Stars-Sharks Postgame Quotes

Here are some quotes following Friday’s Dallas Stars-San Jose Sharks game, which the Stars won 6-1. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Lindy Ruff

On Adam Cracknell’s performance:

“It’s always good to see those guys that put the work in. He’s had a good year…a career year.  He’s shooting the puck well.  He’s the first guy at the rink a lot of times.  He’s the guy that’s always out there with our goalie coach shooting at the goaltenders.  It was fun to see, he had a good night.”

On the Cracknell, McKenzie, Spezza line:

“(Jiri) Hudler got hurt in the game last night and I liked the way the team played putting (Jason) Spezza on that side and the line did a really nice job.  Adam took it to the net and Spezz made a great play on Klinger on one other goal and then their goaltender found Cracknell in the middle of the ice.”

On the team finishing chances:

“I just kept thinking that it would have been nice to have seen some of those breakaways and 2-on-1’s we had last night go in.  Even just a couple.  Leave it at 4-1 and take a couple from tonight for last night.  It was nice to see us get rewarded.  We’ve had a lot of games where I have to stand and talk about missed opportunities and execution.  It’s been a pretty common theme and last night was the same but tonight we made a lot of real nice plays on the goals.”

On the Stars performance this past week:

“I think (Ales) Hemsky’s coming back in the lineup has really helped.  (Remi) Elie coming in and replacing Rous (Antoine Roussel), that’s speed in the lineup.  It’s made a difference.  I thought our defense has played really well these last three or four games.”

On the play of Jason Spezza:

“I talked with him and met with him before the game and told him I liked the way the lines had been going and I was going to put you on the right side with these guys.  It worked, there’s no reason to change a lot.  We’ll get a feel for if any players are going to be out after tonight.”

On the play of Greg Pateryn:

“I think these last two or three games Greg has really found some footing with us.  The first couple of games, it takes a while with any player when you come in.  Defending-wise he’s been really solid for us.  These last few games, even in Chicago, I thought he’s made some really nice defensive plays.”

On the team’s injuries:

“(Dan) Hamhuis is the guy I mentioned before the game that was banged up.  If it really came to it he could have played but having healthy guys we thought, having three games in less than four days, we’d give him the night off.  The plan is to try to keep rotating this defense and keep everybody going.  Hudler’s got a lower body injury and I wouldn’t expect him to play tomorrow.”

On the play of Kari Lehtonen:

“For me, his reactions are quicker.  He’s there to meet a lot of pucks and he’s reading a lot of plays.  I think that’s the biggest challenge against teams who can move the puck east/west is to read and stay in good position to make the saves. Tonight he fought hard to make a couple of saves on a couple of redirections.  We stayed away from the 2-on-1’s and the high-percentage plays but he fought hard on a couple of those defensive zone plays and redirections that got to him.  If you’re looking at the types of chances we gave up tonight versus the types of chances we were giving up earlier, that goes hand-in-hand.  If you put a goaltender in a tough place where he’s facing a lot of 2-on-1’s and breakaway’s, that’s asking a lot.  Even last night we got burned on the first 2-on-1 but we stayed away, for the most part, from a lot of the big chances.  That’s important, he’s been giving us some good saves but when we stay away from the high percentages, his numbers go down.”

Stars Forward Adam Cracknell

On scoring his third goal:

“I thought about doing [Antoine Roussel] celebration there. I think he [Aaron Dell] just kind of misplayed the puck as I was coming off the bench and I figured I’d just shoot it and hope for the best. It was a great feeling, it doesn’t happen [often] so maybe it will happen more now.”

On the first goal:

“The first one I saw nothing. I was trying to drive the net and I saw their other defenseman go with [Curtis] McKenzie and I know Dillon pushed me into the goalie and I looked down and the puck was in the net and I wasn’t sure how it was in the net.”

On the second goal:

“It was a great play by Oleksiak getting it up to [Jason Spezza} and he has elite passing vision and I just had my stick on the ice, he hit it and I just hit it as hard as I could. Playing with a guy like that, he is a pass first kind of guy, but he has a great shot too.”

On his mindset after scoring two goals:

“Everyone else was looking for it, I was trying not to think about it. It was like I was trying to pitch a perfect game and guys kept bringing it up. To see the guys as excited as they are was a great feeling to walk in the room. It’s the type of group we have; they know I don’t score that many goals so to get that reaction from my teammates meant the most. It was a good feeling and especially to get a win and now we are going on the road for a while and then coming home for three games, I think it was important to show our fans we still care no matter where we are in the standings, we are a team that can make a push in the future and a lot of guys are showing that right now. ”

Stars Forward Jason Spezza

On Cracknell’s hat-trick:

“Yeah it’s pretty nice for him. It’s one he’ll never forget, for sure, and he’s had a really good year for us, so it’s really nice to see him get rewarded like that on a night like this.”

On being back in the lineup:

“It felt good. Unfortunately I missed a couple games, but it felt pretty good getting back in.”

On playing with Cracknell and McKenzie:

“We did some good things, had some good shifts and got a lucky bounce on the first one and some nights that gives you a little jolt of energy. I think it was key with the guys playing it back-to-back to get off into a lead and then force them to kind of chase the game a little bit and then the game opened up for us.”

On the overall week:

“Yeah, Kari has played with a lot of confidence and I think that kind of spreads through the team. He made a lot of big saves in the first two [periods] of the game. Tonight was probably an easier night for him, but for the most part we’ve done a good job of keeping the game in front of us and just playing as a unit.”

On the team’s energy:

“It’s a lot easier to come to win games, it’s a lot easier to come to the rink and no doubt it’s been a frustrating year. But we still have games to play and it’s a lot more fun to win them and “truck along” that way than to sit in the frustration, so I think we’ve done a good job. Guys have picked up five to six points so we’ve got to just keep moving forward. Road games are tough and we’re playing some teams who are fighting for their lives.” 

Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer

On the loss:

“One of those games where you have a handful of those a year, where nothing goes right and nobody has any kind of legs or energy. It was one of those nights I don’t have an explanation for it. I felt we prepared for the right way the last couple days. I thought we felt pretty good about ourselves and the puck dropped and everything went down.” 

On it being more concerning with upcoming calendar:

“No, it’s not more concerning. We have to figure a way to get out of this, but we’ve worked through 70 games to put ourselves in a god spot, with eight or nine to go, we just have to get back on track.”

On Jamie Benn’s goal:

“Again, uncharacteristic miscoverage, but you could say that about six of the goals for us, breakaways, two-on-ones, just not very good.”

On defensive details being fixable:

“I think so. We haven’t done that all year. That’s a month worth of mistakes in one night. So hopefully we get it out of the system.”

Sharks Defenseman Brenden Dillon
On the low point coming with eight games left:
“It’s not ideal by any means. I think it’s maybe a bit of a wake up call for us at this time of year, that it doesn’t matter if you’re fighting for a job next year or fighting for a playoff position, or whatever it might be, obviously those guys are in a different spot than us, but you can’t take a day off. You have to be emotionally invested. You have to take care of your shift as hard as you possibly can, bury your chances. You know pucks aren’t seeming to go in for us right now, but I think when that’s happening you have to work a little bit harder and maybe create you own look for a save. Again, like I said we will go at it tomorrow and be a lot better.”

On the defensive details being easily fixable:
“I think so. I think if you look at a good chunk of those goals we kind of know whether it was decent coverage or off the rush or just communicating with one another, it’s not like us. I think if we watch the other 70 games this year those kind of things don’t happen and we would rather this happen right now than two games into a playoff series or the first game of a playoff series. We have a bit of time here and I think for us we have enough character in this room that we’re going be able to rebound tomorrow. We understand how big of a game it is for them and for us obviously. We’re going to have to bring our best effort.”  

Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski

On how to explain the loss:

That’s a good question. It was one of those games where we have to start getting a little more desperate. We understand our position, but it really doesn’t matter, we have to keep our game at a high level. Teams whether they are in or not, there’s only so few games left to make an impression whatever situation they are in. We came out and got outshot 7-4. Four shots in a period for us isn’t enough.”

On the second period:

“That game was right there. It was one of those areas where we are just thinking if we can get that next goal, it gives you a chance to get a little momentum and we definitely didn’t find it.”

On DeBoer’s timeout:

“We have had a moment or two like that this year. There hasn’t been a lot of games like this. Two times ago we were in this situation and we didn’t use the timeout and it just slipped away. The last time we did use the timeout, we responded much better so in a situation like that, it is a pretty simple message. We can’t leave our goalie hanging out to dry like that. Some of those plays are not shots through screens or bounce ins, we are leaving guys open back-door and they have open nets which is unacceptable.”

About Mark Stepneski

Writer for, covered the Dallas Stars for ESPN Dallas from 2010-12, and founder of the defunct Andrew's Dallas Stars Page (1996-2012).
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