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Stars-Jets Postgame Quotes

Here are some postgame quotes following Saturday’s Dallas Stars-Winnipeg Jets game which the Jets won 5-3. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock

On tonight’s game:

“Well, we were in a position to take a big step; we didn’t take it. We could’ve really taken a step today the way we played in the first period. They made us pay for every mistake and they have skill and speed, and it shows itself off the rush. Our scoring chances are mostly off the grind, and they were able to make us pay off the rush. We gave up a breakaway that ended up being a penalty shot, and we ended up giving up two three-on-two’s that ended up in the back of our net. We gave up a penalty on the wrong side of a guy checking. I think the special teams and the lead into the special teams have really hurt us in these last few losses. Our inability to score on the power play, our inability to create momentum and how slow we play on the power play has really hurt us, and it’s something we have to address. The second part, for me, is when you play a team like this you have to manage the puck properly. We did a great job, except for six minutes and in those six minutes they scored three goals; all because we didn’t manage the puck in the neutral zone and they made us pay.”

On the issues with the power play:

“We are too slow. We are too slow. Everything we do is too slow, so we’ll figure it out.”

On the team’s issues with managing the puck:

“I think it’s the collective group there. It’s just too slow. It’s too slow under pressure, it’s too slow on rotation and it’s too slow making decisions. Everything is just too slow. It’s a fine line between slow and casual, so somewhere between slow and casual is where it is, but we have to correct it. We have to solve this. It’s like night and day from what it was at the start of the year and it’s just got to change. When you are putting top players out there, you at least have to scare the living hell out of the opposition, and we are doing nothing but giving them confidence right now.”

Stars Captain Jamie Benn

On the quick start and where it started to unravel in tonight’s loss:

“The start of the second [period] was a power play, then take a penalty, and they got a four-on-four goal, and then it just kept coming from there. They are a good team and we have to get up to their level.”

On how discouraging it is to lose to this team:

“We’ve got work to do.”

Stars Defenseman Marc Methot

On the loss:

“Yeah it’s tough. I think collectively we really liked that first period. Both teams sort of had the same excuse in terms of fatigue, so there was no excuse for us tonight seeing that they were playing a back-to-back. It just simply wasn’t good enough. We weren’t supporting each other properly, I don’t think, and in that second period we gave them a little too much time and space and a good team like that will capitalize and that’s what happened.”

On thinking they would close that gap on them tonight:

“Nope I guess not. They’ve beat us, what, three times now. We’ve got work to do and I think we know it. If anything it’s maybe another learning experience for us as a group. They’re one of the best teams in the NHL and you want to measure up to that team and know that you belong and again, like I said, we’ve got to get better and I think it’s a good wake-up call for this group.”

On St. Louis dropping in the standings:

“Well I think that just goes to show how tight everything is, right? You don’t really get much breathing room and it’s going to be like that up until the end of the year—at least I imagine it will be. Teams nowadays there aren’t a lot of big differences. Every hockey team is a good team with a lot of good players. So, it comes down to team chemistry and following your coach’s system and making sure that you’re playing for each other and, again, tonight maybe we didn’t follow all those steps.”

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice

On winning tonight despite going down 1-0 very early:

“We thought we were fine. That’s a quick one 10 seconds in, but I thought we played a pretty smart rest of the first. We didn’t try to get it right back and tried to settle into the game. We were fairly solid in the first.”

On the strong second period:

“What we were good at tonight was that we were on pucks and we knocked a lot of pucks down and countered back quickly. It’s difficult to defend well on change of possession. Our forwards, especially, skated well and knocked a lot of pucks down and created some quick strikes.”

On Toby Enstrom’s play as of late and scoring his first goal of the season:

“He’s been so good and under-appreciated for the quality of his work. He’s formerly a point producing guy. He has that ability. He was good and I think he and Dustin Byfuglien were the best players on the ice tonight. He has been for a couple of weeks going back. He was really good for a long period of time, but not putting any numbers up and now he is doing both. So, he knocked a lot of pucks down and broke up so many plays and then the offensive part of the game: it’s the best hockey I’ve ever seen him play.”

On Michael Hutchinson’s performance in goal tonight after the early goal:

“That’s tough, so good on him because he made two really good saves in the first period and they had a pretty heavy push there when they were down 5-1. He made some really good saves in that push. He gave us a chance to win the game tonight with his play and that’s what you ask from those guys.”

Jets Captain Blake Wheeler

On beating St. Louis and Dallas in back-to-back divisional matchups:

“Two important games. Teams that are looking to claw back into the race. Our division is just so tight that you can’t take any of these games for granted. Going on the road, we’d been at home for a long time, it was important for us try and build that game a little bit – build some confidence – and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”

On battling back after allowing the early goal:

“I thought everything was great. Sometimes the other team makes good plays, and that was the case of a guy putting one in a pretty good spot. You line up after that one and just try and get back to your game. It was early enough that we were able to put it behind us. Thought the rest of the period was really good, and obviously came out in the second with a lot of energy.”

On Toby Enstrom scoring his first goal in over 80 games:

“It was awesome. [Enstrom] doesn’t care about that kind of stuff, though. When I was in Atlanta, he was an all-star running the first unit powerplay type of guy. He’s embraced a different role for the good of the team. Helped us out a ton this summer – the consummate teammate. So anytime a guy has success, you get fired up for him. You probably see the expression on his face, didn’t matter to him one way or the other, but he was fired up to get one for the boys.”

Jets Forward Nikolaj Ehlers

On how the team battled back after the first:

“We played last night. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But, we bounced back after those ten seconds, and after that we played the way we should’ve. It was a good first period, and after that it kind of just kept rolling.”

On the five goal second period:

“We were playing the right way. We were getting on their defenseman. Just playing hard, playing fast, and getting pucks to the net. When you’ve got shooters like [Laine] and [Enstrom], who scored today, they have to go in.”

On winning both games on the divisional road trip:

“Back-to-back games are never easy, but again, we played the way we needed to get the four points, and bounced back today. After that first goal, we showed some character. We’re happy with the two games.”