Devils-Penguins Postgame Quotes [12.30.09]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Wednesday’s 2-0  win by the Devils over the Penguins:

Jay Pandolfo:

Was this game played a lot tighter than the previous three matchups?

“It was a big win; I thought we played pretty well as a team. A couple of times they had some pretty good pressure, but they have some pretty good skill over there. Marty played great, again, I thought their goalie played well too. It was a good game, it could’ve went either way, but we found a way to come out on top.”

Did it feel like a playoff game at all?

“A little early for that, but it felt a tight game for sure; playoff game is a stretch.”

They didn’t get any power plays until there was 1:26 left, was that a big key?

“Yeah, that was good; we kept our feet moving and didn’t get in trouble. It was a tough call at the end, to give only one power play to that team is a pretty good (job).”

Martin Brodeur:
Can you tell when you get inside someone’s head, like shutting out Pittsburgh in back-to-back games?

“It’s a fine line; you could be there and one bounce in a game could flip-flop the confidence that they have. I think we respect them, so that’s the reason why we’ve been successful; I think we don’t take anything for granted. We know that if we put our guard down against these guys they’ll take care of us. So we are intense for the full 60 minutes, it was a good game tonight.”

Can you talk about the save on Sidney Crosby’s backhand shot while he was shorthanded?

“He came in and he got pretty good wood on it, I kind of, with the way he was going he had to go towards my glove, so I read it pretty good. After that I was able to bat it out (of the zone) to try and get a break(away) there, and we got a 5-on-3 out of it; but it didn’t pay off.”

Is it mentally draining to play all of these top teams (Pittsburgh, Washington, Pittsburgh and Chicago) in a row?

“It’s not, I think its fun. I think it’s a grind in between sometimes, that’s what is tougher mentally. When you do play top teams I think in your head it is easier to get ready for them, because every athlete, every player in here has a lot of pride; so when we do play against top teams, we want to show what we can do. Again, we have to get focused on playing like that against everybody, and so far this season we’ve been pretty good.”

Are you playing tomorrow?

“If they don’t tell me anything, that means I’m playing (laughs).”

Is 600 wins a possibility by the end of this season?

“Well, there are enough games left (chuckles), so we’ll see.”

Niclas Bergfors:

What did you see on that play that you scored the goal on?

“I don’t know. There was a lot of traffic in front of the net and I just tried to put it on net, to get a rebound.”

Brian Rolston:

Your thoughts on the game tonight?

“It was a good hockey game, a playoff-atmosphere, and our fans were great tonight; it was an exciting game to be in the building.”

It seemed a lot tighter than the previous three games against them…

“It was real tight and we did a great job at the end. They had their opportunities and we had our opportunities and we got that goal early — their goalie played well tonight too, but obviously Marty was the difference in the game tonight.”

Are you surprised anymore with anything Marty does?

“Not really; and you know what it’s almost taken for granted that he’s as good as he is, and as calm as he is in there.”

Will it be special for you going back to Minnesota on Saturday night?

“Yeah, it’s going to be fun. I really enjoyed my time there, it was fabulous. I have nothing bad to say about the organization and the fans were great to me. It’ll be fun to go back and play in that building; it’s always fun playing in there.”

Jacques Lemaire:

Best game of the season?

“I would say close to it. I think we skated well, were aggressive, good with the puck and great in our end. Even though we feel that they had around 11 (scoring) chances, but you know they will get some chances. It’s a good team; they have good shooters, good passers. We felt that we did a tremendous job against them.”

Was this Marty’s best game?

“Definitely; he was controlled, managed to see the shots. Sometimes you get people in front of you and some nights you don’t see them. Other nights you manage to see it and that’s what makes the difference between a great goalie and a good goalie.”

How is (David) Clarkson?

“We’ll get more information tomorrow.”

When you beat a team like Pittsburgh four times in a row, do you have a psychological advantage over them?

“I don’t think that way. I think when you look afterwards, maybe you could say that. I think our players knew they would come out and play a good game; I think it was their best game tonight — they played good, played hard. They could have gotten goals at anytime when they were in our end, the chances they had. Maybe because we feel good about our past outcomes with them, we played like we did. But you still have to work, and I thought our work ethic was more important than anything else.”

Will Clarkson or Bryce Salvador go to Chicago?

“We’ll know tomorrow; well tonight after this.”

What can you say about Bergfors?

“Bergy, well Bergy he’s the same kid playing hard and he’s doing good things with the puck; I think he’s getting better as a player. I think he’s more in control when he has the puck; I still want him to try and find Zach (Parise) or Travis (Zajac) at different times in the offensive zone so he can make that play, so they can get some scoring chances. But he’s learning and getting better — I’m pleased with his progress.”

How do you compare Parise with Crosby?

“Well two hard workers, two good players; myself, I find them very similar.”

Did you see Crosby whack him from behind?

“No, I didn’t see that. I heard it after the game. One of the comments in the coach’s room that they say he could’ve gotten a penalty for that because he whacked him with a two-hander. I didn’t see it.”

Your top four d-men played a lot tonight and the team as a whole only took one penalty, is this something your pleased with?

“This is a good question, I’m glad that you talked about our defenseman because the four guys they played a lot and they played great; very good. Not that (Mark) Fraser and (Matthew) Corrente didn’t play well, but they had less ice-time.”

What do you think about Chicago or is that too soon?

“I’m going to think about this just when I wake up.”

Are you the best team in the league?

“I think we’re among the good teams and there’s a lot of them; about 25 of them.”

Brodeur Blanks Penguins (Again) for Shutout No. 105

Here is the link to my recap of the Devils’ 2-0 win against the Penguins on Wednesday night:

Brodeur Blanks Penguins (Again) for Shutout no. 105

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Martin Brodeur (NJ) – 32 saves, win (25-9-1), shutout (4)

#2 – Brent Johnson (Pitt) – 32 saves, loss (4-3-0)

#3 – Niclas Bergfors (NJ) – gw goal (13)

line combos/d-pairings

New Jersey:
Parise-Zajac-Bergfors
Elias-Niedermayer-Rolston
Pandolfo-McAmmond-Langenbrunner
Zharkov-Pelley-Clarkson

Greene-Oduya
Mottau-White
Fraser-Corrente

Pittsburgh:
Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Fedotenko-Malkin-Guerin
Cooke-J.Staal-Kennedy
Talbot-Rupp-C.Adams

Orpik-Letang
Gonchar-Goligoski
Eaton-Skoula

Devils-Thrashers Postgame Quotes

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Monday’s 3-2  win by the Devils over the Thrashers:

Zach Parise:

Is it a weight off your shoulders (that you scored a goal tonight)?

“Yeah, it definitely feels good. It feels good that something finally went in, it’s definitely a good feeling.”

The goal that they gave credit to Colin White, did you touch it at all on the way in?

“I don’t know; we’ll have to watch it on video I guess.”

Can you talk about the first goal?

“It was a good play by Bergy to keep the puck in the zone there. He found me going in front of the net and I got a couple of whacks at it.”

Were you just waiting for David Clarkson to come back into the lineup to score a goal?

“(Smiling) Yeah that was the secret, that’s what I was waiting for.”

Were you surprised to see Niclas Bergfors get up from that hit before his assist?

“Yeah, you have to give him a lot of credit for making that play; I saw the video and he got hit pretty hard, but he got back up and made a good play. He was talking about it afterwards (on the bench) and he was a little shaken up after the hit.”

The lines were jumbled up after Andrew Peters was tossed in the opening two minutes; did that have any affect tonight?

“I guess we’re kind of used to it by now. I warmed up with Travis (Zajac) and Jamie (Langenbrunner) and then I started (the game) with Dean (McAmmond) and Patty, and then I didn’t see them the rest of the night, so (laughs). You have to make adjustments to how they’re playing and then when Petey got thrown out of the game, we had to mix and match all night.”

Martin Brodeur:

They’ve played you tough in three games this season…

“It’s just one shot that makes a difference; they have two good goalies over there that will make key saves at the right time. When they play us, I’ve seen some of the games they’ve played and it gets pretty wild sometimes, but today they looked pretty sound defensively. Their defenseman were carrying the puck and they made good plays; I thought we just stayed the course all game long.”

What happened to (Bryce) Salvador?

“I don’t know. I didn’t see, sorry I cant help you guys.”

What did you see on that first goal?

“Kovalchuk? It was a bomb. I went across and tried to get as big as I could because I know he was there; (the pass) got tipped and it threw me off a bit. My angle, because I knew exactly where he was, but when it got tipped he changed so I was a little too close to my post and he just hit it as hard as he could in the top of the net.”

The second goal went off of one of your players?

“Yeah it went off of both sticks (in the lane) and it kind of caught me a bit – the way it came up. It kind of handcuffed me (between my glove and my side), it threw me off a bit.”

How did you like the overall performance of the team coming off of a loss?

“A different opponent, playing at home; not as chaotic a day; I think we did what Jacques wanted us to do against that team. It was nice to see Clarkie back out there, getting into a fight, getting himself going. This is the way we have to bounce back after a bad game, with a win.”

After giving up four goals Saturday, how did you feel out there?

“Yeah I felt pretty good; I felt really good in Washington, it’s just that their firepower kind of overwhelmed us. I haven’t played really well against these guys this year in two games — one I got pulled, one I lost — so I just wanted to make sure I was good tonight.”

Patrik Elias:

Is it important for the team to get Zach out of his drought?

“Its good for him, he didn’t have any pressure from anybody because he was giving his best effort every night; it was just a matter of time (before he scored). I told him you only got halfway to what I had — a few years back, 18 games or something, so we kidded about that. He’s so good around the net, he gets himself opportunities, its going to go for him, sooner than later.”

Jacques Lemaire:

Thoughts on the win…what worked and why?

“I think it was a hard fought game, both teams played hard. There was a lot of hitting and not a lot of room to play. This is a team, the way they play with their wingers is tight; they play man-on-man. To get away from this you have to skate, you have to beat people. Otherwise there is always somebody on you if you are not skating.”

Parise came through…

“It’s been a couple of practices now that I feel he has been skating better; maybe his mind is more clear. To me, the biggest difference, Travis played really well, he helped him. On the second goal, Patrik made a great pass to him. Zach, he is always skating, but when he is open and waiting for the puck, somebody has to give it to him — tonight he had people give it to him.”

Was Clarkson too reckless?

“Well I think its only being a part of games and knowing your position in the defensive zone, knowing what to do. I don’t know if you saw the replay (of the first goal), he was wondering where he should go at that time before the goal. He was in front of the net, he didn’t know if he was going to stay down low or go back to his position. When you don’t play for a while, this is what’s going to happen to you. Besides that I thought he was skating fine and on the PP he was good, he missed one chance.”

What can you tell us about Salvador?

“Sal, nothing. He left the game and we won’t know more until later.”

How worried were you when Ilya Kovalchuk had the puck late in the game?

“When he shoots, everybody worries.”

Are you upset with Andrew Peters?

“I don’t want to think about this; I have other stuff on my mind.”

Did his loss screw up your game plan, as far as how you wanted to roll your lines?

“Well we end up playing three lines there in the third period, for sure. I don’t know how it would have turned out had he stayed in the game, but anyway, it’s done.”

Parise Scores Twice as Devils Top Thrashers

Here is the link to my recap of the Devils’ 3-2 win against the Thrashers on Monday night:

Parise Scores Twice as Devils Top Thrashers

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Zach Parise (NJ) – 2 goals, gw (17)

#2 – Niclas Bergfors (NJ) – 2 assists (13)

#3 – Marty Reasoner (Atl) – goal (4), assist (10)

Line combos/d-pairings

New Jersey:
Parise-Zajac-Bergfors
Elias-McAmmond-Rolston
Pandolfo-Niedermayer-Langenbrunner
Peters-Pelley-Clarkson

Greene-Salvador
Oduya-White
Mottau-Fraser

Atlanta:
Kovalchuk-Antropov-Afinogenov
E.Kane-White-Armstrong
Kozlov-Peverley-Little
Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn

Bogosian-Hainsey
Kubina-Enstrom
Schubert-Valabik

Devils-Canadiens Postgame Quotes [12.16.09]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Wednesday’s 2-1  win by the Devils over the Canadiens:

Patrik Elias:

Why is it that you and Brian (Rolston) are really clicking right now?

“It’s not just me and Brian; I think that Zharkov is doing a lot to make it fun, to make it successful as a line. We’re playing as a unit, all three guys; you saw that he (Zharkov) made another good play on that goal. He’s working hard and makes smart decisions, and with Brian, we’re just having fun, a lot of communication and just playing.”

Was this a patient game (tonight)?

“I don’t know, I don’t think that’s the way we want to play. Like I said, the power plays, we did a lot of good things in the first period because we drew four power plays in a row, and it didn’t work for us tonight. Not every night is going to be perfect, or its going to work; it kind of affected us, maybe a little bit, for the second period. I think both teams didn’t play as good as we can, but we’ll take the win.”

Vladimir Zharkov:

Can you talk about the play on the game-winning goal?

“I see one guy came to me and the second guy went to Rollie, then it was a 2-on-2. It was a beautiful, very nice; Rollie stopped, wait, wait, wait, he gave the puck to Elias; Elias finished nice goal.”

Are you having fun playing with those two guys, it seems like you have good chemistry?

“Maybe, because I love playing with those two guys; very good passers, you know, Rollie and Elias, but I am young. I played just nine games, you know — these guys help me all the time. We skate very hard every game, but I’ve only played nine games, I’m just a young boy.”

Jamie Langenbrunner:

Talking about the play where he lost the puck and gave up shorthanded breakaway…

“We had a set play on that and it just bounced up on me; I went to pass it and the puck wasn’t there. It’s one of those things, unfortunately that one ended up in our net.”

What are you thinking when that happened?

“Oh spit (laughs). I tried to come back as hard as I can, I tried to force him and it was a good job by Andy (Greene) to force him to his backhand; it just snuck its way through.”

Would it have been worse for you mentally if you lost 1-0?

“Probably; the win kind of hides those kind of mistakes I guess.”|

Ilkka Pikkarainen:

Is that the way you envisioned your first goal happening?

“No, that was a lucky one, but I don’t care how they go in; I’m very happy.”

How does that first one feel, especially in a tight game?

“It feels good, we were struggling in the first period, but in second and third we did better.”

Did you think the shot was going in when you took it?

“No, (laughs) I was really happy it went in though. The goalie helped me a little bit there.”

How good does it feel that the team came out flat and still got the two points?

“Yeah, I’m happy that we got the two points.”

Martin Brodeur:

Scripting this I’d call it strange but true victories…

“Well definitely this one was kind of a weird one a bit, we didn’t play our best game. But we stuck with it and scored a big goal at the end; Patty again comes through for us.”

(Scott) Gomez almost got one (on you)…

“A couple of good shots, he kicked one in (on me). I thought we handled their offense pretty good, we had one breakdown — on one of our power plays — and they got a goal out of that. After that, a couple of screen shots, one hit me in the head in the second period there, but I thought defensively we did a great job against especially Gomer and (Mike) Cammalleri, who’s one of the hottest players.”

How surprised were you that the fans kept booing him?

“Well, it’s like anything, everybody’s demanding on being perfect every night and its all in their rights. We’re there trying our best and some nights it works and some nights it doesn’t and it’s just part of the game.”

No, I meant booing Gomez…

“Oh, I thought you meant our power play in the first period (laughs).”

They booed Gomez every time he was on the ice…

“They’ve got to get over it sometime (laughs), but I think he’s not playing for the Rangers anymore, so it’s not as bad. Even for us (players) I think the sentiment of him being somewhere else is a lot different, but fans are weird that way. I think they care about their team and when a guy goes out and does something like that — unless you’re like Bobby Holik and come back and play for us, they’ll start cheering him again.”

1,029 games — how many of them were like that one?

“Oh, I don’t know; that was kind of boring (out there). It’s a big win.”

Is it a gratifying win knowing that maybe the team wasn’t at its best tonight?

“I think we played a team that’s not doing really well right now, and you know that they’re going to try to keep it simple; they did, they didn’t really do much out there and they didn’t give us much opportunities either. They gave us a lot of power plays, but we didn’t do anything with them and we got a lucky goal on a shot over the net that (Carey) Price mishandled and after that we got kind of a cold shower on them — scoring that late goal, definitely nice.”

Another milestone (for you), what does this one mean?

“Well, durability as I’ve talked about for a few days. That’s what playing a lot of games is, it’s being durable, and it’s being successful; because if you’re not, the coach doesn’t put you in there. I’m definitely happy that it’s passed, we get to the next game and it’s over with and move on to just play hockey.”

Travis Moen’s shot went through your legs?

“I think so, he came in on his backhand and he waited (me) out. I was on my post and thought I had everything covered and he just snuck it right through my legs.”

Jacques Lemaire:

How would you describe this game?

“Well, I have to say at the start we got the penalties (against them). I thought we were playing exactly the way we wanted to play. Then, power plays, as I mentioned to the guys in there, power plays are great when you can take advantage; it will destroy the whole team when you don’t score; especially when you go 5-on-3. Then guys make the wrong pass, take the wrong shot or they don’t score. They get frustrated and if they can’t get that off their mind, it’s tough to play hockey like that. I think the power play just turned things around.”

Yet somehow the team hung in, Montreal never got that second goal…

“I don’t think they were better than we were (laughs), we were not good but they weren’t (any) better. They probably had five chances the whole game and we had eight or nine with all the power plays, so you look at the game — only the third period I thought it was decent. The best part of it was the last three minutes.”

How do you describe the rookie’s goal?

“Oh Pikk, I guess he wanted to keep the puck deep and the goalie tried to catch it in his glove and it went in; it’s just a lucky goal. But you know what, that’s what we needed.”

Another Brodeur Record as Devils Slip Past Habs

Here is the link to my recap of the Devils’ 2-1 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night:

Another Brodeur Record as Devils Slip Past Habs

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Patrik Elias (NJ) – gw goal (7)

#2 – Martin Brodeur (NJ) – 17 saves, win (21-8-1)

#3 – Carey Price (Mon) – 25 saves, loss (9-12-3)

line combos/d-pairings:

New Jersey:
Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner
Rolston-Elias-Zharkov
Pandolfo-Niedermayer-Bergfors
Pelley-McAmmond-Pikkarainen

Greene-Salvador
Mottau-White
Oduya-Fraser

Montreal:
Cammallieri-Plekanec-A.Kostitsyn
S.Kostitsyn-Gomez-D’Agostini
Moen-Lapierre-Pacioretty
Metropolit-T.Pyatt-Laraque

Spacek-Hamrlik
Gill-Gorges
O’Byrne-Bergeron

Legace’s Long Road Back to the NHL

Here is the link for a story on Carolina Hurricanes goalie Manny Legace that I did for Maxhockey.com:

Legace’s Long Road Back to the NHL