Have players talked about ways they can do a better job of preserving late-game leads?
LEFT WING - DET
Goals: 10 | Assists: 8 | Pts: 18
Shots: 64 | +/-: 14
“I don’t know if there’s much thought right now. I think everyone is frustrated with the loss. I think it seems like it’s happening more and more and I think we just have to bear down and close out the game.”
Has the coaching staff been able to point to one thing that has led to this problem lately?
“No, but I mean, it’s pretty obvious it momentum and they’re coming at us and were sitting back, and then they get the goal where it goes off a guy or they bang one in in front of the net. I think just structure and intensity when we have a one-goal lead with five minutes left.”
How difficult was it to get forwards in a rhythm with so much special teams play tonight?
“I don’t know. I think the penalty kill did a great job and the power play could have been a little better and capitalized a few times. It’s a big part of the game and I think with an early game like today you’ve got to find a way to keep the legs going and stay focused.”
You’ve been consistent this season, where’s your confidence level at right now?
“It’s pretty good, I guess. When the puck’s going in it’s easier to shoot and you have that confidence where you think it can go in. So I think just winning would be better.”
Are you beginning to wonder when you’ll finally score on the power play?
“No. As long as they’re going in. I think the power play is big, and as a team we’ve got to get it a little more intensity and more shots. But I think just as a team get more and more power-play goals.”
How surprising was it to get the puck on your stick to start you on your breakaway goal?
“No, his speed surprised me and then just standing still and he was going blow right by me if he kept it. So I was about to turn and start skating back but I saw him pass pretty soft so it was right on my stick and it was good to have that one.”
Do you learn something in a moment like that?
“Yeah, I think so. I don’t think he expected me to stand up there, but anytime you pass it in a league like this you gotta put some zip on it.”
Did Roberto Luongo show you that spot that you shot at?
“It was open. I saw it pretty early. I took a few strides. It’s a tough spot for goalies.”
What do you think of today’s outcome?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.19 | Sv%: .932
“Our penalty kill was outstanding today. … Millsie blocked so many shots on the five on three, that was a big part of our game today but one point is not enough.”
Can you describe Reilly Smith’s tying goal?
“He just put it I think wide of the net and it went off Smith’s skate or his leg.”
What did you see on the early goal that was waved off?
“I tried to go up and go out of the blue and the … (got) pushed me into the net. That’s why I thought it was no goal.”
How tough is it on you when the team isn’t scoring?
“It’s tough when you don’t score but we had four two days ago. Florida is a good team, they played well. One wasn’t enough today.”
How much does this team need to learn how to close out games?
“We have to close these games early in the game than later. You cannot wait until the end of the game. It happened a couple of time this year that we let some goals in.”
What did you think of the game?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 16 | Pts: 20
Shots: 48 | +/-: 1
“It’s not good. Overall today it’s an ugly game. I think the puck was on the boards the whole time, a lot of special teams, lot of penalties. It’s tough to get any flow going. We had a 1-0 lead going into the third but that goal they scored sums up everything.”
Did you think your team had a slow start?
“Both teams kind of came out sluggish. Nothing really was happening. Petr was good in net when they got the opportunities in the beginning. We had a strong second half of the first period and then kind of took over in the second.”
Did the power play struggle?
“Four-on-three and five-on-three I think too. Then those two back-to-back power plays we have to create more than we did. Penalty killing was really good today. Glennie made some huge blocks there without his stick and Mrazek made some key saves.”
How did you think Mrazek today?
“When they took over the game in the second he really saved us there and we had a 1-0 game going into the third.”
Does this team need to develop a killer instinct on the power play?
“It helps you score goals if you have that killer mentality. We just got to get there. I don’t think we even got there today when we had our opportunities on the power play. Tough to get pucks to the net and really get those good chances.”
Why is it so hard to score?
“Everyone is playing systems that aren’t really goal friendly. That’s the way it is. Goals against is very important instead of the goals for.”
What do you think of the job Larkin did on his goal?
“He was in the right spot at the right time right there. When he gets the opportunity he puts the puck in the net.”
|Dylan Larkin scored his 10th goal of the season, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead over the Florida Panthers on Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
Could you assess your start and go from there?
"I didn't think we were good enough tonight. I think we can play much better than we played. I think the second half of the first period was where we played the best, we had a lot of zone time during that stretch. It seemed like we just didn't have enough energy, we didn't win enough puck races, didn't win enough puck battles, so overall, we still sat with a lead late and disappointed to give up that lead but we need to be better for 60 before that."
Is there a commonality in the third-period leads you've lost?
"I haven't totally seen a commonality and I addressed that the other day a little bit. Some nights you got to score that last goal, this was similar in a sense that I didn't think we played well enough in the third but I didn't think we had played well enough throughout the game. The biggest thing tonight was we had two power plays in a row and you got to score on one of them. We didn't. You certainly don't want to keep this trend up, you don't want to keep giving leads up late. I like having a lead late but we've got to find a way to make sure that we don't give away points."
What is going wrong on the power play?
"This was the first power play in a while that we haven't had as good a success entering the zone as we'd like to, we didn't enter the zone well enough. Then we didn't execute well enough. When the power play's struggling, I think sometimes you may try to do too much individual, you try to take it over yourself and in the end, it probably suffers as a result. So we're going to have to go back to the, I don't want to say drawing board, it's not different necessarily playing, but we just got to get better at executing and we've got to execute at a higher level on it for sure."
At start of season, would you have guessed Dylan Larkin would lead team in goals?
"I don't know if I could have guessed that, just based on not ever having seen him play at the level but I thought he was really good tonight, I thought he had good jump in his skates. As a young guy, it's part of his responsibility to make sure he's good every night. As an older guy, sometimes you don't have quite as much jump every single day but young guys should. Dylan's been a real positive overall, we're happy with that."
Do teams have to learn to close out a game?
"I don't think there's any question that it's part of the maturation process as a team. First, early in the year we didn't have leads, then you build to where you do have the leads. Now you got to make sure that you walk away with wins. I think we've built as a hockey team up 'til now, I think we can still continue to get a lot better. But part of that is certainly learning how to keep the lead. I think the biggest thing on that is getting that next goal. The commonality I guess through most of it is we've had opportunities to score the next goal and we haven't, whether it's been 5 on 5 or on the power play and we've got to find a way to put the nail in the coffin."
What did you think of Jurco and Kindl?
"I thought they both played good. I thought overall they both played good. I think it's a tough situation, just everything. Jurcs didn't get enough ice time there through a stretch with the penalty kills and that. I didn't probably get him enough to get in a real rhythm the way he'd like to get in a rhythm. But I think hopefully next game hopefully he's able to get in that rhythm and Kindl, I thought did a good job."
How tough was it getting guys in a rhythm?
"It was tough getting in a rhythm for sure. It didn't seem like we could get much flow going because of all the different, it's kind of weird, the weird specialty teams that way. But that's part of it, that happens lots, we've got to find a way and we still sat there with a 1-0 lead even though I'm not sure we totally deserved that 1-0 lead. We still sat there and we've got find a way to get the two points."
DetroitRedWings.com managing editor Bill Roose contributed to this report.