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Stars-Wild Postgame Quotes

Here are some postgame quotes following Saturday’s Dallas Stars-Minnesota Wild game which the Stars won 6-1. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock

On the win against a division rival:

“I thought the first period was very well played by both teams. It felt like a playoff game and I thought execution on both sides was really good. When we got the third goal they looked like they played last night…but it wasn’t until the third goal. They had as many, or more, scoring chances as we did in the first period and I thought both teams were really extending each other. I thought, even on four-line rotations, that there were no stoppages and we really had a tempo going out there.”

On the Stars’ goal scoring tonight:

“I think both teams are built differently. When we get extended zone time, that’s when we score. We’ve got enough skill to finish and we’ve got a lot of players whose work ethic is their calling card. Same on the power play, when we’re able to extend zone time, we track back six or seven pucks on power plays to score goals. It wasn’t from set-up, it was just pressure. That’s our game, when we’re able to sustain extended zone time, which we scored four goals because of that, that’s the strength of our hockey club. When we’re able to do that, we’re pretty effective.”

On the play of Kari Lehtonen:

“It’s not a surprise, he’s just a good goalie. He’s been a starter for most of his life, he thinks and acts like a starter and we’re lucky. I said you need two goalies to win. We’ll be fifth or sixth tomorrow, in the league, in goals-against and that’s incredible because at one time we were 26th. That’s incredible to crawl that much up the ladder in one hockey season and the two goalies, quite frankly, are the major reason. Both guys have kept us in games, won us points and been there in the end. They’re the major reason why the goals-against are down so much.”

On the Stars’ number one line:

“The line was good and (Alexander) Radulov was exceptional. His hunt on the puck, his strength on the puck, he was a reckless player today, in a good way, and it was very effective.”

On Antoine Roussel’s line:

“They did what they’re supposed to do. They can finish, they could have had four goals today. They had scoring chances. They’ve got skill and patience with the puck to make plays. I thought it took Roussel a little bit of time to get up to the speed of the game. People were on him and he’s been away from it a little bit. Once he got up to speed, halfway through, I thought he was effective with the line.”

On Retro Night:

“I love those sweaters. The part I like is that when we wear those sweaters our team looks really big. We looked like a football team in warm-ups which, to me, is intimidating. It just reminds you of the good old days. It’s good to reminisce but I really like those sweaters.”

On the play of Mattias Janmark:

“I think he had a slow start because he was out a year. You’re worrying and wondering every day, am I going to be okay? Now that he’s comfortable playing, we’re seeing a hell of a player. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for how good he can be. Now you’re seeing him getting extended time, he gets big minutes. He’s a dynamic player.”

 

Stars Goaltender Kari Lehtonen

On the win meaning more because it’s at home:

“A hockey rink is a hockey rink and a game is a game. I have been playing a lot on the road and that’s just the way that it’s been. I just try to go out there and play the same thing I’ve been doing. I’m glad it worked tonight.”

On winning a divisional game by a wide margin:

“Every game is big. But these that are against the same division teams, I think they were one point behind us before tonight, it doesn’t get any bigger than that at this point in the year. It was a good test for us and we passed that one. It was good.”

On making huge saves and then the team explodes offensively:

“Of course it feels good when you are able to make to a difference out there. It was a tight game for 30 some minutes and then our guys took over. It was really nice to see and fun to be back there.”

On the glove save on Parise:

“There was a broken play on the blueline and he got a quick breakaway. I didn’t get to think much. I felt like I was in a good position so I didn’t have to panic or anything like that. He made a nice move but I was just able to get a little bit on it.”

On if the stick got inside his mask:

It was just my neck. It doesn’t happen too often so that’s how I went down a little bit faster than normally. But it was just something that you weren’t expecting. It was just part of the game.

Stars Forward Tyler Seguin

On tonight’s game with a playoff feel:

“They played last night – they were probably pretty tired. We played a good hockey game. We placed that Arizona game as something to build off of, and tonight was the next step. Let’s keep rolling.”

On his line’s performance tonight:

“I thought our line carried the same message as the team. We had something to build off of as a line in Arizona. Tonight, we kept it rolling. I can’t say that our line was the best line tonight.  I don’t think there was one line that was the best line. I thought it was as close to a whole team effort that you’re going to get – from the backend, to every line, to our goalie. It was a great win.”

On second period goal explosion:

“Coming off that break, we didn’t play a good game against Los Angeles. That was a playoff type game. We went to Arizona, obviously they not high in the standings, but we wanted to play our style of game and find something to build off of. We had like six or seven periods there where we weren’t playing proper hockey for us, and now we’ve played five good ones so let’s keep it going.”

On Kari starting at home:

“It’s huge. You don’t want to have to see your goalie keeping you in the game early on, but sometimes it happens and he did a heck of a job. Obviously, he’s been really hot on the road but he’s playing just as good at home. Good to see with him, and hopefully Bish is still feeling a little better here in the next couple of days.”

On the Stars celebrating Retro Night:

“I loved it. I thought those jerseys were awesome. I even said before the game that we need something like that for a third jersey next year so hopefully our front office is listening right now.”

Stars Defenseman Stephen Johns

On his goal against the Wild:

“I was running out of gas there pretty quick and the guy was coming on me so just tried to get a shot on net and thought it was a good time for a slapshot. Saw his glove side was a little open and just buried my head and shot it as hard as I could.”

On offensive explosion tonight:

“It’s huge. We knew they were coming off a back-to-back, and they came out hard in the first – it was a really tight game in the first. We got that first one in the second and we just went from there. I think we smelled some blood and took advantage of it, and like I said they were coming off a back-to-back so any kind of pressure you can put on them, it was a positive for us, and goals came.”

On playing with Honka:

“I think you’ve got to give a lot of credit to the 12 forwards up front, too, and obviously Karps too back there. It’s a six-man unit when we’re out there – it doesn’t matter who’s out there, we’ve all got to be communicating and talking. Me and Honks have been playing together for a while now, and when you play with a guy for a while, you develop some chemistry and his game’s growing. I think he’s only going to get better and with that, our game can only grow too. We’ve got a lot of hockey left and it’s been fun so far.”

On Kari starting at home:

“We’ve got two starters, we don’t have a backup. I think that’s their mentality and that’s our mentality – whichever one’s in, we know they’re going to get the job done for us and we’ve got to play good in front of them. Obviously, it’s great to get a win. Kari played his ass off tonight and he was a rock back there for us. You need that sometimes – especially in the first, they had a couple of pushes and he made a couple of huge saves for us. This game could’ve gone a lot of different ways. He played a hell of a game.”

On special teams:

“Usually if you win the special teams battle, you usually come out on top. Our power play was clicking tonight. On the PK, we just executed and that gives a lot of credit to the coaches, getting us ready for the pre-scout and knowing what they’re going to do on the power play and just executed.”

On watching the standings:

“We’d be lying if we said we didn’t look at the standings – it’s the reason why we play. We knew tonight was going to be a playoff atmosphere and we had to use playing at home to our advantage. The crowd was great tonight, right from the bat and I think we used that and just rolled with it.”

Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau

On whether tonight’s performance was due to fatigue from back-to-back:

“If you use the ‘product of back-to-back’ then you’re making an excuse and allowing your guys to get off because they’re tired or emotionally drained. I don’t believe in that at all.”

On what needs to change after three blowout road losses:

“It’s uncharacteristic for sure. I wish I had an answer, but you could see that once they got the second goal, everyone was like this and their shoulders slumping. It looked like ‘woe is me’ and that was it. It’s unfortunate, we’ve got to find a way to fix that, because I think we’ve still got 50% of our games are on the road for the rest of the year.”

On the lack of confidence on the road:

“In between the second and third, I said, ‘If this was at home, you guys would’ve dug deep and came after them.’ But on the road – granted, they quickened their pace, they were just a lot faster than us overall tonight, I thought. But it’s still no reason to lose a game 6-1 in the NHL.”

On the penalty kill’s poor performance:

“I don’t get it. When we were taking 4, 5 and 6 penalties we were in the top 5 in the league. Now that we’re taking 1 or 2 penalties we’re dropping down to the bottom third of the league. I think that’s seven goals in the last four games. Maybe it’s confidence with them, but it’s disappointing. I think it’s disappointing to everybody. When you kill penalties, it allows you to be free to do things you’re capable of. If you think you’re going to get scored on all the time, you become a little weary of how to play. You don’t play as physical, you don’t play as in your face. When that happens, you’re in trouble a little bit.”

Wild Defenseman Ryan Suter

On how things went downhill in the second:

“We had a solid first period for back-to-back being on the road. They got one, and we quit playing. Simple as that.”

On how the team needs to respond:

“Our PK hasn’t been good. We need to bear down more on the PK’s, I think. When we do let up a goal, we have to have a better response.”

On why the team ‘quit playing’:

“I don’t know – good question. They were able to get a couple pretty fast ones and we just weren’t able to get the momentum back, and weren’t skating anymore.”

Wild Forward Jason Zucker

On how quickly the game got away from them:

“We gave them that power-play, obviously. I got to be careful going to the net there and not letting in high like that. That gave them their goal and they got some momentum there. I think we’ve got to respond better after a goal and not let them get another one so quick. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got a couple good shifts right after that to get them momentum back. We didn’t do that tonight.

On the Wild’s recent road woes:

“We’ve got to figure it out. We can’t have it be like this, especially if we want to be a good team down the stretch, in the playoffs, future years – anything. We’ve got to make sure we’re good on the road. We know that we’re playing well in our building, but we’ve got to make sure we can respond well and play well in other buildings. We’re not doing that right, now so we’ve got to make sure we figure it out. We’ve got to bear down as a group here and win some games on the road. That’s what it comes down to.”