Playoff Postgame Notes & Quotes: April 30, 2014
Notes and Quotes from the coaches and players players after game 7 of Avs vs. Wild
• Minnesota won the series 4-3.
• The Wild improved to 3-0 all-time in Game 7.
• The Avalanche/Nordiques are 6-7 all-time in Game 7, 4-6 since moving to Denver.
• Tonight was the first win by a road team in this series.
• This was 38th Game 7 in NHL postseason history that has gone into overtime…The home team is 19-19.
• Nino Niederreiter tallied a career playoff-high three points (2g/1a), including his first overtime winner.
• Joey Hishon recorded his first NHL point (regular season or playoffs) with an assist tonight.
Colorado G Semyon Varlamov
On Minnesota’s Win: “It’s not easy to win against a good team, like I said. I mean, I think they played well against us the whole series.”
On The Season: “I think we started the season really well and I think we just kept doing well all season long. We won the division, you know, that’s a big deal for us, but nobody wants to lose in the First Round. I think the whole organization and coaching staff and the guys did a great job.”
Colorado C Paul Stastny
On The Highs And Lows Going Into Overtime: “When you get excited about goals, I don’t think it is really over. They ended up scoring a couple of goals elbow in, post in. They were just unbelievable shots. You’ve got to tip your hats off to them. The goalie had no chance. I think we kept battling back, and then they would battle back throughout all seven games. I think going into overtime was a coin toss. They capitalized on their chance.”
Colorado C Matt Duchene
On If Minnesota Had More Jump: “No, not at all. It was a back and forth game and very evenly played. I thought we came out really well in the third period. I think we are going to have to learn here and see what we can take away from this. At the end of the game like that when we need to clamp it down, we’ve got to execute even better with the puck and without it, we have to be sharp. You don’t let your heart race too much and you have to stay in control and get it done. It’s too bad we couldn’t get it done, but we were right there. We got the lead, I think, pretty much all game. Their only lead was the one that wins the game. It’s disappointing.”
On The Organization Taking Huge Steps: “Absolutely. We should be very proud of ourselves. That’s a good hockey team over there. They are going to play every team tough, no matter who they are playing against. I know Chicago (Blackhawks) are going to have their hands full with them. They have some veteran guys and won some big games. We are young. It’s tough to win with the little experience we have. It was a great one to help us go forward.”
Minnesota RW Nino Niederreiter
On Getting The Winning Goal: “I mean, obviously it feels great. It still feels kind of unreal but at the end of the day, we got the win, we got the result we wanted.”
On Building On His Confidence From Game 6: “I felt great. I mean, obviously I had a chance to play some minutes that night. There was not many penalties going on so it kind of helped my game and I just had to refocus and I knew there was going to be another big one tonight.”
Minnesota D Ryan Suter
On The Team’s Resiliency Tonight: “The guys did great. You know, we stuck with it. It would have been easy to cash it in, throw in the towel, but this group did something special tonight. Whenever our backs are against the wall, we’ve come out swinging and that’s a good character to have.”
On Moving On To The Next Round: “Yeah head to Chicago and refocus. I mean, we haven’t done anything. We’ve won the series, which was a battle. You know, they’re a very good team, Colorado was. They got a lot of power, a lot of firepower, great coach, great goaltender so it was a big challenge and it took seven games and overtime and we stuck with it and it says a lot about our group.”
Minnesota LW Matt Moulson
On The Team’s Performance Tonight: “We had to battle for every inch and obviously, they’re a great team and they kept coming. Sometimes you get a bounce here or there and you know, Nino had a great shot, wasn’t sure if it was in, but it was a heck of a shot.”
On The Team’s Resiliency: “I think we’ve showed that down the stretch. You know, getting into the playoffs we had some big games down a goal going into the third and we knew we had to win and I think our game plan was to stick to our game no matter what happens and try to stay even-keeled mentally and I think this whole team did a great job of that tonight.”
AVALANCHE HEAD COACH PATRICK ROY
On What He Said To The Team After The Game: “I haven’t talked to them yet, but—I don’t go in dressing rooms after games, but I guess I have mixed feelings. There is a side of me that is very disappointed because I thought that we could have won that game. But, there is a side of me that is very proud of our players. I love the way we were all year. We compete, and tonight was another good example of how our guys have been playing. I don’t have enough words to say how proud I am of our players.”
On If There Is A Silver Lining To Losing Game 7: “Yeah, but it’s a process and it’s a learning process. At the end, unfortunately injuries were a factor—losing a guy like (Colorado D Tyson) Barrie and a guy like (Colorado C John) Mitchell would have probably made the difference for us and (Colorado C Matt Duchene) Dutchy coming late, but these are not the excuses we want to use. A team is a team and we played like this all year. We always found a way to go through adversity in a great way, and we got beat by a team that played really well, a team that was well coached and a team that probably deserved to win as much as we did.”
On The Players Saying They Weren’t Happy With A Moral Victory To The Season: “Absolutely (that’s what you want to hear from your players)—all year we were never satisfied, and certainly we are not going to start tonight. It was a great experience this year. It was fun for me to be part of it, and one thing we are all proud of is to see the Avs back on top. I think that should motivate us to have another good year next year and prepare ourselves really well over the summer. Seeing our fans be excited about the team makes me so happy, and to see our fans coming back to the building—it was electric out there. It was fun to be part of it, and I didn’t want to see it ending—that’s how fun it was. I had goose bumps when I see them at the start of the game, at the start of overtime, start of the third period. I just want to say thanks to them, thanks for making it fun—they’re a big part of it, and so are the players. Like I said, the players gave everything they have, and it’s a great season for us. It’s hard to talk like this right now because everyone knows how much I love to win, but at the same time we have to admit that was a heck of a year.”
On If It Says More About Minnesota Or Colorado That Minnesota Tied It After Colorado Scored First On The First Four Goals: “It was a mix of both. When you learn how to win—when you have more experience in the playoffs, then you start to know how to win those big games and on those two goals our neutral zone forecheck had been good all night long, and then we started making some mistakes here and there and they took advantage of it. This is a team that went through that last year with Chicago—they got beat four straight by Chicago or five, I can’t remember. It’s a learning process and I think next year in the playoffs our guys might be a little more calm in those situations and react differently.”
WILD HEAD COACH MIKE YEO
Opening Statement: “Well, I’ll just start by saying that I’m incredibly proud of our guys right now. This game, in a lot of ways, kind of reflected the series. Just continually having to battle back, and deal with adversity and keep pushing forward. So, obviously, I’m very proud.”
On Attitude Of The Bench After Being Down A Goal Four Times During The Game: “Well, you know, it’s like this [puts hand down low], then it’s like this [puts hand up high], and it’s tough. You know, you keep battling back, and this time I definitely want to congratulate Colorado on an amazing season. It was a tough series, and I definitely have a lot of respect for them. The way that they play the game, the skill that they have, they had a great season and it was an incredibly difficult series and tonight was a lot like that.”
On Minnesota RW Nino Niederreiter: “Well, I’ve said this before – he raised the bar. So, he’s got himself in trouble now, because this is what we expect. But, that whole line was, talk about just kind of looking for something through the course of the game, and Brodzy (Minnesota C Kyle Brodziak) and Heater (Minnesota LW Dany Heatley), and then getting Nino with those two guys, those guys were huge tonight.”
On Not Getting Rattled After The First Avalanche Goal: “That’s kind of one of those plays where, obviously, when it goes into your net you’re going to be frustrated about it. I would think that if we were on the other side then we would probably be expecting kind of a similar call so what I give our guys an awful lot of credit for is, we didn’t get caught up in any of that stuff and we didn’t alter. You know, there’s a lot of games through this series where I thought that we were playing very well through a game, something bad happened and then we kind of got away. I thought that just the composure, the character to stay with our game, to stay with the process that we set out, and to trust it all the way through – again, that’s real impressive for our group.”
On Minnesota G Darcy Kuemper: “I don’t have an update for you on Kemps, I just know that he couldn’t continue in the game. I’m assuming it probably happened in a collision behind the net, but I don’t know for sure. So I don’t have an update right now, and Bryz (Minnesota G Ilya Bryzgalov) coming in, good experience, very composed coming in. you know, I thought that he was great all night, he was real vocal in the dressing room even when he wasn’t in the net, and obviously he was ready for that opportunity.”