Game 20: Post-Game Quotes

Here’s what head coach Rick Kowalsky and winning goaltender Charlie Effinger had to say after tonight’s 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Everblades:

RICK KOWALSKY

Looks like you have Florida’s number…

“We were prepared.  The guys see it as a challenge.  Obviously, you want to play well every night, but I’m not going to sugarcoat it, we were by far and away the better team tonight.  Even looking and watching the tape, a couple of their power play goals were lucky bounces.  One bounces off Cohen and goes right to the guy, backdoor.  They move the puck well and they’ve got skilled players, but we played them hard and we skated with them.  With a five minute major on the board and the game on the line, I think we outshot them 1-0 on that power play.  Even if we don’t come up with two points tonight, that’s a heck of an effort by our guys.  I’m not going to lie, on paper, they are one of the best teams we’ve seen for sure.”

When Akeson takes that penalty — five minute major in a tie game with about four minutes to go — what’s going through your mind?

“One thing there is that the guys can’t get frustrated and worry about the ref.  They have to worry about doing their job.  Our penalty kill, up until Florida last weekend, I think we killed off 28 in a row.  We just talked about focusing on what we had worked on and focused on all this week, to combat their power play.  Obviously, their D do a really good job of getting pucks to the net, and you’ve got to get in a shooting lane.  When you don’t, the D have to be tough in front.  We have big, physical D that can box out and use their reach.  At the end of the day, on the power play or the penalty kill, it’s about whoever is up or down, if one group outworks the other, the team with the advantage isn’t going to score.  We outworked them, and we kept our focus and didn’t get frustrated or take another penalty, and did another unbelievable job.”

How do you think Zancanaro played?

“Good.  He did a very good job of keeping his shifts short.  I’m sure you guys saw him ripping to the bench from the far corner.  He made sure never got trapped out there.  I didn’t play him on the power play, I used him on the PK pretty much regularly.  The big test with him, with double groin surgery, is seeing how he’ll feel tomorrow.  But right now, I mean if you look at our forwards from one through nine, if you wanna call the third line Eves, Prough and Zancanaro, they had just as many chances to score as anybody.  You talk about depth, there’s no question we have it now.”

Obviously you’re happy that you got this kind of effort against what many people consider the best team in the league…but does it concern you at all that it doesn’t necessarily always seem to be there against the lesser teams?

“You’re going to have nights like the Cincinnati game last week, I didn’t think we played bad.  But sometimes you’re tired, guys don’t have their legs.  To tell you the truth, I thought there was a handful of guys, four or five guys that didn’t have their legs in the first period tonight, but they found them.  Sometimes your teammates can help you do that.  I just said to them, that’s a heck of a job to beat the top team in the league twice in a week, but now you’ve set the bar for how good you can play.  Now the job is, for us as coaches and them as players, is to bring that every night.  That intensity, that focus, that urgency, desperate, hard hockey.”

With the team getting healthy bodies back in the lineup, do you feel like you’re getting a complete effort from your team now?

“Going back to Akeson coming back, and Dyment and those guys, they’re core guys in your room and they’re character guys.  They lead by example with physical play, both of them aren’t flashy guys.  Obviously, with the addition of Snetsinger, he’s not too bad with the puck, as you guys saw tonight.  Tyler Burton’s been playing well.  When you have that good group of leaders, it brings everybody else up.  Tony Zancanaro falls into that category.  Castonguay, Kell, those guys coming back from the American League, they’re good character kids.  They can pull guys out of a funk.  They make other guys better just by the way they play.  I feel real comfortable when I walk out of that room with what’s said or not said after I leave.” 

CHARLIE EFFINGER

Must have been nice to play as well as you did against Florida after they got you for six goals the first time out…

“Absolutely.  They’re a team with a lot of experience, and they have a lot of skill up front.  Obviously, they’ve gotten a lot of wins this year, so any time you can beat a team with one of the best records in the league, you look at it as a success.  From my point of view, no matter how it happens, a W is a W.  So I was very excited with not only the win last week, but this week too.”

Do you notice any difference in the team playing in front of you compared to when you first arrived?

“Absolutely.  I was traded here, and I came in and there was a lot of guys hurt.  I think starting last week, when we took six of eight points, the chemistry has (seen) an unbelievable improvement.  You feel it in the locker room, you feel it in practice, with guys just getting to the rink early and having fun out on the ice.  It makes it easier, it really does.  When you have a good time playing, and you have a good time at your job, it just comes a little bit more natural.”

Can you talk me through the shootout, especially that save on the third shooter where it looked like he had you for a second…

“He made a nice move.  I thought he was going to his backhand, it was Ernie Hartlieb, and he pulled it back.  I just tried to stay with it as long as I could.  He made a good move, and I committed, but you can be down but never out.  I was able to get my glove on it, so it was good.  He actually went to my college, too.  He went to Miami of Ohio, so there’s a little school rivalry there.”

You’re still making the adjustment to the pro level where there’s a lot of guys you haven’t seen before, so is it kind of difficult in the sense that in a shootout, you haven’t seen a lot of these guys and you’re not necessarily sure what they’re going to do yet?

“That’s true, but I’ve also seen a lot of breakaways over the course of 15 years of playing hockey, so you start to notice some trends.  I just like to be aggressive.  If they’re going to beat me, fine.  But I want them to make a good move and finish hard at the net.  I get out and I challenge and it worked out for me tonight.”

What do you guys need to do to keep this going?

“We’re doing the little things a lot better.  The little things, that’s kind of vague.  But chipping pucks in deep, clearing pucks out of the slot in our own zone, crashing the net hard.  We had two rebound goals tonight with guys just going to the net hard.  When you’re working that hard, you get little bounces in front of the net, and that’s the kind of thing that builds momentum and it builds enthusiasm.  I think if we continue to do the little things, we’re going to continue to get results.” 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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5 Responses to “Game 20: Post-Game Quotes”

  1. Al (PhillyDevil) Says:

    At the last meet and greet I met Charlie and told him watch his previous coach said. It was funny because Coleman became all ears asw ell. Charlie never heard the #1 comment and was shocked. Chalrie is a great guy and he also played against Dave Caruso in college and the teammate of the GREAT up and coming Andy Greene.

    Miami, OH is putting out some high quality talent. I am really happy for Charlie and hope he is hear long term.

    I like the idea of using Tony Z has a Rod Pelley (Lowell), John Madden role player. As long as we have our depth why not? This team is better than it started out as and it shows how much injuries hurt this team, imagine if Poli was healthy? By the way, when Pelley graduates full time next year to NJD, Brad Mills should take of his role…good pipeline.

    Matt Cohen was amazing tonight and he really responded to Kowalsky’s last post game comments. Florida backchecks very well, but their forecheck is ferocious and it showed in the first that’s what I was impressed with tonight by FLA. The Devs did a great jump clampking them down.

    Since Eirc coming back from Lowell, it seems as though he hangs on to the puck longer and tries to create. I will not call him Alexei Kovalev yet, maybe it’s just more confidence..good puck posession.

    Great job tonight and Coach is doing a hell of a job. However, the bar is set high but the boys getting healthy, we’ll be better.

    Coach Terreri has been down a lot lately. Good work Mike and thanks again for this great site.

  2. tdevils Says:

    Thanks, glad you enjoy it.

    Probably one of the better games I’ve seen Gunderson play as well, by the way…

  3. guest Says:

    Continue to be blown away by the detial of this blog- keep it up. We make 4 or 5 home games a year from up in Somerset County- but try and follow the team online. My kids loved checking out the shootout videos.

  4. tdevils Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, I always appreciate it.

    Glad the shootout videos were enjoyable as well…it’s nice to share them with everyone, and also nice to have them myself, so I can take a look at them a few times and try to describe what happened a little better.

  5. Famous Quotes Says:

    post game quotes are so good. I just love it.

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