Devils-Sabres Postgame Quotes [10.23.10]

Thomas Vanek:

Your team’s first goal changed the game around…

“Yeah, early on they came with some good pressure, but once we scored I think we kind of relaxed and played our game; just played really a patient game. We finally capitalized on our chances.”

You were going against a guy in (Johan) Hedberg that hadn’t been in nets for a while and it can’t hurt to get any type of shot on him right?

“Well especially because usually against Jersey we can’t generate much, so our main focus was just drive the net, get pucks there and see what happens.”

You have three goals now in the last three games now, that has to feel good for you?

“It’s nice; I don’t think I played as well as I did some of the other nights where I didn’t score, but I got two tonight. Obviously I’ll take it and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Last night I thought your line was flying the last two periods and didn’t get anything out of it…

“I thought last night we were better. We generated more (scoring chances) than I thought we did tonight, got quality chances and just didn’t bury them. Tonight we got a few and hopefully we can continue it.”

 

Your team is so good on the road and not so good at home, can you figure this out?

“It’s hard. Like I said, I thought we played well yesterday. Every time we tied it up, we had good chances to get the lead. One breakdown or two breakdowns and we were playing from behind again.”

The second goal in the first period helped your team’s confidence tonight, right?

“Yeah sure; once you get that 1-0 lead, you have to stay patient but obviously when you have that chance you have to go get that second, third one, fourth one just like we did tonight. We have to start putting teams away.”

Talk about your first goal tonight…

“It was just a perfect cross-ice pass (by Derek Roy), it finally didn’t hit a skate or a stick or anything and just a real, clean pass. It was a pass from the side and I just jammed it in, a great pass by Derek.”

You almost got the hat trick with 2:27 left in the game with your shot from the slot…

“Yeah, great save; great goaltender (Martin Brodeur). I thought that was one of my better shots, of the game — he just made an unbelievable save on it.”

You scored your second goal 26 seconds after they scored, how big was that?

“It was nice, obviously up 5-1, we have a pretty good lead, but we have the mentality: if we get scored on, let’s just come right back and score on them. On the play, I came in and tried going low glove, he made a great save; just a lucky bounce that it came right back to my stick and I put it in.”

Ryan Miller:

Do you think the way you are playing on the road means that the home problems will be able to be fixed?

“Yeah, it’s just patience with our game; the other night (against New Jersey) it was a chess match out there. A lot of times it’s dictated by who scores first — we scored first (tonight) and its who can hold on and be willing not to make that mistake or turnover. You have to get the puck in and work the other team, establish some speed in the neutral zone and things were better tonight than the night before.”

Nice to see some offense from guys like (Mike) Grier and (Rob) Niedermayer tonight?

“Eventually they were going to chip in. Tonight was a great example of getting around the net, creating more and guys scored from in tight.”

Do your early season struggles get pushed away when you have a game like this?

“We hope its something we can build off of; it’s how you react now. I think last night, losing a tough one at home, against a division rival — you want to see how you react. I thought tonight we came out and I thought we did a good job of getting established. Early on the Devils were the team that was rested and they came hard, but we settled into an organized game and got the pucks where we needed them.”

David Clarkson:

When did you find out Ilya Kovalchuk wasn’t playing tonight and how did that factor into the game?

“I had no idea until I got here this afternoon, so I’m not sure what happened or what’s going on. But we’re all professionals no matter who’s in or who’s out, we just have to go out there and still play our game. Kovy’s obviously an unbelievable player and adds so much to this team, but we have to still go out there and play better than we did tonight.”

Upcoming is the longest road trip of the season, is it coming at a good time?

“It couldn’t get any better. I think it’s an opportunity for us to get to know each other better; a chance to get on the road and do some team bonding, go out together. I think just a thing where you get to know everybody; that’s something that will help us out a lot.”

Is it good that it’s the Rangers tomorrow where the antenna is always usually up when you cross the (Hudson) River?

“No matter what the score was in the third period tonight, we had to get ready for tomorrow. We have to come out and play that first period tomorrow as hard as we can and the way the Devils play or else we’ll be in trouble. We have to go out there and get back to our game.”

John MacLean:

Why was Kovalchuk scratched?

“That’s between him and I; it was my decision.”

It was your decision, not management’s decision?

“It was my decision.”

Any regrets?

“No, I take responsibility for all of my decisions that I make — including responsibilities for games.”

Will he play tomorrow?

“I’ll make that decision in the morning.”

He could have played? Is he healthy enough to play?

“I’m not getting into it one way or another. I told you it was the coach’s decision, it was my decision.”

So was it a non-hockey matter or hockey related?

“As I said I’m not discussing it. It’s my decision, I made it. He knows, I spoke with him and that’s where it’s going to stay.”

Was it a distraction for the other players?

“I hope not.”

Then how do you explain 6-1?

“I’m still having trouble finding the answers for that myself. Ultimately it falls on my responsibility to get these guys prepared to play.”

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Devils-Sabres Postgame Quotes [04.11.10]

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:

Martin Brodeur:

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.”

Zach Parise:

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.”

David Clarkson:

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.”

Jamie Langenbrunner:

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.”

Ilya Kovalchuk:

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.”

Jacques Lemaire:

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.”

Brodeur Ties All-Time Shutout Mark…

Last night in Buffalo, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur tied Hall-of-Famer Terry Sawchuk (who played from 1949-70) with his 103rd regular season shutout, 3-0 over the Sabres. Brodeur, who already owns the record for most wins (575), most minutes-played (60,582) and is four appearances shy of tying Patrick Roy’s record of 1,029 (a record he should tie & surpass on the upcoming 5-game homestand in New Jersey), only had one other shutout against the Sabres over his career — a 0-0 tie in December of 1996; he and Dominik Hasek (who both like to save pucks from shutouts) split the puck in half.

It’s safe to say that no one will be catching him as far as shutouts go for quite a while — the next closest active goalie is 23nd all-time: Detroit’s Chris Osgood with 50. His only other shutout this year was a 2-0 triumph over Carolina on October 18 and his next shutout will give him sole possession of first place with AT LEAST 3 more seasons of hockey in him.

Pretty impressive stuff; congrats Marty…and keep it going…

Devils-Sabres Postgame Quotes [10.28.09]

Here are the transcripts of postgame after Wednesday’s 4–1 Devils loss vs. Buffalo:

Jason Pominville:

Ryan Miller tonight…

“He’s a huge part of the team and he’s been playing extremely well for us. I think he’s a guy that takes a lot of pride in his job and he puts a lot of pressure on himself to do well. He’s been playing amazing for us, like you said, again tonight he stood on his head a bit; made some huge saves. That’s what we expect from him because he’s an elite goalie.”

Talk about your goal…

“It was kind of a frustrating night for us on the power play and we ended up switching sides and moving around pretty good – I just put it on net and it ends up kind of having eyes; it found a way in the net.”

You finally got one through, been getting shots but they don’t make it through…

“Yeah definitely, I got one tonight that I broke a stick on; I take a hundred one-timers a day and never break a stick. I come in the game and break a stick, it ends up getting blocked and going the other way; so those are ones that are frustrating a bit. But we have to do a better job on the power play, find a way to score like we did on the last one.”

You seem to play well in New Jersey, any explanation?

“It could be a little bit of coincidence, but when we play them we know that their reputation is that they are so solid defensively. For us to be able to get that first goal and make them kind of open up the play; and then we get another one, they have to open up even more — that’s when we’ll get our scoring chances. When they get the lead, they’re a tough team to play against; especially with (Martin) Brodeur back there.”

Ryan Miller:

The team’s performance tonight…

“We did a good job getting a good start and that’s what we want; a good start can always carry you through (the game). It’s good to see the guys get off to a good jump and we were skating really well in that first period. They made some adjustments and clogged up some outlets that we were hitting in the first period, so it changed the game for a little while there. But once we made some adjustments, we started pushing them.”

One guy that had a lot of chances was Parise; you saw a lot of him…

“Yeah, I’m going to see a lot more of him too, as we move forward (in our careers). He’s a talented guy, quick; he puts everything on net. I was kind of looking for him, when he was on the ice, he makes some smart plays.”

It’s only ten games into the season but is it nice to win three straight on the road…

“Yeah, we’re happy. I don’t want to give people the impression that we’re not happy. We’re managing our expectations a little bit better; we know there’s going to be a steady improvement by every team over the course of the season. With this team we have to show some improvement every night and we also have to show that we can bring a work ethic on the ice every night. A good start shows that guys really care and they want to play; I think that’s going to be a key to the season.”

Colin White:

Fast start for them and not so much for you…

“They jumped on us quick; we had a slow start; and a slow finish I guess.”

Was missing Paul Martin a factor early on?

“We’re definitely going to miss those guys, but I don’t think we performed as well as we should have, obviously. Myself, I have to be better than that, so we all have to pick our games up. Let’s not try to do too much, just do the right plays. We made a lot of poor decisions, all of us, tonight. We’ll learn from it and we’ll move on; it sucks right now, but its one game and we have to get ready for tomorrow.”

Does it help that there’s a game tomorrow, to get this out of your head quick?

“Yeah, we have to forget about it. We have to learn from our mistakes – we made a lot of them tonight. They played hard, they played 60 minutes; they played the same system for 60 minutes.”

The third goal did you get a piece of it with your stick?

“Yeah I did, I tipped it. The pass beat me, obviously through my legs, right to (Paul) Gaustad; I just turned around and whacked at it. I got a piece of it and tipped it, I think low corner (into the net) blocker side.”

Jacques Lemaire

What went wrong tonight?

“I think we faced a team that was ready and you could tell why they’re on top (of the standings). They have four good lines and they all play the same way. They’re a puck control team and they make quick plays and they’re around the puck. So there’s no doubt we faced a better team tonight. Our players were not surprised with what they were going to get from the Sabres. The second period is when we started to play.”

Penalties seem to be hurting you, are they bad penalties?

“Well, one (Pikkarainen) lifted a stick and touched a guy’s hand, it’s a penalty. The too many men happened when Travis (Zajac) was on the point (during a power play) and then he came to the bench. The defenseman jumped on the ice for the point man, and, the center jumped on the ice for the point man. So you end up with too many men on the ice.”

By the end of the first period you had Zajac back with Parise and Langenbrunner, why?

“Because we had no offense; we had no offense, so I felt that ‘hey if we’re not going to have offense, I’m going to put Travis back (with them).’”