We came out and knew what we had to do, throw lots of rubber at the goalie, get in front of him and try to screen him. We just needed a few more bounces. I thought we worked extremely hard tonight. We just didn’t quite get the win.
It’s frustrating any time you lose. We went to
I really believe that if we can keep this effort, we are going to win a lot of games. The third period was totally ours. That is a good sign. It’s something that we have to build on.
On returning to the lineup
I think I felt better as the game went on. Missing 17 games, it’s not normal just to come back. I knew that the next step was to start playing games and get into those situations. It’s a really good start. I’m happy I have no pain. It was tough to lose. We were working very hard. We just couldn’t score the third goal.
I think it was a well-played hockey game. We created lots of chances for ourselves. We probably made a couple of mistakes, too many in critical areas that cost us, but I thought our work ethic was strong. Playing in a back-to-back situation, we were able to carry a lot of that same type of energy into the game. I don’t think we were rewarded for the hard work that we put in.
Last night the bounces went for us and tonight they didn’t bounce in our direction. It’s parity in the league. We didn’t play a hockey club that was not a good team over there. It’s not smoke and mirrors. They have a young energetic group with skill that at times can be a handful. I thought that we showed that we can play to that high level also.
On his goal and the team win…which was better?
Probably the goal, I don’t want to lie to you. It feels good to get a win too, definitely. It’s nice to contribute in a win. It’s a good start to the trip. We have to keep going and look forward to LA tomorrow.
On getting things back together
I think you could see tonight, even with the line changes, all lines were pretty much going. I think myself, Toews and Sharp felt pretty good together so it is good to be back with them. At the same time, all lines are contributing. It’s nice to get a win here. Obviously,
On holding off
Khabibulin played great for us – he’s a great goaltender as you can see by some of the big saves he had tonight. I think the difference was that we capitalized on our opportunities and they didn’t.
On playing again after the All-Star break
We had fun. We enjoyed ourselves and relaxed over the break. I think now there is a responsibility to come back and perform. We were excited to play and come back and redeem ourselves. We have a great opportunity this road trip. We’ve got one down and two points. Game number two is tomorrow and we’re not looking any further than that now.
On guiding team attitude
I guess that is why they call me ‘Mr. Serious.’ You want to step and score a big goal, but it is not going to happen every night as much as you try. I just want to get better and obviously my scoring and goals-per-game is just going to get better and better. But it’s all about making big plays. If you happen to be out there on the ice protecting the lead with a minute or 45 seconds to go and their goalie is pulled, it doesn’t matter what situation as a captain or any leader in this dressing room, you want to help the team win games in situations like that.
On the goaltending
It was outstanding. Khabibulin was solid all game. They had a lot of zone time against us. He was big and he was quick and took away a lot of their plays down there. He had good rebound control on a lot of their point shots. That is a big team down low to maintain. He stood his ground all night and did a great job.
On team expectations after All-Star break
I liked the energy in the room going into the game. I liked the enthusiasm we played with from start to finish. It was kind of a response to our last two games going into the break. We’ve got a big trip ahead of us and we wanted to get off to a strong start. I really liked the response.