Quotable: Crawford on the defense

Dallas Stars coach Marc Crawford was a guest on ESPN 103.3's The Coop & Nate show this afternoon. He was asked about the improved play of the team's seven defensemen this season.

Here's what Crawford had to say:

“It’s a couple of things. One, we added a real good associate coach in Willie Desjardins. Willie’s come in and added a lot of focus to our team in all the systems area, but particularly in how we play in the defensive zone. He’s really complemented our other coaches, Stu Barnes and Charlie Huddy. Charlie is primarily responsible for the defensemen and he is really like a big brother to those guys. He was a great defenseman in his own right when he played with all those great Edmonton Oilers teams.

“I think our defensive core as they stand right now; they are among the cheaper defenses in the National Hockey League. They really take offense when people underestimate them. They are led by Stephane Robidas. He’s been a great leader back there for those guys. They hate it when anybody questions their abilities and they are doing the right thing about it, they are going out and playing quality hockey. They are taking care of their own end first and lately they’ve done a terrific job of supplementing our attack by keeping plays alive. Last night we had five points from our defensemen, including a big goal from Karlis Skrastins who doesn’t score very often.”