Q: Marty, how encouraging is it to hear that Coburn is pretty likely, and Kimmo was skating today at least?
MARTY BIRON: Oh, I didn't hear much. I just heard what Johnny said in the press conference last night, and I think that's good signs. Guys want to play. It's the best time of the year where guys want to make a difference. You're not going to tell anybody, you know, it's your choice, but we suggest that you don't. If it's your choice, guys are going to go in. So it's encouraging to see that.
Q: Marty, you know you still have a long way to go. But can you take something out of the way you guys won the game last time, how you really set the tempo and jumped out to the big lead?
MARTY BIRON: Yeah, I think that's been the key all throughout that whole series. You look at the way Pittsburgh played the first three games, they got the lead, and they were able to play their style of hockey, and kind of shut things down. Last night, we got the lead. We were able to shut things down a little bit more. But I think that it's been the key so far in this series. Get up to the lead, and then you get a couple of power plays to get your momentum on your way. It's made a big difference, especially last night.
Q: Do you think the team performs better when your backs are against the wall?
MARTY BIRON: Well, I think that we've shown some desperation and urgency in our game throughout the season when we've had kind of been in a bad or not so good situation. But I also think that when this team is put to the challenge, to the test, they find a way to respond. It's a lot easier to respond when you're at home with your fans and the energy in the building, and we'll have to find a way to bring that energy into our game on the road Sunday afternoon. Because, this is a team that's played really well at home for the last two months. For us to be able to react and respond the way we have last night is going to be important.
Q: A lot of people talked about how Detroit struggled when Lidstrom was out. Can you talk a little bit about Kimmo and what he means to this team, what he brings when he is in the lineup?
MARTY BIRON: Well, I mean, Kimmo is one of the best puck? moving defensemen in the league. He's good, and he's even better on the ice when you don't notice him because he does the little things right all the time. He makes guys think twice. It's no secret he's an All?Star. There's guys around the league that have probably never noticed him. But when you play against him or play with him, that's when you appreciate his full value. I think that our defensive corps really looks at the way he plays to be able to settle the game, and settle our, you know, our emotions or anything out there. We had him in the locker room last night. It felt great to have him around. And we want him in the locker room healthy and ready to go if he can, yeah.
Q: Can you talk a little about Ryan Parent and his poise and what he's shown to you out there?
MARTY BIRON: Well, we talk about Kimmo and Cobe and being ready to ?? being on the ice and possibly playing, but I think that defensively our guys have done a great job. Bernie, as we like to call him, has played really well. I was just watching some video clips this morning, one?on?ones against some of the best players in the league, really holding his ground. Really playing with confidence. Making the simple play. But, you know, making great passes at times. You know, he's just a young guy. He's like, you know, it's his first year pro, you know. Been around a little bit last year. But, you know, he hasn't played a lot in the last two months, but he's definitely responded well. And him and Jason have played well together. They seem to have fed off one another, I mean, he's been a lot of help to us.
Q: How does your game change, if at all, when Kimmo is out there? Are you less likely to take any kind of risks or more likely to take some certain risks playing the puck, anything like that?
MARTY BIRON: No, my game doesn't change, you know. I think the whole circumstances of the game might change in the way we play it. But I like to think that, you know, you face the shots that you have to face as a goalie, and you focus on that. I like to think that everybody else is playing as hard as they can with him or without him. He's a key guy in our lineup, and that makes a big difference out there. But we'll see what happens with him. But we have to play the same way we did last night. Then, after that, if he's there then it's a bonus. If Cobe is there, it's a bonus, too.
Q: You've seen and heard about how long playoff series and being in the playoffs a long time can take its toll physically and emotionally. Where do you feel like you stand personally and this team stands for being in a long run for the first time in a lot of their careers?
MARTY BIRON: It's been great. Physically, I feel great. A lot of the guys feel really good physically. I think we were able to feed off a lot of the emotion and the intensity the last couple of games. That showed up last night. I think we've got to keep that going. I'm losing my voice, and other than that, that's fine. I just won't be talking for the rest of the day and tomorrow, I'll save it for Sunday, which will be hard, but that's okay.