The ice was removed from HSBC Arena while the players cleaned out their lockers, packed their bags and began to disperse for the off-season. Although there was a lot for the team to be proud of this season, the Game 7 loss to the Flyers is still fresh in their minds.
“You take a little bit of both. The way we played the last three, four months, I think there are a lot of positives, and then the way we didn’t get it done in the playoffs, there’s something to learn from. That’s myself included. I was going pretty good for most of the year, and then I didn’t get the job done in the playoffs. That personally hurts and something I don’t want to happen again.”
“We made the playoffs, but we know that that’s not the end goal. We almost advanced but almost isn’t good enough. At least we can sit here say we did the honorable thing. We looked at each other, everyone in this room, and decided that it wasn’t good enough, and we made a push and we were one of the better teams in the second half of the season.”
“I think all year I was just pushing at the door there and just couldn’t get in, and finally once it opened I got a little confidence and I kept going, and hopefully I can continue into next year. I know I can play and I know I can make plays here and I want to be a big part of this team. If you look around the room, this team has made huge strides and a lot of young guys got good chances this year and played well and got good experience in the playoffs and hopefully that can carry though. We know we have a good team here, we know how dangerous we can be, so I’m pretty excited to get it going next year.”
“It was a fun rookie year for sure. I experienced a lot and there were ups and downs, some changes, but like I said before, I learned a lot and am very excited for next year. I was a little inconsistent at some times, went some stretches where I wasn’t feeling it and went some stretches where I was really feeling it. I think I’ve just got to be confident all season long. You can’t have your highs too high or your lows too low. So I’ll get stronger as the summer goes on and come back ready for next year.”
“I think I had a great off-season last year as far as training, as far as making the right steps that needed to be made as far as improving my overall game, so I’ll just stick with that same plan and just try to improve in every aspect. My role as a penalty killer came up and I enjoy it, I like it. It brings a new aspect to my overall game and I was really focused on trying to play solid defensively in that role,” he said.
“For myself and for my family, that’s probably what it is. I’ve enjoyed it here, they’ve treated me well, I like playing with the guys, it’s a good group of guys. I’ve got some good friends and it’s a good team that has a chance to win, so that’s probably it. If I play again, it will be here. If not, that will probably be it.”
Gerbe On Grier:
“You couldn’t ask for better teammates this year… Mike Grier, words can’t even describe how he is in this locker room and what his presence means,” said Gerbe, who also expressed gratitude toward Patrick Lalime and Rob Niedermayer.
Kaleta on team unity:
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to play with those guys, and I would go to battle and take a shot in the teeth for every single one of these guys.”
I just wanted to say good series, guys. The Sabres looked damn impressive from my perspective in that series. You guys are gonna have a hell of a team on your hands when all your young guys reach their potential. How strong Gerbe is on the puck really stuck out to me, the guy is so small but he's so damn strong.
All in all, thanks for the great series, good luck in the off season and next year (though not too much luck ), and I definitely wouldn't wanna face you guys next year in the playoffs lol.