Philadelphia Flyers Post-Game Quotes: December 12 vs New Jersey Devils

Devils Goaltender Johan Hedberg

Q: How'd you feel about the second period, they outshot you 14-4?

"Yeah they were coming pretty hard, they turn the puck up quick, and as soon as we get it out of the zone they turn it back in again.  I thought we did a good job of keeping them outside though.  We looked like we were pushed back, but I didn't feel like we were out of control and then going 2-2 into the third and they get a couple of quick goals.  They get a tip from a shot, get another crashing the net, that's hockey I guess."

Q: Did you see the third goal?

"I saw the initial release and then I think Richie [Mike Richards] gets it right between my arm and my pad there, just finds a hole."

Flyers center Mike Richards

Q: (question inaudible)

"They're a very opportunistic team that capitalizes when we turn the puck over. They lull you to sleep. They're going to capitalize on some of their chances."

Q: That high-powered offense came through in the third period...what was the difference?

"Just keeping it the same. We didn't get discouraged when they scored early. We just threw pucks at the net. I think we threw a lot of pucks at the net, a little bit above average. Just banged away, we had a couple lucky bounces, Cartsy [Carter] made a good play, and it seemed to be the difference."

Q: Was it still frustrating, you worked so hard on the power play and came up short?

"It's tough. As long as we're doing the right things, things are going to come, we know that. We can't be discouraged by it, by not getting results. I think they're going to come if we keep throwing pucks at the net and keep getting good looks."

Q: You had some tough breaks as a team lately and finally had some good luck.

"It was all right. Like I said, we played hard. I thought we deserved to win that game. Still, we can do some things better; sustain a lot more pressure in their zone, but we capitalized on some of our chances, kept it simple, got some pucks to the net, and got some redirections and got some lucky goals."

Q: Do you feel like when you start throwing around you body, you threw a couple nice checks...

"However you get into the game, I thinks some people it's making a play, some people it's giving a hit. Definitely taking a hit gets you into the game. When you do that you feel like you're part of the game, you feel like you're getting in there. Especially against the Devils. They play a trap game where they try to lull you to sleep and capitalize on your turnovers. We didn't fall into that. We got the puck in deep, we tried to make them go 200 feet when they got their chances, and we capitalized on some of ours."

Q: Did you get away with one, the high stick on Langenbrunner?

"I'm not sure."

Q: He looked pretty upset...

"I didn't see what happened."

Flyers center Jeff Carter

Q: Are they a frustrating team to play against?

"I don't think so at all."

Q: Some of the other players said they play a boring, tight-checking game, lull you to sleep...

"I think if you're skating and you're making strong plays with the puck you can have a lot of chances and exploit their defense a little bit. We had a ton of chances, a lot of shots, even last game. I like playing them."

Q: You like empty goals too...

"I'll take fifty of them."

Q: It seems like you guys did a better job down in close tonight. You guys talked about that this week trying to get closer, jam the net, and get traffic in front.

"Yeah I think a big part of our game is working in the corners, jamming pucks, and getting some dirty goals. I wouldn't say that we really got away from it but we just haven't been bearing down as much as we normally would I guess. We kind of got back to it tonight and it was good to see."

Q: Something else you guys kind of did better tonight even though the end of the first period didn't show it with the score but you had a better first period, a better start to the game. Obviously something you guys are focusing on?

"Yeah definitely. Those three games that we lost there, we pretty much came up flat and didn't really generate much. I thought we did a good job tonight and they got one on the power play, might have even been two, but definitely better."

Flyers right wing James van Riemsdyk

Q: You fell into your own stick, didn't you?

"No, I was trying to poke it in.  It was just a loose puck and I saw it sitting there - it was only three inches away from the line - so I just had to poke it."

Q: They [the Devils] play kind of a boring, tight, checking game don't they? Almost try to lull you to sleep...

"Yeah, they're tough.  Defensively they don't give up much.  I mean, that's been the way they've played for the last...since I can ever remember, watching them growing up.  Kind of locking things up, really trapping things down, not giving you many free looks off the rush and you really have to work for every offensive chance that you get."

Q: (Related to scoring goals after a shutout by Boston)

"It feels good obviously to get back into the winning ways.  We were in a little bit of a slide there and it's good to build some confidence, get us some momentum now and we want to keep this going. We have a chance to get back at it tomorrow."

Q: A team at the bottom of the East [Conference], talk about playing the Islanders tomorrow?

"Yeah, we're not really looking at, when we play our opponents, it doesn't matter where they are in the standings. We know anyone can beat anyone on every given night so you have to show up every game.  So that's going to be a key for tomorrow.  Whoever shows up, whoever wants it more, that's going to win the hockey game."

Q: Do you think they sagged after that third goal?

"I don't know.  I think we were really just pushing and pushing and playing our pace and I think that can be a little deflating at times. So I don't know if they sagged or not but I know we did a really good job at locking things down."

Q: Is there anything you think the team needs to do to prepare for tomorrow night against the Islanders?

"Yeah, we've just got to come out and be ready to play.  Obviously, back-to-back games, it's going to be one of those things where anyone can beat anyone on any given night. So we've got to go in there and play.   It doesn't matter where they're at in the standings and it doesn't matter where we're at, so we're going to be ready to go tomorrow and they're going to be ready to play."

Flyers center Claude Giroux

Q: It's frustrating to watch that trap system, is it frustrating to play against?

"You know what, they did a good job. We found a way to crack it. We put the puck deep and tried to put pressure on them. I think it's a huge two points for us. Guys really wanted to get back on track and I think we did that tonight."

Q: Frustrating to work so hard on the power play and then come up short?

"Yeah, you know what, we had a full practice just of power play. We had a lot of chances, just we couldn't put it in. That's what happens with power plays, it's going to start clicking sometime soon. We have a lot of guys that can put the puck in the net, hopefully we can start tomorrow."

Q: It seemed a little lackluster the first 40 minutes on both sides, was there something said by Peter or in the room? It looked like there was more of a jump in the third?

"Yeah, we know we can play better. We still won [5-3] but we know we can play better. We know if we follow the system and keep working hard and play more as a team we can control more of the game. Lately we haven't been doing that so we just have to find a way to go back at what we were doing before and keep working hard."

Q: Were you guys better at getting second chances?

"Yeah, pretty much all of our goals today were not very pretty. We were going to the net, just get a stick on there. Obviously my goal wasn't pretty but I'll take it for sure. Any time you're scoring isn't very high, like the last few games, you try to go to the net and try to get those dirty goals."

Q: It looked like on your goal you rammed it pretty hard?
"Yeah, when I saw the empty net there, the funny thing is what went through my mind was he's going to get a stick or something to stop it. I didn't want to take any chances so I shot it as quick as I could."

Q: You're well on your way towards going to the All-Star Game despite not being on the ballot, the fans are writing you in. Can you talk about the fan support and what that means to you?

"Yeah, there's no way I would have a chance to go to the All-Star Game without the fans. They've been pretty good to me. If I do get in, or not, I think it's just pretty cool to see my name up there. It's obviously because of the fans, I'm pretty lucky to have that."

Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette

Q: You've got to be pleased with the way your team stayed with the game in the third period?  You know the kind of game the [New Jersey] Devils play can really frustrate people.

"I think we were losing and losing again, and it can get frustrating when you haven't won.  I thought we did stick with it.  I thought we were pretty consistent with our effort, especially after the first period when we got down again.  In the second period I thought that we did a good job, really good defensively.  They had the one chance on the breakaway.  Offensively, I thought we generated a lot, and that came out.  When the game was on the line in the third period I thought we stuck with it.  I thought it was a 4-3 game before the empty netter.  I thought it was a stronger game than that for us."

Q: When you see your captain [Mike Richards] hitting guys in the corner and playing really actively...

"...And blocking shots at the end.  I said last week that Mike has been on his game.  His line has been excellent and he has been excellent.  Especially in times when you've lost a few and you need to get a win, you look for your captain to step up and have a big game."

Q: Do you think the team takes notice?

"I don't know how they could miss it."

Q: How did you feel about the pre-game ceremony?

"Talk about people giving their all.  I was unaware that was going to happen and I was touched by it."

Q: It was nice to see, I noticed your players even got off the bench.

"Yeah, I wish I had skates on.  It was a great tribute to a great person."

Q: Was it good to see the second chances?

"Yeah, still, I think we need to bring more.  But, it was the point of emphasis two days ago in practice.  Like I said, I thought we were in there.  We had 65 attempts at the net.  We were able to score some goals."

Q: The power play is still struggling. Is there anything that you see there?

"It's coming.  It's coming.  Wait until tomorrow.  Like I said, I have confidence that we're going to score goals 5 on 5, we did tonight.  I have confidence that we are going to score on the power play.  We have the right people out there; talented people.  It's like anything in sports; you go through a little bit of a stretch where you are not getting the results that you want.  I'm going to remain positive and confident in the fact that those players will score on the power play."

Q: Off of that does scoring 5 on 5 like tonight take the pressure off the power play?

"Yeah, well it does but I also think that a lot of times they go hand in hand.  When your team struggles 5 on 5, you find sometimes that you'll struggle on the power play, not always.  But you start to come around 5 on 5, you feel confident about that game, and the next thing you know the power play does the same.  I remain 100% confident in both groups."

Q: You haven't made a whole lot of changes, is that part of the confidence you have in them?

"It is because I believe that those units will score.  It's kind of like the lines.  We could have blown it up and come out with a different set today, of what we are trying to do.  Jam, jump, and jumble up all of the lines and try something different.  I believe that we have the right people in the right places, and that it was more of a funk than anything else.  If we weren't getting the chances, if we weren't getting 40 shots, if we weren't then maybe we look to change things.  But I think it's important to look at the game sometimes, and not always the score.  The tough part about it is that we have lost 3 games, while we are being patient, so that's the hard part to swallow."

Devils Defenseman Colin White

Q: On recent losses

"Yeah, you know, we're battling hard but the same result.  We've got to find a way, it's frustrating."

Q: How devastating is it, you guys jump out to that lead early on and a couple seconds later right down the other end, they get it back?

"Yeah, that's always a big shift right after a score and I tried to just flip it to the middle, a guy got a stick on it and just knocked it down.  I'll take the blame for that, I've got to get it out harder and can't give up a goal right after you just grabbed the momentum, especially on the road."

Q: Last week when you played these guys, they took it to you in the third period.  Tonight it seemed to be in the second period.  Can you explain that?

"They're a good hockey team, they work extremely hard from their first line to their fourth line, from their first defenseman to their sixth defenseman.  They chip away, they have a game plan, and they stick to it.  They dump, they chase, they all finish, and that's what's bringing them success these past couple years."

Q: The only positive tonight was that the power play came through twice.

"Yeah, the power play was good.  We're working hard, we just have to start working a little smarter and just getting more consistent."

Q: How about picking up career assist number 100?

"That doesn't mean much when you're grabbing losses like we are.  We've got to start putting some wins together."

Q: Monday, you face Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, another high-flying team.  How do you guys correct tonight's mistakes to not let the same thing happen?

"We'll talk about it tomorrow and get back on track, try to take some positives and try to build on them.  We got some chances tonight, some good chances, and both goalies played well, it's just not the result we want."

Flyers Defenseman Chris Pronger

Q: What's going on with the power play?

"It's a work in progress.  That's my answer."

Q: Does getting 5-on-5 goals, like you did today, take a little pressure off the power play unit.

"It always does but, I think we created a little bit more on the power play.  It's still not flowing the way it needs to be.  I think at the end of the day, we're probably thinking a little too much.  It's not coming second nature; we need to practice it a little more and get more comfortable - we've got some new units - and get more comfortable."

Q: Do you enjoy seeing Richie [Mike Richards] liven it up with a couple of nice wins, especially against Ilya Kovalchuk? Do you guys recognize that, when he's playing that type of game?

"Yeah I think, you know, obviously we haven't played that well in the last week or so, probably two weeks now and you look for that little spark.  He obviously provided that today for us. He has since I've been here.  He got on the score sheet in a couple of different ways and that's what you like to see."

Q: On [Richard's] goal, how nice was it to see some traffic in front?

"It was a clean win, Matty [Matt Carle] made a nice pass over to me and it was a quick shot on net.  You could see the goalie about the block it, a little tip and I couldn't have scripted it any better."

Q: Chris, how big was it to bounce back so quickly after the Devil goals because they're a team who plays completely different with the lead.

"No, they are.  They're a team that and grind you and just chip it in and force you to make mistakes.  I think that's where we've been pretty good so far - getting a lead and forcing teams to play our game and get out of their rhythm and comfort zone.  At times, you're going to have to come from behind, as we had to do in New Jersey.  Against teams who play that style, that passive-defensive systems, you have to get the lead to force them out of the way they want to play."

Q: On the [pre-game ceremony for fallen Navy Seal Collin Thomas], whose idea was it to go out on the ice and shake hands [with Thomas' parents]?

"I don't know.  Maybe [Athletic Trainer] Jimmy McCrossin, he just asked. I don't think anybody really had a problem with it. Obviously it was a pretty special moment, not only for the family, but obviously for us. They are people that do a great deal for us and it's pretty easy to skate out there and shake somebody's hand.  It's the least we could have done."

Q: Jimmy gave you credit for that.

"Oh! Thanks, Jim!"

Flyers Center Danny Briere

Q: How much do you get out of a game like this after some tough games as of late?

"Yeah, its fun to finally win a tight game. Even though giving up that goal we were about to close it in the last minute; tight game. I mean the Devils, we all know it's a rivalry. Even though they are struggling this year, it's always tough games against each other. For us it's definitely a big win."

Q: The offense was able to come through tonight, especially after the night before you had 40 shots on net.

"It was nice to see some bounces going in. The first goal, Claude Giroux's goal, finding that bounce, even on mine finding the back of the net so it was nice. I don't think we lost confidence after not scoring in the last game but it's definitely nice to see some pucks going back in."

Q: Usually nine times out of 10, Jeff Carter will shoot the puck. Was it nice to see a nice backhand pass?

"Yeah, it was a very nice play. I think it took them by surprise. But on my end I was just going to the net and when I saw him hold off on the shot I was just trying to get open and get ready for it."       

Q: Danny, Devils hockey is frustrating to watch sometimes, playing the trap. Is it tough to play against? Obviously you were able to crack it, especially in the third.

"Yeah, especially if you give them the lead. Like we saw last game, they took the lead early in the game and it took us awhile to be able to come back and just try to shut it down. But tonight forcing them to play catch-up hockey was a big difference and it forces them to take chances and we were able to capitalize on them."

Q: You worked so hard all week on that power play. The one day you dedicated almost a whole practice to it. Is it frustrating to come up short?

"Well it seems every time we spend a lot of time working on it, and I remember in the past years when the power play's not clicking you spend a full day watching videos and spending a full practice on it, it doesn't usually click right away in the next game. It takes three, four games and then it will get rolling. The good thing is we won the game. We don't have to worry about it until tomorrow."

Q: There's been a lot of talk in New Jersey about their coach being in trouble that they have had such a rough start, do you ever sense that playing against them? Do you notice that on a team when they are struggling like that?

"I don't know, it's tough to say. I don't know if that was it or the fact like a mentioned earlier they are just tough games for us because of the rivalry. Playing the Devils, there's always something there. They are always tight games and a lot into it for some reason. They played hard once again so it could be a little combination of both."

Q: You talk that it takes a few games for the power play to get going again. Do you get the sense that after a game like this that there were a lot of better things we did today before going into the next game? That's how it builds?

"I guess it takes a little bit of pressure playing a game like today when we score a lot of goals five on five. It takes a little pressure away just thinking about the power play."

Q: Before the game, you went over and shook hands with the parents of the fallen soldier. Did you get to know him at all or was it something that was more spontaneous?

"That was more spontaneous. Sometimes you realize that it's just a game we're playing. What they are doing over there is serious stuff. It's not an easy thing for parents like that to lose their sons. It was just a nice little way to say that we appreciate what they went through and what they are doing for us over there."     

Devils forward Patrik Elias

Q: The power play was effective tonight, is that one of the few positives you can take out of tonight's game?

"Yeah the start of the game was better, obviously for us, and it helped out that we scored on the power play right away.  We had a couple of good opportunities and we moved the puck well even at the end.  You can not put yourself in that position on the road.  Going into the third period, we were even, and that's a pretty good position to be in, and you can not go down two goals and then chase the game.  It felt like we weren't moving our legs, initiating as much as we should have and they're a good team, they'll make you pay."

Q: How big of a blow is it, you guys jump out to that 1-0 lead and then a couple seconds later right down the ice, they come back and tie it up?

"Yeah, you would like to get momentum out of that and once you get scored back on right away then it kills the momentum.  It's always important, the shift after each goal, if you're scored on or if you score.  Those are important shifts, we turn it over in our zone and they get a couple bounces.  The good thing is they don't phase us, we kept at them, we kept going, it just wasn't good enough."

Q: Just talk about the Philly [Philadelphia Flyers] team, the other night.  You obviously weren't there Saturday, but you guys dominated late in the game.  Tonight in the second period, they outshot you 14-4, and then they took control in the third.

"Well, obviously we didn't have as much puck possession as we would've liked.  A couple of times, especially at the end of the second period, I thought that in the last 5 minutes we were getting back to playing like we wanted to.  We controlled the puck much better in their zone, a couple cycles, a couple good shots, but that's the way we've got to play against those guys all game and you've got to stay with it.  It's not going to happen all game, that's why you adjust, but they're a good team and they're well balanced.  We can obviously play better, it doesn't matter who we play against, you play at the tempo of the game, and today we were just flat in certain times of each period."

Devils center Travis Zajac

Q. When it comes down to a few tough passes ...

A. "Yeah, I mean it's always tough. Today we did a few good things, it was much better after Montreal. Those passes happened because they were there offensively. We've got to find ways to still have more poise defensively, and make it easier for us coming out of the zone."

Q. Do you sense that maybe things are coming together for this team?

"Yeah, I mean we didn't play that bad today. You know we got a few goals in us. We maybe had an opportunity there at the end if we didn't get that penalty against them. It could have been a 4-4 game, it's unfortunate that we have the loss. We have to build off us this and get better."

Q. What happened in the third period, it seemed like it was good wake up for you guys in the first two periods?

"They're a good offensive team and they're going to get chances. They score a lot of goals and I think the third goal was a drawl. They got the shot for the point and Richards tipped it in, that was a mistake on my part. They kept coming and they got a few breaks. We just have to figure out a way to take it the other way against them."

Q. Is this team trying too hard?

"Today we did a pretty good of calming down making some plays offensively that we haven't made in the last couple of games. The power plays were good for us today. I still think we need to be a little better in the defensive zone, like holding on to the puck and making the right passes.

Q. Was the low point of the season losing to the Islanders two to nothing? This time you can leave here, I imagine feeling a little better than that game.

"Yeah, not to draw on the past too much but that was terrible game for us, and being here tonight we did a few good things. It was a good game. They're an offensive team on the other side, and they made a lot of plays. For us, we did a good job, I think for the most part not giving up too much. Obviously they had good chances because of their skill level, but for us we didn't play that bad. We just have to find not to give up a two-two tie game going the other way.

Devils coach John MacLean

Q: (inaudible)

"Yeah, yeah, it's definitely a tough loss.  You know I thought the effort was there you know and a couple break downs.  You know it was 2-2 going into the third there and then a couple break downs around, and there was a draw at cleanly, and you know and then just get beat wide and they threw things at the net so we tried to get back into it there, and it was just, not enough."

Q:  What was the problem in the second period?

"Yeah, they came hard there in the second period and some of the changes among change there, and we just you know, but um really in the second we didn't give up that many chances it looked like, so we held on pretty good there.  It was just one of those things that you don't get changes, proper changes at the right time you know we have to get the puck deep and you know get fresh guys out there."

Q: What was the break away by Kovalchuck a game changer?

"Well it could have been you know, it was rolling the whole time, you know when he got there and it would have been helpful but it's a tough play when the puck won't sit down for you, you know when you get a shot off, it just didn't get through."

Q: Did they miss one with Jamie [Langenbrunner]?

"They definitely missed one.  Nothing you can do about it, what are you going to do? They're going to say no, and we're going to say yeah and we'll watch the video and you know it will bear out that they did miss one."

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