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Game 6 Postgame quotes: Dave Tippett

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COACH DAVE TIPPETT

Q.  Did you think the guys were flat in the first period or how did it look to you?
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: I thought it was a combination of us hoping to win and Detroit pushing the issue to win.  I think they had a real hard focus around our net early.  The first three goals, right at the crease and in.  Once you get trailing, you're chasing the game.  That's where we were:  chasing the game most of the game.  The first goal they get, comes across the crease.  Yeah, we get not beat outright, but we get beat on a couple plays.  Comes across, hits Draper right in the face, goes in.  I mean, hard goals to give up.  That's the way it went.

Q.  I don't know if tonight is the right night or the right moment, but will there be a point in the next week or some point this summer when you look back at this team, nobody gave them a chance to get out of the first round, second round?  You have to be pretty proud of the effort.
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  Definitely proud of this team.  Like you say, we're in a situation where nobody gave us a chance right from the get go.  People don't realize how hard it is to win.  The teams that we beat, and we lost to a great hockey team, but when you see behind the scenes the energy and the sweat and the commitment from those players, you're seeing guys with welts all over their body, and they can't wait to get on the ice the next day.  Winning is hard, but it's the most gratifying thing you can do in our game.  And winning in the playoffs, there's nothing like it.  I'm very proud of the effort.  I mean, the commitment from our whole group was phenomenal.  It's frustrating losing, it's disappointing losing.  I can honestly look at those guys, start with Brenden Morrow.  They left everything they had on the ice, everything.

Q.  About Brenden Morrow, what are you going to remember most about these 18 games with him?
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  Well, he's become the leader on and off the ice of this team.  He's the guy that will will the other team to quit.  He will will his teammates by just challenging them with his work ethic.  If he's going to lead and play the way he does, everybody else better jump on the same bandwagon.  He's established himself as the lead guy on our team.  The way he plays with a commitment to winning, it's just how our organization wants to be perceived.

Q.  It's early, but can you tell us about some of the injuries like Brenden.  These guys were playing through a lot of injuries.
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  Brenden hasn't been the same since the last San Jose game.  He's basically played on one leg since then.  The shoulder injury, I'm not sure where that's going to get to, but there's a small tear in his shoulder.  Norstrom has been battling a sports hernia for the whole playoffs.  It's phenomenal he can get through that.  That's the grind of the playoffs.  It is so hard.  Like I say, the commitment that these players put forth is just phenomenal.  Until you've been in that dressing room, seeing guys that after a game, they have a hard time moving their leg or moving their elbow, their shoulder doesn't work, and the next day they show up and say, When do we play again?  That's what makes our game great.

Q.  Obviously you would have taken a season like this in any of the past five.  Does it mean even more with the youth you have on this team?  The core of this lineup should be together for a while.
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  It does.  The experience that our young players have gone through, and with young players, I'm going to separate this into a couple categories, our real young players that had very little playoff experience, but our young leaders also.  That's Brenden, Ribeiro, Richards will get into that group, Turco.  That new leadership group is something that will continue to push this team ahead.  That's not to say that Zubov and Modano and Lehtinen, these guys aren't going to be support.  Our young players, great experience.  Our new leadership group, unbelievable experience.  The one great thing about our organization, it has never failed, believe me, going through the last four or five years when you're getting beat in the first round, it's frustrating.  But the greatest thing about it is, this organization is never satisfied unless they're going to give everything they have to try to win a championship.  Holding that high standard, I can't tell you how valuable that is to an organization.  The ability for us to push this farther and take a team and max out our potential.  You look at it, we maxed out a lot of people this year.  If our young players continue to build, that young leadership group continues to max out, I think it's a bright future.

Q.  The competitor in you obviously doesn't want to give in.  Can you allow yourself to concede that you were beat by a better hockey team?
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  They're a very good hockey team.  Let's not kid ourselves.  They were the Presidents' Trophy winner for a reason.  I really believe the 82 games you play in regular season, what it does is it earns you the right to be a playoff team, but it reiterates that you're playoff worthy.  When you're at the top of that group, you've obviously done something over those 82 games that has been very good.  I just look at their team.  They have three players that I look at that are certainly top 10 in the world in Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom.  They are just top, top, elite players.  Their supporting cast, their coaching staff does a fabulous job of bringing all that talent together.  Their goaltender, they have two veteran goaltenders that could go either way.  They're a very strong hockey team.  At the end of the regular season, they were a team that if somebody would have come to me and said, Who do you think is the favorite, other than ourselves, I would have certainly looked at that team.  A, from a coaching standpoint, how I look at them, how they play.  And, B, the talent.  Not just the talent and skill, but how hard they compete.  So they're a team, I knew going into it, they were going to be a hard, hard opponent.  We held out hope that we beat a hard opponent in Anaheim and we beat a hard opponent in San Jose, and we were trying our damnest to beat a hard opponent in Detroit.  We came up a little short.



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