I will post Kevin Dean and Trevor Kell’s post-game comments in their entirety. I will post them in Q&A format…on occasion, writers will take liberties in changing a few words in how the original question was asked compared to how it ends up in a Q&A. With how pointed Kevin’s comments were specifically, I’m going to post the questions as they were asked word for word so you know exactly what was said. Out of respect to Kevin, I don’t want anything he said taken out of context. The questions were asked by myself and Josh Burke of Hockey.org
MA: Obviously a pretty tough loss, but you guys came back four separate times to tie it up, I would have to imagine there’s some sense of pride in your team…
Dean: “No. I have none. I’m sick, I’m f—ing sick. The way we played defensively, our stick checking…I’ve got nothing good to say. I mean it’s good they battled back, yeah I guess. That’s how it starts, I guess. I don’t even know what to say. I snapped, kicked s—. I’ve been snapping now. I’m done. So I don’t know.”
JB: Can you talk about the turnovers in your own zone, the play in your own zone…
Dean: “Just soft. Soft. Couldn’t be any softer around our net. They scored three or four goals, just little flips. Defensemen not being strong on the puck. Just incredibly soft around our net.”
MA: You said before that, you know, what you were saying to the team kind of came across as noise. Do you still feel that way?
Dean: “Obviously. I feel like it’s becoming noise. I don’t know. Maybe we’ve got the wrong kids or we’ve got the wrong coach or something. I don’t know. I’m embarrassed, they should be embarrassed. I don’t even know what to say.”
MA: Do you have guys in this room who will kind of step and take a leadership role?
Dean: “I haven’t seen it. I’m not seeing it.”
JB: Is that sort of what you’re looking for?
Dean: “Yeah, I’m just looking for some commitment, some snarl around our net. I told these guys after the second period, I’ve yet to see a team come in and just dominate us for 60 minutes. Maybe Wednesday night was the one exception to that, and we just had no juice. But I haven’t seen anyone come in and actually physically beat us. We beat ourselves. Every time we lose, we beat ourselves, and tonight’s no exception.”
MA: What does a loss like this do to these guys?
Dean: “I have no idea. I don’t know, because every time we score a goal, you think we’d feel good, but we come out and give up a penalty or a goal the next shift. I don’t know, I have no idea. I don’t know. I had to call a timeout after we tied the game with two and a half minutes left because, I’m figuring us out, we just get horny or something after we score a goal and everything goes out the window, so I have to a call a timeout and get them to focus. I’ve never seen that before. They should be calling the timeout, not us. But for some reason, everything’s counter-intuitive with this group.”
MA: It seemed like the goaltending let you down a little bit too at times.
Dean: “I don’t think so. They had some weird goals for sure, but I don’t think it was goaltending. I told these guys, goaltending’s not our problem. How many shots did we have; 35, 40 shots? Goaltending’s not our problem. That one goal, I don’t know, that put them 6-5, their guy comes up on a 1-on-3 and then our fourth guy came back and stick checked. It’s not goaltending.”
JB: Any injury update with Kell?
Dean: “That was in the second (period), he was killing a penalty down at this end…he left, I don’t know if he’ll be ready Monday. I doubt it. Nolet seemed to do OK. Miller fell right there before they scored, it looked like he was in pain. But I haven’t talked to Scott yet, so I don’t know.”
Only I was around for the conversation with Kell. So here’s what he had to say.
MA: That’s six straight losses for you guys…I guess, how do you guys turn this around?
Kell: “I don’t know. I think we show signs of being a good team at times. And then we kind of fall apart at times. So we have to figure out what it is that gets us going at those times when we are playing well and learn how to feed off of when we do play well and we score a goal or someone gets a big hit or a fight. We have to learn how to feed off of that and get that killer instinct and jump on teams when they’re down and keep the momentum on our side for the whole game.”
MA: Kevin said that he’s not really sure if his message to you guys is getting across. I guess as one of the veteran leaders and the captain of the team, what do you do in here to kind of get the message across?
Kell: “You’ve got to keep everyone positive. It’s hard when you’re losing all the time. You get down and can get down on each other. But I think everyone’s been good with each other. We’re going to get through this together as a team. Not one guy is going to go out and score and win the game for us. We’ve just got to stick together.”
MA: You guys came back four separate times to tie the game only to eventually lose. How tough of a loss is that?
Kell: “Those are the toughest games to lose. You get so excited and then they score, and then you get so excited again. We had our chances on the power play there at the end in overtime and we take a penalty and that’s the game. Those are really tough games to lose.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com