Playing the Red Wings in the first round is a nice challenge for our group and I’m confident we will be up to that challenge. We’re going to work hard. That’s what it comes down to. I think no matter who we are matched up against it’s going to be tough. Their team has a lot of playoff experience so we know that we can’t make too many mistakes.
Discipline will be key against the Red Wings, and by that I mean not only staying out of the penalty box but in our play. We must limit the number of mistakes, give them few chances and try to keep the puck on our sticks and not theirs.
The Red Wings have a lot of playoff experience and we know that very well. This year they don’t quite have the same team they’ve had the past 10 years or so. Some of their great players are a little bit older now and some of their players that were successful are gone. But we know how good they can be, and they’ve played really well lately so it’s going to take a lot of hard work from us to beat them in a best-of-seven series.
Our team is eager for the series to start. Any time you make the playoffs it’s very exciting but it’s especially exciting for a franchise that hasn’t made it in a long time like this one. There’s a good feeling in our dressing room this week. Guys are proud but ready to take it to the next level.
I think we are well prepared for playoff hockey because playoff hockey is a lot tighter than regular-season hockey and one of the things we’ve been blessed with is being involved in a lot of tight games. It’s kind of like we’ve been in the playoffs for the past couple of months without even knowing it. We’ve thrived on knowing that every chance, every shot and every mistake really counts. That’s playoff hockey.
Somebody asked me today what has to happen for our power play to get going in the playoffs. I told him it’s just meat and potatoes - keep it simple and, put a lot of pucks on net and just work hard. We’ve struggled at times on the PP, but it’s been good at times, too, so we just have to get back to what works. I have no doubt we can do it.