Devils-Flyers Postgame Quotes [04.16.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after the Devils 5-3 Game 2 win over the Flyers:

Dainius Zubrus:
What about playing with Zach and Patrik, something you haven’t done too much of?

“Well it’s not exactly a new line because in the past couple of weeks, we’ve played quite a few games together. We had some success, me and Zach, and our centers were switched every now and then — sometimes it’s Travis (Zajac), sometimes it’s Patrik; we try to get on the pucks, try to play in their end as much as we can and not give them too many easy shifts against us. He (Zach) is obviously a great player, he’s on the puck all the time; it’s kind of easy to read him because he goes so hard every single time. So I try to not be too far from him so I can help him out to recover some pucks and try to get some shots.”

Zach Parise:

After you get the shorthanded goal early, is your confidence soaring?

“Yeah, when you get that early, first one, you’re more comfortable with the puck; you’re more comfortable to make plays, the game kind of slows down a bit for you. I think that was the case tonight.”

Did you guys learn you can’t take penalties against them tonight?

“Well I think that’s how it is this time of year no matter what; they have a good power play. It just seemed like every time we turned around for some reason, we were in the box. It really can take a toll on individual players, and it can really kill momentum too. We did a good job on our PK and we got the shorthanded goal too, so we did fine.”

Can you talk about the pass that Patrik made to you on your goal?

“Great pass. He saw me with a step on (Chris) Pronger and he was able to get it through (Matt) Carle; it was a great play. He sent me in alone on a breakaway.”

Talking about the play at the end of the game where the winning goal was scored…

“Zubie made a really good power move to the net and that’s what he brings to our line, what he brings to this team; he was able to chip it over the goalie’s shoulder there.”

Matthew Corrente:

How do you feel after your first playoff game?

“I was waiting for someone to come over to talk to me. It was awesome, it’s great to get a win and it was really intense out there; fortunately we came out on top.”

So that means you were the secret ingredient? Game 1 you don’t play, they lose, Game 2 you play they win…

“I’d like to think I contributed to the win, but everyone played well. It was a good team effort and we played solid for 60 minutes and got the win.”

The PK was sharp tonight and Marty was there to clean up anything else right?

“Guys stepped up when they needed to and that’s what it’s going to win playoff games. You find that out pretty quick, it feels good, but there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”

How long before you settled down during the game, if at all?

“There were a couple of butterflies I guess, at the start, but I played in a couple of games with these guys (12 games). After the first couple of shifts were out of the way, I felt good, I felt like I was in the game.”

When did you find out you were going to be in the lineup?

“I found out this morning at the pre-game skate; I was pretty pumped to hear that.”

Ilya Kovalchuk:

Talking about his penalties…

“Today I took a couple, especially the third penalty, maybe I should stay away from it; but we won the game, so who cares.”

It was the end of your shift right?

“Yeah we were leading by a goal, so I should’ve…but should’ve, would’ve; you know. But we got the win and who cares.”

Will you be a little more relaxed because you got the empty net goal?

“You know I would be relaxed if we won 4-3; I just got a chance, crossed the red line and shoot for the empty net. I saw (Jeff) Carter broke his stick so, it was nice to get a two-goal lead.”

What happened with Mike Richards on your second penalty?

“He was slashing and stuff, but its okay, its part of the game. He’s a tough player to play against and we have to watch him.”

Were you trying to get him to fight?

“Well, you never know (smiles).”

Patrik Elias:

Talking about playing on the PK with Parise…

“It was the first time, maybe all season, that me and Zach were out there on the PK together. So we kind of stayed on top of them, forced them to make mistakes. I had a great opportunity in the second period, we read off of each other real well tonight.”

Was the second period you team’s best period this series?

“I don’t know; I thought we played well in the first and third periods last game, we just didn’t score. Same thing today, we had a couple of goals, but at the same time we had a lot more opportunities. We just have to stay with it; it’s up and down throughout the games, throughout the playoffs, we just have to stay the course.”

What do you expect for Game 3 when you go to Philly?

“A lot of excitement, a lot of energy from their side and we just have to match it. We have to go in there and just play; focus on the job. They’ll be feeding off of their crowd, it will be loud — we just have to stay in control and play our game.”

Martin Brodeur:

Your thoughts on your team’s PK tonight…

“Gutsy, I think that’s the bottom line. We showed a lot of character, a lot of poise; we blocked shots, surviving — that’s playoff hockey. I think we really showed that we’re able to do that and I think we showed each other a little more than maybe anybody else. When you play intense, good things will happen.”

Down 2-0 would not be a good position to be in…

“For sure, especially going to Philly, it would’ve made our lives a little more difficult, but we’re really happy that it’s 1-1. We have to put our work boots on have a great performance in Philly over the next four days.”

Did you guys as a group recognize that Kovalchuk hadn’t won a (playoff) game and that it might’ve been in the back of his mind?

“Well we knew because he had only four games experience and if you have only four games experience (laughs) you didn’t win too many games, usually. It means a lot for him to be here; it’s funny, you almost want to talk to him like a little kid, but he’s not. He’s a guy that has a lot of experience; he’s scored a lot of goals, played a lot of minutes and was responsible for a whole organization for eight years or so. Now he comes in (here) and it’s a different step in his career. Definitely for him to get that monkey off his back, people talk about it all the time when you don’t perform in the playoffs or you’re not on the winning side. So I’m sure he’s really excited to get it out of the way and he showed what type of player he is — he was all over the ice, he was aggressive, such a big guy. It looks good for us when you see a top player getting himself involved like that.”

Were you surprised by his aggressiveness today?

“Well we’ve played him in the past and he was really aggressive. When things are not going your way, you have to find a way to make it happen, I think by playing physical, with his size, he’s going to create some havoc around and people will try to go after him and that’s how he’s going to excel; he gets himself in the game.”

Jacques Lemaire:

You got your big goal-scorer going tonight, Colin White

“(smiles) It’s funny that you talk about this, but in the playoffs you need that type of goals from different people, different players that you don’t expect. He’s one of them.”

What was the difference from tonight and Game 1?

“Well definitely the PK that we had; six out of seven penalties. I think we did a pretty good job considering that they scored on too many men, and PP. We scored one on the PP and one shorthanded; I think the guys battled well. We got too many penalties at different times, the whole game, but these type of games will happen.”

Did Zubrus score his goal because of his reach?

“I know he reached, but I thought Zach had that goal. But I thought he made a good move in bringing the puck to the front of the net.”

What did you think about Marty in the third period?

“He gave us a chance to win by making that huge save in the slot; the one-timer that I think was from (Ian) Laperierre that shot it. That was a huge save; otherwise they would’ve taken the lead.”

How would you describe Kovalchuk’s game tonight?

“I like Kovy, he might do some weird things according you guys; to me, he just lacks some experience in the playoffs, that’s all that he’s missing. There’s certain things he needs to watch — you can’t get tangled with a guy that plays ten minutes and have to sit out for two. Not when you’re one of the top players, so you have to stay away from that.”

Did you like what you saw from Elias tonight with his 3-assist performance?

“Patrik is playing really well, especially tonight there — moves the puck, controls the puck. When you’re looking at the players he’s playing against, he did a tremendous job.”

Your thoughts on how Corrente played tonight?

“I think he played fine; I just wanted to see, I had really a good memory what he did when he was with us during the season; I always talk to Lou (Lamoriello) about him, when he’s going to come up and so on. I said I’d like to try him and see what he can do on the wing, and that was why he played. His game, he played fine — he got even a scoring chance, which is nice from a guy like this.”

Were you okay with the all of the penalties called tonight?

“Uhhhhhh. Uhhhhhh. I can’t talk about it; I would love to, but I can not talk about this.”

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Merry X-Mas Devils Fans

The hockey world was stunned last night when the Atlanta Thrashers traded superstar sniper Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils for rookie Niclas Bergfors, defenseman Johnny Oduya, prospect Patrice Cormier & NJ’s first round pick in the 2010 NHL draft.

The deal immediately reminded me of one that GM Lou Lamoriello pulled off almost ten years to the day when he swapped Denis Pederson & a young Brendan Morrison to Vancouver for another Russian sniper — Alexander Mogilny — on March 14, 2000.

The Mogilny deal was very successful as the Devils made two consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Finals, beating Dallas in 2000 and losing to Colorado in 2001. Can this deal work the same magic? Given the fact that the Lamoriello didn’t have to gut the team to acquire Kovalchuk and the fact that he can still make another move or two before the trading deadline, I would say this puts New Jersey as strong contender to represent the East in the Finals (along with Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Washington).

Besides the question of is Lamoriello done dealing, another big question will be is Kovalchuk a rental? The 26-year-old turned down an offer of over $100 million over 10 years  from Atlanta, but would he take less to stay with an established Cup-contending team? Time will tell, but I’m glad that Kovalchuk is on our side now.

Trade Talk [02.03.10]

There’s one month ’til the NHL’s trading deadline and the action should be heating up as we inch closer to the league-wide roster freeze for the Winter Olympics. Already Toronto made separate deals with Anaheim & Calgary, and the Flames completed a four-player deal with the NY Rangers. Not that anyone is keeping score, but — I called Jean-Sebastien Giguere going from the Ducks to the Maple Leafs over the summer; anyways here is a few things that I think we could see transpire between today and March 3:

Last week Atlanta GM Don Waddell took in the Kings-Devils game in New Jersey and was spotted conversing with LA’s GM Dean Lombardi; would a package of Alexander Frolov, Jack Johnson & and a no. 1 pick be enough to lure All-Star sniper Ilya Kovalchuk away from Waddell’s Thrashers?

The NY Islanders placed Brendan Witt on waivers and sent Martin Biron down to the AHL for some conditioning; we could see Witt resurface with one of his old squads — the Washington Capitals — if the Isles try to bring him back through re-entry waivers. As for Biron, none of the teams in serious contention for a playoff berth is in desperate need of net help (at the moment), so i believe GM Garth Snow will wait until the deadline to see what type of value the hard-luck goaltender could bring back.

Rumors have suggested the NJ Devils are looking to add a center and/or defenseman before the deadline, with Anaheim’s Saku Koivu and Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle as possible targets. Perhaps a deal for Koivu would include a package of Jay Pandolfo & Niclas Bergfors or Bergfors and defenseman Mike Mottau. I thought Matt Stajan could have been the center that GM Lou Lamoriello was looking at, but that ended when the Leafs traded him to the Flames in a massive seven-player trade. With Kaberle, I don’t see a deal on the horizon, mainly because he has a no-trade clause in his contract and I can’t see him waiving it to come to New Jersey.

In Boston, enigmatic winger Michael Ryder is supposedly on the trading block and I think Long Island would be a perfect destination — the Isles need another goal-scoring winger and maybe they can acquire him for a minor leaguer or two.

The Night the Lights Went Out…

On Friday night at Prudential Center with 9:12 left in the second period and Tampa leading New Jersey 3-0, a portion of the arena lights went dark, leaving one half of the ice less lit than the other half. That was at 8:18 pm; an announcement was made shortly after that they were trying to solve the problem, but the next announcement didn’t come until 10:07 when the PA announcer said that the game was postponed and will be completed at a later date.

The Devils out-shot the Lightning 20-7 until the lighting failed, but it was Tampa who led by three goals scored by Steve Downie, Brandon Bochenski and Steven Stamkos.

The players were not made available to the print media afterwards but coach Devils coach Jacques Lemaire and GM Lou Lamoriello both spoke after the game; here is what they had to say after one of the most bizarre nights in the three seasons that the team has been in Newark:

Jacques Lemaire:

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

“Never, never; the thing is if we don’t have, I looked and we all looked at the ice the way it is right now with the lighting that we have, to me (and to all of us) it would be dangerous to keep playing like this.”

What was the explanation that you were given?

“None, myself I don’t know exactly; Lou will try to explain after I’m done.”

Are you saying that unless either team needs the points this game won’t be completed?

“Lou will answer that question, any questions about the game?”

Not a great start to the second half of the season…

“I thought we, well goal-wise it wasn’t a good start, but I thought it was a great start the way we played. We didn’t allow a lot of chances, a lot of shots; and we had quite a few, we came close numerous times to get a goal, get back in the game and this is exactly what we needed to get a goal. I felt that we were playing really well.”

It was getting late; did you want to restart no matter how late it was?

“There was a time limit; they’re playing tomorrow (in Philadelphia) which is an important game for them. We’re playing tomorrow (in Montreal) which is another important game, so we didn’t want, myself I didn’t want this game to go on until midnight and then get into Montréal at 3 am and play tomorrow. So I guess this game will be played if any team needs it.”

Has this ever happened to you before?

“No, never. But I’m not an electrician (smiles).”

Lou Lamoriello:

“First of all, what happened was a circuit breaker went down. We found which one it was, and then they could not get the computer to work with the circuit breaker and PSE&G has been here and they determined a short period of time ago that they will not get this fixed tonight so the game was called. We have been in constant contact with the league. The officials as you saw went out and looked to see if when they put the LED boards on if there was enough light to play, but it was too risky. One end zone there was too many shadows and safety has to come first in a situation like this. As far as the details for this game being rescheduled, what the particulars will be as far as where it will begin being played, I do not have any of those. They have not been transmitted to me, nor to my understanding have they been discussed.”

Was there a specific league rule about what to do when something happens like this?

“I do not have the rule, I think it will be determined by certainly by hockey operations and the only situation that I’m aware of is when the young man got hurt in Detroit and what they did at that time. But that was in the first period, where I believe they left the score the way it was and just started the game over again; I think Nashville was ahead 1-0 at that time. I’m not saying that that is what will transpire here, we’re in the second period and I really don’t have any answer right now.”

Were you talking to the commissioner at all?

“I was talking to Colin Campbell. I did not ask any of those questions right now; it was more when do we decide that this game is canceled. We were communicating with them and the officials and trying to get the word to the fans and the media as quick as we can; and also to our players. Both teams have games tomorrow night, we have flights, so things had to be rescheduled.”

Is it your understanding that it’s possible the game will not be replayed?

“No, I don’t even have that answer. I believe it will be replayed, because of how it affects other people, it affects standings, and it affects points. But the details of what the decision is, of when and how, I do not have the answer to that.”

Would it have to be replayed in New Jersey?

“I would assume so, but I don’t want to assume anything. This is our last game with Tampa so…”

But you will be in Florida…

“I would be awfully surprised if it’s not played in the venue it was scheduled to be played in.”

Did you guys discuss at all finishing the game in the practice rink?

“No.”

Was there an agreement from both sides that the game should be stopped?

“I don’t want to get into any of those discussions. That is the decision of the officials on the ice as far as the lights.”

In all of your years at Providence and in the NHL, anything like this ever happen?

“No, this is my first experience with this happening at this time during the game. We’ve had a couple of isolated situations prior to a game, but not during a game.”

When were the players told that there would be no more game?

“As soon as you people were told. They were sitting in the locker room, they were undressed, most of them, drying off because there was going to be a warm up once the game started. We made new ice hoping that they would get the lights on, but the players could not go out there cold; that was decided that that would take place. So there was constant communication between both teams, the league and the officials.”

Once in a lifetime event right?

“I hope so.”

Did the commissioner make the final call on this?

“The league has to make the call on this. But I don’t think that it’s a case of where a decision had to be made, I think the commissioner and the league waited as long as they possibly could. Once they decided they could not get this fixed in a reasonable period of time — when I say reasonable period of time, I mean hours — we did wait 90 minutes by the way. I think once you go that period of time and they’re still in the same place they were when they started in the first minute, it’s not a good chance of getting done. But I’m not an electrician. I only know what I’m being told.”

Is this like 4 and a half innings or can the fans go to another game if they have the ticket stub?

“Well that’s going to be decided. That has not been discussed and will be on newjerseydevils.com, once we know exactly what the status is of this game.”

Murphy put on Waivers…

The Devils placed defenseman Cory Murphy on waivers today according to the Fire & Ice blog by Tom Gulitti.

GM Lou Lamoriello said that Murphy will be assigned to Lowell of the AHL if he goes unclaimed before Tuesday’s noon deadline.

The Devs are 0-3 with Murphy in the lineup and 4-0 with Andy Greene in the lineup.

Shanny’s a Goner…

The Devils announced this morning that Brendan Shanahan is no longer on the team and they will either trade, release or put him on waivers; or he could accept a position within the organization. GM Lou Lamoriello said it was a mutual decision and that he has the utmost respect for Shanahan. It hasn’t been announced yet, but I assume this has something to do with last week’s signing of Rob Niedermayer, which likely knocked the 40-year-old Shanahan out of the team’s top-nine forwards. I liked what Shanny brought to the team, but he is not irreplaceable, and it gives some of the younger players a chance to get quality ice-time. I trust that the Devils management made the right choice here.

Lamoriello: It’s Shanahan’s Decision…

The Devils want Brendan Shanahan, but does he want them? GM Lou Lamoriello admitted today that his team is interested in the 40-year-old winger, but will let him make the final decision which they expect to come by the end of next week.

Personally I liked what Shanny brought to NJ last season and think he would continue to be an asset in the room and some of the younger players could learn from his tenacity, and his willingness to put the team first.

I’m aware he has lost a step, but mentally he makes up for it by positioning himself in the right spots, and he could help the Devs’ PP which always seems to shoot itself in the foot.

Maybe he’ll even go old school and wear his old no. 11 now that John Madden signed with Chicago.