LCS Hockey: Born Again
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January 22, 2019
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Langenbrunner Conference Call



Q. I just want to ask you about the Devils, historically, year-to-year, regardless of the changes that are made, they stay competitive. What's the key to why the Devils have been able to maintain such a high level of excellence through the years?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: I think first you have to look at the top in terms of Lou. He demands that, and, you know, we expect nothing less. We come with that attitude every year, to be at the top of the league, and I think it's in the guys minds. When he was in the locker room, you heard it enough to win and win consistently, and you know, has not hurt in the past. Marty was back there in some tough times and this year, really a group of guys who kind of rally together and just enjoy playing together.


Q. One of the impressions of your team is Marty Brodeur is one of the keys, but he has obviously been injured but the Devils have kept which you canning along. Does that speak volumes about the team, as well, and even when you have probably the best goalie in the league out that you guys continue to play as well as you have recently?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: I think for the first time, because Marty has played so many games, it's easy for everyone to think it's just him carrying the team all the time. Taking nothing away from Marty, he is in my opinion the best goalie ever to play, and he's saved lots of games for us.

But we also have a good team in front of him. I think we are getting that opportunity to prove that, and we have been fortunate to have Scott Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes to play as well as they have since Marty has gone down. We do believe it's a good team out there, and we will continue to prove that.


Q. Just wondering if you've figured out over the past few days how to explain the recent personal run that you went on last week.

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Well, you know, I think the main thing is just relax a little bit. I was getting the opportunities and getting three or four shots a game and all that, and now, I think our line, Zach and Travis and myself, we have been playing pretty well all year. Zach has found a way to score on a pretty consistent basis, and I think maybe Travis and I could learn a little something from him.


Q. Were you starting to feel -- obviously the team has been doing pretty well all season, but personally were you feeling a bit of pressure, maybe heading into January, that you felt you could have been contributing more at that time?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Well, I would definitely like to have scored a few more goals. I was getting points and stuff playing with Zach and we were doing a lot of good things and we were a positive -- for players, plus and minus and stuff, so we were doing some good things.

Yeah, you always want to score some goals and contribute that way, especially when you're playing on power plays and stuff like that. Maybe a little bit, but for the most part, it's not just scoring goals; they just want you playing well and kept putting our heads by the coach; just don't worry about that part and keep playing, and it will happen.


Q. Have you ever had a run like this in your career?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: No, I don't think so. Not that I can remember. Not this many opportunities, games that went into overtime and stuff like that. No, I don't think so.


Q. This is more a general question about the league. I hear so much, and I think most of us agree, that on any team now or any game now, any team on any night, can win. But you guys are on this tremendous roll right now. Earlier I think you had a losing streak of three or four, and you've had strings of fours and fives; I think it's eight now. Every team in the league has these four- and five-game winning streaks and losing streaks at the same time. I wonder if you have any explanation for that. It's been pretty evident since the lockout that has been happening.

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Yeah, I've noticed that, too. I think the only thing that needs to -- maybe in common of all of those is when it seems when you are doing well and you get that confidence and you keep going with it.


Q. So just a little bit of confidence is enough when the teams are equal?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Yeah, because the teams, the games are so equal, and every game is usually determined on one or two plays.

When you're playing with confidence and stuff, you seem to make that play and you seem to capitalize on that opportunity, whether it be a power play or penalty kill. It seems like when you get those things rolling, you get those things done; and when you're not, they go the other way on you.


Q. Not that you ever doubted whether Scott could do the job once Marty went out, but was there a moment when you stopped thinking about it and you saw him playing so many games and you stopped thinking that Marty was not there and that you had somebody else back there and were just playing the game?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Well, I think we tried to do that right away. We said all the right things and we tried to just not worry about it. Nobody talked about it in our locker room, not the coaches or the players, on an official basis. That's the way we have to do things here; if the guy has got hurt, we've just got to moved forward, and someone has to come in and do the job.

We started off pretty slow. I think we lost the first three or four games, or we won maybe one of them. There was a little bit of, I don't want to say doubt in our minds, but questioning for sure. I think we played Washington and won in overtime and then we just kind of got going from there.

You know, it's the same thing with the confidence thing, where we found it, and Scott found his game and started to believe in himself at this level and just kind of rolled from there.


Q. Not that you ever want to put it to the test and have to prove that you can win without Marty, but is it almost refreshing that now you have learned something about this team that now that he isn't there and that you know that he's not just the only player on the team?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Yeah, that could be huge coming down the stretch here when we get him back and going into the playoffs, if we are fortunate enough to get there. You want to have everything going and all that, but you know, for us to learn and believe, and learning a little bit more about this team this year than we would have if Marty was there the whole time.


Q. Is it almost a shot in the arm that when you do get him back: You are not going to have a guy who has just had 70 regular season games; you are going to have a guy who is pretty healthy?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Yeah, that's something we haven't had with him in a long time. He's played a lot of games for a lot of years, and we have seen him in playoff games, tough games. And I think even more so than physically healthy, he will be mentally really sharp and excited to play.

Just talking to him, he's excited to get back in there and he wants to be a part of this. He's one of the greatest goalies and clutch goalies down the stretch, it's going to be a big pickup for us I think.


Q. Could you talk about the Bruins? If you had to point out a couple of factors as to why they have become so much better a team this year than last, what do you think that would be?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Well, first you have to start with their defense. We had Claude Julien here, and we know what he stresses as a coach, and that's playing team defense. He's got those guys doing that. They are extremely hard to play against and you have Chara and those guys back there.

And their depth and stuff, they have gone through a lot of injuries and they have had guys doing the same thing we had to do, they are putting guys in the lineup and they are performing. They are a four line team that are big and strong and they are just a good team.


Q. I'm sure you've followed certainly hockey as a youngster, too. Is this any kind of a throwback to the Big Bad Bruins of many years ago, do you think?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Well, it's close. I mean, the game has changed, so you can't quite play -- you can't quite have that same style. But I guess of the new NHL, they are definitely one of them. They know how to play the game and they are playing well.


Q. Can you tell a little about Juergen Merz and how he was able to help you?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Well, he's been a good friend of mine since I've been here, or I guess he was here when I got traded here. He more or less is just relaxing you. The game happens pretty quick out there, and you're a little tight, you don't react as well as you can. And he's just really talking about: You have been doing this for a long time so you know how to do this. Don't think about that part. Just let the game happen and just let your reactions play the game instead of thinking about it too much.


Q. Did you recently start talking to him, or has that been ongoing?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: I've done it off and on since he was here in 2002 or so. But I really got back into it more, just being relaxed and getting the mind focused in the right direction in the recent future, or I mean, the recent -- I saw him when we were in L.A. and again in January. I talked to him before then.


Q. And would you consider this past summer one of the more challenging of your career in terms of kind of reassessing your role in, particular, as a captain of this team?

JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER: Yeah, this one was -- I had a really tough year last year. I started off injured, and then I got back, I was named the captain.

It was hard at first, I'm not going to lie. I struggled. I wasn't probably -- I probably let it get to me a little bit. At the end of the year I sat down with Brent and we had a five- or six-hour meeting one day and he really helped me, I don't want to say get refocused, but in a way, yeah, just kind of got myself back into the mind-set, and then I had my best year of off-season training and I felt good. I came into this season with a good attitude and comfortable with my role as a captain and all in all, it's a pretty good year so far.




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