Skip to main content

Leino: We'll bounce back in Game 6

by Mike G. Morreale
CHICAGO --  It certainly wasn't how Ville Leino envisioned supplanting Jeremy Roenick on the all-time NHL list for points in a playoff season by a rookie.
After breaking Philadelphia Flyers rookie records for goals (7) and points (15) in a playoff year Friday in Game 4 in Philadelphia, Leino moved into third place on the NHL's all-time list for points by a rookie after dishing 3 assists in a 7-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5.
Leino, who now has 19 points in 18 playoff games, moved past Roenick (18 points in 1990) off a picturesque feed from the slot to Simon Gagne in the right circle at 17:24 of the third. He's now one point behind Don Maloney's 20-point total set in 1979 with the New York Rangers and two behind Dino Ciccarelli's 21 points in 1981 with the Minnesota North Stars.
In addition to his 3 assists, Leino was emotionally involved throughout, logging 19:50 of ice time, throwing three hits and finishing with a plus-2 rating. Still, he couldn't help but think about Game 6 in Philadelphia and how his team will have to rebound in front of the hometown fans to keep this series alive.
Q: What happened in the first period?
Leino:  I don't know if we were nervous. We were thinking it was a big game, and it was a big game. Now we have to go back home and get it done; it's not over.
Q: Are you confident that you'll be able to bounce back on Wednesday?
Leino:  We'll be disappointed today, but tomorrow's a new game and we have two days off. We just have to be mentally ready and we play well at home. We just have to keep it up. We've been through this before, and we're going home to win the game. We got to win the next game at home.
Q: It seemed like it didn't really matter who was in goal for you.
Leino:  No, it didn't. We hung (Michael Leighton) Leights out to dry there at the start and then Brian (Boucher) came in and was good. But we just have to be better.
Q: Did you have a sense that their line changes gave them some jump?
Leino:  Well, probably. Obviously their desperation level was a little higher and they wanted to do something to get them going, and they were going good (Sunday).
Q: How do you explain not being mentally ready with a chance to be one win away from the Cup?
Leino:  Well, I think we were ready -- maybe a little too ready. I think we were a little nervous and we weren't loose enough to make plays when we had it. Nobody wanted the puck and we didn't make plays. We were just giving it to them and skating back, so we just have to be smarter and work harder, and work the puck.
Q: Did you detect something about the team before the puck dropped in the first?
Leino:  I don't know. We were kind of holding back when the game was going. I don't know … we just have to be ready to make plays there.
Q: Do you think the bad start had something to do with playing at United Center?
Leino:  It's not easy to play on the road. It's easier to play at home, but we just got to be ready on the road. It really shouldn't be that big of a difference.
Q: You were double-shifted a lot in the end and your coach was mixing and matching. Did it make a difference?
Leino:  We came back and they scored, and it was a little bit disappointing to do that. All that matters now is going home and picking up a win.
Q: When the team left the dressing room, did you feel it was ready to match that intensity that they were going to bring in Game 5 here at home?
Leino:  Well, I thought we were, but obviously we weren't because we saw the result was there. I'm hoping we learn from this, but we play good at home and we could win that game and hopefully come back here (for Game 7) with confidence.
Q: Like Game 1, were the Flyers forwards guilty of not coming back to help out on defense enough?
Leino:  Yeah, it was a little like that. Too much playing catch-up hockey and they were scoring at the start and we were following all the time and that's not the way we want to play. They got good players and they'll score goals.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.