I’m excited for Game 1. Playoff hockey is amazing. It’s do-or-die every game, and that’s the way to play it. When something’s on the line like this you end up playing your best because that’s when it really matters.
Someone asked me if I think our team is better equipped to play in the playoffs this year compared to last year. I’d like to think so. Obviously having a guy like Ray Whitney
, who has won a Cup, always makes a big difference. And for some of our young guys, last year’s series was their first taste of the playoffs. Now they kind of know what it’s like and they know what to expect, and that’s a big thing because a lot of times people think that if you come and play hard everything will work out, but it’s a completely different beast.
|Photo by Associated Press. |
We’re eager to play the Red Wings again. I think our guys are excited to have a chance to get a little bit of revenge, especially the way it ended last year for us in Game 7. There’s still a lot of bitterness in our room about that. That was a series we could’ve had. Obviously, they were the better team in that series, but we’re a different team now and with their experience I don’t think there’s much room for improvement, and we’ve had a lot of room for improvement.
Playing the first two games at Joe Louis Arena will be challenging but we can handle it because even when we play them at home there’s a lot of Red Wing fans there. Playoff atmosphere is unbelievable; it doesn’t really matter where you’re playing. Obviously, with the way their team has played in the past and with all of the Cups they’ve won there, their fans are quite knowledgeable about the game. But I don’t think that’s going to play into affect. We’ve been a team that’s always worried about ourselves more than anything else. I don’t expect that to change now.
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