As usual, most postgame quotes were corralled by the Ontario Reign Insider. But here are some exclusives, including Nic Dowd's reaction to his faceoff numbers, Mike Stothers "upbraids" your favorite JFTC reporter once again, Derek Army talks about how taking draws in the AHL is different than the ECHL, Michael Mersch on whether or not there's a chance he can still play in the AHL All-Star Game, and Stothers adds some interesting Derek Forbort-related insight.
Crescenzi, on why the team seemed to get better as the game went on:
Stuts skates us hard. Especially after last year, with the long playoff run we had, we know that we need to skate during practice. It helps us in third periods of games.
Dowd, on taking 29 of the team's 45 faceoffs:
Yeah, that was a lot. What was I again? (JFTC: 29 faceoffs of the team's 45. You won 17 of 29.) Okay. That's okay. Don't tell me if it's bad. (laughs) Yeah, it was good. Obviously, we had quite a bit of penalty kills. Cres takes a lot too, so it just depends what side it's on, so I'm sure he did really well on the dot tonight too.
Dowd, on chipping away at Stars:
You gotta stay calm and keep doing what you're doing and stick with your systems. You gotta believe that eventually something's going to fall. We made a good play and puck found the back of the net. Finally, our power play is living up to what it needs to do. The power play wins games.
Dowd on being in front of the net more:
Yeah, I'm just trying to get to the net more. Obviously, that's where the goals are more so scored as opposed to the perimeter because goalies are so good nowadays.
Dowd, on jumping more opposition breakout passes recently:
No, nothing I've been working on or changing. Maybe I've just been reading the game a little better as the season goes on. I knew that we've been applying a lot of pressure, and they like to go up the boards. So that's just something you have to learn on film before you go into a game and apply it.
Houser, on his excellent rebound control tonight and if that's a particular asset in his game:
I try to. I've been feeling really good in practice. But games are different. I wasn't going to try to change anything in my game, but I didn't know how smooth it was going to be. From the start I thought I was fighting a couple pucks early. But second period and early in the third, I thought I controlled a couple rebounds and didn't give them second opportunities. And when I didn't, the D had good sticks in front of me...
Mersch on why the team got stronger as the game progressed:
Not exactly sure. I think we just wanted to get pucks in the second and third period. Get around and play in their zone. Because when they're playing two thirds of the ice, they're a pretty good team because they're really good at transitioning the puck up the ice. They have some good dmen who move the puck really well, fast forwards...Their transition game is really good. Obviously, when you're doing that, it helps a lot. So when we got pucks deep, made them play in their own end, kind of wore them down a little bit.
Stothers on JFTC reporter addressing him as "Coach":
Stuts works. (looks at JFTC reporter) Reporter. Does that make any sense? (JFTC: It could...) We know each other well enough now, we don't have call each other, "Hey, Reporter." "Hey, Coach."
Army, on the difference between taking faceoffs in the AHL as opposed to the ECHL:
Oh yeah, quicker [in AHL]. It's not like there's one method they're going to do. They have a few that you can get thrown at. Like all of the sudden, he's going to lift your stick. Or he's coming in quick. So you have to be on your toes at all times. (Reporter: ECHL players generally don't have that kind of repertoire?] Yeah, they don't have that repertoire. They haven't been around as long. For me too, guys like Backs and Mersch...it's important for the wings. Those guys are great, and they help out a lot. Because it's not just me going one on one, you need all three guys really.
Mersch, on whether or not it's possible for him to play in the AHL All-Star game, even though an official roster has already been submitted without his name on it:
It's a good question. I don't think so because they had to submit the rosters. I'm sure they already talked with somebody else about it. It's a great honor to be selected to the game. I think it was just them getting the rosters in and booking flights and stuff like that. It wasn't anything personally...I would've loved to play in the game. Like I said, it's a great honor. But it just hasn't worked out.
Stothers on Forbort:
I thought he was terrific. I thought he was real steady. I thought he looked like an NHL player playing in the American Hockey League. And you know what? There's a guy that ended up having a fight. That's a little out of character for Forby. That's just going to show that he wants to be an NHL player. He's going to do everything he can to get himself back up. Most guys wouldn't come down and engage in a fight for the risk of hurting their hand or whatever and jeopardizing their chance to go back up. That means he's all in. Means he's a good teammate. We're thrilled to have him. How long we're going to have him, I don't know.
Stothers, on whether a player without such a disposition can be taught to fight more:
That's a tough thing. It's not really a fair thing. There's always been, throughout the years, a bigger guy, you always expect him to be rough and physical and perhaps drop the gloves. But some guy's makeups just aren't that. Jeff Schultz is probably one of the nicest guys you're ever going to meet. Quiet, soft-spoken, unflappable. It'd be crazy to try to make him into something he's not. You either have it in your DNA or you don't. So you know what? There's guys that have that in them, and there's guys that don't.
But again, to take it a little bit further, I think if you were to talk to most guys that were in that role, they are the nicest, most soft-spoken, and the most generous people off the ice. First guys who do charity events. First guys to go to schools and do anything for their teammates. Their persona on the ice is totally different than their persona off the ice.
There's something about the game. Something about the competition that gets some of us a little heated, a little excited. But once the game is over, and you're away from the rink...I can't speak for everybody, but I don't know if I've ever had a fight away from the rink.
Stothers on Mersch's attitude after being sent down:
I know I wasn't as disappointed as Mike, but I was disappointed for Mike. I thought he was playing outstanding for the Kings. You can relate to those guys. They're up top, and they all of a sudden get sent down. It's a tough thing. But you gotta come down with a good attitude, which Mike did. If you could've had a microphone on the bench...he was probably the most supportive guy of other individuals on the bench, the younger guys like Brodzinski, Kempe...pumping their tires after every time they come off after a shift. Zykov, and stuff like that. Six minutes left in the game, he's standing up on the bench, "Come on, let's do this for this Buds." That just shows you what kind of a person he is.