First, my sincere thanks to everyone who has taken the time to express sympathy, today and throughout recent weeks. I’ve had family members and family friends tell me about reading the comments there, and how impressed they are that people share such emotions. It really does mean a lot, so thank you very much.
Going forward now, the focus is on the Kings’ record winning streak. I’ve pulled together some postgame quotes, as offered by the Kings — Murray, Handzus, Brown, Babcock, Lidstrom, Zetterberg) and I’ll pull together the postgame notes soon.
(on the game…)
MURRAY: “We were not executing in the right way. We started fine, but then when it came to the detailed part of the game, we had too many breakdowns, like the first Zetterberg goal. That pass goes through three people, and that’s just not being alert to an assignment. Same on the four-on-four faceoff. We have two guys going to the defenseman up at the blue line and again that’s being alert and executing in the right way, but as mentioned, you get nine lives and you come back and that’s a hard team to come back against. It’s the second time within a couple weeks now that we’ve done it and it shows a lot of character.”
(on second-period changes…)
MURRAY: “Had to make some changes on the line combinations going into the second period, and I thought Parse stepped up to the Handzus line and made a big play on the goal that we scored early in the second period. Guys just stepped in. They’ve shown to be able to do that throughout the course of the year, and there was a need for it today. Balanced scoring, defense starting to get more of the pucks through/ I thought at the start of the game we were hesitant, not shooting, hitting the legs, and as the game went on we started to get more pucks to the net and better traffic at the net.”
(on the game…)
HANDZUS: “We have a lot of confidence right now, and we know that if we stick to our game most nights we will be successful. We knew we did not play well in the first period. We came out a little flat, and they came to us pretty hard. We decided not to try and hit a home run. We just stuck to our game plan. We just wanted to try and score the first goal and go from there, and then we scored three second-period goals. It is great, and a great comeback for us. Parsey [Scott Parse] and Frolov did a great job. They stayed on the puck and they battled, and they won the battles. They had two shots on one play and I got the rebound, and it was pretty much an empty net, but the credit goes to those two guys.”
(on the game…)
BROWN: “Going into the third tied 3-3 after being down 3-0 is a huge boost, and we got a huge goal in the last five minutes of the game. At this point we will take it. Winning nine games in a row is obviously a franchise record, and I think what’s special about it is that it is a team accomplishment. We have not had one or two guys win the games for us. Obviously Quicker [Jonathan Quick] has been really strong in the net for us. When you can get scoring from every line, like we have, it is difficult to play against. When you shut down Kopi [Anze Kopitar] or Zeus [Michal Handzus], Stolly [Jarret Stoll] will get a goal, and when you have that going it is hard to play against.
“We knew we did not play a very good first, but I think it has been our attitude this year that we are never out of a game, especially with the way things are right now. It is one of those things where we forget about the first period. There is nothing you can do about it, it is done and over with. We just refocus and get back to playing our way. We addressed that in the first intermission and I think we played a pretty good game after that.”
DETROIT COACH MIKE BABCOCK
(on the game…)
BABCOCK: “We had the game going our way. I thought we had a really good third and tilted the rink our way. Our big guys played well today. I thought we had enough to get it done, but it just never happened. Both teams scored exactly the same way: around the net. The ones they got in the second were freebees. … There is nothing we can do about the injuries. We just need to suck it up and win. I didn’t mind our game today. We had two power plays in the third period and hit the post two times on late shots. The puck just didn’t go in for us. We need to get these points. If we dig ourselves a big enough hole we won’t get out of it. Howard has been excellent for us. He has given us a shot to win every night.”
LIDSTROM: “We came out with a good push and got rewarded with scoring some goals. In the second, we didn’t play well enough in front of our own net. They were crashing the net hard. We didn’t do enough to get those key rebounds. We needed a 60-minute game today. We’ve had some moments playing really well and then we have some let-downs and goals scored on us. We have to continue to get better. As a team, we are the guys in here that need to get it done regardless of injuries. It was a tough game because we set ourselves up with such a good period. They set up the puck well behind us and that was the difference.”
“In the second, they had most of the momentum. In the third, I think we had a pretty good period. It’s never fun to lose. We were playing a good team. We definitely need the points and need to battle every game. All these teams are playing to get to the postseason and it’s a struggle. The puck just didn’t go in today.”