Transcript from the NHL/ASAP Sports:
Q. This is going to be your 20th playoff game coming up in this
postseason. I’m wondering is it possible that a team can run out of gas
DAN GIRARDI: I don’t think that’s an issue for us. Obviously, last
night didn’t look great, but we all feel great about where we are here in
the playoffs and we still have a great opportunity going into tomorrow
night to finish it off here. We have to look at it that way. Win a game
at home, and go to the Stanley Cup Final.
Q. You guys looked good in Game 7s and you’ve faced elimination
recently. How do you handle that when you want to close out a team like
last night, tomorrow night?
DAN GIRARDI: Yeah, it’s been kind of a struggle for us to get that
deciding game. You go back to Game 6 in Philly and have a chance to do
that too, couldn’t get that done. But I think as a group we’ve been
through quite a bit here even though it’s only been 20 games. I think we
all know what we have to do to be successful tomorrow night.
Q. How do you get over a game like last night? Is it easier to put
behind you because it was such a strange game or is it more difficult?
DAN GIRARDI: I think no matter how the game before goes, you have to
have a short-term memory in the playoffs. The great thing about this game
is we’re able to come back one night later and be able to right the ship
and forget about everything. That’s what we’re going to have to do is kind
of forget about that one, travel home today, and come ready tomorrow
morning for a good skate.
Q. How much does having the next game at home mean to you guys?
DAN GIRARDI: It’s a great opportunity for us to be in front of our
home fans and feed off that. Obviously, I think last night wasn’t a great
game, but we did a pretty good job of winning two out of three in a tough
building, and that’s very hard to do here.
We need to win two or three at home to get the series taken care of.
If you look at it that way, we’re in a pretty good position here. Like I
said, we just haven’t had a great start at home.
Q. What was the feeling for you guys when you see Henrik get pulled?
DAN GIRARDI: Obviously, you don’t want to see that in any game, let
alone a playoff game. We didn’t give him too much help, and obviously.
A.V. felt that was the right move just to get him out of the game. We
didn’t feel great about that, but we couldn’t just sit there and mope
around about it. We had to do something about it. We did. We came back
and tied it.
Q. You guys are going to be playing in your 20th playoff game
already on Thursday. Is that wearing on you guys emotionally or maybe
mentally? Is it possible to have a mental weapon, I guess?
BRAD RICHARDS: I don’t think so. It’s an opportunity to win the
game to go to the Stanley Cup Final. I think everybody is alert and ready
that way. We were talking about it all day how excited we were to get on
the ice and start playing. Obviously, we had some mental
breakdowns, but I don’t think it had anything to do with that, no matter
how much we played. We’ve had a lot of rest this series, and the
opportunity that faces us right now, we’re pretty excited about it, so I
don’t think there is too much letdown.
Q. For the first time you’ve been in these playoffs, did you lose
your composure with the other team?
BRAD RICHARDS: Well, we lost our composure in all areas of the game.
There are a lot more problems losing our composure in our stretch of the
game, getting into whatever you call that game. I don’t see many of those
games in playoffs. But you get into that where we were just cheating and
hoping, and some of it was a product of being down 4-1. But even as we
were getting momentum there, we were still doing it and playing with fire
that way. Just the whole structure of the concept, we just broke away from
it for whatever reason and never got back into it.
Q. You guys were down 3-1 to the Penguins, how did you guys build
BRAD RICHARDS: Anything we can learn? Yeah, you learn a lot from
it. That’s why experience is experience. You go through many situations.
Last night was a bad feeling, but today we’re getting on a plane to go back
to our city and we get to play in front of our fans. Tomorrow is game day
again and another great opportunity to win a game on home ice to play for
the Cup. It’s always — forget as quick as possible and try to remember
the good things that we’re doing. It was one bad night, but we’ve been
doing a lot of good things in this series.
Q. How do you build from game to game in terms of belief and not
feeling the pressure or whatever?
BRAD RICHARDS: It has nothing to do with us right now. You’re
asking how the Montreal Canadiens are going to do that. You can ask them.
I’m not going to tell them how they should feel.
Q. Youâ€™ve been around Hank long enough, when he takes the ice
tomorrow night what will his mentality be after last night?
BRAD RICHARDS: I think you guys all see how competitive he is, and
that’s not going to sit well. Even when he plays good, he’s focused. I
would imagine we’re going to see one of his better performances, especially
going back to his crowd and wanting to rebound from that. It’s not
something we’ll have to worry about. We always know he’ll regroup.
Q. This team seemed to play better with a sense of desperation. How
do you create that still knowing there is another game if you don’t win
BRAD RICHARDS: Yeah, you’ve got to try to create it the best you
can. But I think in this situation, to win a game you go to the Stanley
Cup Final. You know, it’s a desperate time. You don’t want to go back to
a Game 7 where anything can happen. We want to get this done, and we did
last night too. We had already won two in a row in that building, and
they’re a good team in that building. They’re a good team anywhere. They
got one on us, and that’s just the way it goes. But we’re going to have to
be a lot better, and we will be. The opportunity in front of us should
create all the desperation that we need.
Q. Some of the hits in this series, is that a function of any
growing animosity of the two teams or is it just the stage?
BRAD RICHARDS: It’s probably just hockey, just things happen.
Q. You said it’s your crowd you’re going back to. How much do you
appreciate that you’re going back there knowing everyone’s on your side?
BRAD RICHARDS: Yeah, like I said, an amazing opportunity to clinch a
game to go to the Stanley Cup Final in front of your home crowd. It’s been
two tight games there though. It’s been overtime both times.
But we still feel good. We’ll get our match-ups and have our energy
with the crowd. You saw how they drew energy off their crowd last night.
I keep repeating, it’s an amazing opportunity that if we were given
anything to do to start the season to win a game on home ice to go to the
Stanley Cup Final.
Q. How much concern do you have that maybe Montreal has a lot of
life after a game like that?
MARC STAAL: Yeah, you win a game and things change in your locker
room and you start feeling better about yourselves. Yeah, obviously, we
know how it feels coming back in a series like that, but it doesn’t change
anything in our room. We were as confident as ever going into our building
and looking forward to it.
Q. How do you guys, when you’re in Game 7s and facing elimination,
how do you duplicate that urgency?
MARC STAAL: Yeah, hey, you’ve got to replicate that desperation. I
think our mood and attitude for the game, we were ready to go last night
for reasons. Crazy game, and we just couldn’t get ahold of it. We’ll
obviously regroup today and wake up tomorrow and get excited and relish
that opportunity at home to try to win the series.
Q. Last night, obviously, there were a lot of defensive break downs.
How do you, when you try to repair those in a game time, is it adjustments
or is it a question of going back to the previous systems?
MARC STAAL: Yeah, I mean, it wasn’t anything adjustment-wise they
were doing. It was more just us, a lot of times during the game it’s not
being on the same page and not doing the same things over and over that
you’re used to doing. So we just had to get back to the way we know how to
play. For a large portion of that game last night, it wasn’t the way we
were playing, so we get an opportunity to change that.
Q. Obviously, you’re focused on tomorrow night. But the fact that
Game 7 will be back here in this environment, does it feel like it’s a
really important game tomorrow?
MARC STAAL: We want to finish at home, obviously. We’ve had the
opportunity to do it last night, and we weren’t able to. Playing in our
building, obviously, we don’t want to come back here for a Game 7. We want
to have that desperation of a must-win game and bring it into our building
and get a win.
Q. You’ve been around Henrik for a number of years now. Obviously,
being pulled last night, how do you feel he’ll bounce back?
MARC STAAL: Yeah, he’ll be fine. It’s the last concern of anyone on
Q. Coach, Hank is such a veteran, have you said anything to him last
night or today?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I just gave him a quick pat after the game, but
Henrik doesn’t need to hear anything from me. He’s a veteran player. One
of the best in his area, and I’m sure he’s going to be focused and ready
for the next game.
Q. Did you talk to Henrik after the second period and ask if he
wanted to go back in?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No.
Q. After giving them 8 power plays in Game 4, then committing a
penalty early in Game 5, what was going through your mind then?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, I mean, our guys didn’t really need to get a
huge reminder that eight penalties, and most of them in the offensive zone,
is not something you want to do in the playoffs. You know? They were
aware that we needed to be better in that area.
Unfortunately, right off the hop we took a penalty, and it was
definitely a penalty, but maybe put us on our heels there a little bit.
But I thought after that it took us a couple of shifts, but we responded
well. We tied the game up, and tough part was giving up that second goal
right away, just like when we tied it up 4-4, giving up the next scoring
chance in the back of our net makes it challenging.
Q. Some of the guys were talking about it being a crazy game and you
couldn’t get it under control. Did you get a sense it was right from the
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, it was right from the start. It was one of
those games where very few times this year have we given up the amount of
goals we gave up yesterday. Coming back, being down 4-1, and coming back,
tying it 4-4 is obviously very positive for our group. But then the next
scoring chance in the back of our net is not as positive. You know, it’s
just one of those games. We’re going to turn the page and move on.
Q. Have you ever put a goalie back in after pulling him?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Don’t worry about it. It’s over with. Move on.
Q. When you play as many games as you have done already this
postseason, is it inevitable that you’re going to have games like this with
COACH VIGNEAULT: You know, I would say the same as in the course of
a season where all of a sudden something pops up that you don’t see very
often. Last night, without taking anything away from Montreal because
obviously they played a good game, they were ready from the start. For us,
it was one of those nights where we’re behind. We’re trying to fight back.
We are fighting back. They always seem to be able to get the next goal.
It was one of those nights.
Q. We talked about creating desperation, and immediately the
veterans winning close to Game 7. Is the coaching or coaching staff, can
they create desperation to get them?
COACH VIGNEAULT: You know, I don’t think our guys need to hear
desperation from us or extra motivation. We’re one win away from moving on
to the Stanley Cup Finals. We weren’t as good as we could be last night.
We know that, in a couple of areas. We’re going to address that once we
land in New York today, and then we’re going to get ready for tomorrow.
Q. Did you get a chance to review John Moore’s hit?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yes, by league standards, and I know the league
standard very well because of the Rome hit a couple years ago in the Boston
series against my former team in Vancouver, and it doesn’t meet the league
standard as far as a late hit. It was a hit that Johnny caught him a
little high in the chest, player didn’t see it coming. It probably
warrants the penalty that was given on the ice. Other than that, I don’t
see what else it could warrant, but I’ve been surprised before. We’ll see
Q. Besides the lateness of the hit, was it a blind side angle?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, the player didn’t see him coming, obviously,
but the guy was admiring his pass a little bit at the same time.
Unfortunately, it was a hit and because of the force of the hit, the head
seemed to snap back a little bit. But as far as what I know about league
standards and from what I heard from the Prust hit where the dynamics of
the hit changed because Stepan was hurt, I don’t see that at this time
Q. Coach, if he is suspended, is Diaz the next man up?
COACH VIGNEAULT: We’re not there yet. I don’t expect anything.
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