Here are some of the postgame quotes after Friday’s 5-4 Devils win in overtime over the Maple Leafs:
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.”
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.”
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.”
Was it nice playing with those two guys tonight?
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.”
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.”
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