CCF Game 2: Coach Mike Stothers Press Conference Quotes

Stothers Monarchs AHL by Rich TiltonThe Manchester Monarchs took Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals by a score of 2-1, thanks to Nic Dowd’s overtime winner. After the game, head coach Mike Stothers spoke to the media…

On the game two victory:

“I’m glad we’re up to. Again, it is a game that is decided in overtime. It isn’t going to be easy for either team. I thought they were a much better hockey club team today than even yesterday and I knew they were a good team. We’re going into Utica, we are going to have to do better as a collective group.”

On what he like about the final half of the third and overtime period:

“I did like the third period. What I didn’t like was the second period. I thought that was probably the roughest period we’ve had in the playoffs so far. I think that’s going to happen when you’re playing a really good team, they had a good forecheck. They came in determined to spend more time in our end. We weren’t as crisp as we needed to be. We spent too much time in our end and too much time in the penalty box as far as I’m concerned. Not because of the officiating but because of ourselves. I have to make that clear about the officiating. We know we can play better and it is like Travis (Green) said last night about his team. He knew his team could have played better. I don’t think you’ve seen the best of the two teams yet.”

On their success at home during the playoffs:

“No idea. We have been good at home. They were pretty darn good on the road too. We’ve got to be consistent. You look at their record during the regular season; they were good at home and on the road. That’s why these two teams are playing off against each other.”

On the adjustment Utica made to slow down the top line in game two:

“I haven’t looked that closely at video. But it is a pretty good line, so you know they’re going to put some pretty good people out against them. We have not made the habit of relying on one line or any individual all season long. There are going to be nights where it isn’t physically possible for them to do everything. Tonight the game-winning goal was not by that line. That’s the depth you have to have. You have got to have other guys step up.”

On if the team missed Jeff Schultz:

“We’ve played without Schultzy this year. It was tough for Rainer to get in after being out for a length of time and then trying to jump in at that pace. I mean, you’re in the Final here, so it is ramped up another level. But I think he got his feet underneath him. He is such a good skated and a great competitor. I think he got better as he went. All season long, we have never concentrated or worried about who isn’t playing. We know that whoever the 20 guys that are dressed, they’ll give us everything they’ve got. There’s no sense in crying over it or worrying about it, who’s next? Who wants to be the next guy to step up to the big plate? Who is going to play a good game for us?”

On having to choose between Raine and Ebert:

“That was a really tough decision, absolutely. I knew somebody’s feelings were probably going to be hurt. With our collective group of guys, there isn’t any ego in the room. Eebs was disappointed that he wasn’t the guy but he was fully supportive of Raine. That’s how it has been all season long. It was a tough, tough decision. Either way, I think we’ve got a quality hockey player going into the lineup, so that isn’t an issue for me. We know whoever is going in can play.”

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