Ben Scrivens, on whether it was good to “recharge” with the Christmas break:
Yeah, I think everybody kind of has that feeling. That’s why we have days off during the season. It’s nice to have a couple in a row. That being said, you’ve got to make sure that you’re ready to go whenever you’ve got to play again.
Scrivens, on whether the team uses the first game of a road trip to establish characteristics that it would like to remain constant through the trip:
That’s a great narrative. If it’s a constant, then we don’t just focus on it on the first game back. We want to have certain aspects of our game that are consistent for sure, and we focused on that leading up to the break. There was some stuff that we wanted to focus on. Whether we accomplished it or not is in the past now, but our game plan doesn’t change too much coming out of the break as it did going into one.
Scrivens, on whether he is accustomed to intermittent starts, given his Toronto usage:
I don’t know, I mean, that’s out of my control. There’s no other way than to just deal with it. Obviously everybody wants to play every game. I’m no different, and Jonesy’s no different, and Quickie’s no different. If we could play 82, I’m sure we would choose to do that. It is what it is, and whenever I’m called upon, it’s my job to be ready.
Scrivens, on the dynamic with two other goaltenders on the road trip:
It’s really easy to work with Quickie and Jonesy. They’re both great guys. I’ve been really fortunate with my time in the league, both in Toronto and here. Sometimes you hear about guys who are tough to work with in a tandem, but I’ve been extremely fortunate being able to work with a bunch of partners who have been great guys and are really easy to work with. This is no different.
Willie Mitchell, on whether too much is made of teams playing the second night of a back-to-back:
I think it’s a bit of an advantage coming out of the break, because everyone feels a little bit tight and their timing’s off. Even though it’s only three or four days, I think it’s a bit of an advantage. Your first game coming out of the break, always traditionally has been not a great game, and you’ve kind of had to manage your game pretty well, and then your second game traditionally has been better because you get your timing back. It does take a little bit. So I think it’s a little bit of an advantage, myself, and then they always play well here, so we’re going to have to be really sharp.
Mitchell, on what he’d like to see established in the first game of the road trip:
Well, you’re right. It’s a tough road trip. There are some good teams on the road trip. It’s no discredit to the teams we’ve played on the road before, but they’re tougher buildings to win in, so it’s a big challenge for us. I think we’ve been a team that enjoys that challenge, and so yeah, you always want to get off to a good start. It’s like a game of poker. You’ve got the big stack, it’s always easier going into the next game, and so if you don’t start off well, the pressure mounts, the external pressures. Whether that’s from people – we’ll leave it at ‘people’ – those pressures mount, and so it’s always important to start well. We’re going to focus on that and just try and stay with all the things that we’ve been doing well the last little while and continue to improve on those.