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Post-Game Quotes vs. Coyotes

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

BRENDAN SMITH

Brendan Smith
Defense  - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 3
Shots: 17 | +/-: 5
What kind of energy did you first-period fight provide the team?

“Well, I think we were going pretty good anyways. I think we were up 3-nothing at the time, but it shows that we’re not going to take cheap shots and stuff, and that’s kind of something that we want to know, like, show everybody. I kind of took exception to that one hit in the corner and things happen and sometimes you have to answer the bell.”

Do you think the word is out that teams have to be physical to have success against the Red Wings?

“I think teams have played us like that for a long time. I mean, the playoffs were like that. You just gotta keep grinding and working hard and getting through it. There are certain plays where things escalate and that happens. But you saw it last night (Tuesday), that one with (Evander) Kane and Zetterberg could have turned out to be one, and Abbie, but I think sometimes teams think we’re kind of a pushover and the way to get as us is to hit us or take cheap shots. But sometimes you wake guys like Pavel Datsyuk and that’s not a good thing.”

How satisfying was it to finally win a game in regulation?

“It’s exciting after we’ve – I think it was the last five that we went to overtime – so I think some of the boys say we don’t get paid for that extra time. Just make sure we can win it in regulation.”

What was your perspective of your fight with Kyle Chipchura?

“It’s something that just happens. I think he did a great job He’s a pretty strong so he kind of threw me off balance a few times. But I think all in all it was good. Neither of us got hurt; we played the rest of the game, and sometimes that’s what you want to see. You don’t want to see somebody get real hurt or a concussion and out for the season or whatever. You see that sometimes and it’s unfortunate, but obviously you get the anger out of you, it’s like two young kids, brothers playing in the backyard. I’ve had it a lot.”

When you finally took him down, what were your first thoughts?

“It’s over, I guess. I think that’s just how it played out. I mean, I’m not too excited about it. I go about it, it the game, you kind of keep the process … I think the biggest thing is after that happened you have to channel your mind and get back to making plays and getting back to your rhythm and don’t dwell on it. I think that’s something if you continue to think about it, it can hurt your game for the rest. I thought I did a good job of getting back and getting to play my game and making outlet passes and stuff like that. I think that’s the biggest thing. So I guess after that I’m just trying to channel it back to the game, you know. You don’t want to dwell on stuff like that.”

Blashill praised you after Tuesday’s game for rushing to Zetterberg’s defense. Is that something you feed off of?

“I think it’s something that we all will do for each other. I mean, I want everybody to do that for me if something happens like that. It shows that everybody’s got your back. And I think if you’re gonna go deep in the playoffs and make a deep run you gonna know everybody’s there for you. Those are things you want to know. If you’re in a foxhole you want to know that Helm’s got your back, or Abbie, or whoever it is on the ice. That helps you make better players because you know somebody’s gonna be there to help you out.

“You see teams like that. I really watch Boston, I mean, they gave me a penalty on that, but sometimes when I watch Boston it’s like four or five guys get in there and it’s kind of like that pack mentality. But I mean, it’s good because you don’t have anybody taking cheap shots in that area.”

Your thoughts on Kronwall playing in his 700th career game?

“It’s fantastic, I mean, games are hard, playing defense. He plays a tough game. He makes big hits. He does all the little things and it’s hard to be healthy and he’s done a good job, and 700 games is amazing, so I gonna really tip my hat to him.”

How much of a lift was Nyquist’s fluky goal at the end of the first period?

“It was really good, I mean, it’s hard to score in this league, and anytime you can get a bounce, I feel like we haven’t got many of those bounces where goals have gone in. and when you get that it definitely helps. It does lift the boys and I think we kind of got away from it in the second period there. I think Coach had a good thing, he came into the room and kind of set us straight a little bit. But that’s something that we need because sometimes you get – I don’t want to say lethargic – but in that sense where you kind of play the score. You’ve gotta play it like it’s even, and that’s something I think we did good at in the third.”

JIMMY HOWARD

Jimmy Howard
Goalie  - DET
Record: 7-4-1
GAA: 2.28 | Sv%: .918
How nice was it to win in regulation?

“It was a great effort by all the guys in front of me tonight. When you see the defense step up offensively it definitely takes a lot of pressure off the offense.”

Did you gain momentum from Arizona’s early goal that was waved off?

“I think it was a key for the game. When you go down a goal there in a minute and a half it can be tough on you mentally. It was a great pick up by our staff down there in the dressing room.”

How deflating do you think it was for the Coyotes when Nyquist scored that fluky goal?

“I feel for (Mike) Smitty. When they happen as a goalie – and it’s happened to me before – it’s no fun. But that late in the period, when you see it getting dumped in, you’ve got to play it like baseball and just get a way to knock it down.”

What kind of lift did Smith’s fight provide?

“It kept us rolling there at the end of the first, Smitty stepping up and having a good bout there with Chipchura. I thought all night long we were engaged. It was great to see.”

Did you enjoy your ringside seat for that fight?

“I was just trying to get out of the way.”

Was it nice to see the team make the other goalie(s) work hard tonight?

“It’s nice. Early on in the season we were having a little bit of an issue clicking offensively and getting shots on net. The last couple of games we’ve gone 40 plus. Making other goalies work, it’s good. When you’re getting those opportunities, more often than not you’re going to find the back of the net. That’s going to lead to Ws for us.”

After so many one-goal games lately how enjoyable was this outcome?

“They’re uncharacteristic, a night like tonight. There’s so much parity in the league usually it comes down to a play here or a save there. To be able to have a night like this where the offense was rolling was nice.”

What are your thoughts on playing in your 350th game tonight (it was his 342nd career start)?

“Really? I did not even know that. Wow. I guess time flies.”

What about Kronwall playing in his 700th career game tonight?

“Kronner’s old.”

NIKLAS KRONWALL

Niklas Kronwall
Defense  - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 8 | Pts: 10
Shots: 25 | +/-: -7
How about the milestone and the team getting a win like this?

"I thought we did a lot of good things out there. Other than the last 10 (minutes) of the second period, I thought we played a pretty solid game."

How about being in such elite company with your 700th career game?

"I thought you were going to say I'm getting old. It's nice. I really enjoy it here, obviously. It's a good place to be. I didn't even think about it until Billy (Roose) told me this morning. It's one of those things that you'll be able to look back at once you're done playing and be a little satisfied with it, I think."

What does it say about the team, losing two forwards in the first and come out with a victory like this?

"I thought we did a lot of good things. We had a lot of energy, we were playing the right way. We just kept coming. Let's be honest, we had some puck luck at the same time. We got some timely goals, some bounces and more bounces than we've had all season long probably but we'll take it."

Aside from puck luck, you generated a lot of shots again, is it just getting the puck on net more?

"For sure. Keep it a little bit more simple instead of looking for that extra pass. Throw the puck in there and a lot of good things happen, obviously."

Can you describe your goal?

"Tats made a real nice play back to me there. I was just all by myself there in the slot. Just able to hit the net and the puck went in."

How much does it help when the defensemen are jumping in on offense?

"Well, I think that was one area that we had talked about for a while there, when we weren't generating enough shots and whatnot. That's one area that we worked on. D-men are getting more involved, you saw DK's goal here, where we had a lot of good movement. Everything starts with the forwards holding onto the puck and creating room for us."

How big an impact was that early waved-off goal?

"Absolutely, that's a big swing for sure. All of a sudden, you're back to even again. Definitely again, a little luck there but we'll take it."

How big was that third goal at the end of the first?

"Definitely. Again, we got some lucky bounces and some timely goals. Even when they got their first one, we were able to answer right back with our fourth one. We got some timely goals, some puck luck. Howie played great for us. He came up with some huge saves there in the second period when they had us on our heels a little bit and we were able to have a fairly solid third I thought."

How good is it to play all 700 for the same team?

"That's one thing that I'm really proud of. To me it's a big thing to be able to represent the same team for a long time. There's one team obviously that I've been wanting to play for the whole time. I'm lucky that I'm still here. Hopefully I'll be around for a few more years."

JEFF BLASHILL

Jimmy Howard turns aside an Arizona shot en route to leading the Red Wings to a 5-1 win Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

Do you have an update on injury status of Pulkkinen and Miller?

“We’re still evaluating both but they both look like they’ll be out for a while.”

How satisfying was it to win with such a short bench?

“I thought our forwards did a good job of digging in at that point once we got down (two men). Sometimes it keeps you flowing a little more because you get a little more ice time. The way it worked out, our guys were able to dig in and keep playing.”

How much of a lift did Smith’s fight give the team late in the first period?

“First of all I thought Smitty’s game was very good. I thought he had a real good hockey game overall and obviously the fight at the end of the first, he’s going toe to toe with a tough guy there, so it was impressive and showed a lot of guts. He has that ability for sure.”

What happened there when you used your coach’s challenge that negated the Coyotes’ early goal?

“It was a good job by our video coach, David Noel-Bernier. He was real positive that it was offside and obviously a big moment in the game. I think when you have successful ones like that it’s a positive.”

How nice was it that the team didn’t let up after getting a 4-1 lead?

“I thought we did a good job overall of continuing to press. I didn’t like our last 10 minutes of the second period. I thought we let it get away from us a little bit, got a little bit goofy but I thought we came back in the third and played real well. We had lots of chances. We had some goals go in that – obviously the Nyquist one might have been a little lucky – but I thought we had tons of chances. I like our process, I thought our process was very good tonight, I thought it’s been good. We need to continue with it.”

Were you happy to see the defensemen getting involved offensively?

“It goes back three weeks. We started training camp with an emphasis on it. We probably let it get away from us a little bit. We re-emphasized it three weeks ago and our D have done a great job understanding what we’re looking for. They were creating lots of opportunity, lots of chaos in the offensive zone. The one thing they’ve probably done a better job with the last little bit is being ready to shoot, getting shots off quickly, and we’ve had good net presence. When you do that it can make us a dangerous hockey team. I think we can be a real good O-zone team. I think when we have been good, that’s where we’ve been good at, so we can continue that.”

What was your reaction to Nyquist’s goal?

“I like when any goal goes in. It’s one of those things, bounces happen sometimes. I’m glad the bounce went our way.”

What were your thoughts on Helm scoring for the first time this season?

“They’re humans. I think to score, he’s got to feel good about it, it’s got to take some pressure off. His process and his game’s been real good but there’s nothing like getting one and get that monkey off your back a little bit.”

Was it nice to see Kronwall showing the form you expected, doing so with his second goal of the week in his 700th career game?

“I think he’d be the first to say he didn’t have a great start to the year. I came in, when I took the job, the one thing I felt its Kronner, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated defensemen in the league. Not that people don’t appreciate him, they do, but I think he’s a legit, legit one defenseman when he’s on top of his game and he is that in my opinion because he can give you offense and he’s great defensively and he has great leadership. He has three unreal qualities. I think he’s really starting to play well. I think him and Mike Green are finding a good rhythm together. I think that helps as well.”

What did you think of the Coyotes’ rookies, Domi and Duclair?

“For the most part I watch our bench as much as possible. I think they’re both real talented players. They did some things over the blue line, they crossed, they crisscrossed, they make it hard on you for sure. They’re both talented players.”

How nice is it to keep the points streak alive?

“I just want to keep playing real good hockey. I think that’s the biggest thing. Results follow process. We have to make sure to continue to have real good hockey. It’s not going to go your way the whole time, but if your process is really, really good results will continue to follow. This league is relentless, just watching the Florida game, I think Ottawa won in overtime. You just have to keep getting points, playing great hockey and get as many points as you can along the way and continue to get better as a hockey team. I think that’s one thing you can lose focus on if you’re not careful. We want to be a better hockey team Saturday than we were tonight.”

Goals late in the first period inflated you team and deflated the Coyotes, didn’t they?

“Two big moments I thought were the last minute of the first that’s a real deflator for them, the emotion of the game gets missed a lot, and I think that’s a big moment and I also thought our fourth goal was a inflating goal for us and probably deflating for them. Those were the key moments in the game and the breakaway save Jimmy Howard made was a big, big moment in the game as well.”

Where does this game rank among your other large-goal differential wins?

“It’s right up there. I think we’ve had a number of good ones here. Even going back to the Boston loss and that’s where I think results in a short term can trick you, that Boston loss we played as good as we have all year, including tonight, but tonight they went in a little more. I thought tonight’s process was good. I was happy with it.”

Will Pulkkinen and Miller be lost for a while?

“Ya. Ya.”

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