Can you describe your third-period goal?
Center - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 5 | Pts: 9
Shots: 33 | +/-: 10
“It was a good play by DK to get it out, just tried to go wide and I saw Abby coming and he gave it back to me so I tried to take it to the net hard and it went in.”
Can you comment on scoring your second straight game-winning goal?
“Second straight win so I’m happy. It’s a bonus to get the game winner. It’s good to get back in the win column.”
Could you have imagined how good these first 12 games of your NHL career would have gone?
“There have been a few tough ones. I guess it’s going pretty well, having a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, we’ve got a pretty (good) grind of a schedule so it’ll be fun to play a few more games.”
What have you learned most about this team?
“I think it’s just all about how we play. How hard we play we’ll be successful. If we try and play a skilled game, on the outside, we won’t be successful so it’s all on us. It’s just how we show up every game.”
What happened there when you and Steven Stamkos each got roughing penalties?
“I didn’t know it was him. Obviously, one of the best players in the league. I don’t know it’s just hockey, got caught in the moment. He didn’t like it. It happens.”
Do you like being physical?
“No I don’t. I don’t know, I guess. I’d rather have the puck.”
Thought a few guys tried to test you physically tonight?
“No I just thought it was a hockey game. High emotion, close-checking game so I think it’s going to happen. I think maybe I did some things that made those guys mad, but it’s just hockey and the way it goes.”
There’s a nice stretch of homes games coming up, do you feel the need to take advantage of them?
“As a rookie you don’t really know. Every game is important, Blash has made the pretty clear. Just try and take it game by game.”
What did you think of the job Jimmy Howard did tonight?
“He was awesome. A great game for him.”
How big was this for you and the team?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.01 | Sv%: .934
"For the team, that was huge. Another step in the right direction from Ottawa the other night. To come in here and play hard against a very high-octane offense and keep them to just one goal, it says we played a pretty complete game."
What about your play?
"It's just about going out and playing. It doesn't matter who's in net, we've been playing really well and giving the guys a chance to win. At the end of the day, that's what our job is."
Do you look different after last Ottawa game?
"I think we might have found the right line combinations and everything. Guys, I think, needed that little confidence boost, scoring five the other night in Ottawa. You could see a lot of relief come off some of the guys' faces. I think it carried over into tonight."
How much of a confidence boost beating that team twice in 12 games?
"They're a great team. They're one of those measuring sticks you look at on the calendar every single year, when you're going to play them. We've played two very solid games against them. The season's young, we still got a lot of work to do. Enjoy the day off tomorrow and then get back to work on Thursday."
Did you see Larkin's goal?
"No, I didn't see it. I don't know why I didn't."
Good thing you have going with you and Petr?
"There is no reason. It doesn't matter who's in net, I think the team's very comfortable with both of us. For us, it's just going out there and giving the guys a chance to win every single night and I think most nights we've been able to do that for the guys."
How proud or satisfying is it to win two in a row after struggling?
"It wasn't pretty, it definitely wasn't. I think there was a lot of frustrated guys in the dressing room so like I said, to be able to go out against Ottawa and score five goals the other night, I think got the monkey off the back of some of the guys. It carried over tonight. I thought we executed a lot in a lot of areas tonight."
Looking forward to seeing Leafs again?
"Let's be honest, this is the NHL, it doesn't matter who you're playing, if you don't come out and play your 'A' game, the other team's going to beat you. There's a lot of parity throughout this league. You see it night in and night out, anyone can beat anyone."
How impressed are you with Larkin?
"He's great. He's such a great kid. He just uses his speed to his advantage, flying. I don't think a lot of goaltenders yet have realized how deceptive of a shot he actually has. He can get it off quick, he can get it off in small areas and he's pretty accurate with it. He's fun to watch and he's fun to go against in practice, too."
Larkin going at Stamkos fire you guys up?
"I don't know exactly what happened but I saw them both wrestling in the corner. He's not afraid to get in there. It's nice to see."
What kind of message that Larkin willing to stick his nose in there?
"Just his competitiveness, just being out there and competing and wanting to out-battle the guy you're playing against so it was fun to see Larks mix it up there."
Is it fair to say that you guys seem to be playing quicker in the last couple of games?
Center - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 4
Shots: 19 | +/-: -5
“I think for sure. I think we played our system better today. We weren’t giving up as many prime chances. I think scoring a few goals in Ottawa helped us get our confidence. We’ve been doing a good job in the O-zone, which is huge for us because we’ve got some pretty talented players.”
Can this be the turning point that gets this team out of a skid?
“I don’t think there was really a change. I think we knew we had the talent in the room. We had a few of those rough games and we knew we had to get our heads on straight and figure it out. I think we’re slowly doing that and it’s showing in our play.”
Getting your second goal, how big is that four your confidence?
“It definitely helps. Contributing on the scoreboard helps but I’m just trying to play a whole game. Play in the D-zone, play in the O-zone and just be smart. I think if I do that the offense will come.”
How satisfying is it to get out of skid?
“Obviously losing some games in a row there your confidence starts getting down. You’re gripping the stick a little tighter and things like that, so for us to win two and play good games, play consistent, I think that helps. And we’re going to try and take that into Toronto.”
What did you think of Larkin’s game tonight?
“He’s amazing. His skill and the way he skates and he’s just a good kid off the ice, too. You put that together and I think he makes a pretty special player. We’re glad to have him.”
What happened when Larkin tangled with Stamkos?
“He’s tenacious and he’s hard on the puck and he’s really intense. If you add that to a guy with skill and a good head on his shoulders, it makes a special player.”
What led to your goal?
“I think Tats and Kuba just made a great play there to get the puck up. I tried to just put it against the grain and catch him moving. It kind of just tipped off his glove and ended up going in.”
What did that goal do momentum wise for your team?
“It helps obviously. I think we were playing a good game and we had some jump. I think to put one up on the board gets the guys going and then I think we did a good job from there staying consistent and playing a good game.”
What did you think of the job Howard again tonight?
“He was amazing. He makes big saves when we need them. He did a great job playing the puck for us and breaking us out. Things like that kind of make a big deal and help us win.”
Confidence always starts with good goaltending and you’ve been able to count on both of your goalies, haven’t you?
“They’re both unbelievable. It obviously helps when we have two goalies that can play. I think it starts with them. In the D-zone we’re comfortable. We know if we give up a shot they’re going to be there to make a save and then we can break out and go to the O-zone.”
What did shutting down Stamkos do for this team?
“It was huge. We have some penalty killers who are willing to block some shots. Obviously he’s got one of the hardest in the league, so it takes courage. And Jimmy made a few huge saves so I think our PK did a good job tonight.”
Do you see comparisons between Blashill and Cooper?
“Yeah definitely. I think we match up well against Tampa. We’ve got a lot of similar players in similar roles. I haven’t obviously been coached by Cooper, but I hear he’s a great guy off the ice and that’s how Blash is. I feel like they’re very similar just hearing through hearsay.”
|For the second straight game, Dylan Larkin scored the game-winner for the Red Wings, who posted consecutive wins for the first time since the starr of the season. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings) |
What are your general thoughts of the game?
“I thought obviously you have to grind out two points and every game is a battle for sure but I thought we did it the right way, I thought we played very well in a lot of aspects, almost all aspects of our game and I thought they played pretty well, too, but we did lots of things we wanted to do. We did a good job of using our D to exit our zone, I thought our breakouts were good, I thought we played with lots of speed, I didn’t think we gave them tons of space, they’re really good, so they create some as well, but I thought the process was good. You want the two points but you want the process to be good.”
What can two wins in a row do for this team?
“Yeah, it’s better to win two than to not. We just look at it game by game and try to continue to grind and get better every day and we want to continue to improve as a hockey team and I thought we took a step forward in terms of improving as a hockey team. In the meantime we got to find ways to points and we did that tonight.”
Your thoughts on the defensive corps accounting for two more points tonight?
“I think that starts on the breakouts, getting out of our zone I thought our D has done a way better job of being active, talking, being options to get out and as a result they’re able to jump in the play. I like what we’ve had going with our D the last little bit. It’s a formula for us to be successful, it’s something that we’ve emphasized here in the last little bit and I think it’s showing results on the ice.”
Sheahan was moving feet on his goal, is that what you need to see more from him?
“I thought it was really good. He got going; he can really skate when he gets going like that. That makes him a real effective player. Big body and obviously real good shot on net.”
What do you think of the job that Larkin has done in his first 12 games?
“He’s done a very good job. That’s undeniable. His impact on games has been very good. Does he have to get better at stuff? Absolutely. Was there lots of stuff over the first two periods I thought he has to continue to improve at? One-hundred percent. Our job as coaches is to make sure we continue to hold him accountable as he is having success just like we hold anybody else accountable and we will do that. I think he’ll continue to improve because he wants to improve. He’ll get better because he wants to get better. His impact so far has been very good.”
What are your thoughts on the fact that Larkin now leads the team with a plus-10 rating?
“To be honest, we don’t look lots at some of those stats, not that they don’t mean anything, they mean something. Being on for lots of goals for not much against means something, so I don’t want to totally downplay it but we spend much more time, especially with our forwards looking at our own scoring chances, plus-minus, how many scoring chances they’ve created compared to how many scoring chances they’ve given up and within that how many Grade A scoring chances compared to how many they’ve given up. But he’s done very well in that stat as well.”
What areas do you think Larkin still needs to improve on?
“There’s lots of little things, making sure we’re stopping on the puck, making sure managing the game. Sometimes you got to just live another day and take your ice back, being up three and not giving up an odd-numbered rush. Those are things when you’re a young guy and you want it so bad sometimes you go forward when you’re supposed to go backwards. Just a lot of little teaching things that we’ll continue to help him get better at.”
How satisfying is it to see the goalies playing as well as they have been through 12 games?
“I think they’re driving each other to be better. I think they’re good friends. They’re character people. They want us to win and they both want to do great and they’ve done a great job for us all season long. I said at the beginning of the year I thought we had two goalies that have proven at different times to be elite in this league and that’s been panning out so far.”
Bill Roose contributed to this report.