Interviews with Jon Cooper and Brian Boyle following yesterday’s loss to the Nashville Predators. For the sake of clarity and fluency, I have omitted the extraneous uses of the phrases, “um,” “and,” “you know,” and “uh.”
Question: I know it can be tough to come from behind, but was there anything you said or any of the players said to kind of get you guys going between the second and third period?
Cooper: It was more said after the first period, to be honest. We - It was, I don’t know. It was just one of those games. We needed to get the lead and that was it. And we didn’t get it. We kicked the first one in our own net, so you know right then. We were chasing a little bit. We had a couple of early chances to score - we didn’t. [Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka] Rinne was on his game. After that, they skated. It just felt like we were chasing the whole time. So, that was it.
Question: You guys are down 1-0 and Jo [Drouin] gets the puck right there in front of an empty net.
Cooper: Yeah, well we had chances. Like I said, it - we came out with a little jump in the second [period]. We had some chances to score, we didn’t, and then we couldn’t get the [penalty] kill. We need the penalty kill there. You take those back to back penalties. Even the second one, they scored right after the guy got out [of the penalty box]. That hurts a little bit, but ultimately we had 14 shots after two periods. It’s tough to score when you’re not generating too much. We just looked like a tired group. We’ve got to regroup because that was a winnable hockey game for us and we let it slip. Got to regroup for Wednesday.
Question: Did the referees let this one get out of hand a little bit there, towards the end? I mean, missed calls that were missed. A couple...
Cooper: Who let the game get out of hand?
Question: Is it [inaudible]
Cooper: [smirking] So.
Question: I was asking you, but...
Cooper: Yeah, well. I think you answered your own question.
Question: Everybody okay?
Cooper: I don’t know. I haven’t checked. So, hopefully.
Boyle: There wasn’t a ton of energy. Again, we didn’t start the way we wanted to. It’s a little bit frustrating, but that’s the way it goes. We didn’t really put them on their heels enough. We didn’t generate enough. Made it a little bit too easy for them, I think.
Question: How did you feel about the way the game was called tonight?
Boyle: I think at the end there - stuff like that shouldn’t happen. But for the rest of the game, you get calls for you. Sometimes they don’t go your way. I think they - it’s a fast game. And for the most part, they do a great job, so it’s not something we can use as an excuse by any means. We weren’t - we didn’t have the puck enough. We didn’t create enough offensive zone time. When you’re defending a lot, chances are you’re going to have a lot of penalties called against you. It’s not a good recipe for success.
Question: Obviously it didn’t end the way you want it to, but to take four of the five on a road trip like this - considering the circumstances [alluding to loss of Stamkos and Stralman]
Boyle: Yeah, we needed to get some points. We needed to climb up and we had a chance tonight to go five-for-five where we took it seriously. But for whatever reason, when the puck dropped, it was - we didn’t create enough chances. We didn’t create enough bounces for us. It just wasn’t great. When that happens, when we’re skating and the ice isn’t great, sometimes it can cause even more confusion and put more pressure on the D [defense]. And for whatever reason, tonight we weren’t skating quite enough.
Question: You said, “That shouldn’t happen.” Does that mean the Ellis hit just the way everybody was kind of playing.
Boyle: Yeah, no. The Ellis hit. That was extremely, extremely dirty. Brownie [J.T. Brown] didn't have the puck, so. But that’s - that happens sometimes. Brownie handled himself great, as he always does. Thankfully he's not hurt, as far as I know. Things like that are bound to happen in this league, over the course of a season.
For context, here is the hit Boyle is referencing followed by the ensuing line brawl.