How satisfying in this win?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.84 | Sv%: .905
“Very satisfying. It was two points that we definitely needed and we started right from the drop of the puck tonight, and played a full 60 minutes. I was very proud of the effort from all of the guys in front of me.”
Nice to be able to protect the lead tonight?
“Yeah, but they got, Granland got the second one there and it didn’t seem to faze us and that’s a good thing. That’s good to see and we just picked up right where we left off and got to work again.”
Has the team just looked tired defensively lately?
“Yeah, I mean, we did a great job of protecting in front of the net tonight and Danny DeKeyser made a hell of a play there in the first period getting the stick on one and we just did a great job all night long in front of the net.”
DeKeyser also made a nice stop by clearing the crease in the final seconds of the game too, didn’t he?
“Yeah, Danny’s a great player and you know he’s very, very steady back there. I think he’s very underrated for what he does for us out there. That’s what you get night in and night out from him.”
How much did Sheahan’s goal in the third help out?
“Well, it’s definitely a boost when you come out in the third period and you’re up a goal and then to give yourself that little bit of a cushion. But as we’ve seen in the past several games, leads in the third period have seemed to slip away from us. So it was nice to see us continue to keep battling out there.”
How do you keep that composure when the leads begin to slip away in the third?
“Goals are gonna happen, they’re gonna happen throughout the game, and you just have to have that attitude of if one goes in you shake it off and get right back to work. I thought we did that very well tonight.”
Is that the attitude as well from one game to the next?
“Yeah, I mean, we’ll enjoy this one until we get to the plane and then it’s get ready for Toronto. You know they’re gonna come out hard, they’re gonna play hard. It’s a very young team. They’re playing fast. They played us very well last time they were here.”
Was Sheahan’s goal more satisfying since the refs had just missed the penalty on Datsyuk?
“Yeah, I didn’t see what happened to Pav. So I don’t know.”
What do you see different in Sheahan’s game now than in the past?
“He’s going to the strong areas, he’s using his big body and applying that net-front presence. He’s getting his stick on rebounds and defections and he’s battling out there.”
Do you feel well enough if Blashill calls you to start in Toronto on Saturday?
“Yeah, of course.”
Does it matter to you if you know ahead of time or not?
“No, I just play.”
Obviously this was a big win, can you talk about your role with two points?
Center - DET
Goals: 13 | Assists: 11 | Pts: 24
Shots: 121 | +/-: -8
“I thought our team did a great job of playing in the O-zone. The D were doing a good job of gapping up and keeping pucks in and getting them to the net, so I think overall we did a good job. One of our goals was to get in front of the net and banging away at some rebounds.”
What has been going right for you lately, six points in past five games?
“I don’t know, just kind of building off some points I guess and some puck luck for sure, and playing with some good players. I think all of these guys in the offensive zone are capable of making plays, so I thought Tats and Nyquie did a great job tonight and it was a lot of fun playing.”
What difference does going to the net make for your and your production?
“Yeah, for sure, when we can get bodies to the net and get in the goalie’s eyes it’s frustrating for them and when you can find second (chances) and put them away and maybe get the goalie off his game a little bit it definitely helps. So we did a great job of getting to the puck too.”
What was your reaction to Nyquist’s play on Tatar’s goal?
“I honestly didn’t even see it. I kind of threw the puck low and I got off the ice and then I heard the crowd cheer. I’ll be sure to watch the replay of it but those guys are amazing down low and quick and shifty and hard to knock off the puck. So I’m not surprised at the plays that they can make.”
What did you see on your goal?
“Yeah, I think it was Johnnie (Ericsson) who did a good job of getting a shot through and just kind of started whacking a way at it. It squirted out and I was lucky to get a second whack at it.”
Minnesota is one of the hottest teams in the league, does it matter who you beat?
“I think right now we want to focus on getting wins. Obviously our conference is so tight, so the games against Boston and Philly are the ones that the people outside the locker room are looking forward to. But I think for us we just gotta take it game by game and shift by shift and focus on the game at hand.”
Did you need a game like this for the confidence factor?
“Yeah, it definitely helps when you can start a little streak especially after a tough loss in Montreal. We did a lot of good things tonight and I think we’ve just got to carry that over to the next game tomorrow.”
What are your thoughts on this one?
Right Wing - DET
Goals: 17 | Assists: 25 | Pts: 42
Shots: 156 | +/-: -1
“I thought today we played a good 60 minutes. We didn’t have too many breakdowns today, I thought that was a big positive to kind of play the way we like to play for a full 60.”
How about the communication on Tatar’s goal?
“I saw him coming, She made a nice play there, it was the end of a shift for him, so he just got it deep. I saw Tats before I got the puck, so I was just hoping to catch the goalie looking the wrong way and it was a nice shot from Tats.”
What do you think of Sheahan’s play of late, especially going to net?
“That really helps me and Tats to create space. We’re not typically the ones that are in front of the net, so he does a great job for our line there and he’s been playing real well, he’s made nice plays, he’s been scoring a lot of goals lately. He plays in all situations for us, he’s been real good.”
Is this a fun race with the Bruins?
“I think for the last few years this is the way it’s been we’ve had to battle our way into the playoffs and it’s no different this year. We know we control our own fate. We still have them (Bruins). As long as we keep winning we’re good.”
How about Howard tonight?
“He’s really been playing well for us for sure. We got confidence in both our goalies. We know we’ve let in too many goals but it’s never really been their fault, we’ve given up clear cut chances and back-door passes, so they can’t do anything about that. It’s just the guys in front that have to do a better job. But Jimmy’s doing real well and he was good again today.”
How do you ride momentum through the rest of schedule?
“We know it’s only four games left, we just got to empty our tanks, there’s nothing to save it for. We just got to get out of here quick and get some rest and play against Toronto and then put together a good 60 minutes.”
What have you seen from Sheahan, especially the last few games?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 21 | Assists: 24 | Pts: 45
Shots: 160 | +/-: 5
"He's been playing great, I think. He's got good bounces right now, I think he's making good decisions and going to the net. He's pretty strong, big guy. That's his role, to kind of stick around there and he has pretty good hands around the net so he can score goals for sure. I think he was great tonight."
Did you call to Nyquist on the goal or did he just find you?
"We have these kind of plays. We even talk about it, when you see something, like maybe right behind, just throw it there and I'm going to try to sneak behind the post. It worked today, which is great. He made a beautiful pass."
How happy are you right now with the way this line is working?
"We've been hoping we will start producing a little more all season. We're trying. Obviously, a big win tonight for us. We can't just be happy, we have to focus for the next game tomorrow."
How did you see the communication on the ice working tonight?
"It's huge, especially for free, you got to use it. I think we exited the zone pretty good today and that's how it should be. I feel like we don't play as bad but some nights we complicate it from this kind of situation. We're putting ourselves in trouble, we have no reason. I think tonight we played great, we exited the zone, we execute and we made small plays and I think played good."
|Riley Sheahan, who had a goal and an assist Friday, battles for the puck with Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
What did you like about the way you played?
“I thought we played good for 60. I thought we did a good job overall of not giving up lots of easy chances. I thought we created a good amount. I thought they played good, too. It was a good hockey game. They’re coming off a back to back. I definitely thought they had good energy. They’re obviously playing at a good rate right now with the exception of the last two games. I thought it was a good hockey game and I was happy to come out on top.”
Talk about the defensive performance of tonight?
“Again I thought we did a good job of that. We had maybe one big breakdown in the first that Danny (DeKeyser) kind of made a save on. I thought other than that overall we did a good job. The two goals they scored were kind of goals where we self-screened but they weren’t big time chances. I thought Jimmy was real good as he needed to be and I was happy with the overall performance.”
How much improved has Sheahan been lately?
“He’s got great jump right now. Some of that is confidence. It’s a funny thing. When you get confidence you just play better. It’s hard to explain and it’s hard to get it and you’ve got to earn it. He’s earned it through his work and his play. He’s playing with lots of confidence and has lots of jump in his step right now.”
How important is it that the Sheahan line with Tatar and Nyquist is going now?
“I think it’s great. They’re three real good players. They’ve been real good players in this league. We’re going to need them tomorrow night to be great again.”
A lot of people in the organization always figured Sheahan would produce offensively at some point, does it just take time with some guys?
“With Sheahan, he’s somebody that’s real accountable as well, so I think it takes some time for that. Part of it is that he hasn’t spent hardly any time on the power play this year either, so that’s a difficult thing, to produce points without that. He’s definitely got it in him. He’s got lots of offensive ability in him.”
Is there anything different from what you’re doing now and what you would be doing if this were the playoffs?
“No, this is playoffs for us. We know that. Every game matters to a great degree – not that the games at the beginning of the year don’t because it’s all magnified now because of where it’s at.”
Who’s in goal tomorrow?
“I won’t tell you but thanks for asking.”
How importance is it that the power play was finally finding some chemistry?
“First of all, they’ve been very good. They’ve done a good job of delivering pucks to the net. I thought we had some chances even before that (goal). Like I said earlier today, just like a player, just like a team, a unit, a specialty team unit runs on confidence for sure. We’ve got good confidence right now and it’s showing.”
What do you think about playing in Toronto tomorrow?
“It’s a big game for us and Toronto’s going to play hard. I think Mike’s got their team playing really well the last couple of weeks. I told him when they were here I thought they were playing real good. It’ll be a real big game. That’s what you want at this time of year. You want big games. You want these opportunities. This is what it’s about, so let’s go and have fun with it and go play great hockey.”
Abdelkader and Datsyuk missed significant portions of the game, what happened to them?
“Obviously both were able to come back and play so nothing that kept them from playing.”
Did the referees miss a stick to the face on Datsyuk?
What do you see from Howard that wasn’t there in January and February?
“The one thing is he went through a stretch in late December and early January where we weren’t playing good enough in front of him. So that’s part of it. Confidence again is a big thing. He went to work with Jimmy Bedard and they worked hard to make sure his game was in a spot when he did get the opportunity he was going to play well and he’s done that real consistently in the last little bit.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.