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June 3 off-day quotes: Mike Babcock

by NHL Public Relations / NHL.com
Q.  How do you physically recover from a long game like that, whether you win or lose, how tough is that physically on a team?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  You know, what I did is I had Jim Peck, one of our minor league coaches, post everybody's ice time head to head to see how it was.  The ice times were pretty even.
   
So we've both been through the same thing.  So there's no sense worrying about that part.  To me it's not a physical thing anyway.  It's a mental thing.
   
When we got up this morning, as tough as it was at times last night.  We are up 3 2 in the Stanley Cup and let's get ready.

Q.  Mentally, how tough is it?  It's not like any other loss when you're that close to sipping from the Cup?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  We lost, and I guess the way I look at it, you never expect it to be easy.  You knew it was going to be a battle, and it is.  We've got a new day tomorrow here, and let's get prepared for it.

Q.  A couple of years ago Pavel Datsyuk went through a long streak unable to score goals in the playoffs.  Can you comment on where his game is at now and what changed for him?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Well, we talked about this.  Pavel is a fantastic player.  But have you noticed in the Final, a lot of players, there's not a lot of room to score.
   
So you just want to score at the right time.  You want to score enough to win.  And he scored a big goal yesterday to tie the game at 2.  Unfortunately we weren't unable to get it done.  But in saying that, I mean, he's just a real good player in all situations.  Real important part of our team, and understands what's winning all is about.
   
And I think that's his focus much more than on who scores the goals is do we win or not.

Q.  At the same time, there were people saying this guy is just not a playoff performer, 26, 28 goals.  The reality is he, is a playoff player?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He's an elite, elite player.  And it's hard to score at playoff time.  When you're a good player, they're all over you, and you're all over them.  There's no room.
   
And when we go through the game, it reminds me a lot of Game 5 against Dallas.  We had 57 shots on net.  We missed the net 41 other times.  If you just do the math there, we had our fair share of opportunity.  It didn't go in.  And so you move on with it.
   
But I think the good players, they have a resolve and understanding and stick to itiveness.  And they know they're going to score.  It's just a matter of whether you give them the time or not.

Q.  Did Marc Andre Fleury show you guys anything that you weren't prepared for or anything, especially after the first two games in Detroit with all the saves, all the shots you threw at him?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He's a good athlete.  He's a good player.  I think both goalies in this series have had their moments.  I would have liked to have seen us hit the goalie more.
   
He's a big goalie.  Sometimes you try to be too fine.  Don't be fine, just shoot it at him.  There's a four by six there.  Hit it as many times as you can, there will be second chances.

Q.  After six periods last night, what did you tell your guys in the locker room after the game and what do you tell them going into the next one?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I said at the press conference, I don't talk after we win or after we lose.  That's not a problem for me.  I didn't have to think of anything.
   
Today what we did is we had basically a total optional at the rink.  Guys got home late last night.  So we're going to meet here.  We said when the bus arrived they had 45 minutes.  We'll get together, and we'll just clear our mind and prepare.

Q.  What's that like knowing that they took that trophy out and it was sitting there and seconds are clicking away?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  It's nice to be close to it.  (Smiling) Be nicer to have it.
   
What can I tell you?  It's a game, like all games.  You gotta do good things.  We had the puck at the red line with one minute left, bounced over one of our sticks.  We had the puck in our own zone with 35, 38 seconds, whatever it was.  We didn't execute in that situation.  That's also part of the game.
   
In their building the previous game they had a five on three.  We were able to survive, and win that game.  And I think that's how fine a line it is.  And last night I thought we were nervous nellies for about 30 minutes.  I've never seen us not pass the puck.  They had nine scoring chances on turnovers by us.
   
Don't take anything away from them.  They played well and turnovers are   pass the puck.  So we've been through that.  We have seen it.  It didn't help us.  Let's get all the activities we're supposed to do with our families over with today by 6:00, and let's get ready to play hockey tomorrow.

Q.  Are you able to appreciate how entertaining the series has become, and how it might look on TV?  There's just been so many shifts and momentum and dramatic saves, the whole bit?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  We stand there quite a bit as the coaching staff saying, it's pretty fast out there.  There's stretches it goes.  And there's good players, and they're playing both ways, and there's good opportunities.  And the goalies have been good.  It's interesting, both power plays at times look just awful.
   
But maybe that's because there's good penalty kill.  So when you go through it, it's kind of what we expected going in.  And it's exciting to be a part of it.
   
I said to someone   well, the other day   Aaron Tietz is a guy who works in Anaheim.  He sent me an e mail the other day, and he told me that I had told him before Game 7 the last time we were in the Stanley Cup, to make sure you take it all in.  Enjoy the whole thing.
   
I think that's what you have to do.  You have to enjoy it while you're here.  Everyone else is at home wanting to be here.  A little more meal money, that's all that happened here.  (Laughter).

Q.  The goaltender interference calls, the second one in particular, the guy going into the net, your thoughts?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I don't know what I'm supposed to say here.  I don't have any idea.

Q.  What's your response to it, though?

   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I don't have any idea.  What do you say?  If you were me sitting here, tell me, what would you say?

Q.  No one cares what I think.
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I think it's pretty evident they don't care what I think either.  We talk about scoring goals.  I'll jump on the soap box.  We talk about scoring more goals in the National Hockey League.  We want more goals.  No they don't; don't tell me that.  I've never seen anything like that in my whole life.

Q.  Do you intend on having a conversation with the League about that?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Zero.  Just had it.  (Laughter) I'm going to try what the other guy has been trying all series.

Q.  Do you expect to hear from the League now that you've said this?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  No, I don't expect   they saw the game, too.  Two guys driving the net.  Come on.  We must be going to the next thing.  I must have caused enough trouble.

Q.  Last night as your guys were leaving the room, I got the sense that it wasn't an emotional let down as much as it was anger.  Is that your evaluation on that as well or no?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Disappointment.  I think the disappointment phase ends about 15 minutes when you're out of the room.  For me it was when I got home, talked to my wife for a second, she was disappointed too.  Like I said, when you get up in the morning, the sun gets up, and so do we and we're up 3 2, let's play.
   
I said this last night, I'll say it again.  I'm a real big believer, if you do good things, good things happen.  Just keep doing them.
   
When I go through our game last night, I didn't like our start, but I liked a lot of parts about it.  I liked our opportunity.  Let's do it again.  Let's do it a little better.

Q.  Can you talk about Helm and just the energy that he brought last night.  Seemed to make his linemates better, too.  How much has he surprised you during this whole playoff run?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He's been good, but I think if you look at the role players for them and the role players for us, they don't play as much.  They have more energy.  I thought they were both   for both sides real effective in the game last night.  Partly because of that, but maybe partly because they're not under the same scrutiny as a guy like Pavel would be or a guy like Crosby.  There's more room for them.
   
And he's a good kid.  He can really skate.  Looks to me like he's got good hockey sense and has a chance to develop into a real good player.

Q.  Your description of the final minute obviously suggests you've thought about it a couple of times.  Heading into the next game, I know about the cliches, but just these players are human beings.  Do you worry at all that there's going to be any kind of impact from maybe being so close, spilling over into the beginning of the next game and being on the road, does that help at all?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I think being on the road is a great thing.  We've closed out every series on the road.  As far as carry over from that, it's a lesson learned.  They're good players.  It won't happen again.  Sometimes you need to be reminded.
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