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Quotables: Game 1

Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 11:15 PM ET / News
By Brad Friedman  - BlueJackets.com
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Quotables: Game 1

Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards

On if he feels like this game slipped away...

TR: "I don't know about slipped away; we had an opportunity and their power play is very good. You know, they can steal momentum quick and they were able to do that through their power play. I wouldn't say 'slipped away' because we had an opportunity and they on a power play, we score a goal to make it short-handed. They're a tough team. They're a very good offensive team and we were in a position, but I wouldn't use 'slipped away.'"

On if the Blue Jackets were physical enough in Game 1...

TR: "At some points, we did, but again, getting back to the turnovers, especially a lot of them off of the rush. We weren't playing to our strengths. Our strengths are getting the puck below the goal line and investing in the physical play on their defensemen and trying to wear them down and creating the turnovers down there. Making them come, if they do get the puck, making them come 200 feet. Those turnovers at the offensive blue line, with players coming forward, they're tough to recover from. It's the lateral plays into the middle of the ice because when you got guys driving, our defensemen on the last goal, two-one-one, he's looking to get up into the play and there's a quick turnover and this is a team that will transition on you and that's what they did on the goal."

Asked if he expects his younger players to be more comfortable in Game 2...

TR: "I would believe so. Again, I think there was a lot of anticipation of, 'what's going to happen?' and 'what's the game going to be like?' What's the atmosphere? What's the crowd? Playing against a very good team. Sometimes, that anticipation can be draining. I'm not sure how guys rested. As coaches, it was a little bit of a restless day for us too, you know, getting ready for the game. So, I'm hoping that we got our feet wet now. We know what to expect, we know what the environment is going to be like, we know what to expect speed-wise and intensity. It may get a little bit faster and it may get a little more intense, but I think we have a good feeling now of what to expect on Saturday."

Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky

On if this was a tighter game than their regular season match-ups...

BD: "You know, absolutely. It's the playoffs and it's a tough game out there. I like the way our guys fought, I like the way our guys played. You know, we can't give them those power plays like that, whether it's a bounce or what, but in the end, we got a power play goal, a short-handed goal, so you wash that out and they made one more play than us. That's just the way the playoffs go sometimes. We just got to make sure that we clean up our turnovers and take care of the puck. We can't give them odd-man rushes and we gave them a couple too many odd-man rushes tonight and they finally made us pay. Like I said, I like the way we battled and I think our guys know what to expect and we'll be ready come Saturday."

On if there were any lessons learned in the game...

BD: "I don't think they surprised us at all, so I don't know if we learned anything other than what we know already which is they got a good team and they're going to make you pay for taking penalties and having turnovers. So, like I said, I though our competing level was good. We got to continue to build on it. The games are going to get harder, they're going to get tougher and we have to be prepared for it. Like I've said all year, I like our group, I like our character, our resilience. I know our guys will be prepared and ready on Saturday."

Asked if the score needs to be lower for Columbus to have success...

BD: "Well, I mean, we don't want to allow them to score four goals, but it's a tough question. Obviously, it's a tighter game, I think it plays more in our favor. I think they have more offensive weapons then we do, no doubt about that. Like I said, I thought our compete was good and we just got to continue to build off of it and stay resilient the way we have all season."

On if he relishes the "bad guy" role...

BD: "Yeah, I mean you got to do whatever you can, whatever you can to try and find an edge, try to find a win. Like I said before, they got some great players over there and some of the best in the world. You got to do your best to make it tough on them. As a team, I think we'll continue to get better at doing that."

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