Devils-Maple Leafs Postgame Quotes [02.05.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after the Devils 4-3 win over Toronto on Friday night:

Travis Zajac:
The game didn’t exactly go the way you planned, are you happy with the result?

“Yeah, we found a way to get the two points; we know we didn’t play good until, maybe the last five minutes of that game. When we got it to 3-2, we started to pressure them a little more, getting in on the forecheck; we got a penalty called in our favor and we were able to capitalize. Then we got one with 20 seconds left so it was a weird game. We didn’t get much going until the end of the game.”

This game was similar to last Friday’s game against Toronto, wasn’t it?

“Yeah exactly, I think the first two periods we didn’t play with a lot of confidence, excitement; I don’t know what it was. We weren’t controlling the puck; we were making terrible plays and turning the puck over. In the third we came out with a little better performance and were able to sneak one away.”

Was part of that lack of energy the overexcitement of having a new player on the team?

“Yeah, maybe; I think this morning we were all pretty excited and we had a lot of energy at pre-game skate it felt like. Maybe we were a little too excited and weren’t ready for the game; but it looked like we didn’t have as much energy or we weren’t working hard or something, but it helps when you get a couple of goals. It was definitely exciting and hopefully we can build off this win.”

Talk about your goal…

“Just on the power play there, Kovalchuk had it at the point and he made a nice play to Dean-o; Dean sent it cross-ice to me and I was just able to get a pretty good shot away.”

You’ve been getting goals like that lately, on slap shots and one-timers, is that something you work on constantly?

“Yeah we work on it in practice; one-timers all the time. I just got all of that one for some reason.”

Kovalchuk jumped on you after that goal; how exciting of a moment was that…

“Yeah (smiles), you could see, just by the first game you can tell he wants to win, he’s a good teammate and he gets excited to score and win games; that’s what we need on this team.”

Martin Brodeur:

Talking about the power play…

“Having Kovy in the lineup, we need to draw penalties because having him is a huge weapon.”

What’s your take on Kovalchuk?

“Well he’s an exciting player; he’s a guy where the opposing team cares about where he is at all times. Eventually it will open up some ice for other people — you saw it on the power play with him faking the one-timer and passing it back to Dean-o. It opened that whole lane because the defender didn’t want to give that shot away from Kovy right in the middle of the ice like that. That’s what hopefully he’ll bring every night to us.”

Last week we talked about recent wild games against Toronto, does this one go right up with that?

“Definitely (chuckles), that was an interesting game; I think we played well for two periods and we were as bad as it gets for the second period, myself included. Turnovers were made and it wasn’t pretty out there, but I was able to make two big saves — one on (Phil) Kessel early in the third period and the toe save I made on (John) Mitchell — that kept the game still within reach and the guys took over in the last five minutes.”

Did the second Toronto goal hit one of your players on its way towards you?

“No it kind of screened me, a scissor-effect with the skate; I think (Colin) White was following the player and it went right through his legs — and I missed it a bit, I thought I was in good position. It just hit my stick and found a little hole in my five-hole.”

Jay Pandolfo:

Talking about his goal…

“I just went to the net, Jamie (Langenbrunner) made a great play in the zone to kind of keep in it, he made a nice pass back to (Mike) Mottau and I just went to the net and got the rebound.”

Similar to last week’s game except this week your team scored the late goals?

“Yeah it was a nice comeback for us, we didn’t have our best game obviously, sometimes that happens when you get a new player and everybody’s trying to get him the puck.”

Jacques Lemaire:

Can you describe what led to the turnaround?

“I cannot (smiles). The whole game I was asking the players to win battles, to make plays, to be better with the puck; we have to be better, we couldn’t do that. We did it only the last two minutes and fifty seconds — then everything was working — we were skating, passing the puck, making plays. How it happened, I just don’t know.”

Did (Vladimir) Zharkov’s pass to (Dean) McAmmond change the whole game there?

“I think it did. The guys on the bench were really excited about that goal and I heard some of them saying ‘hey we can come back, we can come back’ and for the first time in the game I saw that they were excited.”

Talking about the third period…

“We played (only) three lines at the end, most of the time. I was trying to find the combination that could work together; I probably tried everyone with everybody.”

Is Kovalchuk more than just a goal scorer?

“He can pass the puck, you can tell by the plays he’s making; he’ll be fine. He’s a guy that can’t do it on his own all the time; he will sometimes, but he needs help. I thought we played exactly like we’ve been playing lately — not enough energy on the ice, which we paid the price for. Now I’m trying to find the right answer, the right things to do, to make them play as hard as they can.”

Did you know he is getting better in the defensive aspect of the game?

“On the flight from Washington maybe he thought about that (smiles).”

You used (Anssi) Salmela almost twenty minutes, what did you think of him?

“He was fine; he played well. He was not a liability, he moved the puck fine; he just has to get used to the type of game that we’re playing.”

Did Zharkov have one of his better games?

“Zharkov played really well; I have to say that he was one of the best players (for us). He was skating, had puck control, and played hard defensively and offensively.”

Ilya Kovalchuk:

How exciting was this win?

“Very exciting; I took a penalty in the second period and they scored. I was saying to myself that I had to do something because it wasn’t going to be a good debut.”

How many comebacks like this do you remember, this was pretty unusual?

“This year, with the Thrashers, we had quite a few. But it was great to play in front of this kind of crowd, they supported us all game long and nobody left the building.”

You mentioned Brodeur being meaningful, what do you mean by that?

“Yeah, the saves he made in the third period, on their power play, I think that was the key to the game.”

Were you nervous?

“No, not really. First shift, maybe, but the guys were supporting me real well.”

Were you trying to come back and play defense more often tonight?

“I will try always to do that; this year I was plus-1 when I left the Thrashers and that was a big change for me. I think in my career I am minus-95 or something, so hopefully that will change.”

How do you feel you played?

“It wasn’t my best game, but I think it was all right for my first game — especially that we got the two points.”

Can you sum up what the last 24-hours have been like for you?

“It’s not easy, but when you come to this kind of organization, where they’ve won three Stanley Cups, they definitely know how to win and they want to win. To make this move shows that they are serious and hopefully we can do some damage in the playoffs.”

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.

Devils-Kings Postgame Quotes [01.31.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes following the Devils 3-2 loss to the Kings on Sunday night:

Martin Brodeur:

Did you feel tired at all, with all of the games that you have played so far?

“Ask my trainer, he’ll tell you; that’s a stupid question you just asked me there. I play the game, as hard as I can all the time. Getting twenty shots a game; I don’t think you get tired from that, that’s for sure.”

Did you see the tying goal?

“I saw him shoot it, but when it came close to me I was expecting it to hit (Ryan) Smyth in front of me and it just kind of hit the side of my leg and snuck in.”

On the winning goal there was a crowd of players in front of you…

“I saw him (Drew Doughty) shoot and I just went down; Smyth did a great job screening me there.”

Johnny Oduya:

Talk about your goal that opened the scoring tonight…

“I got a pass from Zach (Parise) there across (the ice) and I just tried to shoot it on the far side there, I saw some guys going to the net and it went in off of a skate.”

Obviously a disappointing end to the game, can you put a finger on any one thing that went wrong?

“No I think it’s just a general feel at this time, obviously for the second game (in a row) it’s not something we usually do; we have a lead, usually we feel pretty good and play confident — somehow that slipped out. It’s something we have to talk about and not worry about too much, but keep playing in games and not sit back.”

Wayne Simmonds:

Were you shooting to score there?

“Oh no, definitely not, I was just shooting for a rebound or for Smyth to tip it; I got lucky and it went in.”

Did you see that Smyth was there in front when you shot it?

“Definitely, that’s the first thing I looked for. I looked to see if someone was in front of the net and I just fired it at the net.”

You guys are on a nice winning streak, now that you get to bring home and play in front of your fans…

“I think it’s great, we were in a little slump at home before we left for the road — I think we won five straight on the road trip and now we just have to build that up and carry it over. Our fans deserve better than out last home stand, that’s for sure.”

What has been the secret to success for you guys on the road, now that you’ve won six in a row away from LA?

“I think it’s just resiliency, like tonight we were down and we never gave up. That’s pretty much the way we’ve play all year — we get down a goal or two and we just never say die; it’s worked out really well for us.”

Anze Kopitar:

Talking about the successful road trip…

“If somebody would say (before the road trip) that we were going to be 4-1, I think everybody would pretty much take that; being 5-0 it’s obviously great. I think now it’s time to bring that attitude and that energy at home because we have to start winning some home games too.”

How big was the goal scored late in the second period, instead of being down two goals, it’s only one?

“It was huge. It’s something that, always when you get a goal in the last minute of a period it’s great; they have something to think about in the locker room during intermission and that gave us a little boost. I thought we came out a little stronger in the third period and we definitely shot the puck a little more; and it paid off for us.”

Did you know that this is the first time the Kings have gone 5-0 on a road trip in history?

“That was the first time? That’s great then (smiles), we’re making history. We’ve been playing some decent hockey, right from the first game of this road trip I thought we were playing good hockey and now it’s paying off for us. Maybe we weren’t the better team out there tonight, but we’ll take it every time; two points is two points.”

When you’re winning, this is the kind of stuff that happens right?

“Exactly; and with the opposite, when you’re struggling you can shoot 50 shots and still lose the game — its funny how the game goes. But like I said we’ll definitely take these two points and go home.”

Can you talk about the winning power play goal?

“We were moving the puck around and just trying to get shots. They play a pretty tight box and obviously with Marty in the net they have a world-class goaltender. There’s not a whole lot you can do but shoot the puck, so Drew found a lane there, ripped it and luckily for us it went in.”

Was it a point of emphasis to get bodies in front of Brodeur tonight?

“Yeah, absolutely; we have one of the best in the league I think with Ryan Smyth — he’s really stingy around the net. (Dustin) Brown is in there too, he’s a decent screener too. At that point, especially at that time of the game, you just want to get bodies in front and shots at the net.”

Jacques Lemaire:

Two key things that went wrong tonight?

“The last two goals, the penalty. Not just to let Doughty shoot on the PK and the penalty.”

You had two PP’s when you were still leading by one, did you think the guys worked it with enough intensity?

“We still had good chances; we had good chances to put the game away, but the goalie was good and made some good saves. We could’ve been a little better on certain plays there, but as I said we had our chances.”

You had a 2-0 lead late in the second period, was it a bad play by (Mike) Mottau that led to their first goal?

“Yeah, that will happen though. You can recover and we did; things like that will happen, this doesn’t bother me at all.”

Do you think Marty could have stopped the tying goal?

“He could have stopped that, definitely; a shot from the side that I know there’s a guy in front of him — but I always say when you’re due to lose, there’s something like that that will get in the net, some shots like that. When everyone is confident, those goals just don’t happen.”

What do you tell the guys to get them to recover (from this)?

“Well I have to talk to myself first; that’s a loss that I still didn’t digest so we’ll see tomorrow.”

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.”

Devils-Islanders Postgame Quotes [11.28.09]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Saturday’s 6-1 Devils win over the Islanders:

Mike Mottau:

Describe your goal that started the offensive explosion today…

“The face-off was won to the boards and I just went down the wall, (once I got the puck) I tried to center it, it got blocked. Then I went around the net and tried to center it again, and I got a lucky bounce.”

Did you sense that the momentum shifted after that goal?

“Yeah, we came out flat in the first, the Islanders were pushing the pace, getting a good forecheck. We didn’t help (ourselves) by having all of the turnovers, but we settled down in between periods and came back in the second strong.”

What does it say about this team that you continue to win with all of the injuries?

“I think it shows the organizational philosophy, the system that’s put in place – that we can plug in (younger) guys and work as five-man units all over the ice, while still having success.”

Does that help make the transition of getting used to a new teammate easier, the fact that you have had success so far with the young players called up from Lowell?

“Yeah absolutely, because down in Lowell they’re doing the same things, so when they come in (here) nothing is a big surprise. When these young guys get a chance, due to injury, it’s a good thing in a way too; they get some experience and help out the team.”

Zach Parise:

You mentioned the team didn’t have a great start, was anything said during the first intermission?

“No, nothing really needed to be said; they came out really aggressive and maybe we weren’t ready for that. They played a good game in the beginning, but nothing needed to be said – we knew we weren’t playing very well.”

Talk about the play that you scored your goal on…

“I tipped one of Greenie’s shots and the rebound was there – I think I took about four shots at it until it finally went in.”

You got knocked down after you scored, did it matter?

“At that point you don’t really care anymore.”


Vladimir Zharkov:

You almost got a point, how close was it?

“Yeah, I’ll get more chances to score; not today, maybe next game. It was a good play, Dean (McAmmond), I like playing with him he’s a good player.”

You played with your linemates (McAmmond and Matt Halischuk) in Lowell too, did that make today easier?

“Well, it’s the same tactics, and coach wants us to work together here. He helps me and tells me to play like I played in Lowell. Short shifts and work hard.”


Jamie Langenbrunner:

What was said during the timeout before the two-man advantage?

“Oh we were just figuring out who was going to go on the ice there. We haven’t had a 5-on-3 in a while, we practiced it a couple of weeks ago; we weren’t sure who was going on (the ice) there and where.”

What was your point to the official on the disallowed goal?

“My point is there’s not a whistle and a goal’s scored, so why did that play stop. If he’s not 100% sure, he can point, as to say it’s a goal, but play can continue. There should be a whistle there. The play should go on if he’s not a hundred percent certain.”

You’ve played with Patrik for a long time now, how close is he to 100%?

“I don’t think he’s there yet, I think he’s making strides though. I don’t think he feels completely comfortable yet; though today he told me coming into the game that he felt as good as he has (this season), and that’s a good sign, but it takes a little while. When you miss training camp and you miss those first few games, it tales a while to get back up to the flow; I think he’s getting closer and that’s huge for us.”

How nice is it as the captain of the team that when guys go down with injuries the young players step in and the team continues to be successful?

“It feels good. It gives us the feeling that when things happen that aren’t good, we can find a way through it. We’ve done a good job so far – but I’d like to see some guys come back, that’d be nice too. It’s great to see these young guys, it seems like when someone goes down they come in and fill that role (for us). Tonight I thought Matt Halischuk played his best game in the NHL and I think he saw the opportunity with Clarkie going down that he’s going to get a chance to play more minutes and he elevated his game.”

When a guy comes up from Lowell is there anything you say to them as the captain of the team?

“I think all of us try to make them feel comfortable, we know they’re coming here because they can play and I think today Zharky played a heck of a game for his first NHL game, he had some great chances; everybody who’s come in has really been up to the task. All we can do is try and make them feel comfortable, make them feel like they’re part of it right away.”

When you first came into the NHL who was that player for you?

“Yeah, Joe Nieuwendyk was the one for me that really took me under his wing, made me feel comfortable, part of the team. There’s that and there’s also the whole team helping to make you feel like part of the team.”

Patrik Elias:

You and Brian Rolston seem to really be on the same page now…

“You have to play a few games with guys to know where they like to be; you have to communicate, you have to talk to each other and let each other know what you want to do out there. Build up chemistry or whatever you call it, comfort, that you know what each other’s going to do out there. Rollie is more of a shooter, so you have to try and get him open and create space for him and his great shot, he’s got an unbelievable shot. I think the last few games we’re playing pretty good together.”

How is it different from last year when he was at center and you were at wing, does it change a lot now that it’s reversed?

“This year he’s healthier obviously too. It’s tough to, I can speak from experience, when you start the season with injuries and you’re down, it’s not just the conditioning, it’s the hockey sense and everything. You miss that, so for him I think it’s good that he’s playing right away. Hopefully we can keep it going, he’s getting more shots every game and he needs to get those; Rollie’s a more up and down (the ice) guy, because he’s got the unbelievable shot, and I like to carry the puck, control it a little bit. Playing center is fine for me.”

Patty can you get thirty goals if you keep playing like this?

“Maybe in two years (smiling).”

How are you feeling after back-to-back games?

I have good days, bad days. Today I felt good, yesterday I felt that I just had to work through it; I didn’t feel good at all. I just, my own feeling, was that it was my worst game in the last few years. But it didn’t seem that way when I looked at it, but I just felt like it. I was a little rundown, I didn’t feel good at all, I played a lot of minutes yesterday and also the team that we played, the Bruins play really tight, they don’t give you much. It’s going to happen; you’re going to be up and down, good games, bad games. I just have to work through it.”


Martin Brodeur:

Down at the other end of the ice with so many weird bounces, were you thinking about that at all?

“Well, I think when you play against a team and they started to get a little lucky – I think we dominated in the second and we hit a lot of posts, the puck wasn’t going in, we got a goal taken away also. We had to bear down and that’s what we did early in the third we were solid; we kept playing our game plan exactly what we wanted to do. We showed we can play a different type of game, because we out played them, but one shot could’ve been the difference. They had a power play that we killed off extremely good all afternoon long, so it was good.”

The way the team came back after the first period, what’s the key ingredient with your team with so many guys out?

“I think its all about intensity. I think early in the game we weren’t intense and they took advantage of us. They got the best of us. Jacques kind of just touched on it again; he said ‘just be intense’. Get to the puck and be quick, do everything quick – when we do that we’re a good skating team, with so many young guys we have to use their young legs. Hally played a tremendous game and Zharky did real well in his first game also, so it was good.”


Jacques Lemaire:

What changed after the first period was it because of the penalty kill?

“I think that was part of it, the first part of the game we, I think our intensity wasn’t there. We turned the puck over many times; this is a team that capitalizes on every turnover. They have two great lines, as good as anyone in the league. You give them the puck, you turn the puck over (against them) and you’ll pay the price for it. We were fortunate that they didn’t score more than what they did in the first. But I think the penalty kill, that’s exactly what I told them after the first in the room — I said we played 5-on-5, we don’t have intensity and we played 4-on-5 and we were better. We’re getting chances, and I said I’d like to know the reason. Right away a couple of guys said, ‘we were more intense’; well can we bring that in the game 5-on-5? Then the second, we had a great second period, a lot of chances, its always scary when you get a lot of chances and you don’t score. We were wondering what would be the outcome; but we kept getting chances and in the third the goals came easier. We sent pucks at the net and for some reason we got the right bounces and we scored goals like that.”

How about your secondary scoring? You wanted to get Rolston and Elias going…

“They did the job tonight for sure. I think they’re on top of their game now, they’re playing good hockey and they play with confidence and they enjoy the game – you can tell when you talk to them. They feel better than they did at the start (of the season). And you look at the kids; you look at Dean, McAmmond, Zharkov and Halischuk – that was our best line in the first period. They played well through the whole game and all you could ask more would be to score some goals.”

How was Zharkov in his first NHL game?

“He was very good, solid skater, good with the puck. He’s good, he sees the ice well; he’s going to play. He’s going to be a player.”

Do Elias and Rolston have something special?

“Well Rollie’s shooting the puck with confidence, Patrik is starting to get in shape slowly, he’s skating more and if he’s skating more; you know he’s a guy that has good hands.”

How about his shot?

“I don’t know about the third goal, if their goalie didn’t see it, but he’s got a quick release that sometimes fools the goalies. Hopefully he can keep playing the same way.”