Best game of the season?
Take away the last 15 minutes of the third period, but they pushed hard. We came back on them a couple times, and they wanted to try to eliminate us today. We’re able to live for another day. Tomorrow’s Game 7, we hope to get the same result but we’ll wait and see what occurs.
What needs to improve?
We just got to be smarter in the (defensive) zone. They take the walls away and they forecheck hard. The first two periods, we were able to bump it through the middle and it’s one of those things — the momentum, and the feeling — we gave them momentum from some of our plays where they were coming down the walls and creating looks that we don’t need to give back. We just need to be a bit more puck-savvy when we have possession.
Importance of scoring first?
I think it was important for Jeff to have two periods where he shut them out and played very well. We’ll watch the second one, where it goes over his head and into the net; what are you going to do, it’s one of those weird bounces. I’ll see, I’ll watch the video there. We gave up the line on the third (goal). We’ve got to be stronger there defensively. We just got to tighten up a little bit and as a team holding the line and taking away their offensive off the rush.
Jeff looked quicker today; did you see fatigue the first 5 games?
No, he’s not tired. We had a day off between every game. He’s fresh as a daisy and dying to play tomorrow. He looked fresh off the puck, he responded. He’s not happy with the way he’s played throughout the whole series. He’s been decent but he’s not happy with how it’s gone, and he showed a lot of grit and character today to step up and play a heck of a game for his teammates.
On playing Andrew Martens at forward 5-on-5:
We’re trying to find someone with Franny and Rheaultsy for a long time here. Marty’s got a lot of speed and he likes to hit guys, because he’s played D before and he knows it’s not fun when you go back there. I thought he added a lot of speed and grit for us. He got tired as the game went on because he forgot how hard it was to skate all the time as a forward.
On Darren McMillan returning to the lineup:
I thought he played really well and really smart. He was really smart with the puck. Stockton does a really good job getting pucks behind the net, getting our feet turned then coming behind us. He’s able to shoulder-check and make the solid play.