February 10: Bus texts with Stothers

After every Reign road game I’ll try to catch up with head coach Mike Stothers from the bus to get some texts and his assessment of the game. Here’s what he had to say after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss in San Jose.

Barracuda 4, Reign 2
With star goalie Peter Budaj and defenseman Kevin Gravel out of the lineup due to impending call-ups to the Kings, the Reign fell in San Jose after giving up three goals in the first period. Jonny Brodzinski and Justin Auger were the Reign goal scorers and goalie Michael Houser lost in just his second start of the season. San Jose goalie Aaron Dell stopped 50 shots but another big difference was special teams as the Reign gave up two power play goals and one shorthanded goal.

ORI: What kinds of challenges does it present to the team not having Gravel and Budaj on short notice and did you feel like that factored into the start of the game?
Stothers: As a team we never waste energy on who is “Not” here but instead try to focus on, and utilize who “Is” available. Both guys have been key contributors on our season to date but we are not going to sit around waiting for them to come back. In their absence comes opportunity for other individuals to grow. We outshot them 52-26 and played it out until the final buzzer. We had some territorial play which resulted in some quality chances that just don’t find the back of the net. Some nights that happens.
ORI: How crucial was Dell and their special teams play tonight in particular?
Stothers: Dell was very good, excellent, and our Special Teams were not. We gave up two power play goals, scored zero power play goals, and gave up a shorty. Not a good recipe for winning.
ORI: What’s the message to the guys after this one? Especially with a day off tomorrow and right back into a game Friday.
Stothers: Same as it always is…we want to win the next one…you want to be the next one…and we want to win the last one!! Pretty simple concept to keep us focused and determined.

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