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Stars-Jets Postgame Quotes

Here are some quotes following Monday’s Dallas Stars-Winnipeg Jets game which the Jets won 4-1. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock

On the way the Stars’ are starting games:

“The start for me is disappointing to me because it’s the same players who started the same way. Jamie Benn just about carried us on his back the whole game. He was unbelievable but we didn’t have enough at the start when the temperature is white-hot. We just had the same performances by the same guys so that’s pretty telling and puts us in a position where we’ve got to do some soul-searching over the next two or three days if we want to get to the next level and play against the big boys. It’s a different animal when you’re playing against Winnipeg and teams like St. Louis and Nashville and we’ve had the same underwhelming performances by the same people so we’ve got to make some decisions here.”

On the play of Martin Hanzal:

“He gave us what he had. He was healthy and got better in the third period when we played him a little more. He was a step behind and we knew that but we needed the body. He got going a little bit in the third period and got competitive but walked into a fast moving train today.  He hasn’t practiced with the group yet. He practiced at an optional so he did us a favor as much as anything.  He’s not the issue for me.”

On the play of Ben Bishop:

“I thought he was like our team. He was off early and got going later. He gave us a chance when it was 3-1 with three big saves in the second and two big saves in the third and gave us a chance to mount the comeback. The difference was we never got the second goal in the second period when we had all the scoring chances. Their ability to defend the front of the net is stronger than ours is and that’s why they’re negating goals against.  We never got any second or third whacks in net front.  We had lots of activity but never got those second or third whacks.”

Stars Captain Jamie Benn

On the disappointing start:

“It’s embarrassing really, it seems like you can pretty much win a hockey game in the first period these days, they’ve done it to us twice now, we did it to Buffalo last game. There’s no excuses, it’s embarrassing, and they pretty much won the game in the first period.”

On why they had a disappointing start:

“There’s no reason, you know our lines had a bad start, we got scored on in the first shift and like I said it’s embarrassing, there’s no excuse. Especially when they did that to us last game in their building. We needed to come out and make a statement and bounce back and we definitely did not do that.”

On the importance of the break this week:

“We have to put some good work in here in practice and tune up our game. We can always keep getting better here, these days are going to be very important and it’s also important to get a rest as well.”

On Trevor Strader singing the anthem for his dad:

“It was great, I got the chance to talk to him a little bit this morning and it’s good to see him. I’m sure it felt pretty good for him, it felt pretty good for us too.”

Stars Forward Jason Spezza

On message in the locker room after the first period:

“There wasn’t much that had to be said. It wasn’t a good enough period. You can win or lose games in the first period and the other night we won a game, but tonight we got behind again against this team that we know starts well, so the message was just that it wasn’t good enough.”

On correcting mistakes against the same team:

“It’s something that we have to keep focusing on and keep talking about and keep trying to have better starts. We dictate play as the game goes on, we just have to have better starts to games and dictating a little more off the hop. It’s something internally we’re going to have to continue to talk about until we get better at it.”

On consistent scoring:

“You need production to win games in this league. A lot of it is trying to play even too, depending on your matchup. Those guys are going out a lot of good times and their producing for us, so we’ve been doing a good job. When they’re producing for us, we just have to try and play even so we can win hockey games. On nights when the other team gets a couple of special team goals, that’s when we need other lines to chip in and pick up the slack from that end. A lot of time on road games especially, you’ve just got to tie your matchup to allow those guys to free up.”

Stars Goaltender Ben Bishop

On disappointing start:

“They (Winnipeg Jets) have been playing really well in the first period in the last four or five games. We talked about it, and it’s a little disappointing. We wanted to stay out of the penalty box and then we took a couple of penalties in the first, and their power play is pretty lethal right now. It’s hard to come back in this league when you’re down 3-0. We’ve talked about having better starts and now it’s just about going out and doing it.”

On giving up goals in the first and last minute of the first period:

“You always talk about – since you’re little – you never give up a goal in the first minute of a period and the last minute of a period. You’re supposed to hunker down there, and we give up a goal in the first minute and the last minute. We can’t be happy with that and obviously not happy with a loss going into this three-day break. We had a tough stretch there but now we have some time to regroup and we’ll be ready for Friday.”

On shutout in the last two periods:

“I don’t know if that really matters. Once they get that three-goal lead, they’re going to sit back. We did some better things in the second and third, but you can’t spot a team three goals and then start playing.”

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice

On Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele getting things going:

“All over on both sides of that puck- big numbers, score goals. But, they’re on at the start of the third to finish the kill, too. The defensive parts of the game, their shift length was good, their decisions were good, and they did a really nice job leading by example in terms of how we want to play. They seem to be getting better and stronger.”

On Blake’s statement about not caring about points:

“He is being honest with you when he says that. His approach is not about offense it’s about playing the game and winning games. They’re just too skilled and too talented. If they play that game the right way, they’re going to get those chances. That first goal was a great shot by Mark, but it starts with five guys being in the right spot defensively underneath the puck on our end of the ice. It was a great way to start that game.”

On their success over the last twelve games:

“It’s been a very strong memory of very tight, tough games. The game in Pittsburgh and the game in Columbus- hard battles. The divisional games with Minnesota and Dallas. You walk away 4-1 thinking it was easier than it was. What I like is that they’ve been tough games and we’ve battled hard. Haven’t had control of the whole game, by any means, we’re not blowing anyone out of the water, but we’re battling hard.”

Jets Forward Blake Wheeler

On the strong start to the game:

“Yeah, we got off to a fast start. You come into a tough building against a really good hockey team and score on the first shift, it helps things. You know, it helps kind of just settle you into your game and so we’re happy with the start.”

On the third goal:

“It’s a tough way to go into intermission – you’re down two and you give up a third. The momentum is already kind of on our side. It’s a big lead, you know what I mean? So you know, I thought it was a big goal. I thought it was a nice play by Kyle, a great play by him.”

On the chemistry he feels on his line:

“I think Kyle [Connor], first of all he’s fast. He plays with speed and I think he’s a really, really smart player. He doesn’t try to do too much. He bought into how we’re trying to play and I think you saw that it works. You don’t have to try any special plays, you don’t have to do anything crazy at the blue line. Just get pucks in the right spots, play fast, get shots to the net and when there’s a play to be made we’re going to make it. He’s been a really great addition to the two of us. We’ve played well together in the past and it’s great to have a guy step in and really compliment us.”

Jets Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck

On the key to stopping the Stars attack in the second period:

“I think the guys in front of me got in the way and blocked a lot of key shots. And if they weren’t blocking it, they were controlling, keeping it to the outside. I was able to see the puck and have better angles because they were pushed to the outside. It might have looked like a lot of shots, but the guys were doing the right things out there.”

On the penalty kill and its net front presence tonight:

“I think the guys did great. I think the goal was a little bit of goalie interference, but that’s not for me to decide. I think the guys did a great job pushing them down and keeping the shots to the outside.”