How much of a boost did your save on Gionta shortly after Larkin’s goal, give the team during the first intermission?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.31 | Sv%: .925
“It was late in the period when Lark’s goal helped us. We came into the dressing room talking, and if we were gonna play like we did in the first period we were gonna score some goals.”
How big was your save on Gionta that kept it a two-goal game?
“It’s always nice. It was my first save (of the game) and it’s always nice to come in, get warm, and get some saves, but I was waiting on the breakaway and he just tried to put in five hole and missed it.”
How difficult is it to come into a game when you’re not expecting to play that night?
“That’s how the second goalie is, just be ready. You never know what happens. It can be injury, it can be situation like it was today. So just be ready and get prepared like you’re going to play the game.”
What did you see on their fourth goal when Kindl turned the puck over deep in the defensive zone?
“I just give it to Kuba and I didn’t see because the guy was skating behind. Just he shoot it and it hit my pad and came out for the rebound. That’s a misplay but that’s what happens in hockey.”
It looked like you and Kindl got tangled up, did you?
“I didn’t see the second guy there for the rebound. So I saw him in the last second just try to move there. Kuba tried to block it.”
What did you think of this game?
Center - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 4 | Pts: 8
Shots: 51 | +/-: -9
“We kind of just had some unfortunate bounces in the first there. We thought we played a brutal first period but we kind of got ourselves down and we built ourselves out of it. Just some unfortunate bounces and some too-relaxed plays that kind of caught us. I think we played a decent game but we just got to take some of those mistakes out.”
When you scored, how much belief was there that you guys could complete a comeback?
“For sure, we have a lot of guys in here that can play in those pressure situations and I think we kind of feel comfortable in those situations. Just came up a little short today but I think we had some positive things we can take from the game.”
How much do the costly mistakes bother you?
“For sure, I think a lot of these goals just kind of come out of broken plays and come out of nowhere. So you just kind of gotta be away of the situation and always be skating back into the D-zone. Things like that and just try to prevent those little errors.”
How fortunate do you feel that the league provides a three-day break at Christmastime?
“It’s nice and all the guys have families that they can settle down with and spend some quality time with. Some of us are fortunate enough to get to go home. It’s definitely nice to have a little break but we can’t take the time for granted. We have to stay in it, keep our minds in it and come back on the 26th ready to play.
How difficult will the next stretch be with nine of the next 10 games coming on road starting in Nashville on Dec. 26?
“I guess you could make excuses about it but they’re going to be in the same situation as us. There’s no excuses for it. Sometimes the road can be a grind but at the same time you get to spend some time with the guys. You get a lot of down time in the hotel and some time to rest. So it will be fun and I think we’re looking forward to it.”
How disappointing was the bad start to this game?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 6 | Assists: 21 | Pts: 27
Shots: 78 | +/-: 5
“Actually, I thought we played pretty good. I don’t think they had much than their goals. I think we spent time in their end and some funky plays that turned out being back of the net. I think we worked ourselves in but obviously if they wouldn’t have scored on those goals in the beginning it would have been a different game. Overall, I think we did good things.”
How costly was Jakub Kindl’s mistakes on the Devils’ fourth goal?
“I want Kindl to make that pass 10 out of 10 times. He (Devils center Tyler Kennedy) knocked it down but I think it was the right play, just one of those nights when all the mistakes we made turned up in our net.”
Do you take away some positives from power play that scored twice tonight?
“Absolutely, we did tons of good things. Even after the first period, when we came in, if we keep playing like that we knew we had a good chance of winning. Power play was good, PK was good. So we’ll definitely take with us a lot of good stuff but you want the two points or least a point when you go into a three-day break here.”
You gained points in 15 of 17, but do you feel that you left too many points on the table during this stretch?
“Yeah, but we probably stole a few, too, during that stretch. The thing we know is if we keep playing like we did tonight we will get points and we will be fine.”
Did you feel that the Devils were targeting Larkin a bit there in the second period?
“Not really. I don’t think so. He’s a fast guy, he ends up in those situations. That hit from behind, I haven’t seen the replay but it looked like you almost have to make a call there.”
How deceptive was Sheahan’s shot on the team’s third goal?
“Yeah, he has a good shot and you saw that was almost out of nothing. He sniped it, so it’s good to see.”
How tough was it to see Jimmy Howard get pulled in the first period?
“You never want to see that but then I really don’t think you can blame him on the goals either. Coach probably just wanted a little momentum swing, put Petr in there and he came in and played well.”
There’s a stretch after the Christmas break with nine of 10 on the road, do you feel good about how you’ve played on road this season?
“Yeah, and we’ve been home a lot, looking forward to spend some time together on the road.”
|Jimmy Howard's night ended early after the Devils took a 3-0 lead on six shots. The Red Wings goalie was replaced by Petr Mrazek late in the first period Tuesday night. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
Some of the players thought you did some good things tonight, was it just a case of some unfortunate bounces?
“I saw it a lot the same way. Either unfortunate bounces or mistakes that you can’t afford to make. From an effort and an intensity of focus, I thought we (had) all those things. I thought we had lots of good stuff. The result is certainly not good enough. Our guys understand that, especially against a team that we’re fighting for a playoff spot with. We talk about process. I thought there was lots of good in the process tonight.”
Did you pull Howard in hopes of switching momentum?
“You have to switch the momentum. Jimmy’s been real good for us all year but you get into those spots and you make decisions and we decided to make that decision.”
How costly was Kindl’s turnover on the Devils’ fourth goal?
“You can’t afford to give up goals on basically what I would say are give-them chances or gifts. We had a couple of obvious gifts tonight, the first one and the fourth one. If you have two gifts it’s really hard to win in this league against a good team.
“I thought it was unfortunate. I thought Jakub Kindl played a great game outside of that one play. But those were certainly two (goals) that you can’t give away.”
Can you find positives in at least the effort giving by the power play that scored twice, and Sheahan’s goal?
“I thought we did lots of good stuff. I really did. I thought we were engaged, I thought our intensity level was good. We gave up four on 17 shots and I’m not saying that’s all on the goaltending. It means you made some big mistakes. If you limit teams to 17 shots, you’ve got to win lots of those games. Again, I thought we did lots of good stuff.”
What were your overall impressions of the power play?
“I thought we had moments, even on the first power play up until we took the penalty, I thought it was good. I thought three of the five were real good and two of them weren’t good enough. But when you get two power-play goals on the night you should feel good about it.”
What did you think of John Moore’s hit from behind on Larkin late in the second?
“I have no comment on that. No comment.”
You have an upcoming stretch of nine of the next 10 games on the road. How much of a challenge will that be for your club?
“I think every game in this league is a huge challenge. If you’re at home or on the road, it’s a huge challenge. I think we have lots of confidence that we can go on the road and win. We’ve done it already this year. I think it comes down to playing good hockey. Obviously, there’s some buildings that are tough and we’re going to go into some tough buildings but it still comes down to who executes at a higher level. I think lots of teams in the league have proven they can win on the road. I think we’ve proven it, but we better go prove it here in this next stretch.”
Does Sheahan’s defensive responsibility prevent him from scoring goals more frequently?
“I think a little bit of that. He’s extremely responsible defensively. The other area where Sheahan doesn’t show up on the score sheet but he has a huge impact on the game is net-front presence. He’s been great. You think back to the (Gustav) Nyquist goal the other night. He had great net-front presence. I think he does contribute offensively even when he’s not necessarily pointing. But he’s an above guy. He’s very responsible in his own end. I think that’s what makes that a good line combination. I think there’s more offense there from a production standpoint, he thinks there’s more offense there from a production standpoint. But a guy like him doesn’t need to get tons of points to have a great impact on the game because he’s such a good two-way player and he’s such a load in the offensive zone and such a net-front presence.”
The Devils did seem to target Larkin in the second period, are you happy with the way he fought through it?
“I think that’ll be a continued challenge for him. He’s going to have to make sure he keeps his focus. I think we’re going to have to continue to do a good job of defending him. And I think referees throughout the league have to know that young stars in the league, when they get targeted, they’ve got to make sure they do a good job of calling penalties, even if they’re close, because we don’t want our young stars in the league getting targeted and we don’t want lots of fighting anymore, so we better make sure we look after them a little bit that way. So if it’s close, let’s make sure we look after them.”