Did you think the quality was there in your team shots tonight?
RIGHT WING - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 8 | Pts: 12
Shots: 92 | +/-: 6
“When you lose you want more quality because the odds are the more quality, you know, the more goals. We scored one goal and that’s probably on a lot of nights not good enough. We’re gonna have to look at it and find ways, keep getting more traffic there. They did a good job too. The third period was really tough to get anything in the middle of the ice through to the net. They’re protecting the lead and that makes things even harder to get things through and get your body in front of the net. But you can’t feel sorry for yourself. It’s hard to score in this league right now and you keep plugging and believe it will go our way and stay our way if we keep doing the right things.”
In the second period it seemed like you surged late, was that something you guys were doing, or was it the Blues letting down?
“The second, yeah, there wasn’t much going in there in the second, and you know, they probably want to play that type of game once they get up, and keep it, grind it and keep it along the wall. Probably need more momentum on our power play. But throughout the game there wasn’t that many bad spells for us. But there’s got to be more good spells or get more done on the good spells to turn it in those types of games.”
What did you see on their second goal of the night?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.10 | Sv%: .931
“Yeah he got there through the two defensemen. He’s got good speed and he went on the backhand. I tried to close it. He went on the forehand. Just a nice move by Jaskin.”
How much pressure does it put on you when the team falls behind like that?
“I wouldn’t say any pressure, just if you can let in more goals than we score like we did today, we lost the game. It’s that simple.”
Do you just focus on what you have to do and not worry about the score?
“Yeah, I have to do my job and guys have to do their own job, and that’s what we have to do.”
Was it hard to see on their first goal?
“Yeah, they went hard to the net. I think it was lucky bounce, but you got those bounces if you go hard to the net and once in a while it’s gonna go in.”
You made it interesting late but was it a matter of not being able to generate much overall?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 8 | Assists: 23 | Pts: 31
Shots: 102 | +/-: 4
"I think it was we couldn't score. I thought we had chances. I think we started right off the hop and had some real good chances the first couple shifts. I thought the first 10 minutes we created a lot. They got a little bit back in the game but overall, I thought we created enough chances to score more than one goal. It's tough to win when you only score one. Petr was good again in net. He gave us a chance but we just got to score more. I don't know if we really have to create more but we have to score more."
Is part of it the Blues' shot-blocking or is that just every team?
"That's a hockey thing in general right now, blocking shots. It is hard to get them through so you just got to make sure when you have the clear chances, that you put those away because you don't get many in the game."
How about second chances?
"Yeah, there were a lot of pucks lying, not right close to the goalie but a little bit higher. They were there before us. Sometimes you're there, sometimes you're not. Tonight, we couldn't really find the second pucks."
Is that a matter of needing more of a net-front presence?
"I think we had a net-front presence. I don't think the puck is lying there after shots, I think they're lying more up in the slots or a little bit higher. I think we have guys there that are really battling and doing a real good job here in front of their net but we just got to be better at getting the second pucks. Then it's not always the net-front guys. It's the third guy that probably has to be there."
You can't really practice scoring, is it more believing in what you're doing and not getting frustrated?
"Yeah, you just got to keep going at it, keep shooting pucks. It's hard to score in this league, teams are playing a lot tighter than they used to. But you just got to make sure that when you have your chances that you put those away. If you do that, you'll score more than one goal a game."
How surprised were you when Datsyuk missed that one near the end of the first?
"I think he got hooked up or something. He's not missing that if there's no contact."
|Brendan Smith catches this high-stick from Blues center Patrik Berglund on the second period. The play resulted in a Red Wings' first power play of the game Wednesday. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
Is it a case of the same problems over and over or was it something different tonight?
“I said after last game we needed more net presence and we needed to hit the net more. I thought after this game that our net presence was pretty good, especially in the second, maybe not in the first. I thought we needed to hit the net more. I’ll be honest with you, we need to keep playing the way we played tonight. We gotta keep defending well and we gotta find a way to score a bit more. How do you find a way? You hit the net more and you continue to have net presence for 60 minutes and then you win the second-chance battles. We didn’t win enough of our second-chance battles. I thought our second guy was too close to the net. There was tons of rebounds in the hash-mark area that we didn’t have guys there. So we’ve got to make sure what I call our depth of screen guy is there. We’ve got to play the same hockey. We can’t deviate from playing good defensive hockey. But we gotta find a way to score a little bit more. We’ve got to be a little harder around the net, we’ve got to hit the net and we’ve got to make sure we have net presence."
Was the Blues’ second goal just a misread?
“Yep. They were doing a good job of getting guys through the middle of the ice off our backs. They know we tight gap. Our rule is you’re either on the guy or you’re inside the dots. We drifted outside the dots too much there.”
When did you find out that Tomas Tatar was ill and not available tonight?
“After warm up. He was ill and he just didn’t think he could go.”
How do you generate chances, especially on 5 on 5?
“I’d go back and say it’s probably two seasons long at least. I don’t know the stats prior to that. I know this – we had 30 shots against a real good team. I try to take emotion out of it as best I can. Everyone’s frustrated. You want to score. You want to win. I thought there was lots of our process that was good. The areas I talked about, these aren’t big changes. The one other area I’d say is that our D have got to make sure that we’re shot ready and when it goes low to high early, we’ve got to be shot ready so we can find pucks and pucks can find ways to the net. I don’t think there are vast differences. We’re not going to change the way we’re playing. I think we’re going to grade this game out and we’re going to have more chances for than against, although we had some against for sure and they played well. But I bet you we had more. We have to go into Buffalo with a singular focus and that’s to win a hockey game.”
How do you keep the team believing they’re doing right thing?
“First of all we got a group in here that’s been around lots, so they understand process and how important it is. I don’t have to say it, they know it. They police themselves that way. We’ve got a young team but great veteran leadership. Second, they look at the segment board behind us in the hall and it says we’re a playoff team today. That was Game 1 of the segment, so we got four more games to find a way to get at least six points. We played a good hockey game tonight. We got to find a way to score a little bit more. Let’s just keep plugging away and keep getting better at it and hopefully by the end of the year we’ve gotten better at it enough that no one asks us that.”
Is this a team that just has to win close, one-goal games?
“I don’t know if we have to but I think this team has been a real good defensive team for a long time and I think it’s real hard if you’re not a real good defensive team and I think teams throughout the league are finding that out. Teams that score a lots but maybe aren’t defensive enough are struggling. Again, I think there’s guys that have more scoring in them. Sometimes it ebbs and flows a little bit. It’s been enough 5 on 5 for two years but I think we’re going to score. We’re going to keep working on it and getting better. There’s no use dwelling on it more than that. Let’s keep working on it and getting better, whether that’s just simple things like making sure we hit the net in practice, whether it’s doing drills to help our guys get in position to get shots off through traffic. We’ll do all those things, we’ll keep getting better and I believe we’re going to score. I think we got lots of guys who are going to score more as we continue on here.”
What were your thoughts on Larkin playing with Datsyuk’s line tonight?
“I thought it was OK. I didn’t think it was quite as good as I’d like it to be. But that doesn’t mean we won’t try it again at some point. Larks is somebody who’s generated chances with different linemates. I don’t think he necessarily needs a linemate to generate, and Pav’s somebody who generates chances and doesn’t necessarily need someone to generate. So we’ll keep tinkering with things and seeing what the best group is. That to be honest with you is going to change through the year at different times and when it changes sometimes it invigorates guys and sometimes when there’s changes it can take a little while to get used to.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.