February 13, 2013 5:52 pm

February 13 practice quotes: Rob Scuderi

On what factored into the improvement at the end of the road trip:
“I think it’s a mixture of – I know it’s an excuse – but getting some rust off and playing some games and getting back into game shape. I know, myself personally, I felt way better the last two games, and I think that in the shortened season, there are going to be some swings. We’ve seen it already with some teams that have started hot [like] San Jose, and now they wonder what’s going wrong already. You’ve got a whole season jammed into 30 or 34 less games, whatever it is, and you’re still going to have those same momentum swings. You just kind of have to find a way to deal with it and maintain some type of consistency.”

On the heavy road schedule early in the season:
“It’s something we’re used to. This is my fourth year playing here, and we’ve been away every February because of…the Grammy’s. It’s part of it. But at the tail end of that, you know we’re going to get a big homestand. We always have the last four years. I’m sure this year will be no different. We have to take advantage when it comes.”

On whether opening each series on the road in the playoffs last year helps for the early road-heavy schedule:
“It’s a different season, but since the team is made up of pretty much the same guys, I think if you can keep that mentality and play the right way and play a smart road game, then you really help yourself try to get a win. That’s what we were able to do last year in the playoffs, and it’s what we’re hoping to accomplish on this road trip coming up.”

On whether anything changes philosophically with Alec Martinez out:
“No. It can’t…The last two games we’ve played have been very solid from the back end out, and that’s the most important part. If we can play well defensively, we’ll have more possession time with the puck, and it won’t be a surprise to see our forwards start to pour in some goals. Even though Marty might be out for a little bit – I’m not sure how long – it can’t change our philosophy. It might change the parts, but it can’t change the philosophy of trying to play good, solid defense immediately, and getting the puck out as fast as we possibly can.”

On keys to playing effectively after losing a defenseman early in the game:
“I think short shifts, number one. After having short shifts, I think just trying to play good defense as fast as you can, get that puck moving. Get it north, because certainly for defensemen, it’s a lot easier to stand on the offensive blue line than it is to be chasing guys all around your D-Zone. With five D, that will eventually wear on you, and I thought that we were able to keep the puck on the other end of the red line, and it was easier on us.”

On the elements of a smart road game:
“I’d say no turnovers at the blue line – offensive, defensive. Limit your penalties. I’d say goals against – just try to limit your chances in goals against. If you can do those things, sometimes it takes the crowd out of it, and it builds momentum for your team. And if you’re able to build on that, then usually good things happen.”

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