How did it feel in your NHL debut?
“I felt pretty good out there today. It was unfortunate to get the loss. It would have been nice to have a win in my first game, but you only get first, right. So it was an exciting one (but) bittersweet.”
How did you think the flow of the game went?
“Obviously giving those two goals in the first period was a little bit tough, but you know, we came back and battle hard. It was unfortunate we couldn’t tie it up and get the win.”
What were your impressions of playing in your first NHL game?
“It’s exciting. Obviously this is your dream as a kid growing up; everyone wants to play in the National Hockey League, so to be able to play today was a big accomplishment for me.”
Does it help that you know a lot of the guys, and have played with so many of them on this team in the past?
“Exactly, they’re really supportive obviously. It’s a great group of guys and always fun to be around.”
Your thoughts on getting that first faceoff against an established centerman like Vernon Fiddler, and then beating him?
“I was just trying to bear down and do the best I could to win the draw. Obviously he’s a veteran. He’s been there before, so I just tried to do my best every time I lined up against him.”
Did it feel pretty good to win that first draw?
“Exactly, I mean, you get that first faceoff out of your way and you go from there.”
Did you experience some butterflies or did you feel natural out there tonight?
“I mean, you’re playing the game your whole life, but it’s your first game in the National Hockey League. Obviously there are going to be butterflies, so it was good to have it. But like I said, it would have been a lot better to have that win.”
When did you receive the call that you were heading to Detroit?
“Yesterday around three o’clock I got the call. I was with the team and we had a team paintball win yesterday so I was there and I was just trying not to get hurt.”
What is the biggest takeaway from this debut for you?
“Just work hard every day. Obviously these are pros and this is where you want to be. You grow up wanting to play in the National Hockey League. Just do everything I can to try to stay up here for as long as I can.”
The team needs to hit the net with more shots, right?
Defense - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 5 | Pts: 5
Shots: 11 | +/-: -3
“Yeah, pretty simple. Hit the net and take more chances than we are right now too.”
How dangerous is the Stars’ power play with Seguin, Sharp and Jamie Benn?
“Well they’ve got guys, especially on their first unit that is really dangerous. They’ve got some guys in every spot that can score goals. They’re good players. Give them time in space and they’re going to make it hard on you.”
What did you see from Athanasiou in his first game?
“I thought he looked good, lots of energy. Had some good chances, played well for us.”
Looked like you guys started game with a lot of energy, what happened then?
“Yeah, I don’t know. I thought we turned too many pucks over and we made it hard on ourselves. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. Enough talking about it now. It’s time to actually do something about it.”
Second power play in second period with 1:58 of zone time, just not enough chances?
“Obviously you want to create more chances, get the pucks to the net. We have to find a way to actually hit the net when we do get shots, even take more shots, and go from there. They’re a good team and they’re going to make it hard on you, and we have to try to find more ways to get pucks to the net.”
Do you need to get some of the greasy goals that you guys have talked about in the past?
“Absolutely, throw it in there and get a greasy one. That’s where a lot of the goals are scored from – around the net. We have to make sure that the pucks get there a lot more than it is right now.”
Do you think you guys played well late in first and through rest of game?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 11 | Pts: 15
Shots: 29 | +/-: E
“I think we did. Obviously, when Nyquist goal that goal at the end of the second it was a big goal for us, and then we played pretty good hockey last two periods. Seems like whoever got the puck in the opposite end created a lot of chances. They had some good shifts and they had some good shifts there.”
Do you believe you need more offense from third and fourth lines?
“I think AA came in and played really solid. I think that line had some chances. Glenny’s line was playing really good against their top line. Everyone had different responsibilities and everyone was doing their job I think.”
How difficult has it been to get pucks on net on for your team’s power play units?
“We couldn’t really get that extra when we need to. We moved the puck around good. We had some good shots, some good net presence but it didn’t go our way.”
What did you think of the no call on Hemsky’s hit to the head of Ericsson late in the third?
“Yeah, that was kind of weird. He said he saw the whole thing. I don’t know if he saw something different than what we saw. It looked like a hit to the head and then we end up in the box. But he said he saw other things, so we got to trust him.”
What were your impressions of Athanasiou’s NHL debut?
“He played well tonight. He came in and had a lot of speed. I think that line created a lot of momentum for us, they created a lot of chances and most of the time we ended up in their end and got a faceoff there. So the next group started in their end. They definitely did their job.”
Was it good to have Green back in the lineup?
“He played real well. Right from the get go he moved the puck well, skated good and created some good offensive chances.”
Was today’s game a good barometer against a very tough Dallas squad?
“Obviously, you want to win. It’s tough when you’re close, we should take care of our chances a little better and we will at least get one point out of this game. But we did some good things but we got to start better.”
Up next for this team is the Capitals, what are your thoughts on that team?
“This is a tough league, a fun league. Every team that comes in and plays or we play on the road is good. It’s not a big difference between teams anymore. That’s what makes this league so special.”
What are your thoughts on making your return since shoulder injury?
Defense - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 3 | Pts: 3
Shots: 9 | +/-: -3
“It felt good; two, three shifts to kind get the speed of the game again and then you (inaudible) from there, but I felt good.”
Why isn’t the team getting enough shots through, especially on the power play?
“They did a good job of taking lanes away and getting in the shot lane. Obviously we can maybe move the puck a little quicker to establish those shots but I thought we moved the puck well. We just got to stick with it and the goals will come.”
Was it kind of weird to lose your defenseman (Ericsson) to a penalty when nothing was called on Hemsky?
“That’s a scary situation there. He goes in pretty hard and he’s a big guy, so obviously there’s some intent there. If no one’s going to protect him, he’s got to protect himself.”
Did you think you guys had a bad start?
“I thought both teams were a little bit slow. Once we got the pace of the game I thought we played well in the second, pushed in the third. We need to find that extra push to get that goal. I thought if we would have got it we would have put them on their heels and it would have been a different game.”
What are your thoughts on facing the Capitals – your former team – for the first time, this Tuesday?
“I obviously know their habits and how they play. We expect them to come out pretty hard. They’re a very offensive-minded team. We’ll be prepared for sure.”
|With blood streaming down his face, Jonathan Ericsson earned a roughing penalty after the Stars' Alec Hemsky delivered a controversial hit to the Red Wings' defenseman late in Sunday's game. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
What was said between you and the referees following the Hemsky hit on Ericsson?
“I have no comment on that. I won’t comment on a discussion between myself and the referee. Lots of stuff happens in a game. We’ve got the best referees in the world and the best refs in a world for a reason, so I have no comment on that.”
What did you think of ending up with penalty while your player was the one bleeding?
“It’s frustrating for sure to have to kill a penalty at that point in the game. But that’s part of hockey. We had our chances on the power play for sure.”
What did you think of the start of the game?
“I thought the start was fine but once they scored it wasn’t good enough. Momentum’s a big thing and we cannot allow a goal against to take away our momentum. I thought we started fine, and then I thought we let the momentum get away from us a little bit. I thought there (were) opportunities even in the first to hit the net. The shots were 15-8; I think they should have been 15-12. I just think we’ve got to hit the net way more.”
The offense has produced five goals after Ottawa game ((Oct. 31), what’s missing since then?
“What’s missing is we haven’t scored enough but I think it’s a hard, hard league. We’ve got to find a way to score more goals. I thought – again I’ll always coach the process. There’s lot of things we did tonight that were really good. If you look at the second period I thought it was great, one of the best periods we had all year. We missed the net and we didn’t have enough net presence. So if you ask me on a specific area where we need to score more, we need to make goalies make saves and we need more net presence.”
How concerned are you by the shots-on-goal differential?
“What I look at after the game is we do our scoring chances. Scoring chances are what we calculate ourselves. We mark them and then we go back and determine whether they were scoring chances or not. That to me tells the story of the game more than shots on net, so that’s what I’ll continue to look at.”
What did you think of the game that Athanasiou had in his debut?
“Once we’d recalled him we felt let’s see what he can do. I thought he did a really good job. I thought he provided speed, I think he had a number of good opportunities. He did not hit the net but he had a number of good opportunities. He’s dangerous because of his speed for sure, and I thought he did a great job of stopping on the puck and being on right side of the puck.”
Did Howard get evaluated for a concussion when he left the game in the third period?
“No he didn’t actually but by the time he was able to go back out, for me it was too long. He wanted to come back out in the game but it had been too long. He has some contact issues from being bumped in the head.”
Are both Howard and Ericsson physically OK?
“As far as I know both of them are fine.”
Your team didn’t give the Stars much and you had good zone time, so does it all come down to finding a way to get more shots on net?
“I think it comes down to – so our possession time in the first period was a plus minute-30 even strength, so it wasn’t that uneven in the first. It wasn’t like we spent tons of more time in our end. We had a plus one minute and 30. It comes down to hitting the net more. I think that’s the number one thing, and then making it harder on the goalie by having net presence. We’ve got to do a better job in those two areas.”
What went into your decision to scratch Jakub Kindl from today’s lineup?
“It was a great OT winner. We evaluate – obviously there’s a whole game we evaluate. The best way for me to say it is I don’t know that anybody deserved to come out. We had to make a hard decision and we made that decision.”
What made Athanasiou the right choice to be called up today?
“Speed, and his performance in the preseason. Those two things. Obviously they’ve had some struggles there (in GR) but it sounded like their process is getting better and the guys are playing much better from talking to coach Nelson. In the end we felt that speed on the bottom six could really help. He’s dangerous. AA is one of those guys that doesn’t need to play top six to score, that doesn’t need to be on the power play to score because he has such a lethal weapon of speed.”
Will Athanasiou stay up for now?
“Well make that decision here (Monday).”
What kind of impact did Green’s return have today?
“I thought Greener was great. I thought he jumped in the play a bunch. I thought he was real close to having lots of opportunities. I thought he was active in the O zone. I thought he did a good job of breaking the puck out for the most part. So I thought he did a real good job.”