I will have my Devils-Flyers preview tomorrow, but for now…
Here are some of the postgame quotes following the Devils 2-1 win over the Sabres Sunday night:
Where is the confidence level at, the way you finished up the last two games?
“Guys look like they’re feeling pretty good; we’re making a lot of good plays, the chemistry with players is getting there. Special teams are doing well, we definitely wanted to come into the playoffs playing well and I think we’re playing well, so we’ll see.”
An unusual way to win a game?
“A little bit; we’ll take it (laughs). They don’t ask you how you win them, but definitely something that — I’ve played almost 1100 games in this league and this is the first time I think in a tie game with a pulled goalie we won a hockey game, but we’ll take it.”
You won the Jennings Trophy with this win too…
“Yeah, it’s exciting; this is my fifth one and definitely (for) the players that play in front of me, everyday they go out and pay attention defensively. Especially for Yann (Danis), being his first year here and be able to be a part of it is kind of nice also because he played a big part.”
Are you surprised that Ryan Miller didn’t play?
“Well, I don’t know what their intentions were, but I don’t think you could’ve done any better than what (Patrick) Lalime did, that’s for sure. He was pretty good out there.”
Do you feel good about the way the team is playing heading into the playoffs?
“Yeah, we’re playing well and we’re not giving up too much defensively. We’re playing smart hockey and we’re getting some scoring right now; so we like how we’re playing.”
Your thoughts on the match-up with Philadelphia?
“They’ll be tough, there’s no question, but we’ll make sure we’re prepared for them.”
How do you feel about the way the team is playing heading into the playoffs?
“I feel good. We’re playing great defensively, doing well in offensive zone, going to the net. The power play, we’re getting guys around the front of the net and that’s the key thing right now. I’m really excited — I think we’ve played great the last three games and we have to continue on.”
Your thoughts about seeing Philly for possibly another seven games?
“It’s going to be tough, it doesn’t matter who you play; it’s going to be a tough series. A team like that, you know you’re going into war and that’s what we’re going to do in here. We’re going to play team hockey, play great defensively and give everything we have every night.”
You went 1-4-1 against Philly this year, does that have any meaning going into a series with them?
“For us it means nothing, for them it means everything; that’s the way you look at those things. They obviously had our number during the regular season, they did things that took us off our game — we’re going to have to address that, we’re going to have to understand the way they play and play accordingly. Our power play is going to have to deliver; they’re going to take some penalties and they play that style. We have to stay disciplined, stay smart and take advantage of our opportunities.”
Marty gets another Jennings, what does that say about the way he’s playing and the team concept?
“I wouldn’t say its one of our goals at the start of the year, but in a way it kind of is. We want to play well defensively as a team and obviously it starts with him, but you need a whole team to win that award. It’s great for him; it’s good for this team. We pride ourselves on playing well in our own end and playing good defensive hockey — that’s a sign that we did a pretty good job this year.”
Are you happy with the way the team finished the season?
“Great; I think we have a great team. I think we finished the right way, the way we wanted to finish it. We’ve played really solid the last couple of weeks and I think we are ready for the playoffs.”
What do you like best about the team?
“I think the way we work; you know we work for each other, we work together — that’s the key.”
Philadelphia is not a fun team to play against…
“That’s good; it’s going to be very intense games. I know it’s a big rivalry and the rivalry is going to continue.”
Your thoughts on playing the Flyers in the first round…
“Well, as you can tell we don’t pick the teams, we just wanted to win and that’s what happened tonight. It’s going to be a battle because we struggled against them all year; it’s a good team, they proved it, well-balanced. Definitely we’ll have to play better than we did during the season to be able to beat them.”
In what areas?
“To me, everywhere. Our power play didn’t go well, our penalty kill, not as good that it could be. Even the forechecking, and our chances — we have to get more chances.”
How important was it to get the number two seed in your mind?
“You can tell when you look at the two teams that this was a good game tonight. You look at the two teams, they both wanted to win, you could tell — there was a lot of energy. I thought we played really good; we didn’t give them a lot, maybe seven scoring chances, which is great. They had a few guys out, I thought it was a good game.”
What do you like about your team?
“Right now I think we’re playing hard, we’re playing to win, playing as a group, which we didn’t do all year. But I can’t criticize too much, because we finished second.”
Did you watch the Flyers-Rangers shootout during your first intermission?
“Yes I did.”
A year ago you stepped down as coach of Minnesota, and here you are a year later atop the Atlantic Division. Are you surprised, happy, what are you feeling today?
“I’m relieved, happy, it’s a good feeling. You come back to a city in which a lot of people appreciate what I did and still remember. Coming back and getting the division title, it’s great; I’m very happy.”
With all the adversity that the team went through, what made your team carry through and finish with more than 100 points?
“I think the guys have good character, they want to win. They do their best every night and I think we have a decent team — starting in nets, you look at our defense this year; I was really impressed with the way our defenseman played all year. Our top line was great all year, then we got Kovalchuk and he brings some more offense.”
Have you ever seen a regular season end like that?
“No, I was even surprised myself. I wasn’t looking there and then when Jamie got the puck and I saw him shoot…’where’s the goalie?’ I thought. Then I looked up and I knew why, they pulled the goalie.”
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