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Stars-Oilers Postgame Quotes

Here are some postgame quotes following Saturday’s Dallas Stars-Edmonton Oilers game which the Stars won 5-1. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock

On the Stars play going into the break:

“As a coach, you’re looking for identity. You’re trying to forge an identity knowing if you get it you have a chance to win every night. That’s where we’re at now. We have an identity, everybody knows how we play and what the trigger points are. The last ten minutes of the second period wasn’t great but they grabbed it back and played very good in the third period. The players are dug in very deep on continuing to play with this identity.”

On the play of the Radulov – Seguin – Benn line:

“I felt with the way the rotations of the lines were going it would be a better matchup if I put Rads there. I felt that he had a feel for the game and I needed to get him out there as much as I could, early and often. I saw a matchup that was more advantageous. The line that they were playing against was a skating line and I thought that set up well for Seguin’s line. In the last two games we’ve been successful because we’ve been patient in the offensive zone. We changed our tactics and the tactic against Edmonton, for whatever reason, has worked the last two games. We’ve been more patient, we have hung on to the puck and we haven’t forced it. We’ve looked for plays more than we’ve looked for shots.”

On the evolution of John Klingberg:

“I think if he keeps improving, he should be up there with the best.  He’s made a change in the way he plays which has helped him a lot.  He’s adapted to being a big-minutes player, he’s worked hard at keeping it simple from the red line back.  He’s not exposing himself or putting himself in tough spots physically and that’s allowed him to be a much better player.  His offensive gifts are through the roof.  There’s a lot of players like that in this league but he’s got special gifts.”

On the Stars playing more skillfully:

“I think it goes back to the identity. If you’re willing to check for chances and then hang on the puck, good things happen. This started in training camp and we’re starting to understand the concept that you can create offense by checking. If you look at the goals we scored they’re great goals but all of them were created from a turnover. We got the puck turned over, held on and made plays. Let our skill take over. We’re starting to do the things we need to do to be a winning hockey club on a consistent basis. There is a lot of teams that have skill like we do but what we’re forging is an identity that you can score one or two goals and still get points in a game. That’s what’s going to happen when we come back, if we score two goals, we’re going to have to get points in games. I think we’re feeling more and more comfortable that we’re going to be able to do that.”

On the play of Ben Bishop:

“He’s a really competitive guy and I feel like if you’re in a rhythm, stay in the rhythm. I haven’t seen a lack of energy so he’s in a rhythm and we kept him going. It’s going to be more difficult now. We have back-to-backs and Lehts is going to have to carry a big load and help us out.”   

Stars Defenseman John Klingberg

On today’s game:

“Big game from the team. Obviously with those three guys [Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, Jamie Benn] scoring goals, it’s pretty easy to get apples. Just a great team win. This is how we wanted to play the last game before the bye week, so that was perfect.”

On what it’s like to see the top line playing so well:

“Well, yeah, that’s how they are supposed to play every night. No, but, they are just such talented hockey players and they are creating for each other and they have the skill, too, and the hard work. When they do that they are going to play like this. Obviously, that’s why they are our leaders. So, a big game for all three guys.”

On going into the bye week and if he is pleased with where they are:

“Well, yes. We can’t control what the other guys do in the division and in the conference, but I think in the homestand we had here with about nine games we said we had to get as many points as possible and we have won a lot of games and the other teams have won a lot of games, too. That’s how it’s supposed to be in hockey, I guess. A really tight race. We did everything we could now and it will be nice to have a break and come back ready to play a lot of hockey.” 

Oilers Head Coach Todd McClellan

On today’s game and Dallas’ top line:

“Well, we didn’t have an answer for that line. They scored just about every way they could except for on the power play, and they created a lot of havoc for us on our end and scored on a lot of lateral plays from the corner to the net fronts. We were poor in that area. When you don’t have an answer for the team’s top players, and you think of Connor [McDavid] and Leon [Draisaitl], when you can’t shut them down you have a tough time winning. We didn’t have that tonight.”

On Al Montoya’s first action in goal for his team after coming in in the second period:

“It’s difficult but may be the best for him as an individual. He didn’t have a lot of time to think about things. I thought, for a goaltender that hasn’t played in a little while and he’s just come to a brand new environment, he played well. He made some sharp saves and controlled the game back there. He knew when to freeze it and when not to. So, that was a positive.”

On his team only scoring two goals in the last four games:

“Well, that’s the obvious and the math is right. Yet, right now we are generating some chances and the puck is not going in the net. We’ve gone through phases where we’ve had fewer chances and scored many more goals. I don’t know if it is a phase for us offensively, but obviously we have to get a little harder and I think our back end, quite frankly, from the blue line can do a better job of managing the puck and getting shots through and creating for our forwards. We do a good job, at times, to keep plays alive. It gets up to the top and it can’t die there. We’ve got to get more from that area.”

Oilers Captain Connor McDavid

On today’s game:

“You know what, we just got beat by a good team that worked hard and outworked us. Actually, I shouldn’t even say they outworked us. I thought, in the first period they came out strong and they were good and made their plays. I thought the work effort was there, but there were just a couple of mental mistakes that ended up in the back of our net.”

On why the team hasn’t been scoring lately:

“I don’t think it’s a lack of effort. We’ve created our chances and I’ve said that all along through this kind of stretch. We’ve created our chances, but we just have to bear down. Even tonight, we had a few rebounds sitting there and plays in and around the net that we have to bear down, but give them credit. They did a great job defending tonight. Sometimes that’s going to happen as well. Like you said, we have a lot of good players that can score, but we just haven’t been and we have to find a way to.”