On whether he’s had a season like this:
“Yeah, I think there has been one or two back in Minny. So, it happened. So, over the summer obviously I’m just going to address things and train hard and come back in great shape and bring it to another level, that’s for sure.”
On what wasn’t right:
“I don’t know. It’s just been kind of up and down. It’s hard to say.”
Shoulder/concussion are fine. The groin and legs bothered him at times. “But overall, it was OK.”
On coming back from bad seasons before:
“Yes, I have. Just put your head into it, and obviously your body into it. Just regroup. It’s not like the season was the worst of my career or anything, obviously. Disappointing, but it’s not tragedy. Disappointing in terms of individually, and of course to get an early exit in the playoffs.”
On succeeding in this system last year:
“I think we played differently as a team this year. We created an identity of the team we have, so we played, I think, differently. But I think I bought into it and I think I did a lot of good things differently, more battle and stuff. We played more grinding hockey. When we got into playoffs, it’s too bad we had an early exit, but I’m looking forward to next year and, how I said, to bring it to another level.”
On getting more top-level talent:
“Management obviously has do decide that. I think more skill would help, you know? So we’ll see what they’re going to do. It felt, in terms of my game, obviously it’s disappointing, but I felt better in the playoffs even though the production wasn’t there.”
On not having a steady center:
“The lines have always changed. It would be definitely great to have someone you could click with. So we’ll see what’s going to happen. There are a few free agents out there that are top guys, so, I’m sure … you know that they’re going to, they always have, try everything to get guys and I’m sure Glen will definitely try to do something. So we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
“Certainly it’s disappointing, on the series, for sure. I think it was certainly a good experience for the young guys on the back end, and up front. Like I said after the game, I summed the series up with, whether we feel like we outworked them or not, they scored more goals and that was the difference.”
“Yeah, you add him back into the lineup and the whole dynamic of the team changes just because of how physical he is and the work ethic and what he does to a team. There’s a guy like that on every team, and he’s certainly our guy. So it’s disappointing. I know he’s certainly not happy about it.”
On judging this season by making the playoffs or going out quickly?:
“I think disappointment. We assumed we were going to make the playoffs at the start of the season. It sucks. Listen, we lost in the first round. I think that, we certainly could have made that a different situation. That’s why I’m here now talking. It doesn’t feel great, that’s for sure.”
On his year:
“I don’t know. It was a difficult season. I was happy with how I played in the playoffs. I think I kind of just let myself go and stopped worrying about things that you really just can’t worry about. Certainly offensively I felt like I would have liked for our line to contribute a little bit more in the playoffs. But, it’s tough. It’s tough to talk about it afterwards. But I felt like I played hard and tried to give the team what I’m supposed to be.
“It’s a situations where I certainly went into the playoffs with an attitude that I was just going to leave it all on the table and not be worried about things that I’ve been worried about over the course of the season, turning pucks over, or certainly penalties, and a combination of those two. And it’s tough to play. It kind of happened the year before where I got to a breaking point. I said ‘I’ve just got to play the way that I know how to play.’ I certainly think you can see the difference in the two games, for sure.”
“I feel like there’s a certain way that I play, and it’s a different way as far as most people play. Now, it’s a risk/reward type of situation where my game, if I play the way I play in the playoffs during the regular season, it’s a different situation, because I’m going to get penalties. But, I think the reward in the long run is I feel like there’s more upside. So it’s a struggle that I’ve been dealing with. But I said it before I got back in the series, that I wasn’t going to have that mentality any more. Moving forward, that’s certainly the situation.
“I’m 31. I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I have to play that way. It’s not fun to play any other way, certainly not for me.”
Did his playoff performance send that kind of signal to the coaches that he deserves to be in the lineup:
“Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to talk about how I played, because ultimately we’re sitting here, our season’s over with. But I feel like I played the type of game that I’ve played and I’m supposed to play. I think that game helps the team. Is it always going to be perfect? No. But over the long haul and the course of a season I think it’s going to be beneficial.”
Somebody asked him if his restaurant business is going to make it an easier transition into the offseason.
Avery gave him a classic Avery stare and said, “Well, I’m not going to start scrubbing dishes, if that’s what you’re asking.”
Tortorella coming next — he was pretty good, and pretty interesting on free agents, on Drury, on Gaborik, on Avery, on Del Zotto, etc.
Then more players throughout the evening, and maybe some leftovers tomorrow.
My fingers just don’t go fast enough to get anything done more quickly, and I still have to write a story.