January 11, 2014 11:20 pm

January 11 postgame quotes: Detroit

Mike Babcock, on Tomas Tatar’s performance:
I talked to Tats about that yesterday. The way you honor your father or mother when they pass is by continuing to do what you should do and playing hard and doing things well. He’s going to have a different relationship with his dad, obviously, now. But, I said to him ‘I lost my mom early too and I pray to my mom every night during the national anthem.’ I never ever wanted to let her down, he can do the same way. His dad is here with him. It’s a different kind of relationship, obviously, but it’s still one that can be really supportive for him. Tats is going to play one more game, then he is going to go home and then miss the Ranger game and bury his dad. Tough situation for him, he played great and it was good for us. Howie was outstanding and gave us a chance for Tats offensive play to matter.

Babcock, on Tatar’s assist on Riley Sheahan’s goal in the first period:
Obviously he did a real good job and Sheahan made a great play on the second one out of the D-zone at the net there. On that play, they played hard. Those kids were good. Glendening was good too.

Babcock, on the win:
They’re a good team obviously. Howie gave us the opportunity. Without goaltending you just don’t work as hard because of the fact you’re pulling it out of your net. They had quality chances and Howie made quality saves and gave us an opportunity.

Babcock, on adjusting from playing Los Angeles tonight to Anaheim tomorrow:
Our big thing is – Howie got himself hurt – so he’s out. We’ll make a change in net there and we’ll get ready for tomorrow. They’re obviously a really good team and I noticed Getzlaf left the game tonight. So I don’t know what kind of injury he has. Being self-serving, I don’t want him hurt very long but it’d be nice if he’d miss tomorrow. [Reporter: What happened to Jimmy Howard?] I don’t know. He just hurt his hip flexor or something. [Reporter: Is Jonas Gustavsson okay to back up?] I don’t know how any of this works. I just know Mrazek is starting tomorrow.

Babcock, on Daniel Alfredsson being a late scratch:
Well yeah – but I’m getting to expect it here. I come in every day and then someone’s not playing. Bottom line is the guys that dressed played hard.

Tomas Tatar, on his gesture after scoring his third period goal:
Well, I’m not sure if you guys know, but my dad passed away two days ago. So that game and that goal was for him… It’s just right now, it’s really hard to talk about it. It’s a big loss for me obviously.

Tatar, on the difficulty of playing the game:
It wasn’t easy, but the guys helped me out a lot. I can’t be more happy with this group of guys. They talked to me and they helped me out. They tried to make me think about other stuff not the dad. So I was ready to play the game, but I have to go home soon. And there’s going to be a funeral, got to say my last bye to my dad and I will join the team again.

Jimmy Howard, on if he put the team on his back:
No, I think it’s a team effort. We did a great job tonight of really cutting down on their second opportunities. And if there’s a rebound there, a forward or a D-man were there to clear the front.

Howard, on if that was his best game of the season:
A couple games ago, it’s just about finding that consistency for me. It’s not for lack of trying, or lack of effort or anything like that. You just have to find a way to do it night in and night out.

Howard, on Tomas Tatar getting the game-winning goal:
Awesome, the kid’s been through a lot. All our hearts go out to him. It’s really special to see what he did tonight here.

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