John Stevens, on the improvements from the preseason opener to Wednesday:
I think you’re still seeing an awful lot of guys on both teams get an opportunity to play in NHL games, and we’re just hoping that guys will come out and take advantage of the opportunity. They’re going to get more ice time probably in situations than they would when all the guys are back, so we thought tonight the effort was solid. We really liked the work and the detail. Like everybody else, we’re trying to improve parts of our game. We were very clean breaking the puck out of our zone the first game, and we got a little scrambly in the neutral zone, and we thought those areas were much better tonight. We wanted our forecheck to be a little more assertive and get rid of some of the hesitation, and we thought that was better tonight. But like everybody else, we’re trying to get better each day as we move along, and we’re trying to evaluate some of these players and to see where they’re at.
Stevens, on whether the team has been impressed with Devin Setoguchi:
I think so. You’ve got to give him a lot of credit. I didn’t know him that well. I know he’d been out of the league for a little bit and didn’t really know quite what to expect [from him], but to his credit, he came in here in very good condition, ready to go, and wanted to put his best foot forward and try to win a spot back in the league. I think for me, you get excited when you see a guy approach it like that. He wasn’t just coming in here not prepared – he’s obviously prepared, and he’s going to give himself a chance to perform well, so it’s good to see.
Stevens, on Nic Dowd:
Well, it was obviously a much improved game for him tonight. It’s a good step for him. I didn’t get to see the game live when he played the first game, so this was my first time seeing him. But I think when guys get back on the ice, they’re not as sharp as they want to be. Hopefully they elevate their compete level and their execution comes along with it. But what I like in Nic tonight was the goals he scored – he was intense and willing to go to the hard areas around the blue paint, and that was good to see.
Devin Setoguchi, on the team’s performance:
We were just ready to start the game. Every line played well, every line played the way that the coaches wanted us to play, and we kept it pretty simple and got pucks deep and worked ‘em below their goal line.
Setoguchi, on whether he offered a strong example of his ability in the win:
Yeah, I mean my game’s pretty cut and dry. It’s north-south, get in on the forecheck, skate, try and create chances offensively by taking the puck to the net. I did a tight turn on the power play to try and go to the net and Brownie scored. I didn’t get many shots tonight, but I felt like I was effective in orther ways as far as pressure and forecheck and making plays that led to scoring chances.
Setoguchi, on whether he has an ability to show what he can do with players away:
I mean, obviously. Two of their top guys aren’t playing, so I get a chance to play. That’s all I really wanted, and I talked to Rob Blake and I told him I was ready to come play, so for me it’s just that I really have nothing to focus on other than just playing the best I can, and with the opportunity I get, making the best of it.
Nic Dowd, on the team’s performance:
I thought our goalies were unbelievable. It started with Buds. I think he had only 10 shots in the first, but they were probably all Grade-As. He played really, really well. It reminded me of basically what he did all of last year, and then Tom came in and played really, really well too, so I think without those guys, the score wasn’t as reflective as it could’ve been. I thought they played really well, and then I thought our D did a really good job of getting us out of the zone. All four lines really didn’t have to play a lot in our own zone because of them, and then when we did get the puck in the O-zone, I thought guys did a really good job of possessing it.
Dowd, on whether he feels like he has an opportunity to earn ice time this year:
Yeah, I mean, I think everyone’s goal going into training camp is to create opportunity for themselves, and I think in past years there may have not been that much of an opportunity for some of the younger guys. But this year I think you do have to realize it’s there, and I think you can use it either way. It can help you or it can hurt you, so I think everyone in this room, especially guys that are in our position that are trying to make that next step, it’s pretty critical to take advantage of that.