Devils-Maple Leafs Postgame Quotes [01.29.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Friday’s  5-4  Devils win in overtime over the Maple Leafs:

Zach Parise:

Does it feel good to put something in the net?

“Yeah, it feels good for us to put some goals in. We let them back in there, getting two late ones, but it does feel good to get some offense going and to get some pucks in.”

It looked like you wanted that third one really bad?

“I did, and I had plenty of opportunities; I just, I don’t know, it just wasn’t meant to be a night for the hat trick.”

Will you settle for the game-winning assist?

“Yeah, that’s good enough for me.”

What did you see on the game-winning play?

“Well the first time when Travis passed down to me and I tried to give it back to Rollie on the far side, at the last second I saw Travis come down, wide open for a one-timer — so next time I wanted to find him stepping into one. He got good wood on it, I’m not sure if (Vesa) Toskala saw it.”

You had a couple of chances to get that third one?

“Yeah, more than a couple, plenty of them; like I said, that third one just didn’t want to go in tonight.”

What happened in that third period?

“I think they started to play a little better, and then they started to put a lot more pressure on us, created some turnovers and once they got the third goal they had a lot of momentum; it’s something we don’t want to make a habit of.”

Nice that the team finally scored a couple goals?

“It’s great for us to put some pucks in the net, it’s been pretty tough for us to score lately, but it feels pretty good to do it tonight.”

I know it was a lot of goals-ago, but do you remember the first two goals you scored?

“Yeah, the first one I don’t know if Zubie was trying to shoot it or if he saw me on the back side — I had a wide open net. The second one Zubie made a really good pass to me — he said he didn’t see me; it was because I was coming down the slot yelling for the puck. He put it right on my tape and I think it went under (Jonas) Gustavsson’s arm.”

What does Zubrus’ presence bring to your line?

“He did a really good job tonight in the corners, making smart plays. He’s so big and he’s able to hold onto the puck and cycle with us and a lot of times we created turnovers in the offensive zone and were able to maintain pressure.”

Travis Zajac:

What did the coach say during the timeout in overtime?

“He didn’t say much, just to set up the PP how we wanted and go from there; we were able to get one.”

Strange game tonight…

“I think for the first two periods we had the gas pedal down, we were on them and pressuring them, making them turn the puck over; in the third period we kind of let off and they got a couple of chances and breaks. They came back, which isn’t like us but we were able to battle back in the end.”

Talk about the winning goal…

“We just wanted to set up the box and I sent it down to Zach; he made a nice pass in my wheelhouse and I was able to get a good shot on net with Zubie in front.”

Martin Brodeur:

Were you screened on their first goal?

“I don’t remember, what was the first goal, first period?

Shot from the point?

“In the first period? Yeah it tipped; hit my player, maybe ten feet in. It hit (Rod) Pelley’s stick and went up in the air; (Mark) Fraser went to cover the guy at the same time and it hit the crossbar and in. Sorry I drew a blank, too many goals against. It’s usually one and I’m able to explain pretty good.”

What did you see on the breakaway by Colton Orr?

“I just got big; I didn’t think he was going to be able to shoot it anywhere. I went down early and figured he was just going to try to go through me because he was holding up and he just flipped it. It just kind of went through me; I was a little off-balance because he didn’t shoot it hard at all.”

You’ve had some crazy games with Toronto over the last few years, any reason for that?

“I don’t know; I wish I had an answer for you. There’s teams that you react different ways and I would like to be solid against every single team, but for some reason, especially in this building, we always have weird games against these guys — it’s been (that way) for years.”

What did you see during the last five minutes?

“I think we just thought the game was over almost. You could tell with the intensity, we didn’t have anymore forecheck — they were forechecking — we turned the puck over a bunch and it was kind of a tough break on Sal (Bryce Salvador) where he coughed it up and it went right on the guy’s stick in front of the net. From there it’s only a one-goal game and, again, we turned the puck over and they put it in. It’s just something that we haven’t done this year a lot, especially with leads, definitely it’s nice to be able to come out on top even though we let go of a two-goal lead late in the game like that.”

Dainius Zubrus:

Was it nice playing with those two guys tonight?

“Yeah!”

Were you excited?

“I was excited, I didn’t know until the beginning of the game and we started the game together. I knew I had to keep skating, keep my feet moving and be ready to play a good, puck-control game with making plays. That’s what happened in the first two periods.”

How and when did you find out?

“In the warm-ups I asked who am I going to go with and that’s when Mario (Tremblay) told me that I’m going on the right side. Even during warm-ups it doesn’t mean much, but we started the game and had a couple of good shifts early and then stayed that way for the first couple of periods.”

How much closer do you feel to 100%?

“I feel pretty good; I don’t feel like I’m doing any harm.”

Playing with these guys will make you feel better right?

“Yeah, I think so. You guys asked me if I’m excited, yeah, it was fun; you get to know before the game that you’re playing with those two guys — like I said they make things happen, they hold onto the puck. They’re going to make something happen, they don’t just get rid of it; they try to make plays and you have to be ready.”

Talk about the winning goal where you were standing in front…

“Well that was my job, trying to be in front of the net — Travis has a great shot and so does Rollie, we tried to set Travis for a shot and me in front of it. It seemed like Zach put it right where Trav wanted it and he put it right on net; I haven’t seen the replay of it, but it went through.”

Jacques Lemaire:

What did you learn tonight?

“Well I learned that maybe because I didn’t see Toronto play that much, I learned that they can score goals; they don’t quit, they keep coming, they played exactly the same way from the start to the end. At the end I felt that they looked better because we slowed down, just tried to stand in the neutral zone instead of getting on the puck.”

Did the giveaway that led to the third goal give them life?

“That gave them some life, definitely; but still we should have been more intense on the puck, skated a little more. You look at our game, we had about six or seven guys up front playing as well as they could.”

When did you decide that Zubrus was going to play on the top line?

“About five minutes before the game.”

What was so good about him on that line?

“When he first started, the first couple of shifts he was just average — and after that, I don’t know what happened — he just started to control the puck and play like I’ve seen him play in the past. Especially the way he played with Zach and Travis, it helps to get better, but you could see that he was as good as could be.”

On the winning goal is that a plan as far as the way it went in?

“I have a lot of plans, but they’re not all done, they’re not executed every time. But it’s a play that we work on, definitely.”

Why did you put Zubrus on that line?

“Well I wanted to have at least two lines that would be able to score, because I look at Toronto and they have two lines that are scoring. So I felt that I’ll put Jamie (Langenbrunner) with Rollie and maybe give us some offense; and then Zubrus, he was on the fourth line and I was looking at their first line and I felt they have a pretty good first line; (Nick) Palmieri, he doesn’t have enough experience to play against them. I was looking for a guy that had experience.”

Patrick Davis’ first goal, what did you think about it?

“I thought he played really well, he works really hard and was rewarded for the effort that he puts in.”

Why did you remove Zubrus from the top line after the second period?

“I tried to make another line better.”

Zajac Saves Devils After Leafs Force OT

Here is the link for my recap of the Devils 5-4 overtime win over Toronto on Friday night:

Zajac Saves Devils After Leafs Force OT

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Travis Zajac (NJ) – gw/pp goal (15), 3 assists (29)

#2 – Zach Parise (NJ) – 2 goals (25), 2 assists (29)

#3 – Dainius Zubrus (NJ) – goal (3), 2 assists (7)

tonight’s line-combos/d-pairings
New Jersey:
Parise-Zajac-Zubrus
Rolston-McAmmond-Langenbrunner
Pandolfo-Niedermayer-Davis
Palmieri-Pelley-Zharkov

Greene-Salvador
C.White-Mottau
Oduya-Fraser

Toronto:
Hagman-Stajan-Ponikarovsky
Kulemin-Bozak-Kessel
Blake-Mitchell-Stempniak
Mayers-Primeau-Orr

Kaberle-I.White
Beauchemin-Gunnarsson
Schenn-Exelby

Stamkos Avoiding Sophomore Jinx

Here is the link to a story I did for NYCSN about Tampa Bay’s 20-year-old Steven Stamkos:

Stamkos Avoiding Sophomore Jinx

Halak & Habs Hand it to Devils 3-1

Here is the link to my recap of the Devils 3-1 loss to Montreal on Friday night:

Halak & Habs Hand it to Devils 3-1

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Jaroslav Halak (Mtl) – 31 saves, win (13-7-1)

#2 – Mathieu Darche (Mtl) – gw goal (1), assist (1)

#3 – Jamie Langenbrunner (NJ) – assist (29)

line combos/d-pairings

New Jersey:
Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner
Rolston-McAmmond-Palmieri
Pandolfo-Niedermayer-Davis
Bergfors-Walter-Zharkov

Greene-Salvador
Mottau-White
Fraser-Oduya

Montreal:
Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta
Cammalleri-Plekanec-Moen
Pacioretty-Lapierre-D’Agostini
Darche-Metropolit

Gorges-Markov
Spacek-Hamrlik
Bergeron-Gill
Mara

Devils-Panthers Postgame Quotes [01.20.10]

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

Martin Brodeur:

Talking about stopping the losing streak…

“You want to play well, we didn’t really look at the losing streak; we looked at we haven’t played well. We are comfortable playing here, and we wanted to get out of the first period — that’s been a killer for us in the last few games — we get out of the gates really bad. So when we did that today the guys were a lot more comfortable playing the game.”

Was there one particular stop that sticks out for you tonight?

“I don’t know, they had a couple of chances in the 3rd; I think the (Steven) Reinprecht one that (Mike) Mottau took his hooking penalty on, that was a pretty prime shot. But I think one of the biggest plays was when (Nathan) Horton had the puck there in the slot and Sal (Bryce Salvador) made a great block with his stick and threw the puck out of the paint, he had a great opportunity there.”

Do feel lucky there when (Rostislav) Olesz missed the net?

“Never ask that to a goalie (laughs). I’m just kidding, I couldn’t believe it; I’m the one who poked the puck to (Cory) Stillman and he makes a fake pass — I have to respect his shot from there, especially him with having such a great shot — he makes a good play and I just dove across and I just couldn’t believe. It wasn’t even close, it’s not like he hit the post, and it just went wide — so definitely I felt lucky on that one. There was one in the second too that they shot through me and it hit Whitey (Colin White) and came right back. That’s what I was saying that shutouts are tough to get, especially with the luck factor.”

Things were a lot better than they were defensively?

“Yeah I thought so, from my view I thought our defenseman were solid, we blocked a lot of shots, and we had a lot of good sticks in passing lanes, on the power plays and their rushes. It made a big difference, we played really well and we had to play well because we didn’t score many goals in this game. We felt we were in control the whole game.”

Dean McAmmond:

I saw you looking at the clock as you were chasing the puck, did you think you had enough time?

“I wasn’t sure but I took a look to see if there was half a dozen seconds left as comparable to, two. When I saw the clock change from five to four I figured I had a pretty good chance, the puck was right in the middle of the ice. I gave it a pretty good try.”

Was this a good bounce back game after starting slow the last three games?

“We did what we had to do to get a win. We worked hard, I think it took us a little while to get going in the first couple of periods, but I think we are still feeling the effects of the long road trip, long travel and playing every other day. We had yesterday off, but that day off is going to help us.”

Talk about the fact that the team used only three centers tonight, including you…

“You welcome (more ice-time) because you’re staying in it and you know you can go hard, get off (the ice) and you know you are going to get right back in there in a couple of shifts. It keeps you, mentally, on top of your game.”

Nick Palmieri:

First game, first point, how’d you feel out there?

“I felt good, a little bit of nerves in the beginning but I think I kind of settled in after the first shift or two. I found a little bit of a groove out there with the guys that I was playing with, which wasn’t too hard.”

You started off on the fourth line and then you’re playing with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac, how nice was that?

“To play with two of the better players in the league is always exciting, obviously those guys are really good offensively so I was just looking to try and get them some opportunities and knew that if I did it would be more likely that we can get some offense going.”

You had five shots on goal tonight; did you feel like you were in a good groove?

“Yeah I was trying to shoot the puck as much as I could when I was open and make the goalie make a save. Guys were finding me and the puck was bouncing my way a little bit; it was fun.”

Travis Zajac:

Talking about his goal…

“You always want to shoot a rolling puck, I find that they’re harder to pick up (for the goalie); I just kind of got lucky and it went through him.”

When it’s rolling do you have any idea (where your shot will go)?

“I don’t have any clue where it’s going when it’s rolling, I’m sure the goalies don’t.”

Did Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe get a piece of it as you let it go?

“He might’ve gotten his stick on it at the last second; it looked like it on the replay that I just saw.”

Is it a relief that you scored after you guys were shutout for four, almost five consecutive periods?

“Yeah, we thought we were playing good up until then, we knew we were going to get one eventually because we had a lot of shots on net; we were throwing shots from all over the place, so it was just a matter of time.”

Does it feel good when Marty is in a groove like he has been with the shutouts?

“It seems like its every second game now that he’s getting a shutout, which is pretty amazing. Again tonight he was outstanding making the first save and our D did a good job of not allowing too many shots after that. He’s been like that all year for us and it makes us play with a lot more confidence when he plays like that.”

Jacques Lemaire:

What did the kids add tonight?

“I think they added energy and they were good with the puck, good in our end, good offensively, they protected the puck well, they made good passes; I was really pleased with the way they both played.”

How relieved are you?

“Winning?”

Yes. The way you won.

“Well we still have a long ways to go. I think it was a much better team effort, I think the guys were about 80% of what we can do. I think we can play a lot better than we did tonight.”

Who’d you like best?

“I liked Travis; I liked the two kids, they definitely brought good energy as we spoke of. McAmmond really played well and (Rob) Niedermayer — all three centers.”

How abut your defense?

“I think the four defensemen; definitely they made great plays in our end to get out. They were good in the offensive zone trying to keep the puck in at certain times without taking any risks.”

So what do you want to improve on?

“The overall picture; team, intensity, puck control, scoring chances.”

Power play?

“And power play.”

Marty’s game tonight?

“He was good. I wish he would do this every night; he would make my job a lot easier. When he plays the way he can, he’s going to give you a great chance to win.”

What made you move Palmieri from the fourth line to the top line?

“How he played; he was playing better than the other guy, that’s why I did it. When you get a chance to play, you’ve got to take the chance and play — the kids, they have to know this. They’re called up and they have to show that they are capable of doing it.”

What did Palmieri show you?

“Well it’s his poise with the puck. Before the game I asked him if he knows how we play, when they have full control (of the puck). He said yeah, I asked him to explain and he knew the whole thing — how we play; that’s good. I told him about the defensive zone, and said make sure you stop; if you stop you’ll be in control and I thought he did it. Stopping in his position and then seeing the situation and reading the plays the other team is trying to make. Getting in good position to stop cross-ice passes will help you to get that puck and bring it out.”

What happened with Rod Pelley?

“I thought he was going to play tonight and they told me before the game that he’s not. Then I said he’s not in, we’ll have to play with three centers.”

Brodeur Snaps Devils’ Skid with Shutout no. 108

Here is the link to my recap of one of  the Devils 2-0 win over Florida on Wednesday night:

Brodeur Snaps Devils’ Skid with Shutout no. 108

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Travis Zajac (NJ) – gw goal (14)

#2 – Martin Brodeur (NJ) – 22 saves, win (30-14-1), shutout (7)

#3 – Tomas Vokoun (Fla) – 30 saves, loss (16-15-8)

line combos/d-pairings

New Jersey:
Parise-Zajac-Palmieri
Rolston-McAmmond-Langenbrunner
Pandolfo-Niedermayer-Davis
Leblond-Pikkarainen-Bergfors

Greene-Salvador
Mottau-White
Oduya-Fraser

Florida:
Frolik-Weiss-Horton
Olesz-Moore-Campbell
Dvorak-Reinprecht-Stillman
Matthias-Kreps-Oreskovich

Ballard-Leopold
Seidenberg-Allen
McCabe-Garrison

Devils-Lightning Postgame Quotes [01.10.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Friday/Sunday’s  4-2 Devils loss to the Lightning:

Travis Zajac:

A weird experience tonight…

“Yeah, starting a game down 3-0 is not normal, but I think we had some pretty good legs today, we tried to make it interesting. They got that fourth one and kind of knocked the wind out of us.”

Can you talk about the play that you scored on?

Jamie (Langenbrunner) made a good play in front of the net, sent it through the crease and I just happened to be in the right spot.”

You also had an assist later on at the end of the game…

“Yeah I just tried to throw it in front to Zach (Parise); I don’t know if it went off of him or if he got a piece of it. It went in.”


Bryce Salvador:

How did you feel out there today considering the circumstances?

“Just like any other game, but definitely a weird experience. I remember looking up one time I was on the ice and there was a minute left, and you’ve only had two or three shifts. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s always something else.”

Any effects playing games three days in a row?

“No, I think we had our chances to win; for some reason we took a lot of penalties which killed our momentum a few times.”

The fourth goal they scored, was that a backbreaker?

“Its tough, you don’t want to give up a goal right away like that. It was unfortunate, we thought once we got that first one we’d keep rolling; sometimes that happens.”

Are you surprised how many people showed up or how many didn’t considering the score?

“Yeah, I was surprised there was that many; you know you spring a game on people within 24 hours.”


Steven Stamkos:

Talking about the game…

“It was a big win for us; we’ll take them any way we can get them right now. We got the two points and that’s all that matters.”

What was the mindset coming into the game with a 3-0 lead?

“It’s tough; you know have that 3-0 lead but you don’t want to sit back. You want to have that mentality a little bit like it’s a 0-0 game, but still realize you have a three-goal lead and you don’t need to be taking chances to score goals. We didn’t want to lie back too much, but you still want to protect the lead. Obviously those two power plays midway through the second kind of helped us take the pressure away; we knew they were going to get a couple of calls in the third. We killed them off and Smitty did a good job stopping pucks for us tonight.”

Talking about his second goal…

Marty (St. Louis) deserves all the credit; he hustled and beat that guy to the puck and then picked his pocket. I had a one-timer from the bottom of the circle — it was a great play by him and a big goal for our team to relieve that pressure after they made it a two-goal game.”

What were the last 48 hours like?

“We knew we wanted to get this game out of the way as soon as possible, this was the time that we were able to do so. Both teams agreed and it was good to get it out of the way, get the win and now focus on our next game. We were fortunate that we only had an hour and change bus ride from Philly back to here; it wasn’t too bad, but it’s still tough playing three times in three days. It’s nice to be heading back home now.”

Do you remember about your goal here on Friday?

“Yeah (laughs). It was a great play Marty again; it’s easy when you get passes like that from a caliber of player like him. It was nice to get that one, I’ve been snake bitten a bit lately; it was a bonus to get this one here today and help our team win.”

Jacques Lemaire:

Did the disallowed goal take away your team’s edge?

“It would have been nice to get that goal, but I think we started with two penalties and we got this goal that wasn’t allowed. We had a couple of strikes against us right at the start.”

Should there be a strike against the referee for blowing the whistle too fast?

“They should blow it when they don’t see the puck.”

They’re supposed to see the puck aren’t they?

“I know, but you have to get in position to see it and I felt that the shot came from one side and he was behind the goal and didn’t see it.”

How weird was tonight?

“Weird, very weird; I just felt from the start, right when we got that first penalty – we’re running out of time. We were rushing all the time, we had to rush to try to get the game going, get in their zone and get some plays because we knew there was only a period left.”

How’d you feel about (Yann) Danis?

“He was fine. He made a couple of really good saves and the Stamkos one-timer he had no chance on that one; that was pretty quick.”