On whether he’ll be in the lineup tonight,
You never know. I don’t know [laughs]. It’s all “if”s. I’m excited about the prospect of playing. I’m ready to play and I’ll come ready tonight. We’ll see what happens.
On the reasons for being a healthy scratch the last few games,
You can put a million fingers on why and what happened. I don’t think it’s the time of year to worry about all that stuff. It’s a new season and it’s a team that wants to get back to where we were last year and, frankly, I think a lot of the onus has got to go on the player. I certainly don’t want to talk about that right now. I’ve got to come with confidence tonight, play within our structure and play as hard as I can.
On watching Game 1 from the locker room,
It’s the first time I was on the sidelines for a playoff game, so it was difficult. I was roaming around. There are nine TVs throughout the workout room, so you work out and you’re a little fidgety. Certainly you’re down and the score didn’t help. You’re rooting for your guys and we were getting behind steadily and getting a lot of calls, probably due to our fault and our lack of discipline. It was a disappointing night all around.
On his focus,
It is a new season and everyone feeds off the energy of the whole roster and I try to come with energy in the morning and talk a lot about the team the guys are going to see out there. It’s all about being a good teammate right now. I’d love to be the ultimate teammate by getting in there and playing well and helping us overcome that first game. We will see and if not, you work hard and you wait for your time. The playoffs are a marathon, not a sprint. A lot of different guys get their hands in. I think last year they had 28 different guys get in games. I have to maintain my focus and my health and my attitude.
On the Stars,
The Stars are the type of team that are really gritty, very responsible, frustrating to play against and very disciplined to play against. We knew we were up against a great fight and Game 1 was a pretty good indication to us that they’re here to play. So, we’ve got to be a lot better tonight.
On tonight’s game,
There is excitement whether you’re 35 or whether you’re 20. There are butterflies, there is pride, there is a sense of setting a tone physically. You get a game to figure those things out and now it’s over. We have to be physical, we have to be disciplined, we have to act like we have home ice and we have to act like we think we’re the better team. And they can come get us. That’s what we do when we’re successful and that’s why we won 20 of our last 24 or 25 games.
On being able to come back after a Game 3 loss to Detroit in last year’s conference final,
We definitely have to draw on certain things like that and players do that all the time. We went through a couple of spots last year during the playoffs where things got down a little bit, and we bounced back. That’s what we’ve got to draw on, and focus on those little things that got us there.
You’ve got to remember the things you do well and focus on those. You can’t change the past or the way we played last game. We’ve got to focus on the things we do well as a group.
On keeping the puck away from Turco,
It’s easier said than done. Turco’s a pretty active goalie and he gets out of his crease in a hurry. You’ve got to leave pucks along the boards and try as best we can to make the soft chips into the corners.
On the team’s response after losing Game 1,
You never really know the response. I know our response will be at a higher level, from my perspective. I think that’s usually a trait this group has been able to show, responding to performances like the other night. We can talk all we want about it, but we have to live it on the ice when they drop that puck.
It’s a tightrope you walk. The more pressure that’s put on and the more important the games get, you have to be under control, play with discipline and play with emotion. That’s what this team is about. You have to stay with the game plan, don’t stray away from the things that got us here and we have to reinforce some of things we have to do to have success.
On whether Doug Weight will be in the lineup,
He’s an option. We felt that Doug Weight would have the opportunity to make a contribution. That’s what we have told him. We weren’t happy with some of the things that were going on previously. He wasn’t happy about not getting the opportunity to play. If he does get that opportunity, we’ll see what he can bring to the table.
On the keys to bouncing back,
I asked the team yesterday in a casual setting, how many of them went home and dreamt about putting the puck in a soft area or making a good chip rather than scoring a big goal. Players always visualize and it’s always scoring the big goal and making the big play or making the big hit. In our game, we turned the puck over so many times, we had upwards of 70 turnovers in the game and that is unacceptable. So, I asked them to visualize making the good, soft chip and putting the puck into areas where we can put pressure on it and keep it away from Turco and those kinds of things. They didn’t really see it the way I did [smiles].
On Chris Pronger’s play in Game 1,
I don’t think he played with less than an edge. I don’t think he had his best game. I don’t think a lot of our players did. Chris Pronger is the first one to agree that he didn’t play to his potential.
On whether he was more upset with the penalties they took or the types of penalties they took,
All of the above. You can’t go punch a guy in the head and not think you’re getting a penalty. It’s stupid I understand the frustration level, but it’s the response that’s important. In playoff hockey, you have to take a little bit sometimes. You might have to take a puck to the head or block a shot or do something that’s totally out of your character. We did a lot of things that were out of our character and you can’t afford to let those types of things happen. We’ll talk about that until game time tonight and we’ll talk about it during the game.
On the team’s ability to bounce back,
I know the character of our group and I know the people in that room have been in this situation before. We’ll do our best to correct the way we played the other night. We have to live it. We’ve talked about it enough.