From the NHL/ASAP Sports:
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Practice Day
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Vigneault.
Q. You said you’d take the night to think about what to say to your team. Do you have something in mind now?
COACH VIGNEAULT: You know, all the talk that we can have around trying to spin this any way you want, 29 other teams would like to be in our spot. You know, we’ve played well. Just need bounces.
Whatever talk you might use, at the end of the day for us right now it’s about one game. That’s as simple and logical and realistic as I can put it for you. We have to focus on one game and that’s what we’re going to do.
Q. Was that the same message in Pittsburgh when you were down 1?3?
COACH VIGNEAULT: At that time we were going through a different situation, so…
Q. You’ve had such a long, inspired run in the playoffs. How much of a sense is there that it doesn’t deserve to be clouded by losing tomorrow night, that you deserve a victory?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Sorry, I don’t understand.
Q. I guess what I’m saying is, if you guys were not to win tomorrow night, it might cast a pall over your playoff run that it doesn’t deserve.
COACH VIGNEAULT: I’m going to let you decide that for yourself.
From my standpoint, like I just said a few seconds ago, however we might want to look at this, we could be up by two games to one instead of being down by three, et cetera. It doesn’t matter.
Our concentration, our preparation is going to tomorrow night’s game. If we want to continue to play, we have to win.
Q. In 2012 with Vancouver, you were down in a similar situation against L.A. How different is this team compared to what you saw a couple years ago?
COACH VIGNEAULT: It’s not very different. The core players are basically the same. The performers, the high?end performers, are basically the same.
It’s a team that’s well?built, that is tough to play against. They find ways to win and they’ve certainly done that so far.
Q. What have you seen in the past couple hours or since last night’s loss that gives you a sense that there is still belief in this room?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I know my players and I know the values that they have, their competitive nature. Again, everybody’s going to come out and say all the right things, et cetera, et cetera. All that, like I mentioned, is just talk.
What needs to happen is the actions on the ice. I like the way we’ve played. I mean, we’ve played some good hockey, but we haven’t found a way to win. That’s what we got to do tomorrow.
Q. Obviously you are focusing on one game, but are you allowing the team to think about what can happen if you do win? Are you allowing them to think that one step farther?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No. Going to focus on tomorrow. One game.
Q. What can you change or do differently tomorrow night?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Score.
I mean, their goaltender made some key saves at the right time. Just like we’ve seen Hank do so many times to the opposition on the road, their goaltender did it to us yesterday.
Are there things we could do better around their net? I thought as far as net presence and getting to second opportunities, we did a good job. He was just able to stop them. I think if it would have gone on for three, four more periods, he was in that zone last night.
We’re going to show our guys a couple things here. Coaches met this morning. Maybe we can do them a little bit better. And hopefully he won’t be as good as he was last night.
Q. Are there parallels to what you did against Pittsburgh or is this a completely different animal because of who the Kings are?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Two different teams. But to some extent?? not to some extent. We’re facing the same exact situation we were against Pittsburgh: we lose, we’re done. If we don’t want to be done, we got to win.
Q. You have been upbeat throughout this series. What is the psyche of this group right now?
COACH VIGNEAULT: We’re down 3?0. We’re all lacking sleep. This is tough.
I didn’t expect my players today to be cheery and upbeat. We’re in the Stanley Cup Final and we’re down 3?0. You don’t get a lot of these opportunities.
Excuse us if today we’re not real cheery. But tomorrow I can tell you we’re going to show up.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Practice Day
Q. Last night, how did things change for the Kings and their approach after the first deflected goal? Sitting here today, how important do you feel the first goal will be psychologically for each team tomorrow?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, first obviously when they score that goal in the last second of the first period, it was tough pill to swallow.
But it felt like we came out in the second and really tried to take over the game and we created a lot of chances. He made a lot of good saves, kept us from coming back into that game.
Moving forward, obviously when you play games where everything is on the line, you’re always looking to get a good start, you’re always looking to build confidence. A goal always gives you confidence.
So, you know, going out tomorrow, we have to leave everything out there. Getting a good start will be part of it, obviously.
Q. The Kings went through the same situation earlier in the series, down 3?0 as well. They know a little bit what you are going through. Do you feel you have the perfect example in front of you because they went through that situation?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Yeah, I think both teams know it’s possible to turn this around. They’ve done it, and we know we can do it. It’s not like we’ve been outplayed here, that’s not been the case.
They’ve been good, but I think we’ve been playing pretty good, as well. It comes down to a couple plays here and there. That’s been the difference in these games.
But it starts with your belief and it starts with how you approach this game and the games after that.
But they know it’s possible and we know it’s possible.
Q. How do you think you’ve done in this series overall, your play?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: I feel like I’ve been playing my game. I’ve been feeling pretty good. But in the end, you know, giving up three or more goals, it’s going to be tough to win.
But when I’m analyzing the game yesterday, if I can play that scenario one more time, I would react the same way. Two deflections where I’m going for the puck, and it changed. Then on the third one, just a bang?bang play on the two?on?one.
I’m trying to be careful when I’m analyzing my game because I would say 70% of the goals been deflected from our guys or their guys. But it’s part of the game. That’s how teams score now.
But I feel like I’m in position. I feel like I’m tracking the puck pretty good. But it hasn’t been enough, so I’m going to try to raise my level and try to help the team here to get the first one tomorrow.
Q. It seems like the team has been kind of down today. Is there any reason you wanted to practice?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, we got the option to go out today or tomorrow. I felt like today was better to go out there and get a good skate, then maybe rest tomorrow morning. I’ve done that a lot in the past just to save energy, I guess.
Q. Can you gauge the feel of the room then, what mood guys are in?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, it was a tough day today. It was a tough night last night.
You have to move on. You understand how serious the situation is and how tough it is for us to try to turn this around. But now we’re only looking at tomorrow and trying to win that game. That’s what we’re going to try to accomplish. Then you take it from there.
But our mindset right now is just to have a really strong game tomorrow and get our first win.
Q. Yesterday you talked about the Kings have a lot of puck luck in Game3, maybe even throughout the series. Is that something you still believe, there’s been more puck luck for them?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, you earn it. You always say you earn your luck by working hard and making good decisions.
I don’t know. I look at the goals obviously yesterday, and it’s some skill, yeah, but there’s some luck, too.
Again, I’m not going to take anything away from them. They’ve been playing well. They’re a really good team. They’re the best team we played so far. If we don’t play our absolute best, we’re not going to beat them.
You know, we going to have to play really well and we going to have to rely on some luck, as well, in some situations. That’s just the way it goes. That’s the way the game is played.
Q. Is your mindset that you need to have a shutout for your team to win? If so, how difficult is it to play like that for you?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: No, I don’t feel like that. But I know I have to play really well for us to win.
But I think when you go out tomorrow, you don’t think about the end result. (You don’t think) I need to give up one or less. I need to think about the process. That’s stopping the next shot. What do you need to do to stay focused the right way? That’s the kind of mindset I have going into the games.
Yeah, you’re not changing too much. Even though everything is on the line tomorrow, I think our approach will be similar to what we had so far in this series.
There’s a few things we can do a little bit better, that I can do a little bit better. I do believe we can turn this around. I do. Because we’ve been that close in every game.
But like I said, they’re a really good team and they’re not going to hand us anything. We have to go out and earn it and, yeah, play a really strong game.
Q. Ricci talking about being a little downcast, AV said you were less than cheery today, understandably. Is there an anger as part of the emotion in the room? Is anger necessary at this point to maybe kick start you guys?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Yeah, I think you feel a lot of different emotions right now, and anger is probably one of them. I think it’s important that you don’t feel sorry for yourself.
But, you know, you’re disappointed and upset you’re in this position. But at the same time you have to accept it and move on and get ready for the next game. But today, yeah, it’s not a happy, happy room, obviously.
We worked really hard and long to get here. Again, we’re playing a really good team. They take advantage of mistakes. They play extremely well defensively, I think.
We still believe that we can do it. We have to start by just focusing on the first period tomorrow.
Q. Quick was so good last night. Do you want to get drawn into making it a one?on?one type battle? How do you feel about that when you feel a goalie shine like that?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Yeah, he made some unreal saves last night. I think for us to beat them, obviously, like I said, I have to play well. But in the first two games we’re right there scoring goals. I think the big thing is to have a lot of traffic and get in front.
I think L.A., they’re really good. They have one or two guys going to net all the time. I think we did it really well in L.A. Come in front, get to loose pucks. That’s something we are going to have to try to do tomorrow, as well to make it a little tougher for him.
But he’s a really good goalie. I’m going to need my best tomorrow to try to match that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Photo by Getty Images.