2011 Eastern Conference Final
Game 6 Morning Skate Transcript
May 25, 2011
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
Q. We talked to the players about their mood today coming in with this opportunity, but I was kind of curious how you were feeling today coming into the rink for morning skate with an opportunity to now take this franchise back to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win tonight.
COACH JULIEN: I think to me, any day you come to the rink and you’ve got a game, especially this time of year, you’ve got to be excited. I’m certain there’s a lot of people, a lot of players, a lot of coaches that would like to be in that position. So we take it for what it’s worth.
It’s a great day and an even better day with the opportunity that is in front of us.
And our goal is to seize that moment and that’s basically how we’ve approached today.
Q. Just wondering how important the first five or ten minutes of this hockey game will be in terms of maybe trying to control what is the storm of what they’re going to bring out there and for you guys to try to dictate the pace.
COACH JULIEN: I think it’s really important. I think every team in the Playoffs talks about the starts and what it means, and we certainly are one of those teams that believes in that as well. But at the same time, they got the early goal and they got the good start in the first five minutes, but it didn’t stop us from winning the hockey game.
So having said that, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s certainly the best way to start. I think it’s important that you have a great start. And if it happens, great. If it doesn’t, you also have to be mentally prepared to fight through that and get yourself back in the game.
Q. In watching the game tape from Game 5, did you feel Chara was a little more active, a little more of a factor in Game 5?
COACH JULIEN: I would say I didn’t really have to watch the tape to figure that out. But it certainly reinforced the fact that he did have a great game. He’s the leader of our hockey club, the team captain. When games are on the line like that, they’re big games, you always rely on somebody to lead the way, and he did a great job of that last game.
At the other end of the ice he created a lot of things and we’re going to need him to do that again tonight if we expect to have an opportunity here.
Q. Do you feel like have you to play your best game tonight of the series to close them out, considering the desperation that they’re sure to bring and the energy that will be in this crowd?
COACH JULIEN: I believe that. I’m one of those guys that believes that the best game of the series has to be the one that gives you the opportunity to clinch. And that’s what we’re going to need tonight.
They’re a good team to start with, and there’s no denying that. And there’s some desperation in their game as well. So two reasons to want to play your best tonight.
Q. Can you take anything just from being in a similar situation in the first round, Game 6 on the road in Montreal, attempting to close a team out. You weren’t able to do it that time, but just take something from that whole experience and situation?
COACH JULIEN: You can take all kinds of situations and use it to your benefit, and that’s one of them. So I think we felt ready, but obviously it didn’t happen. And there was some penalties in that game that hurt us. And I think it’s just a matter of, again, learning from experience. And the other part is you get experience from being in those situations.
And we’ve had that opportunity. So it’s a chance to show that you’ve grown from that and that you’re a better team for it.
Q. Can we expect to see more of Chara down low on the power play?
COACH JULIEN: Possibly. I liked what he did last game in front of the net. But he’s only going to be useful in front of the net if we put him there. If we get control of the puck and we get some shots on net, and the first few power plays, we didn’t really get control of the puck. It didn’t matter who was in front at that point. So I didn’t mind what he did.
And I think we need to see how this game unfolds. But it’s certainly a possibility.
Q. Now that you know Roloson’s playing tonight for sure, would that affect you in your preparation in terms of forecheck, dumping the puck in, the difference between Roloson and Smith in styles?
COACH JULIEN: Well, we know that Smith is a great puck handler, and he likes to come out of his net. He likes to play the puck. If we didn’t get good line changes, he could make us pay for it. That’s an adjustment you make.
And we were prepared for either/or last game. It really didn’t matter. And that was their decision to make, but we certainly didn’t put a lot of our attention towards that, just being ready. And tonight knowing that it’s Roloson, I don’t think it changes much in our approach to the game. But we do know that there’s certain things that we can or cannot do.
They each have their strengths and they each have their weaknesses and it’s up to us to exploit those weaknesses.
2011 Eastern Conference Final
Game 6 Morning Skate Transcript
May 25, 2011
COACH GUY BOUCHER
Q. Bergenheim was able to skate a little bit this morning. How optimistic are you that he’ll be available for Game 6?
COACH BOUCHER: We have to wait. The doctors are looking at him now, and we have to wait until tonight. And then make a game-time decision.
Q. If Sean can’t go, what are your plans? And what are the implications if he can’t go in terms of what you need from other players?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, obviously when you take somebody out that’s been a big part of our Playoffs, it does take some chemistry out. And I gotta find that.
I had to struggle with that in the second period of the last game, and the third period I kind of found what I wanted.
So if he is not playing, we’ll go with the chemistry that we planned on, and we’ve got the choice between putting Tyrell in the lineup and to fill the forward spot or we put in a seventh defenseman with Randy Jones. So that’s still something that we’re oscillating between, yeah.
Q. So you’ve been fortunate enough to have so much secondary scoring in these Playoffs. But probably at no time more than tonight you need your big three to step forward and they’ve been kind of nonexistent in the last three games.
COACH BOUCHER: Well, I would disagree. First of all, who is the big three? Because, I mean, Gagne, he’s part of the big four. And Malone’s part of the big six. And Stamkos had a great assist last game, and he played great and forced himself into the net a few times. So he’s had some points, and Gagne, too. And Lecavalier had some points the day before and Purcell is part of the six guys had some great nights. Obviously Martin St. Louis hasn’t had the number of points that he usually gets.
So I wouldn’t call it the big three. But our top two lines obviously have to be part of the solution.
They’ve had some scoring chances, so that’s not the problem. It’s really burying it, but I think everybody’s had some problems burying it against Thomas. So I think it’s a real team thing.
And certainly not about to put more pressure on anybody. Anybody can be the hero tonight, and nobody’s preventing Adam Hall from scoring the goal or Thompson from scoring the goal or any of our defensemen from scoring the goal.
I think it’s a big danger when you start pointing fingers at some guys and guys are pushing. We can do a lot of things better, and as a team we’ve always focused on everybody being part of it. So that’s the way I approach it.
Q. Guy, do you get concerned at all sometimes when you see the officials who are on the sheet? You get one particular tonight who’s been very lopsided the past few times.
COACH BOUCHER: 24-9 against, right? Yes, I’m aware of it. Very aware of it. Very, very aware of it. It has been a part of our discussions quite a few times in the last game, the last games we did have that particular ref. And it is lopsided.
But the only thing we can control is what we do on the ice and hope that things will be fair like it is with everybody else.
Q. Do you block that out of your mind, though? Do you have to ignore it, who it is, and just go about your business?
COACH BOUCHER: You want to ignore it, but you’re right, after repetition, it is a concern. But we’re planning on being strong mentally and forcing whoever is a ref to see that we’re very disciplined.
Q. Overall your penalty kill has been very good throughout the entire Playoffs. Can you just speak to what’s been going right there, what everybody’s doing well?
COACH BOUCHER: Said it many times, our team pays the price a lot. That’s why we’re here. If we were relying on our skills, we would never come close to being here.
It’s about guys who sometimes you don’t hear about in the media. But they make the difference in their own way, and that’s paying the price on the penalty kill.
And a lot of guys are asking me sometimes: How come I don’t get penalty kill time? Well, are you blocking shots? Is that something that you want to do on a consistent basis? Are you ready to break a bone and make sure that thing doesn’t get to our net. And is your focus playing the penalty kill to get more ice time and get the puck more, or your focus is to prevent the other team from doing their thing?
And I think that’s a frame of mind, just as the power play is, and that’s why some guys can’t play on the power play. And we’ve got some guys that are very good at specific attributes that you need to be on the penalty kill.
And we pay attention to details. I know (Coach) Fleming is fighting extremely hard, and our players are also in that mindset of fighting very hard to honor what he’s done for our team in the penalty kill. And he’s still in that mindset.
Q. In an elimination game, it’s a fine line between playing desperate and playing within your system. How do you keep those emotions in check tonight?
COACH BOUCHER: I think first if you start talking about elimination and pressure, it’s because you’re thinking of failure. So right now we’re thinking the first five minutes of the game, like we’ve done every game since being in the Playoffs, and it’s kept our focus very narrow and the emotions in check. That’s the way we deal with it, and that’s the way we dealt with it against Pittsburgh.
I’d say you have the opposite side, the other end of the spectrum where you’re leading a series against Washington, for instance, and the fourth game, it’s a really tough game to play because you’re thinking of the result and you’re ahead of yourself. And we made sure we didn’t do that.
We certainly want to continue being in the present, and that’s what we’ve done yesterday and that’s what we’re doing this morning.
Q. With Vancouver through to the Final, what do you imagine the sentiments of Canada will be like next week? And also as a second part to that, hasn’t been a Canadian-based team to win the Cup since ’93. Does that surprise you or do the dynamics of the game change to where that’s not a big surprise?
COACH BOUCHER: I don’t think there’s anything that surprises me in this game right now. The thing is I’m not really thinking of the Final right now. That’s way ahead of where we are. And it’s so far from what I have any control over or any of our players. I think whoever makes it to the Final will have deserved it.
And if we want to make it there, we have to deserve it, and that’s today, that’s the first five minutes of today’s game. So I’m staying away from anything that’s further than today.
Q. Vinny and Marty have obviously had much more Playoff experience than Steven has. How have you seen Steven grow as a player during this Playoff run? What have you seen?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, you know what, I think he’s been terrific. I think he’s learned. I think every game you saw last game, he was really good out there. He’s flying. He was keeping their defensemen on their heels all the time. And I feel that he’s a major threat.
And last game he could have got two three points easily. He got one but he could have got more. If he keeps it up, he’s going to be a real winner. There’s a difference between being a winner and a star, and I think he’s figured that out.
So it’s great to see a youngster that’s figuring it out real early, and that’s part of the battling level that you need to have success at this level.
Q. When did you tell Roloson that he was going to be in for Game 6, and what was his reaction to you?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, I told him the day we left Boston. Well, not left Boston, sorry. The day of the game that we played in Boston.
But I knew that before. I knew what my plan was, whatever the consequences were going to be to the game.
And his reaction was the same reaction as when I had my talk with him before the game on my decision to go with the other goaltender and give him some rest. And he’s got a big smile because he’s rested.
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