After “disappointing” regular season, Brown finding game

Dustin Brown, on how he characterizes his regular season:
Disappointing. I think coming out of the Olympic break I probably played my best hockey. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t very good the first 50, 60 games of the year. I thought I played more and actually felt more like myself after the Olympic break for whatever reason. I think it has continued…I don’t even know my points right now because that’s not what we’re concerned about. I feel like I’m playing my game right now. Whether it shows up on a score sheet or not, there are different ways I can contribute. Again, it’s about playing your best hockey right now. I feel like I’ve been trending since the Olympics.

On whether he was holding back at the start of the season:
I don’t think so. If I had the answer to the question, we wouldn’t be having the conversation type thing. Players go through it and it’s about learning from it and using what was probably my toughest year other than my couple first years that are difficult for another reason. But it’s about using the first tough half of the year. Use it now and use it in the future, just learn from it.

On whether Mike Richards has stepped up his play in the playoffs:
Yeah, I think Rick – again, you’d have to speak to him on his own season. But he’s been able to make impacts on individual games on numerous occasions throughout the playoffs. That’s exactly why I think we’ve been successful. We have different guys step up at different times and it’s not always dependent on the score sheet. A lot of our players can contribute in different ways. I think me and Rick expect us to score more, and I think we expect that of ourselves and of each other. But at the end of the day, I think a lot of guys find different ways to impact the games, and at the end of the day it’s about winning.

Willie Mitchell, on any momentum heading into Game 3:
Game 2 is Game 2. It’s another game. There is no carryover from it. It’s a new match. It’s going to bring new problems or new challenges or new positives. Most of our core group knows the team quite well. Their core group has been together for a while. Ours is starting to shape up like that. We’ve played against them lots in the past here, even with other teams. We know what to expect and we know how we have to play against them to have success.

On whether they got into Corey Crawford’s head after Game 2:
He’s a good goalie and good goalies just park it and move onto the next one. Like I said, the next game tomorrow is going to be new challenges us. We’ll try to do the things that every team tries to do in the playoffs – go to the net hard, create traffic, create loose pucks and get after rebounds. That’s how you score for the most part. We’ve had a few games that haven’t been that way. You usually take hockey games and getting to the hard areas or protecting the hard areas is going to make the difference.

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