Q. Danny, the penalty kill the last two rounds now, 27 of 28, pretty remarkable. To me that seems to be a huge factor in the Series right now.
Yes, we have to give them a lot of credit. Our goaltender is doing a great job with that to start with. But the guys in front of him willing to block shots as well. Everybody on the penalty kill are doing a great job right now, not taking a lot of chances.
But at the same time not giving up too many chances. Hopefully that keeps going, because it's always a big boost. Especially in those big games like we're going through. You get a big kill, it just gives you a lot of momentum and a lot of energy.
Q. Danny when they put your line together, did Coach Laviolette explain why he thought it would work? And the second part of it is why does it work?
When he put us together, I think there was so many injuries that that's what was left, I guess. Ville had been a scratch. I had played wing for most of the year. Scotty had a lot of struggles.
So three guys that were searching for themselves at that point. But sometimes chemistry is a weird thing. Something you can't really explain. We started playing together and it just clicked right away.
Looking at last night's game, I thought Scott Hartnell
played a very strong game all over the ice. He was strong, he was strong on the puck. He made a lot happen. He was in front of Niemi's face, or crease the whole night. We get rewarded with a few points. Ville was the same. He was dancing out there. Strong on the puck.
Like I was saying last night, it's been a pleasure playing with those two guys lately. When things like that happen and chemistry clicks, you try to ride the wave. You don't ask questions. You just want to play and spend as much time as possible on the ice.
Q. Danny, speaking of Scott Hartnell, what do you see now that you didn't see during the regular season? He had a big year last year, and he did struggle this year. What are some things that maybe are working for him now that weren't working?
There's many things. I don't know if I can go there. There's a lot of issues that sometimes people have to go through. But right now he's moving his legs. Like I said earlier, he's strong on the puck. He goes in the dirty areas.
Last night we talked I talked with some of you guys about him cleaning the ice a lot. It's because he's he goes into the tough areas. He gets his nose dirty. He's willing to get in front of the goaltender. Not just with this Series, but the past few Series as well. He's making it tough on the opponents.
A guy like Scott Hartnell
sometimes doesn't get as many points or as many goals because he has to do the dirty work. But we all realize how important he is.
Q. Danny, your line is obviously playing well. Giroux, Asham, those guys are playing well too. But your top line with Richards, Carter and Gagne has one goal, two assists and near a minus 13. Doesn't that have to change if you guys are going to win three of the next four?
That's why we're a team. It's not just about one or two guys or about just one line. It's the same thing with Chicago right now. Those two lines, the top two lines on each side, because of the matchups, and you look at the defensemen, the top defensemen on each side, they make it tough on them.
So that's the game of hockey. That's why you can't rely just on one line. You need depth. The best teams that go deep into the Playoffs usually have depth. And we can see right now two teams that are dangerous throughout their lineup. There's not a big difference between your top line and your fourth line. So I'm sure at some point things will start clicking for them. I can't worry about that. I have to worry about what I can do on the ice and what my line can do. I have enough to worry about as it is.
Q. Twofold on Ville. At any level, at any time in your career, have you seen something like this where a guy was a scratch to start the whole thing, gets inserted and is now being double shifted? And the second part of that is, your coach said last night that he has some extra jump and extra juice. The fact that he didn't play as much as you guys, I know everybody humps it up this time of year, but has he got more energy?
I don't recall seeing something like that for as long a period. You look at Giroux last year, I thought coming down the stretch and into the Playoffs, he played really well. But we only played one round. Ville was scratched at the beginning of the Playoffs, but he's been doing it for the past three rounds.
I saw a lot of skills when he came in, when he was traded here. You could tell that he was good with the puck. He had really good hands, good vision. But some guys figure they figure it out. Other guys don't. So you never know.
But right now he's in the zone. Everything he touches seems to be working for him. Just like that bounce on his goal last night. But you have to work to create those bounces for yourself as well. I really believe that.
We'll take a few more questions. The Flyers room is open now.
Q. When you signed here, it was a long term, big money contract. I'm just wondering how much pressure you felt when you signed to perform and how it feels to maybe be meeting some of those expectations here on the biggest stage?
There's no doubt that it started well in the first half of the season my first year. And then things went south a little bit at the end of that year. But still had a good Playoff run. That first year was okay.
Second year was a lot of injuries. I kind of lost my spot with the emergence of Jeff and Mike Richards
, and I was fine with that to help the team to move to the wing. But it definitely was kind of a different style of play for myself. Something I wasn't used to as much.
When I had the chance to come back in the middle, that was increased responsibilities and a chance to step up and help the team with Jeff's injury.
It's just a Playoff run, but at the same time, this is one of the best times of my life. I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Try not to think about the contract issue or anything like that. I'm just going out there and having fun and playing right now.
Q. Danny, can you describe Pete's demeanor behind the bench during the game in the locker room, and then how much confidence has he really instilled in you guys?
He's been there before. He's won a Stanley Cup. So we really believe he knows what he's doing and what he's talking about. He's a very good motivator. His speeches are great. I mean, he brings a lot of calmness, confidence that is borderline cockiness, which you need. You don't want to cross that line.
But you need to be a little bit arrogant and have confidence in your team and your teammates. And I think that's what he brings to the team.
Q. Danny, you talked about matchups before. Who are you seeing mostly out there in terms of four line D pairing for them? And is there something you guys happen to like about that matchup?
In Chicago it was mostly against Toews' line. That's the matchup they wanted. On the road it's a little tougher. I think last night I saw a little bit of everybody. Peter wasn't really trying to match anything up. But he was trying to make it more difficult on them or not giving them their matchups and try to keep Mike Richards
' line away from Bolland.
On defense the thing is we have three big lines that can score at any time. It's really tough for them to focus. Right now they're doing a good job against Mike Richards
' line. But it gave my line and Claude's line the chance to take advantage of that, because they had been focused on Richard's line. That's the way it is.
Like I said earlier, you need depth and you need everybody to be going. What the team focuses on one line, you need other guys to step up. That's what we certainly did last night.
Q. Danny, there was a call in baseball last night that cost a kid a perfect game. You are probably not aware.
I am aware.
Q. You were in '99 perhaps some similar feeling in Buffalo when the goal goes in and as time passes, we realize that Brett Hull's foot was in the crease. There was a lot of debate there. Can you take us back there and tell us how you felt as it became clear that maybe that goal wasn't as good as everyone thought it was?
Are you? I wasn't there. I wasn't in Buffalo at the time. I wasn't there. I remember I was watching that game. At the time I was still with the Coyotes. No, I couldn't believe after all the goals that were disallowed throughout the year that that goal stood. It's sad. I mean, it's kind of a black eye for the sport. It's in the past now. Everybody makes a mistake. We saw it last night with the referee or the umpire in the baseball game. I thought that was very brave of the umpire to go back and apologize to the pitcher. I thought it was good to see.
That's why we play sports. To live those moments and sometimes there's mistakes that are made. It's part of the game.
Q. Danny, can you talk a bit about the impact that Chris Pronger is having in this Series. He's neutralized their top line, has Byfuglien frustrated playing 32 minutes and what he seems to be able to do over and over here?
He is amazing and seems to be getting better and better with every game in the Playoffs. Eating more and more minutes, it seems. That's another guy aside from our coach, he's the only one with a Stanley Cup. His demeanor, his calmness in the dressing room, he just brings a lot of confidence. You look at him and you realize he's been there before. He knows what he's doing. Took a lot of the pressure away from his teammates with the puck situation.
I don't know if it was really on purpose or if it's Eager Ben Eager
that made it bigger than it really was. I don't know. He just seems very sure of himself, and it trickles down to the rest of the team, I believe. But his play has been amazing.