Interview transcripts from NHL/ASAP Sports:
Q. I wonder if you might be able to talk a little bit about Alex Galchenyuk, and what he’s brought and what you think of his progression for a guy who was out for almost two months and stepped into the playoffs here in the last four games?
COACH THERRIEN: Yeah, he was out for six weeks, and every game he’s getting better. Definitely last night was his best game. He was involved. He was making plays in tight. He’s got good skill and was competing, and every game he’s getting better. So that’s a great sign. So after missing six weeks you can’t expect a player the first game he’s going to come back to be on top of his game.
But the thing I was saying with Galchenyuk is every game — he’s played four games right now — every game he got better, and that’s a great sign.
Q. How is Dale Weise today? And Alain was saying he thought he was admiring his pass, and the penalty was good enough and there wouldn’t be more?
COACH THERRIEN: What Alain is saying it’s normal. He’s there to protect his players with his comments, and any coach is going to say those types of things. But we all saw the hit. It’s in the league’s hands and I’m sure they’re going to take the good decision, so that’s the way we see it.
Q. How is Weise?
COACH THERRIEN: I didn’t see him this morning.
Q. A question about Rene Bourque; in the regular season only nine goals and now eight in the playoffs. What explains from a coaching side of things his turnaround?
COACH THERRIEN: You know what? In the end of the regular season, we saw Rene engaged in the game a lot more, moving his feet, being physical, going hard to the net. He’s doing a lot of good things. You can’t expect a player to score three goals every night or even score every game. But even when he doesn’t score, he’s playing solid hockey. He’s getting involved physically. And last night, for me, it was leadership. It was a huge game for us. He came up big, and that’s good not only for him, but for us. I really appreciate his effort last night.
Q. Just about Alexei Emelin, will he travel to New York?
COACH THERRIEN: Yes.
Q. For a game with so many goals last night, what do you expect from the next game, more of the same or are we going to go back to the formula we’ve seen throughout the playoffs during this series?
LARS ELLER: I’d expect to — we’ve seen a lot of different hockey, lot of different kind of games throughout this series, so you have to expect everything and be ready for anything. Nothing should catch you by surprise by now.
But for us, we want to see a lot of the same things that we did yesterday going into the next game. Last night was probably the best game we’ve played in this series, so if we keep doing a lot of those things, I think the end result will be good.
Q. Do you believe the Canadiens have gotten under the Rangers’ skin and caused them to lose their composure based on the flow of last night’s game and the result?
LARS ELLER: I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. We’ll see when the series is done which team gets to keep their composure and keep their emotions intact the best. But I like what we’ve been doing so far.
Q. Are you expecting a more physical, more intense type of game, given this one you had the lead early and they came back?
LARS ELLER: Do I expect a more physical game? Not necessarily. I don’t think these two teams strongest assets aren’t the physical play. It’s speed and skill. But that being said, it’s the playoffs. The longer this series goes, the more physical it’s been, so it’s going to play in too, but I think both teams know that’s not the way you’re going to win this series.
But at the same time, sometimes it’s emotions out there. Things happen quickly. That’s what the players are all about, so there is going to be physicality, too, but I don’t think it’s going to be — that’s what it’s going to be all about.
Q. You played quite a bit with Alex Galchenyuk this year. Can you describe your impressions on the way he’s come back in the series and especially played last night?
LARS ELLER: He’s come back strong. I think better than anybody expected him to because he was out for quite a time. He’s done everything we could ask from him. He’s playing well. He’s filling out his role being an important player for us. So we hopefully will see the same from him going forward.
Q. Do you see something blossoming from his play that was here now that might not have been there in his first few games?
LARS ELLER: No, I’ve seen him play at this level before. I’m not surprised about that. He’s only played three games in this series, so I’m sure he’s got a lot of adrenaline going, coming back in, and now he’s riding off that wave. He’s just going to keep doing that. But I’m not seeing anything from him I haven’t seen before, which is not a bad thing. I know how good he is. Everybody knows.
Q. What are the skills or complexities that are part of Alex’s skills even though he’s off for a stretch?
LARS ELLER: Yeah, he doesn’t look rusty at all. He’s going into traffic. He’s making plays in tight. He’s making good decisions all around.
Q. In terms of improvement, is it defensively?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: Yeah, of course, but they did at the same time. Yeah, we need to be better defensively, but I like our compete level, and that’s what’s important.
Q. Is there anything you can predict in this series? You’ve had two 7-goal games, one each way, and two overtime games where you guys dominated. Is there anything you can point to and say that’s probably going to happen in Game 6?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: One team’s going to win.
Q. That’s it?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: That’s it.
Q. Has it been a strange series that way with the games being up-and-down?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: It’s the playoffs. You cannot know what’s going to happen. If you watch the other series it’s the same thing. L.A. scored a lot of goals on Chicago. That is something we don’t expect. That is part of the playoffs.
Q. What do you think of Dustin Tokarski’s composure being thrust into such a high-pressure situation?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: Yeah, he’s impressive. He’s great. Gives us a chance to win every night, and that’s what we’re asking for.
Q. Getting Brandon Prust back in the lineup for Game 6, what’s that do for this team?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: Well, you know, we have a lot of depth. It’s great to have him back. Everybody has stepped up when somebody was injured or something like that. But Prust gives us a lot of energy and there for the brawl and all that kind of stuff. He knows New York well. He’s played there, so it’s great to have him back.
Q. You had the two days off early in the series. Is it a bit of an advantage being out?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: No, there is no momentum in the playoffs. You go out there. We play New York now in New York, so they’re going to come out hard. We want to win that game to win the series, so we’ve just got to be ready.
Q. Happy to get back at it tomorrow night?
DAVID DESHARNAIS: Yeah, whatever the schedule is, I guess we need to be ready. If it’s two days in between, we take that break, but we go right back at it tomorrow. So we need to be ready.
Q. Is there anything you want to change going into Game 5?
JOSH GORGES: I don’t think we want to change too much, just be a little sharper.
Q. Does it help as a group that you’ve maybe forced the Rangers to lose their composure a bit? Do you think you’re getting under their skin as a group?
JOSH GORGES: I don’t know about that. I think that’s what happens in games when you get late in the game and there is a couple goal difference. We don’t expect that same thing tomorrow night in Game 6.
So we’ll be ready for one of those tight checking games, which I’m sure it will be again one of those hard-fought games that we’ll have to make sure that we’re even better than we were last game.
Q. Have you had a chance to review the Moore hit on Weise, but what is your thought on that?
JOSH GORGES: He caught him in the head. It’s pretty clear when his helmet pops off like that. I think the refs got the call right, and now we’ll wait to see what the league decides to do.
Q. A.V. was saying he was still admiring his pass. The way he described it, he did not acknowledge the hit was point of contact. Is that the coach protecting his player?
JOSH GORGES: Probably. Like I said, these decisions are out of our hands. It goes through the league, they do their job, review it, and they’ll make a judgment call. Usually when the helmet pops off like that, it’s usually because of a contact to the head, but, again, that’s not for me. That’s not for anyone in our room or their room to decide. That’s up to the league, and they’ll do their job.
Q. Considering how long Alex was out, how impressed are you by the way he’s managed to ramp his game up so quickly in the four games that he’s played?
JOSH GORGES: He’s done a great job for us, missing a significant amount of time, and coming back is never easy. But I thought he’s come back with a lot of energy, played some really good hockey for us. He’s going to the dirty areas, and that’s where you need to go if you want to score. 90% of the goals are scored right in front of the net, in the crease. They’re not going to be cheap goals, but he’s had some success because he’s been able to go there.
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