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Stars-Maple Leafs Postgame Quotes

Here are some postgame quotes following Thursday’s Dallas Stars-Toronto Maple Leafs game which Toronto won 4-1. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock

On tonight’s game:

“I was thinking, in the third period, that we wasted a really good performance from [Tyler] Seguin’s line.  You don’t get a line that dominates like that very often.  Unfortunately they didn’t score on all their chances, but we had too many players under the bar today.  I can’t remember the last time we gave up odd-man rushes like we did and the odd-man rushes we gave up were us with the puck.  Really light plays with the puck and on three of the goals, we had full possession and turned it over.  That was disappointing.  I just think we didn’t set a tone and then we gathered it back and had a lot of momentum until they scored their first goal.  Then when they scored their second goal we had even more momentum.  We had two or three scoring opportunities but it’s disappointing when you have a performance like that from that line you’d like to reward it.  We had too many players that looked light today.  Seguin’s line was the only one that played in a heavy atmosphere and did a good job.  We didn’t have the compete level at the puck that we normally have.  With a team that checks well, you’re going to have problems and that’s what we did.” 

Stars Captain Jamie Benn

On tonight’s game heading into the All-Star break:

“We need to come to play every night. We can’t take nights off. They are a good team and played well tonight and they deserved to win. We didn’t have it.”

On how hard it is to be successful when you don’t play the system:

“That sums it up, yeah. It’s disappointing and there is no excuse. When we don’t play the way that he wants us to play, you are going to get results like that.”

On tonight’s slow start:

“We had no excuse. We had the day off yesterday and they played a back-to-back. There is no excuse. That’s why it’s disappointing.”

On the upcoming game against the Kings:

“We need to refocus and get some rest. We are going to have a good practice Monday and be ready to go on Tuesday.”

Stars Forward Jason Spezza

Thoughts on the game heading into the break:

“It is disappointing to finish that way. We know we are going into a break and we wanted to go into it on a good note. We’ve played some good hockey as of late. All that does is set us up for a fight down the stretch. We have to collect ourselves and take some rest over these couple of days and come back to some real important hockey. It’s the reason why we play the game: for the stretch run.”

Thoughts on the team not implementing the system tonight:

Yeah, I just do not think we were sharp enough tonight. I think we did not do a good enough job of getting pucks behind them. We made it too easy for them to shorten the rink and play the counter attack game against us. That’s stuff we have not been doing. Hopefully we learn our lesson tonight and we come back from tonight and play against a big heavy team in Los Angeles, and bounce back. That would be nice.”

Thoughts on putting this game behind us:

Well, it is challenging when you have a break. I think it’s different, but the whole league is going to have it. So, we are all going to come out of it the same way. We just got to use the rest. We have had a five-day break and I think we came out of it really well. I think we have to use the rest again, and then you hit the ground running and you go for the rest of the year. It’s big games every night. It’s playoff type battles. We know it’s going to take a lot of wins and a lot of points to make the playoffs. This last stretch has been good, but now we park it and move forward.”

Maple Leafs Coach Mike Babcock

On tonight’s performance:

“I thought we started good. We got the goal and I thought everyone relaxed at that point. I thought we skated real good tonight, maybe as good as we’ve skated all year all four lines. It was a good win for our team going back-to-back. Especially the way Dallas has been playing – Dallas has been playing real good. Hitch does a good job so you know it’s going to be a tight game.”

On playing forward Mitch Marner on a line with Nazem Kadri:

“No, I do not think so at all. We had played (Matthews) and (Marner) together a bunch of times, whether that be 4-on-4 or whatever. (Kadri) was starting to come around anyway, and on a bit of a two-night spell wasn’t great and then was really starting to play and that line was really playing good for us. Hadn’t scored yet. So getting it in the lineup – obviously made a nice play here tonight. Gives us a different look with (Mule) there we could but him in a defensive zone face off and use him all over.”

Maple Leafs Forward Auston Matthews

On the chemistry of the team tonight:

“I thought when you come back and help the defense it makes it an easier pass from them to us and then we let our speed and skill take over regardless if we were putting the puck in deep or carrying it in. We had some pretty good speed tonight, so I would always put pressure on their defense no matter how good they are. It is never easy when you have a guy draped on you from behind who is chasing you down, so we did a really good job of that tonight.”

On if he feels any different going to the All-Star Game this year:

“Yeah, a little bit. In your first year you are a little bit nervous; you go in there and you don’t know anybody. In the second year you are a little bit more familiar with how it works and the stuff that comes around with it. This year I will be more comfortable with it. My parents are going, so I’ll be able to kick back and relax with them and enjoy the weekend.”

Maple Leafs Goaltender Curtis McElhinney
On how he felt tonight:

“Great. Last night the key was the first ten minutes and [tonight] we did a tremendous job in the first ten minutes just setting the pace of play and kind of just easing into it. So for myself, personally, that was great.”

On how he got ready for the game:

“Just keeping good habits in practice, trying to stay focused. Sometimes those long layoffs are tough, but there are a couple breaks in between, too, that created some extra adversity. But, it was a good experience overall.”

On the team’s overall performance:

“I thought we were tremendous start to finish. I just thought that was a great game. Especially with a break coming up and then three [games] in four. The guys played great tonight. Hats off to them.”

On facing some of Dallas’ key players:

“I think we just eliminated their chances. Obviously when you get those guys inside scoring areas they are going to get the puck in the back of the net. They did that in one instance, and then the rest of the night I thought we did a good job defensively and then there were a couple of key saves along the way, too. They are scary guys to play against, but we did a great job overall.”