What did it take for you guys to get the win tonight?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.38 | Sv%: .924
“We knew it was going to be a hard game. They play hard and you could see in the last 10 minutes we had to push really hard, and we had success.”
How did the team manage to rally after the Canadiens’ second goal and not get deflated?
“That’s how hockey is, sometimes you’re down and sometimes you’re up. So we still had 15 minutes in the game and how I said, we played a really hard last 13 minutes.”
How tough was the game for you, especially in the second period when there were a lot of turnovers?
“When you don’t have lots of shots sometimes and they have some chances, had some breakaways, it’s always hard, but you try to stay in the game and do the things right.”
Were you surprised at the amount of energy the Canadiens had despite playing last night?
“Well, you know that’s how NHL is, we play lots of back-to-back games, and you cannot see if they played last night or they didn’t. The game starts zero, zero.”
Did you think their second goal was off-sides?
“Coach has a chance to look at it, so I told Shea it might be off-sides, because I saw the guy there fly through the neutral zone. But it probably wasn’t.”
You’re four points out of first place, is it too early in the season to be looking at the standings?
“Yeah, every game is different. We still have 50, 51 games, I think, left, so it’s too early to look at it.”
You stopped Plekanec twice on breakaways, how much of a lift did that second stop give you?
“Yeah, I just try to be big out of the blue paint, and you know, I just think it hit my right pad on the second one.”
How good did you feel tonight scoring twice?
Center - DET
Goals: 3 | Assists: 4 | Pts: 7
Shots: 53 | +/-: -4
“Yeah, I thought pucks were bouncing my way, I was able to utilize my speed and create some chances and get a couple of goals. It was nice.”
How big of a win was this for your team?
“Huge win. Comeback win for us. Enough time for us to hold on to. We’re not great at that, but found a way tonight and that’s a big win for the team.”
Can you take us through your winning goal?
“I think it was Richie had a really good forecheck, kept the puck in play. They took another whack at it. Pavel was able to kick it up to me and, I don’t know, I saw it was just me and the goalie. Tried to make a play, out-wait him and find the net.”
Can a team gain confidence from getting points now in 12 straight games?
“Yeah, absolutely. We’re confident right now. We’re finding ways to win and that’s important. When you’re not confident you find ways to lose and tonight we found a way to win and that’s great.”
Is it fair to say that Joe Louis Arena was the loudest it’s been all season after your game-winning goal?
“Yeah, we’ve had a couple of big wins where the crowd’s been really behind us. Tonight was no different. I think back to the Nashville game that was a pretty good game in overtime that was pretty fun. But the crowd’s been great for us this year and hopefully they’re going to continue and we continue our success.”
How gratifying is this after you missed the preseason and have had to work your way back?
“I think that the last five or 10 games maybe I found my step. Haven’t been successful on the score sheet but I knew things were coming. Hopefully this will give me a little bit more confidence and keep things rolling personally and help the team win.”
Did you know things would come if you kept working hard?
“I think it’s a confidence thing for me. Chances are gonna happen. I don’t think I get down before but definitely now I know that it’s gonna go in. I just gotta keep taking my cracks at it, get shots on net and the puck will find its way in.”
Do you just assume that with the guys you’re skating with you’re going to get chances?
“Yeah, those are pretty good players, been around the league for a while, quite a bit of games between them too. They’re experiences and they know how to play the game so I just gotta play hard, find them, let them find me and things will work out well.”
You showed a lot of emotion after your first goal, how much did that score mean to you?
“That was my first goal that I scored against a goalie in the net this year, so I was pretty happy about it. I had a couple of chances at first, even in the second before that where pucks weren’t going in. Just seems like things have been going quite the way I want them to go this year. To get that one felt a little bit more relief than the first one I had (vs. Arizona, Dec. 3).”
Did you have any worries that your goal might be disallowed?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 10 | Assists: 8 | Pts: 18
Shots: 56 | +/-: E
“I turned my skate. I wasn’t trying to kick it. I didn’t see any replays on it but I didn’t feel that I kicked it in.”
Was your goal just about the old go-to-the-net thing?
“Yeah. He kind of took my stick away. Z threw it in front and I just kind of tried to get a skate on it and fortunately it went in.”
How relieved were you to get a power-play goal?
“We’ve got to be better with our execution up the ice and our breakouts. We didn’t have a whole lot of zone time. It came big there at the end. That was a huge goal for us. We found a way to get two points and not go into overtime.”
Helm appears to be rolling. How much of a difference can he make for this team?
“He’s a really good player. Obviously he can skate and I think he’s really coming into his own lately here and getting more and more confidence. Getting that first goal was big for him. You can see he has more confidence when he has the puck on his stick. He’s been in this league for a while so we know what he’s capable of. Obviously he’s bringing it here of late and it’s a huge boost to us, even if he doesn’t score. He doesn’t need to score to have a positive impact on the game.”
Do you think that you and Helm have followed similar paths?
“Him and I came up together. It feels like it was just yesterday we were coming in as rookies. Now we’re kind of considered veterans on the team. He’s worked really hard. He’s had to battle through some tough injuries, some unlucky injuries I’d call them. He’s finding his step here and I think getting that first goal off his back was huge. He’s skating well. He had a couple of breakaways there. Those will go in for him. He does terrific work playing with Pav and getting pucks back on the forecheck.”
Can you describe your first-period hit on Subban?
“I don’t know. Either way I’m just trying to be physical on him. I definitely didn’t think it was a charge but that’s why I don’t wear the stripes when I play. Those guys call the game. That’s part of my game, try to be physical. It was unfortunate it was a penalty.”
How much confidence does this team get from collecting points in 12 straight games?
“I think as a group right now we’re playing confident. We’re scoring timely goals. Every game we’re in it. It’s not like we’re down 4-1 or we’re down by two or three goals. Every game we’re staying close. Tonight I just thought we gave them too many opportunities, too many breakaways and odd-man rushes. We’ve got to clean those up. Petr did a terrific job. We’re getting terrific goaltending. Specialty teams have been good – power play could be better –but our penalty kill, against Washington it was great and tonight it was great. Just keep getting better and I think as a team our confidence has grown. We know we can play with anyone in the league.”
How about this game overall from the beginning?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 5 | Assists: 18 | Pts: 23
Shots: 62 | +/-: 5
"Tight game. Both goalies played well. Tough to get any momentum going, both ways, I think, until the third. In the third, woke up a little bit there and got it going."
How much of a boost when Abdelkader and Helm scored 1:11 apart in the third?
“That helps. It helps, especially in a game like this when it's a lot of whistles, a lot of stops, not really a lot of things going here. But those two goals really gives us energy. Got to say Mrazek was pretty good tonight, kept us in and made some big, big saves."
How nice was it to see Helm get rewarded?
"Yeah, could have had more than two tonight. Really fast. He works really hard, doing all the little things right so it's nice to see that he gets some goals."
Points in 12 straight and two good match-up games here, so you must be pleased?
"Yeah, we're playing better. Still it's not perfect. I don't think we'll ever be perfect. Power play, we got one late there but we should have created more and maybe gotten a little momentum from that before our goal."
Is that the positive from this stretch, finding a way to a point Tuesday and to two points tonight?
"Yes, it's nice to see that we find a way to get points and tonight when we got two, it's a division game so it was nice."
Where's the room for growth that you mentioned?
"Special teams, power play. Even though we got one here tonight, this stretch I think we could have been a little bit better. Overall, just creating a little bit more. More speed. I think we were in their zone a little bit but we just got to get a little bit more speed going and we will create more chances."
Only four points behind Canadiens, what does it do for guys in the room?
"It doesn't really matter right now. It's a long way to go. We know we're playing well, if we're playing like this we're going to get our points and then we'll be there in the end."
|Darren Helm helped energize the Red Wings' fourth line Thursday night, scoring his second goal of the season to give Detroit a 1-0 lead in the second period. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red WIngs) |
What did you like best about this one?
“First, I think the two points. Second, our power play answered at a very critical point in the game. It was good early, was not good in the middle, and it obviously answered at that point, so that’s a great thing. I thought we played good early. I didn’t think we played good from about the middle of the second to the middle of the third but once we scored we played good. We can be better than we played. We’re going to have to be but it’s a big two points against a team we’re chasing.”
Is it too early to look at the standings now that you're four points behind Montreal?
“Confidence comes from winning, for sure, because winning breeds confidence. More important is it gives us seven points in our segment with one game in hand, so we got a chance to get nine, which is the way I like to judge ourselves. The standings are things you can’t control. You can’t control other teams’ movements. We can control how many points we get in each segment. So we got a big game tomorrow night, trying to get us nine points in the segment, that’s a heck of a segment.”
How much of a boost was Darren Helm's play?
“I thought Darren was the best player on the ice. I thought he was great from the drop of the puck. He’s got such get up and go and he was impactful the whole night. Great job by him. He’s played real well here in the last 8-9 games, whatever. He’s been real good overall. It’s good for him to get rewarded with some goals. It always feels good to score. It looks like he’s really coming.”
You could use Helm on any line, right?
“Pavel likes playing with him because he can provide that speed and he can transport the puck and he can go get the puck and get back in front of the net. The one goal he was one there with Glenny and those guys. He’s a self-creator and there’s very few self-creators in this league. You either got to be really, really strong on your skates or you got to be really, really fast and he’s obviously real fast and he’s strong for his size. That’s great, if he can heat up that’ll really help us.”
How satisfying was it to score on the power play after going 0 for 4 before that?
“It’s good to get the result on that goal for sure. It’s a big moment in the game. That’s twice in the last few games we’ve had a power play that was real significant at a big moment, so I think that’s great. Outside of that I look at process. The first two were real good, the second two weren’t very good at all, so we still got to continue to get better but it was a big goal at a big moment so good for our power play.”
How good was Mrazek?
“I thought Petr played very well. We didn’t give up much in the first. We gave up two big-time chances (in the second). I don’t know in the end if we gave up a ton of chances but there was some real quality chances, too many for me. We’re going to have to tighten up defensively to have long-term success. So that’s something we’ll talk about for sure but I thought Petr did a great job.”
With the power-play goal, more evidence that it helps to go to the net?
“I think so. That’s one thing we tried to concentrate on, let’s deliver pucks to the net. It can be through a shot, through a shot tip, through floating it down to the net, but if you do that and converge on the net you’re going to score. That’s how you score power play goals in this league for the most part. There aren’t a lot of pretty ones. In order to have a good percentage you got to score those kind of goals and we got to keep doing it.”
How high is team’s confidence level with the 12-game points streak?
“I think the confidence has certainly grown. I think playing good and winning breed confidence. But what we have to be careful of now is we didn’t play great against Wash, we played moments of real good here but not good enough. We got to make sure our process is real good, so our process has to be real good tomorrow otherwise you end up losing and you wonder what happened. So let's look at what happened. Our process has to be better."
Is Howard definitely starting tomorrow?
"I'll make that decision tomorrow. I've got to think on the plane."
You're not bringing anybody else, right?
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.