Christopher Higgins (who couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a snow shovel):
“I thought we outplayed them for the better part of the game, but (if) you let a team hang around and hang around they’re more likely to find their game.”
“I don’t think there’s any satisfaction (in playing well). We’ve had a little difficulty playing at home and putting wins together.”
Marian Gaborik (who now has 27 of their 108 goals, 25 percent):
“We just have to do a better job with that (the power play). … I think overall we played hard, we were physical. We definitely outplayed them, I think. Too bad, the outcome.”
Henrik Lundqvist (who said the left-arm injury was just a stinger that went from his neck and down the arm):
“Nobody really cares about that (playing well). It’s the win you’re after.”
on all the posts: “It’s a fast game and the difference between winning and losing and the difference between the puck going in or not is so small. Today, with some luck, we would have killed this game. But we didn’t. It’s definitely frustrating to not win a game like this.”
on one win last nine at home:
“It’s that bad? I think a lot of games we played well. We played with energy and create chances. But in the end, if you dont’ put the puck in the net you won’t win. That’s pretty simple.”
“You have to show up every night. I think we all have to be more consistent. This is the way we have to play every night. You won’t win any other way. You have to get to a level where we can expect the job getting done by everybody, starting with me.
“We’re all looking for that consistency of coming out every night and play your system and play with energy. It’s not something that should be there just once in a while. It should be there every night.
“I think in a game like this, if you score two or three goal in the second period, I think everybody would sit here and say, ‘Well, we played a great game.’ Instead you look at the few mistakes we made tonight, and that was enough to cost us the game.”
“I’ve seen the guys score in practice, so I know they can do it.”
I asked him about the mounting mental toll, playing all these games with no room for error:
“That game against Florida, we scored four goals and it’sa great feeling to play with a couple goals lead, and you can afford a mistake. But it’s definitely been a lot of tight games where we can’t afford any mistakes.”
“As long as you win, it feels great. But I think everybody feels it’s tough when you’re not winning. But two nights ago, the same game and we score a late goal to win it, so you can’t expect to have the right bounce every night. But in a game like this, I thought we were the better team and deserved to win. That makes it a little frustrating.”
“Again, you always try to judge your team on how you play. I thought we generated offense. I thought some of our best chances were ones we shot wide, let along the four or five posts we hit. But we can’t be satisfied just generating scoring chances. We have to start scoring goals. We defend again and we hold them to single digits chances against, it’s something we’ve worked on in our game, we generate some chances again, but we simply don’t score. You try to stay patient, you try to stay patient. But the bottom line is we have to start scoring goals in these type of games. We lose a point because we simply don’t bury a couple of our chances. It shouldn’t be that. It shouldn’t be going into overtime.”
“It’s just finishing the chance, and it can’t just come from one guy. I can’t sit here and tell you what we’re going to do. We just have to get somebody to step up here and score a goal, other than (Gaborik) because I think we’re playing well. But it’s still, we’re 1-0 going into the third period. I thought we battled back and got our point, but to me it shouldn’t even be there. We should have two points at the end of regulation.”
On the power plays in the second period:
“It wasn’t good (today). But our power play’s been pretty good. When you’re not scoring 5-on-5, it has to be good all the time. And it puts a lot of pressure on that special team … The biggest thing that hurt our power play tonight was we didn’t win a faceoff. We didn’t have the puck enough to get to a setup. But I’ll tell you, the power play’s going to come and go as you go through a long season. But there’s so much pressure on that because of us not burying our even-strength chances. I’m not trying to add more pressure to our players. That’s the last thing I want to do. But I can stand up here and say ‘we played well, we played well,’ and coaches have to look at that, but there has to be some(thing) within themselves that ‘We have to get that done.’ To get it done at a key time.
“We have to keep defending well and hopefully something clicks and someone gains some confidence and scores one or two. We’re right down to a fine line of a mistake, it’s in the back of our net, and we lose the hockey game, where I don’t think we should even go to an overtime. I’m not whining. I’m frustrated for the players, because I think they’re trying their asses off, but we simply have to get it done offensively somehow.”
I asked him about Lundqvist’s mental health:
“I think Hank’s a mentally tough guy. I think he understands. Obviously a goaltender would like a little bit of breathing room along the way. But this is part of it, and Hank has to fight through it just like everybody else does. And as far as Hank’s minutes, I was looking at it the other day, and he’s right there with six or seven of the other top goalies as far as minutes. I just don’t want you guys to talk him into being tired. I’m not truying to be sarcastic.
“He can handle it. He’s going to have to. He’s going to have to until we get into some sort of groove and somebody comes through (offensively). And I don’t think it’s going to be one guy. I think it has to be two or three guys. And the power play, until it does come at even strength, has to be that much better.”