On the game… We got some chances and they just didn’t go in tonight. You can’t play that game expecting we’re going to score every time we pull the goalie. It’s not going to happen.
On what the team was lacking tonight… I think we were missing a little bit more offensive bite. We didn’t really test their goalie as far as having really good chances. Like, you can tell. A.J. (Treais) shoots the puck and he shoots to score. I mean his shots (got umph). We’re not getting shots like that from anyone else. We’re struggling to score goals on five-on-five. Like tonight was a five-on-five game. They got four goals five-on-five, and our guys, we couldn’t answer that. We get back in the game and I thought we got the best of the play in parts of the second and third period, but you got to capitalize on those.
On Jeff Rohrkemper’s play on defense… I thought Rohrkemper played well. His first full game, that I know of, as a defenseman since he’s been here, and I thought he was fine.
On getting behind and having to rally… Well, this team has a lot of pride. They expect to do well. And they learned last night when they fall behind you never give up because you can always get back in the game, and we did that last night and we did it again tonight. So that’s good. That’s the one thing we learned on this trip is we can come from behind. On the flip side, you can’t get behind like that and have to play that desperation hockey. We should be playing that in the first period.
On if expectations for the defense are lower without Merrill, Trouba, and Serville… Well, it’s different. There’s no question. But that’s not an excuse. I mean, that’s not an excuse for our forwards to not play better defensively, or not play better offensively when we get the puck. That’s got nothing to do with our defense. And we got another goal from our defense tonight. So they’re chipping in with a goal here and there. They got two last night. So that’s all they can do. Our forwards have to do their job. Part of it starts in your own zone. When you get beat in your own zone—five-on-five in the defensively zone—I didn’t watch my man or someone didn’t and all of a sudden there’s a glaring mistake and it’s in our net. And that’s how the game started. We gave the puck away, probably a weak goal on Steve Racine’s first one, and after that we didn’t give him as much support.
On defensive lapses leading to NMU’s goals coming from around the crease… It’s individuals being surprised or they didn’t see somebody or they thought this and they went over to help you because you weren’t doing your job and now all of a sudden my job, nobody is helping me. So it’s a little bit of that, but we got to play better in our own zone.
On Steve Racine’s performance tonight… He didn’t get off to a very good start. We gave up two goals in the first period too easily. And then I thought in the third period, when the game was on the line, he gave us a chance. They had some better chances in the third than they did in the first, so good for him.
On the chance we could see Jared Rutledge… I think it’s too early to say one way or the other, but we’ll think about that this week.
On how to stop the defensive lapses… Well, we’ll practice. It’s early in the year and we have to practice that. Whether it’s a defenseman or forward, all of us… we have to buy in to… You know, players all want to go out and score goals, and they have to understand if you don’t play good defensively, it’s going to be tougher to score goals. We have to work hard in practice to get better at that defensive zone coverage. It’s a game of mistakes and we’re making too many mistakes right now.
On only coming away with two points this weekend… We had a chance to have a real good weekend and we didn’t.
On Jeff Rohrkemper’s play… I think he did a great job. He made a lot of good plays, especially in our own zone. Especially for a guy (who was a converted forward) to do the job he did. I know Red’s really proud of him. Our whole (defensive) corps is proud of him.
On what was missing tonight… D-zone coverage. We kind of got caught up. They took advantage on rushes and got pucks in and just took advantage of the chances. Unfortunately, for us to come back in the third, it was just too little too late.
On playing with Lee Moffie… I like playing with Moffie. In Moffie I got a two-way defenseman who can jump up and cover for me. With the two of us together, we’re able produce some kind of an offensive flare.
On leaving NMU players open around the crease… Like I said earlier, d-zone coverage. Breakdowns in the d-zone. They took advantage of the chances.
If playing without three top defensemen contributes to the problem… I don’t think that should make a difference. We just got to come in with the mentality that we’re going to shut teams down, especially on big ice you got to keep things simple. Whether we have the three defensemen or not, it shouldn’t make a difference.