Before I type these, I want to point out that the Rangers’ start was decent. They thought it was good. But it fell off a cliff after that.
“We just didn’t … we had a good start but after the first 10 minutes or so we just got on our heels a little bit. They scored a couple of quick ones and we couldn’t get it back. We’ve got to learn from it and make sure we’re not only ready to start the game but ready to play the full 60 (Saturday). It’s not in our control but we can control how we approach tomorrow’s practice and how we approach the next game. We’ve got to do it like pros and we’ve got to be ready to go and I’ll say it again, I’ve said it before—we have to have a short memory.
“As far as I know we’re still in eighth place, so until something shows me otherwise, that’s the attitude we’re going to have. We’ve got to just keep pushing forward and do what we can and control what we can control.”
On whether games vs. non-playoff games aren’t approached the right way:
“Nope, nope. We understood what was at stake coming into the game tonight. And we just didn’t get the job done. I’d love to tell you, sit here and give you all the answers but it’s over. We can’t get the three hours back. So we’ve just got to move forward, be ready practice hard tomorrow and be ready to play on Saturday afternoon.”
On playing without Ryan Callahan:
“Obviously he’s a big part of this team. That is something we put to rest yesterday. Obviously we have to step up and move on without him.”
On what has to happen to avoid the same fate in Game 82 as last year:
“Make sure we play the best game of the season; come together. We have to keep it tight in this room. For the guys that were here last year, remember and make sure that fuels the fire.”
“We lost control over getting in now and all we can control is winning our next game and hopefully we get some help along the way.”
“We were just, we couldn’t make plays. It just seemed we couldn’t put a couple of passes together to give us a good opportunity to score. We had some opportunities to score, but for the most part we were just a little disconnected with the way we were coming up the ice and we couldn’t manufacture anything.”
Was that due to tension?
“I don’t know. We were pretty loose before the game. We knew what was at stake. It was a pretty big game for us. We’re disappointed, obviously, with the loss. But we can’t do anything about it now. All we can do is win Saturday.”
“I’d like to tell you I could (put my finger on it). We got off to the start we wanted. We were forechecking them well. And we just dipped a little bit and we were just really fighting to get it back all game long, fighting to get a chance to score, to make a play. And we were unable to get a lead. They got up on us and we couldn’t get it back.”
“It’s easy to talk after a big win. It’s really hard to find any words, hard to describe it right now, why we didn’t have the effort we needed to win this hockey game.
“After the first period, we were still OK. We had a good start. They took the momentum away. We didn’t get hurt in the first period. We got hurt in the second period, they scored two quick goals. With all due respect, it’s about us. If you don’t perform up to your standards, then you deserve what we got today.”
“We lost the game tonight but we still have one more to go. We have to prepare for Saturday. We put ourselves in this position right now. We have to live with that.”
“It’s reality. It’s where we’re at. We played pretty well in the last little while here, but tonight we had an opportunity and we kind of blew it. It’s not really disbelief. It’s disappointment. Hopefully it’s going to be turned into motivation for tomorrow and for Saturday.”
“I’m sure it’s going to be upbeat because it’s going to be a fun game. There’s a lot on the line and those are the fun games. That’s why you play.”
“Teams play well in crunch time. We played well, Buffalo and Carolina, they played well. There’s a lot of good players in this league and a lot of good teams, and that’s what it’s come down to. That’s why we play, that’s why it’s fun. But right now it’s not very fun.”
On rebounding from adversity all season.
“I hope so. We’re going to have to. When our backs are against the wall we usually … if we’re going to go down, we’re going to go down swinging. That’s not really in our heads right now. We’re pissed off tonight. It’s hard to even put it into words. But I think we’ll be pretty motivated for Saturday and we’re going to have no doubt in our mind we’re going to win the game (ED. NOTE: Sounds like the actual words Messier used for another important game against the Devils once upon a time).
“We’re going to come out with confidence. But we’re facing a tough team. Jersey’s been playing well.”
On the Devils:
“They’re not in. They are going to do everything they can to spoil. They’ll do everything they can to not see us in the playoffs. And also they want to end the season on a good note. And they’ve been playing pretty well also. So it’s going to be an exciting game, a big game again, like last year. Obviously you want to be in a better position going into Game 82, but we have no choice.”
“If you look at the standings, it is going to be tight every year now. It is going to happen. Obviously you want to be in a better positiuon going into the last game. We don’t have a choice now. We lost the control as well. It’s tough. We lost the two points.”
On playing poorly against the non-playoff teams:
“I don’t know. It feels like when we play really good teams we play very simple. We don’t give up a lot of odd-man rushes. But when we play the Islanders, or Atlanta today, there’s a lot of odd-man rushes. I don’t know … especially when we get behind, maybe we try to hard. I don’t have an answer.”
“It’s definitely disappointment. We’ve been going pretty good the last month and a half and we were hoping to be in a better spot. But we’re not. It’s not going to be hard to move on and get ready for Saturday. I just hope we don’t sit here in a week and think about it.”
“It’s hard to tell what happened. We were a step behing, late to get to pucks. We had some chances but we just couldn’t bury it. Now we lost the drivers’ seat. Now we have to watch what happens around the league and hopefully get some help. We have to come out to practice and win our last game.”
On it getting to 3-0:
“Anyone watching could tell the difference between tonight and the Boston game. The Boston game we were playing with passion, urgency; and tonight it just wasn’t there. There is no excuse. We had the drivers’ seat and we had a chance to control our own destiny and now we have to wait and see.”