On whether this was the atmosphere the team expected:
Every bit so, yeah. A few of us had to go up here for the All-Star Game and they were that loud during the skills competition. They followed it up with the same kind of boisterousness in the game. So, we knew what to expect.
On how the Monarchs responded to the early injuries:
I thought our team responded extremely well. It was a tough way to start. We got outshot in the first period. We lost two guys from our regular lineup. But, we stuck with it and we battled hard.
On the importance of the players lost to injury:
Well, one is the MVP of the league and the other guy won 37 games. So, they’re pretty important.
On J-F Berube’s injury:
If you guys want an injury update, I’ll give you one. I have a migraine from the asinine questions you guys ask about injuries. So put me down for a migraine on your injury report.
On skating Nick Shore with Michael Mersch and Jordan Weal:
Shoresy, he got double shifted. So, he played a lot of hockey tonight. He tried to fill in where he could.
On the team’s effort after losing key players:
I thought we played well. We got off to a shaky start. The environment was hostile, so you’ve got to weather the storm. They did that in those first ten minutes. It was going to be hard fought and it was. And I thought we played extremely well as the game went on, I thought we got better and better.
On the “evolution and growth” of Adrian Kempe:
Now there’s something we should be talking about, the young guy that got a couple of goals for us here tonight. That’s incredible. I think he’s elevated his game. Sometimes you look for guys to step up in the playoffs, and he did a great job for us. So, he’s been a real pleasant surprise. He just keeps improving. He seems to be fitting in real well.
On how Kempe has adapted to the AHL:
Yeah, he’s got a high skill set, [he is a] great skater, his vision is very good. He compliments whoever he plays with. We’ve got some centermen that are pretty good. And you know what? Because of his hockey IQ and skating ability, he can be very helpful to our lineup. And he contributed in a big way tonight.
On whether Utica caused Jordan Weal to become frustrated:
I’ve seen Wealer all year. I’ve never seen him frustrated.
On the importance of scoring the game’s first goal:
It would be nice to get the first one, but if we don’t, should we just skate off the ice? Not finish up the game? Teams score first. That’s what happens. You guys make such a big deal about it. It’s just a goal. You just keep moving on. You get down by two, you just keep playing. That’s what we do. That’s what we’ve done all season long.
On the toughest thing to defend when playing Utica:
Well, it’s a good team. I mean, we’ve played three games against them now. I think any one of the games could have gone in any direction. The first two [went] into overtime. Today’s a one-goal game. It’s a good hockey club. They’ve got a good goalie. They’ve got defensemen that can move the puck. They’ve got defensemen that can get up the ice and skate and join the attack. And they’ve got some pretty good forwards. So, I think you’re seeing probably what should have happened. There are two pretty good teams in the finals.