January 22: Postgame quotes

Head coach Mike Stothers, on the resolve of the team:
There’s some pretty good resolve there. You know what, I wasn’t very happy with the way we played. We just weren’t thinking. We weren’t using our heads. Little uncharacteristic of us. We hung in there, we hung around long enough to get one and then get two and get one in overtime. That’s the makings of, I’m hoping, some good things that are going to continue. It’s the sign of a good team that can find a way to – even when you’re not on top of your game – find a way to either, A: get a point and in this case get two points.

Stothers, on Dowd’s goal and if he was happy to see the center shoot:
Well, we’ve been stressing from tops of the circles down, we want to shoot. We’ve been talking to Mr. Dowd, Dowder, Nic, to shoot more and he seems to be and it seems to be working out for him. He’s got a great shot. He picks corners all the time. He’s one of those unselfish guys, he gets a lot of satisfaction of being a playmaker. I actually think that their goalie was kind of leaning towards anticipating a pass to Merschy. But if you look at it, if Dowder doesn’t score and there’s a rebound, Big Mike was going dot lane and he was ready, stick was on the ice. It just happened to work out.

Stothers, on what was said between periods:
That’s another one of those ones where we’d have a hard time putting into print. You’ve got to address a few things. Our defensemen need to shoot the puck more, especially when we get a power play. And we just refuse to shoot, so that was addressed between periods. And then lo and behold Vinny gets the puck at the point and just wrists it to the net and it finds a way to go in. It’s not a complicated game, it’s just sometimes we feel the need to make it complicated. [Reporter: Do you think they’re trying to make the perfect play?] Well, they could be but, you know what, it’s very seldom that you get the perfect play, now you’re probably going to say that was a pretty nice pass from Kempe to Backman, 6 on 4, that was a pretty good hockey read by Kempe and again Backs being ready off the far post. But, for the most part if you’ve got a power play you want to get some shots to the net early and get them kind of rattled or discombobulated. I don’t know how to spell discombobulated, so you guys put that one together. But, that’s what you want to do. You want to get them moving. … Hopefully it will carry over to tomorrow but I’m sure we’ll have to gently remind them once again tomorrow. They are kids.

Stothers, on Kempe needing to step up his game:
I want him to be a little bit more of a presence. I didn’t have issues with his penalty at all. I had other issues with his game tonight. I want this guy to be the dominant player that he can be. That dominant player that I see every day in practice. I want to see that in a game. World Junior hangover’s over as far as I’m concerned. It’s now time to start proving that you’re a legitimate NHL prospect and be the best player on the ice, which he’s quite capable of being. And, you saw that play he made to Backs, he shouldn’t be waiting until the final minutes of the third period to see that out of him. [Reporter: He said it would take about 4-5 games to knock some of the bad habits from the World Juniors out, do you think he’s gotten that out of his game?] We’ll see tomorrow because I still think there’s a lot more. So, he’s going to figure it out or he’s going to have a black cloud following him around every day and I’m the black cloud. [Reporter: Would you care to discuss what issues you have with his game?] I want him to be the dominant player that he needs to be. Clearly his skill set is off the charts. And when you watch him every day you see what he can do and then it doesn’t always appear during the games or it doesn’t appear consistently. That’s what’s going to prevent him from being in the NHL. You’ve got to do it every game. Anybody can do it in practice. There was a couple practices I even looked pretty good. It’s the games. Bring it to the games. Be a difference maker. Be a guy that everybody’s talking about when they leave the building.

Adrian Kempe, on his play to set up Sean Backman’s tying goal:
I saw him in the beginning a little bit but then I was going to take a shot. Then I saw him he was really open then I gave him the pass after a couple seconds. I saw he was open for a couple seconds but I waited a little bit before I passed.

Kempe, on the comeback:
It was a really good comeback from the whole team I think. We didn’t play that good in the first period. We had a couple power plays that we didn’t bury it. The third period was really good from our side and then we worked them down and they didn’t have anything to come with in the third period and we just kept going. We played really good in the third period.

Kempe, on maybe needing redemption after the boarding call:
You always try to make up for it if you do something bad. Always want to be better after. I had a couple chances I probably should have got one or two goals tonight. … Overall, pretty good game for me I think the last period was my best so far.

Kempe, on the boarding call and if he thought it was fair:
As I saw it we were skating next to each other and I tried to hit him and he kind of turned around a little bit. I got the hit … like exactly the same thing by myself in the World Juniors and I think as I saw that it was a little bit of my own fault that I turned around just before I got hit. So, that’s how I saw it. I haven’t seen the hit after so I can’t tell any more about it.

Kempe, on the third period and OT:
When we got the first goal I think the whole team was feeling that we were coming back and then we got a power play and we buried that. So, we had good confidence when we came into the OT and it was a really good goal by Dowder there.

Kempe, on if he thought San Jose was coming after him after the boarding penalty:
Probably, a little bit. When that happens to our team we’re probably going after their guy. You just have to keep your head up a little bit more. Sometimes those things happen, too. I’m keeping my head up tomorrow, too.

Nic Dowd, on the OT winner:
I guess I kind of lucked out a little bit. Turned the puck over top of the blue line, which is always dangerous. Something happened, maybe the guy fell over, I’m not sure. Somehow the puck turned over again and Vinny made a good play and I was just able to keep my momentum because it’s only 3-on-3 so just kept my momentum, Vinny made a play over to me and just went down and took a shot and was fortunate it fell in the back of the net. [Reporter: Stutts has been talking about wanting you to shoot more, what was going through your mind there?] I actually did (have to make a decision), it took me about half a second, but as soon as I got the puck my initial thought was to slide it over to Mersch and then as soon as I crossed the blue line I knew I was shooting the puck. If I hadn’t shot the puck there Stuttsy probably would have been a little upset. I wouldn’t say he’s more on me it’s more just constantly there and reminding me. We talked a little bit over two weeks ago and I went through three games with no shots. Nothing’s going to happen either for me or for our line so I need to get the puck to the net more so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.

Dowd, on what’s changed in his game and playing with his new line:
Mike and I and Backs have been playing really well together. I think a lot of the kudos go to those two for making plays all around the ice and allowing all of us to get to the net more and make more plays. It just so happens that I’m the one fortunate to find the puck and it ends up going in the net. You see Sean had a goal tonight too, he had an empty-netter the other night. Mikey had a goal the other night. I think it’s just working for all three of us. But, individually, I’ve just been trying to get to the net more and get to those scoring areas and just put myself in a scoring area as opposed to on the perimeter.

Dowd, on his shot that hit the post that was first ruled a goal:
I knew it didn’t go in, was just praying, that maybe … I’m not going to say anything, I’m going to act like it did. The ref made the right call.

Dowd, on the resolve of the team:
Yeah. I think it does kind of seem like we play out best in the last two minutes, which isn’t very fun to play the whole game like that. We have had a lot of resolve and I think that speaks to our leadership in the room with the older guys and also to Budes who’s, like I’ve said, he’s been our best player. He keeps us in the game, gives us an option to make those two-goal games, tie it up, a one-goal game. I thought Kempe and Backs made a real good play tonight, scored a really big goal. The other night it was Cres. We’re getting it through the lineup, which is great.

Sean Backman, on his goal off the pass from Kempe:
When he got it on the half wall I kind of put myself in a position where he would be able to get it to me and he made a great pass. I just wanted to get everything I could on it. [Reporter: Kind of hoping nobody noticed you there? You weren’t tapping your stick or anything.] Kempe’s a world class player so you don’t really need to tap your stick or yell for him to see you. Was trying to be as quiet as I could over there, luckily it worked out.

Backman, on the resolve of the team:
To not score on that 5-on-3 was unfortunate, kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit. But the leaders in the locker room said we had 20 minutes to win a hockey game and get one, see what happens, get another one, we did and won it in overtime.

Backman, on what was said between periods:
Just that we have to be better. We can’t start hockey games like that and there’s no excuse. I don’t know if there’s a specific reason for why we started slow tonight but unfortunately we did. In the third period we found our game and got back to doing the things that makes us a good hockey team.

Vincent LoVerde, on his goal and how important it was:
We had a few discussions between the first and second and the second and third. The D need to do a better job of getting pucks through. Z made a good pass out from corner out to me. I was just looking to try to get it through. The puck had eyes and just found its way in. [Reporter: Were you looking to throw it on net with so many bodies there, keep it low?] Yeah, I was looking. Saw the guy in front of me, I was looking to just shoot around him and get it on net. I know we had few guys in front of the net and just trying to get it to that area and hopefully those guys can maybe knock in a rebound or something but found it’s way through.

LoVerde, on another comeback and what he takes from it:
We’re always happy for a win but at the same time we understand we need to play better those first two periods. We came out, I didn’t play good the first two periods. I don’t think we played good as a team for whatever reason, I don’t know why. But it was a good character win. We were able to regroup in the third and come back. It felt good but at the end of the day we’ve got another game tomorrow so we’d like to win that one.

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