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Michael Leighton and Mike Richards Off-Day Transcript

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Q.  Michael, I'll ask you just the impact that Chris Pronger is having in this Series, a lot of people talked about him and Byfuglien in front of the net, the traffic.  Has he done a fairly good job in your mind of keeping him to the outside and keeping him this check?

MICHAEL LEIGHTON:
  Yeah, definitely.  There's a lot of hype about them two doing a lot of battling.  But I think a lot of it was almost just to leave him alone.  Let him stand in front.  He's a big body.  Prongs is doing a good job tying up sticks in front and kind of letting me see the puck when need to be.

Our thing was with Buff is he's a big body.  He's pretty hard to move.  So almost just leave him there and make sure he doesn't get any whacks at rebounds.

Q.  Mike Richards, do you get a feeling that your guys, your line in particular, is going to have to start producing points, you're doing the other things, but also getting some goals if you guys are going to win this Series?


MIKE RICHARDS:  It would be nice to contribute, obviously, offensively.  We're just having tough luck right now around the net.  We're having opportunities.  But we're missing nets, and he's making saves.

I don't want to put too much pressure, saying if we don't score we're going to lose.  Because I think we have enough depth in our lineup that on any given night anybody can score and have success.

So I'm not going to go that far, but it definitely would be nice to contribute and get some goals.

Q.  For Mike Richards or either one of you, the third period in the last two games, you guys have kind of dominated.  I was just wondering what's going on and why that's happening.


MIKE RICHARDS:  I'm not sure.  It almost seems like we're putting more emphasis on doing the right things in the third period.  When we do so, we're having success.  I think in the second period we started turning pucks over and maybe being more conservative towards our play.

In the third period, I think we just went at them and kind of threw it all out there and obviously had success doing so.  Just got shots to the net, and in overtime it found its way in.

Q.  For Mike Richards, there's different players pressure that is players have, you as a captain, Mike as a goalie, then there's a guy like Danny Briere who gets kind of thrown with that big contract of his, the way he's playing now.  How do you feel about that and the way he's handled that, having been straddled with that?  People say he has that contract and is he producing, is he not producing?

MIKE RICHARDS:  I think Danny has been a playoff player for a long time now.  You can look at his numbers in Buffalo and they're pretty much the same as they are right now.  Obviously, having a big impact on our team and that whole line, I think, is playing extremely well right now.  Giving us a lot of energy.  He's a passionate player.  His will to win is up there with pretty much anyone I've ever played with.  He's a smaller guy, but his competitive level is up there too. The way he's played for us, I think, in the last couple of games, has really brought us a lot of energy in that line.  I think it won us the game last night.

Q.  This is for both players.  Last night in baseball a pitcher lost a perfect game and there was no replay to review it.  You guys got what turned out to be a pretty big goal because of a replay.  How big is replay in the NHL and are you guys glad it's there?  Do you feel there should be a human element instead, and do you feel all leagues maybe should adopt replay?


MICHAEL LEIGHTON:  Well, obviously, I think baseball is wishing they had it, or the guy in Detroit obviously wishes he had it last night, but it just keeps the game fair.  Sometimes it slows the game down when you have to wait for it to go to Toronto and get looked at, but at least you know what really happened and you get to know the truth and whether a goal does go in.

Sometimes for a goalie's sake, you know the puck is in the net, but they can't see it.  And that's tough.  But it is nice to go back and look at those goals and say, yeah, it went in, no, it didn't go in.  The one goal we scored that I think Hartnell scored, from two angles, it looked like it didn't go in.  The one angle it looked like it did, and they called it a goal.  It is good that they have it in the NHL for sure.

Q.  For Michael Leighton, I know the win obviously gets you guys back in the Series.  But personally how much confidence does a win like last night bring to you for the rest of the way?

MICHAEL LEIGHTON:  It obviously feels good.  I wasn't, obviously, I don't think it was my best performance I've played all Playoffs.  I'm not totally satisfied.  But we snuck out a win.  To go down 3 0 going into Game 4 would be disastrous for us.  We knew going into this game how important it was, and we really put our foot down and worked hard the whole game.  We played a good 60 minutes.

In OT we really went after them and Lavi kind of said that after the third period.  He said let's not drag this on.  Let's go after it and keep playing and be aggressive.  That's what we did.

But for me, it's one win.  I'm happy, but today is a new day.  We're looking at tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another big one for us.

Q.  Mike, it's pretty heroic the way Jeff Carter came back and played.  Probably something he wouldn't have done in the regular season.  Though after a couple of games now, do you think is he at full speed?  And if he's not, is he slowing your line down maybe just a slight little bit?

MIKE RICHARDS:  Can I blame it all on him?

Q.  No, that's not what I'm trying to say.

DANNY BRIERE:  No, I don't think    obviously, he came back early, and obviously well documented.  He's got his speed.  I think when you're not on the ice for a long period of time, your hands, it takes little bit to get back.  I think they're coming back.  He's starting to get more shots there now.  The little areas, the little passes, in the corner I think he's obviously doing a lot better job of finding those seams, and the little plays through people.

But when you're not on the ice, not in game shape for that long, I think it's tough to just get your hands back right away.  I think he's getting better slowly and making the little plays.  I think we're playing well.  We're just unfortunately not getting the results, obviously, that we want.  If we keep going, I think they're going to come.

Q.  Guys, coach preaches a very high energy, high paced game.  And the fans are also bringing a lot of energy.  How much do they fuel your performance at home?

MICHAEL LEIGHTON:  Well, it's nice to have someone cheering for you.  You have a different building.  You have fans yelling at you and banging on the glass and not supporting you too much.  Just have the fans there cheering for you and supporting you, and you make a good hit.  They respond to it, so that it gets you excited.

For me, if I make a good save and they cheer, it makes you feel good instead of hearing nothing when you make a good save on the road.  But you score a goal, you hear the crowd and it hurts your ears for 10 seconds, 30 seconds.  It's just a good feeling.  It kind of carries over and you kind of build momentum from that too.

Q.  Mike, can you just address the special teams and how you guys are feeling and what that's done for you guys as far as confidence in the Series?


MIKE RICHARDS:  In the Playoffs especially, teams are always a huge factor.  I thought our power play has created a lot of momentum.  We got the goal last night on it.  Our penalty kill has been outstanding.  We've been putting a lot of pressure and we build momentum off of that too.  Our power play, we're moving the puck, we're creating a lot of chances.  We scored a goal, obviously we like to score more.  It's the chances that we're creating that are giving us a lot of momentum.

Q.  A quick follow up on the replay question.  Obviously the call was right and they got it right.  That's a good thing.  You guys played for like a minute and a half after that before it was    I don't know, what would have happened if there had been a game changing situation?  Because suddenly that minute and a half didn't exist?  Let's say Chicago had scored or you all would have scored, do you know what would have happened in that situation?


MIKE RICHARDS:  They would have took it back to the time we scored.  If they would have scored after us, obviously our goal would have counted and theirs wouldn't.  It's nice to know they're getting the right calls on the ice and we don't have any doubt.

There's no need for us to go over to the referees and complain because it's upstairs, and it's obviously video replay and video conclusive that the puck was in the net.  They would have took it back to the time we scored.  If they would have scored after us, obviously our goal would have counted and theirs wouldn't.  It's nice to know they're getting the right calls on the ice and we don't have any doubt.

There's no need for us to go over to the referees and complain because it's upstairs, and it's obviously video replay and video conclusive that the puck was in the net.
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