On falling short of the ultimate goal:
“Yea, we laid it on the line, there’s no question. We still have that feeling you know. I felt our first round was the war, you get through the first round and things happen for you. So falling short there is tough, but you know I’m proud of everyone in this room. I mean the young talent we have, the core, the leadership group, everybody here. I just think now that everyone’s found their role, we’ve bought in. You obviously need the time off, but I can’t wait to get started with these guys again.”
On any extra motivation knowing how they finished the season:
“Absolutely. You know, the next two to three years here, we want to make a push. It’s hard with the cap and how things go, but when you got a group and the young guys are playing as well as they do, you’ve gotta take advantage so it’s exciting for that.
On if the coaching change had any effect:
“It was a fresh start. I said earlier, he worked us hard the first month. Things change. Once we all got a grip of what’s going on and how we’re going to play, it was amazing the run we went on. It’s funny when everyone can buy into their role and enjoy their role and everyone feels like they’re putting in. It’s amazing. I’m just sad to see it’s over.
On the coach identifying roles for players:
“Oh it’s huge. You look at the Pageau line, a lot of their best hockey, I was out watching all the games, but the work ethic, the penalty killing, the sacrifice shot blocking, just every role is, you know. Obviously Stone and these guys are playing great, but you need every role and when we put that together we were tough to beat.”
On his health:
“I’m alright, I need a couple weeks for sure to just relax and let things heal. Yea, hip flexor. Just a few weeks off will be, you know. I’m sure we won’t do a whole lot in the next month. Obviously the skating wasn’t helping it every day, but nothing major. I’ll be 100% coming around again for next year.
On Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, and Denis Potvin winning two Norris trophies before they turned 25, does it mean anything to you:
“Eh, ya I mean it’s fun. Still, it’s the last one, anything. It’s going to be fun going to Vegas again. I enjoyed it last time it was there, it’s a great city and meet a lot of good guys and I’m definitely excited about heading there whenever the dates are, I haven’t seen it yet.”
On this season:
“I think its been good. I think we’ve been up and down a lot. We had a rough start and I think we figured out a way how to make it into the playoffs with the run that we had, what I think we’ll all remember the most from. I think we’ve grown tremendously as a team and individual players as well and whatever happens to this team during the summer I think we’re gonna push really hard to be even better from the start and you know hopefully we won’t have to go on the same run again for a very long time.”
Describe the turning point for you in the season:
“I don’t know, I think as of Christmas we started playing better, even though we didn’t really get the results that we wanted at times, but I think guys really stepped up and once we started winning a few games in a row there in the West Coast trip, I think that’s when we started realising that this is something that we can do and we just took it a day at a time and I think the turning point was probably the West Coast swing there when we were playing some of the best teams in the league and we played really well and came out with pretty much all wins.
On his own personal growth this year, including being captain:
“It’s been fun. I don’t think its really changed for me personally anyway, even though I’m captain. I think I’m getting great help from everybody in this room and I think everybody has really stepped up their own personal individual game on the ice and off the ice as well. That’s helped everybody to grow and its been really easy for me to adjust into the position I’m in right now and I think teammates that I’ve had are the biggest key to that part.
On Patrick Wiercioch and him getting selected for Team Canada:
“That’s great. I’m super happy for him. We got drafted in the same year and I’ve known him for a very long time. I’m happy to see that he can find a way to evolve his game and I think he’s been one of the guys that’s really helped us to get to where we are today. We needed him to step up and he certainly did the time’s that we needed him the most. I know he’s going to enjoy himself going over to Prague and playing in the World Championships. It’s a great experience for him. I’m really really happy that he got that opportunity and he took it.
Are you cheering for Canada:
“Ehhh, probably not. You know, I’ll wish you all the best and I hope he does well. You know, it’s going to be a great thing for him and to have in his career moving forward and he’s going to be a big piece for us next year.”
Did he finish the year at 100% or as close to 100% as one could possibly be:
“Hmm, depends on what you’re talking about. No, you’re never 100% at the end of the year I think. It’s just how it is. I was fortunate to have nothing major and I’m happy I got to play all the games. I’m looking forward to doing the same next year and right now I need some time off and relax for a bit and start preparing for the summer workouts.
On his cold streak:
“Well ya, the way I played. I’ve never been through one of those, that was, still is, cause the way it went. At the end of the year you’re always having guys that said the year was great and I was lucky, and the other side of it I felt like I could say that about the first 35, 40, 50 games and then all of a sudden you hit that and that’s what I’m going to spend my entire summer dealing with is that last 15 to 20 game stretch.”
You had a couple at the end, does that change anything:
“Ya, but you’re only as good as your last game and nobody scored a goal in the last game. I watched it four times, and I’m going to continue to watch that game all summer long. When you don’t come up with it as a goalscorer, a playmaker, whatever you want to call it, whatever it is. When you’re relied upon to put points up and you don’t at the end, it’s very frustrating.”
On any injury:
“No, I’m okay. Ask me again next week. I’m okay.”
Mindset going into the summer:
“Obviously you get healthy, you get back to square one, and then you restart. For me I have to put some weight and size back on. This is the first time I’ve been under and I’m kind of worried about that down the stretch a little bit. You get back, and like I said I’m going to watch that game all summer long and try and find little ways to get better. This year I’ll work more on my shot then I’ve ever worked on in the summer.”
Will this summer be different than other summers:
“You know, I’m old. I’m just kidding. Our group is young, and the guys are going to get back and they’re going to back to work early. For me, no. For me, nothing changes. Once you get back, I get married at some point. When is that? Just get me down the aisle, I’ll get there and then after that you get back to work. So just try and be ready for whatever it is.”
Does the end of the season that you had add any motivation for summer training:
“Well you know what, it does in the sense that when I got the chance to say something to the group last night I just said guys remember what we did here. Remember this feeling. Bottle this, as a team let’s bottle this feeling because it was unbeliveable for a month and a half there. There’s just nothing better. I don’t want the guys to remember last night and the way they felt in the room. I want them to kind of ride the other side of the wave. You want them to remember what we did for two months that you can’t change. If I could say anything, that would be it. Come back and be ready to do what we did in the last two months in October and then we won’t wont have to worry about where we were. So if that answers your question, yes. That’s what I want the guys to realise and we’re going to try and bottle that.”
With the new contract, do you feel like more of a leader:
“Ya, I think I took leaps and bounds this year in that regard. Just within the room. When you’re signing a long term contract, you’re trying to figure out where you are in that role and that capacity. Obviously I wore a letter for the good part of the year. You’re still learning what works for you. This was a year for me in that sense. Not a coming out party, because it’s behind the scenes. I learned a lot about how to be that guy this year, especially down the stretch when it wasn’t going great I learned how to make sure that I was a better leader every day. If I come back next year and get the same capacity, the same letter, whatever it is, I think I can take even more leaps and bounds for the team.