How do you figure this game?
Did the early timeout help?
“Nope, nope. Why? If I had the answer … I thought the second and third periods we played better … but it certainly didn’t help us in the first period. We were still awful.
“Our guys were asleep the first 20 minutes and I thought we played better the second and third periods. Why we’re asleep, I know you’re all going to ask. I don’t have an answer. So don’t even bother asking me.”
“For me it’s a tough one to eat because it’s still a win-able game and I thought we got our legs underneath us and I thought we did some really good things, got some good looks on the power play with tips, but just couldn’t finish. I thought their goalie made some key saves at key times and yeah, that’s what’s hard about it. As poorly as we started I thought we regrouped and it certainly a win-able game.”
On what broke down on the game-winning goal:
“Everything. It was an absolute blown coverage. I’m not going to dissect it as far as players, but it’s a simple coverage and it was an absolute blown coverage.”
On Gaborik being knocked down on the breakaway:
“No penalty. I thought it was at first. That isn’t a penalty. The guy … didn’t really shove him hard, and then I thought he got his stick. … I don’t think it’s a penalty.”
The short-handed goal:
“It’s an awful play by Gabby as far as passing the puck to Step.”
On the trip on Gaborik just before that goal:
“I didn’t even see it. I can’t comment on it.”
On the first line since Thursday on Long Island:
“Well, I thought they had some good shifts. But that’s the line with two minutes left, they have to defend and it was a simple coverage. And the whole group of them—not just one person, the whole group on the ice—we need to defend that. It wasn’t Alfredsson-Spezza. I had that line matched up against Ruutuu, Kelly and Neil, I think it was, and they need to defend that play, the whole group of them.”
“I don’t know why we (started like that). We’ve had good starts this year. I’m hoping this is just a blip on the screen as far as this because it wasn’t just one person. It was everybody. We’re hoping that we’ll learn our lesson.
“The hard part is I thought we regrouped. I thought they did a good job of regrouping and we had some good chances. But you could just sense it, when we couldn’t score that second goal, you just knew that something was going to happen and we lose a hockey game, and I think a pretty important hockey game.”
Did the 5 p.m. start have anything to do with it?
“It better not. Because both teams are playing at 5 p.m., and that team played last night.”
On the process with Stepan on the power play point:
“I thought Step made some great plays on the power play. Don’t blame Step on the short-handed goal. … He’s put in a really tough spot. Our power play was 0-fer, but we had some good looks. And some deflections that didn’t get to the net. It is a process, but I thought Step made some good plays on the point.”
“Listen, he isn’t the problem on the power play. I thought he made some good plays on the power play. There are a few other people that are a problem on the power play. Let’s not isolate Step. I think he’s quarterbacking it pretty well. There are things we’re going to have to teach him along the way. Again, our power play had some good looks. I know the number isn’t there on the piece of paper, where you score a goal. But I think we had some good opportunities.
“It wasn’t as bad as an 0-fer. But you certainly need to score when you get those opportunities in a 1-1 game.”
… more quotes to come in a while … gotta write my column first.