bump him and get two minutes and it would be four or four. They would probably pull the goalie so I try to just hold him se we’d get the power play.”
Can a performance like you had help unlock the rest of the team?
“I would say we did a great job today. We’ll be ready Tuesday.”
You’ve had good success vs. Lightning in playoffs?
“Every game is different. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tampa or somebody else. We knew from last year the series was going to be tight, that every inch of the ice was going to be tough to go through. We have to be ready for that.”
How easy was it to get into the flow of the game tonight?
“Yeah I felt great from the beginning. I was hoping that I was going to have some easy shots on me so I could get into the game. The first period was pretty fun.”
What do you have to do to get more ice time?
Center - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 1
Shots: 9 | +/-: E
“When you get rolling there a little bit early, you can get into it quick and stick with it a little bit. Whenever I get my shifts, I’m going to be ready for it. I’m going to do what I can to make the most of that shift and just try to help the guys win.”
Can you describe your goal?
“I got the puck up to Tats and Tats made a good play to Andy who made a hell of a move on the D there. That almost went in. Me and Andy kind of had a little criss cross. Just kind of one-timed it. It was rolling. The old knuckle puck. You never know where it’s going to go. I was fortunate enough for it to go in.”
What about the 360 spin-a-rama that you missed on earlier?
“Tats made an unbelievable chip out to me. I kind of felt some pressure from the D there, kind of did a little spin-a-rama there, saw him, he fell there, so I thought I could cut back one more time and unfortunately I put it a little wide. That would have been a nice one to get early in the game.
“I think that’s my first time using it. Usually I take it wide and go in. The D had a step on me there. I thought I’d try it out. It worked out. Partially.”
From you viewpoint, how close did you come to scoring on that shot?
“I didn’t see the replay. You kind of had the top corner there. I had to get it up quick. Unfortunately, it didn’t go in.”
You were able to see the top corner?
“Once I did the spin-a-rama there, I saw the D lose an edge there. When I cut back I knew I had a little bit of time. Namestnikov came back with some good back pressure, I had to get it off quick. I saw the opening there. I tried it but it didn’t go.”
What was the best thing one of your teammates said to you have that shot attempt?
“I don’t know. Everyone was just fired up we were getting some chances, kind of swinging the momentum from our end. Z said nice move, that’s always good to hear from him.”
How about the job you guys did shutting down the Johnson line?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 1
Shots: 6 | +/-: -3
"I thought we did a really good job, obviously to get the last change that’s a matchup that we wanted and I thought we came out energized right away, crowd got us going and we continued that throughout the game."
How did your line contain them?
"I think we just got to make sure we’re keeping our F-3 and staying above those guys and not giving them odd-man rushes. I think we’re a line that can also play in the offensive zone. I thought we did a pretty good job of hanging onto puck and being offensive, too, not just sitting back on our heels and playing defense."
What were your thoughts when you learned of your new line and role?
"I was actually really excited about it. It’s an opportunity to try to neutralize a line that’s been great against us for the last two years. I take it as a … compliment. Chip on shoulder, that we can have a big impact on a game if we can neutralize that line and be hard against those guys and not give them much space out there."
Have the three of you ever played together before?
"Maybe a few shifts here or there, but not really."
How much of a lift did you get from Smith?
"Brendan gave us a huge lift, he’s a defenseman that comes out, he plays physical, he plays hard, he plays the type of hockey in the playoffs that is important. He doesn’t give opponents much space in front of the net, finishes his checks, he had a couple big checks early on to spark us, too. If keeps it simple and keeps the play in front of him and doesn’t try to do too much he can be a great defenseman for us. I thought he did a good job of that tonight."
What was happening between you and Boyle at the end?
“I would have liked to fight him. I’m not 100 percent. I had my hand taped up from last game and from previous games. I asked the ref if I cut him, it is a misconduct there and I already got one, so I got to be careful. Obviously, I want to stand up for myself, too, but this time of year when you got injuries and you’re banged up you got to be smart, too, and that’s what I’m trying to do."
What were your thoughts on Boyle’s chicken sign?
"I don’t need to really comment on that. If he needs to do that, good for him."
Does the defensive performance like this unlock you guys?
"I knew we had it in us. Both games in Tampa were really tight. Like Blash said, I think it was a few plays. Obviously Game 2 had it 2-2 in the third period, couldn’t find a way to get that third goal, they got it. Coming back home, I thought the crowd was great, like they always are. It’s playoff time, it was lively, it’s exciting. We fed off the energy right from the start and didn’t turn around.?
How about holding the Johnson line to no shots?
“Glennie did a terrific job last year on that line when we matched them. He makes it really hard, he wins a lot of face-offs, he’s good defensively. Me and She just try to fill the void there on the walls, fill the spaces and make sure when we get pucks we skate, when we get pucks in we’re not trying to make too many plays, just trying to keep it simple, keep the plays in front of us. We’re a line that once we get into the offensive zone we can hang onto pucks, be heavy, be hard on those guys. I think we need to continue that. We’re at home again, we get the match-ups we want and it will be different for us.”
Was it a matter of being patient after Bishop was making big saves?
"He’s going to make big saves, he’s a good goalie. A of pucks, even if he doesn’t see them they’re going to hit him. Staying patient, getting second and third opportunities, like on Z’s goal, being harder on the net and harder around those areas was key for us, got us a goal there. I thought Petr did a good job coming in and battling and making big saves when he had to. Defensemen did a good job in front of him."
How about Mrazek hugging Smith to prevent retaliation at the end?
"I didn’t even see it but we all got to keep our composure. In a playoff series like this … at times in the first couple games we lost our composure, took too many penalties. If we stick to playing five on five we’ll have a good chance each game."
Is that why you didn’t want to fight Boyle?
"I got a little banged up from my last fight and a few injuries previously. I would have but my hands were taped. If I draw blood I get a misconduct. I asked the ref. Obviously aware of that. I understand guys stand up for (themselves), but I got to be smart, too. I don’t want to take myself out of the series. He can do or say whatever he want to say but I’m going to continue to play my type of hockey, play hard, be physical and hopefully win some games."
What about Boyle's chicken gesture?
"It’s kind of funny, but if he wants to do that, that’s what he wants to show, whatever. It doesn’t affect me at all because I know what type of player I am. I stand up for myself when I’m healthy."
Was there anything they did differently to you tonight to slow you down maybe that they didn’t do in the first two games or was that more of you guys?
“I mean they played really hard. Their desperation level is higher than ours so that’s a big difference itself, and the more desperate team won the hockey game tonight. That was it. The thing that slowed us down was penalties. You’re just killing the whole night and whether you debate the calls here or there we didn’t give ourselves a chance. If you are going to sit in the penalty box all night it’s hard to do anything.”
Most of your offense in this series has come from three guys. Is it fair to say that other guys just need to step up and start scoring some goals?
“Well, naturally we’ve played three games and three guys have scored all but one of them I think. You can’t just sit here and depend on three guys to score every night and that’s how it’s going to go. It’s just not how it works. I don’t even know, we had 16 shots. I think we had seven shots in the last two periods. I know they switched goaltenders but I don’t even know if they needed a goaltender tonight to be honest.”
You mentioned yesterday how big of a swing Game 3 is, either up 3-0 or 2-1, big difference there. I know you’re still leading the series but how much of a missed opportunity did this feel like?
“Well, when you get home ice advantage, you win the first two you really put them up against the wall if you win that third one. But I’m not so sure myself, their coach or anyone in this room was picking this to be a sweep so it went from us pinning them up against the wall to now it’s a series. They came home were energized from being home, they were desperate to win a hockey game and we just came in to play a hockey game.”
Your guys in the room said there wasn’t any room in the neutral zone and that’s what lead to the lack of shot attempts. Is there something they did specifically here that they didn’t do in the first two games to jam things up?
“No I don’t think they changed their style. We had some chances early. Our biggest thing was we didn’t shoot the puck. We had our chances and every time we either were shooting into shin pads or we over passed. There hasn’t been room in the neutral zone the whole series so it wasn’t the fact that we didn’t score a goal tonight. We had 16 shots, and not sitting here saying oh well. They didn’t change the style of play. They played the same way every single time we played them. But it was our will that wasn’t there tonight. Where it needs to be in a playoff game and it cost us.”
|Henrik Zetterberg celebrates his first goal in 14 games after his second-period score gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead over the Lightning in Game 3. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
Your defense had been much maligned but to have a performance like this - how does this unlock everybody?
“I thought we played a good game first of all. We did a good job from the start of the game right on through both sides of the puck. I thought we were good defensively and good offensively. As I said coming into this I didn’t think it was significant differences. I thought we done a lot of good things through two games but we had made not enough plays defensively and not enough plays offensively and tonight I thought we were real complete.”
Can you tell us about taking Howard out and putting Mrazek and Smith in?
“I thought Jimmy Howard done a good job for us. Petr did a good job too, but yet I thought this was our most complete game. I thought Brendan Smith played great and had an immediate impact right away.”
Do you think the Glendening line frustrated the Johnson line and moving forward how do you think they can continue to be as successful as they were?
“From our prospective I thought Glendening, Sheahan and Abdelkader did a good job. Throughout the lineup we had a lot of guys who played real well and were real tight.”
Justin Abdelkaeder was saying at the end he wanted to fight but he wasn’t going to because his hands were taped. Do you like that he makes that kind of smart decision where he thinks long term instead of short term satisfaction?
“I told him going into the game I didn’t want him to (fight). First of all he’s too valuable a player for us so that was my instruction to him. Obviously there were other reasons at the end of the game why he didn’t. I think he’s extremely valuable to our hockey team and we want to make sure he’s on the ice playing for us as much as possible.”
On their big line, was it more possessing the puck or denying them space?
“The one thing we talked about this morning is you can’t go out there and defend all night. So with that line we felt Glendening, Sheahan and Abdelkader could do a good job of trying to make Johnson’s line defend them and I thought they did a pretty good job out there. They are big guys, they can roll around the offensive zone and spending time in the other team’s zone is the best defense.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.