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Off-Day, May 16 quotes: Tippett, Morrow, Modano

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Coach Dave Tippett

Q.  I know you've already answered this before, but can you get a little more into the line situation with Modano moving to the wing. You banter that around during the playoff series trying to make adjustments. When did you come to that conclusion, Let's try this?

   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: When we came to the conclusion that Lehtinen wasn't going to be a player in the series, Barnes wasn't coming back, our injuries are dictating that. Our right side is pretty banged up right now. So we tried Chris Conner for a game. Decided we just were going to load up a couple lines, see if we could find a line that could play with some pace, then a banging line. It's a little bit of trying to find things that are creative, that will help us win, and a little bit of filling injury holes.

Q.  Last game in Dallas, the Petersen line ended up playing against Zetterberg the whole night.

COACH DAVE TIPPETT: A lot of the night.

Q.  Can you comment on their performance.
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: What we were trying to do there, Petersen is a smart player that plays the game with a great deal of pace. He's really quick. Zetterberg and Datsyuk, Zetterberg in particular, he's so tenacious, plays the game so fast, you need somebody that can keep up with that. We felt Petersen could give us a heck of a game in that regard.

Q.  Grossman is a younger defenseman. It looked like he had some impact in Game 4.  Power plays, penalty kills, deflecting pucks. Can you talk about his effectiveness.

COACH DAVE TIPPETT: Out of all our young guys that have got extensive playoff experience, he's the guy that has probably taken the step the farthest ahead. We probably knew that going in. He's got the most experience in world junior tournaments, playing in Sweden, he's had the most experience against high level players. We have another player in Norstrom that is very similar to this kid. Matty has been a great role model for him. Matty thrives on those situations, just like you talked about. You know, Gross has really come in and done a heck of a job for us. He's a young guy, but he's not playing like a young guy. He wants the heavy minutes. He wants the important minutes. He's done a very good job for us.

Q.  Feeling well that Marty took a step in the last game?
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: You have to hope so. That's a game that he can build off. You're playing at home, but you're playing Detroit, everybody makes a lot about he can't win against Detroit. He played very well and he won a game. He should be able to take that momentum into this game. That's what we're hoping for.

Q.  Can you talk about the first time you were able to get on the board first, the reaction of your bench when that first one went in.

COACH DAVE TIPPETT: We knew that we've been chasing the series, the whole series. We felt like we used a lot of extra energy when you're chasing. If we could get on the board first and get a lead, we felt like we could play with a little more flow. It's funny how the games have gone. The two games at home, we had a great deal of chances early in both games and didn't get on the board. I liked the way our guys stuck with it, didn't get frustrated. We got rewarded with a goal the last minute of the second period, which really gave us momentum. It didn't last very long, because they came out and scored the first shift of the third period. I love the way our guys responded after that.

Q.  Timing is everything. Two days off. Comes at a good time?
   
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: Well, it does. I still felt like we were feeling some of the effects of the last series, even though it had been some days. The guys that played high minutes, particularly that last game against San Jose, it just seemed like they didn't have the same jump in the first two or three games. You could start to see it a little bit in Game 3. But I thought we were much better in Game 4. Hopefully the two days off gets us back to where we're supposed to be. Morrow, Ribeiro, Richards, especially both Morrow and Ribeiro were over 50 minutes in that game. That takes a toll. So hopefully these days give us a little bit of rest, give us that extra energy we need for tomorrow afternoon.

Q.  Seems like Marty is overdue for a win at Joe Louis Arena.

COACH DAVE TIPPETT: That's what everybody is saying. Everybody talks about how much he lost here. I just look at that as he's due. That's what we're going to bank on.

Q.  Do you think you can carry the momentum from what you saw in the third period from your team, going at Ozzie? Seems like you took a page out of their book where Ozzie couldn't see the puck and you were able to score too quick.

COACH DAVE TIPPETT: Well, that's what you're hoping for. I'm sure they're saying the same thing. They're feeling like they're coming home where they had a very good record in the playoffs. Each team motivates themselves their own way. We feel like we played very well, got some traffic, got the goals we needed. You know, got the win we needed. Our team feels good about it. We're still in the same situation where we have to win to stay alive and our desperation levels will still be very high. Hopefully we can come in here and get ourselves a win.

Brenden Morrow

Q.  Your coach talked about the fact you felt that you and Mike Ribeiro had a little more jump in the last games. Do you feel that way?
   
BRENDEN MORROW: Yeah. We got better results. A lot of this had to do with not playing against Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom.

Q.  As the series has moved along, has anything changed strategically since the start of the series? Obviously there's been some injuries on both sides. But has the strategy changed at all?

BRENDEN MORROW: I don't know if our strategy's changed. I didn't think our execution was up to what we previously wanted. Things that we talked about that were going to give our teams success, we maybe got away from them a bit. Detroit had a hand in doing that. But I think we got that back in Game 4 anyway. We got back to doing the things we had success with.

Q.  Three goals last game. Something to build on, too? Goals have been tough to come by.
   
BRENDEN MORROW: Yeah, special teams have been huge. They gave us a lot of breaks in the first two series, and we're gonna need them to be strong again tomorrow to have success against this team. The power play got us a big goal. Mike's goal was huge for us. We expect big things tomorrow.

Q.  You're playing in front of a goalie that hasn't won in this building. Your thoughts on Marty being due? He is 0-9-2.
   
BRENDEN MORROW: Well, if he's 0-9-2, my record can't be that great here either (smiling). There's a lot of us that play in front of Marty. I'm sure he'd like to get the monkey off his back. But the rest of us have to compete hard, play well in front of him and give him as much a chance for the win as he's been giving us.

Q.  Chris Osgood told us this morning the scores don't reflect how tough you guys have played, the fact that they were up 3-0, now it's a 3-1 series. Do you feel that way? Do you feel like you played them tough and can you play them tougher tomorrow?

BRENDEN MORROW: There's been stretches where the game hasn't been that close, but I think for the most part the series doesn't reflect the score. But credit to them, they found ways to win hockey games. It's up to us to do that. We want to extend the series. They're going to try to shut the door on us. It's a big challenge.

Q.  Despite the second period disallowed goal, Homer said today he was going to try to lose weight, stay out of the crease. They're obviously going to get the same kind of traffic in front of Marty. Your thoughts on that?

BRENDEN MORROW: When you come into this series, they have a couple guys that are great at that. We need to do the same things. They found a lot of success for goals, traffic in front. To score any goal in this league, you have to take the sightlines away. We're going to try to focus, get to the front of the net as much as they are.

Q.  Seemed like in the third period on Wednesday night, you took a page out of their book where Ozzie couldn't see the goals, one pass and it's a score.
   
BRENDEN MORROW: They broke a stick. There was a broken stick, a couple skill guys on our team made the heads up play. Goalies are going to stop what they can see. They're going to make those stops. It's about getting traffic, getting to those second, third opportunities, rebound opportunities. More and more you're going to score.

Q.  You're on the other side of another big series deficit. How much will that help you going into this?
   
BRENDEN MORROW: I think we saw the other side of it. We let one game slip away, another one comes out. Gets away from you these couple days. It's given us a chance to rest a little bit. Hopefully it's given Detroit a little bit of doubt in their minds. We played a real good hockey game. We're going to need the same to get a win.

 
Mike Modano

Q.  Obviously another opportunity to try and gain momentum in this series. What's your approach tomorrow?
   
MIKE MODANO: A lot like we did in Game 5. Survival mode, kind of live for another day. We're playing pretty desperate. We tried to keep the game tight, keep the scoring low, wait for our opportunities. We finally got some breaks and some chances, some good looks at the net. Osgood made the most of them. There's not many opportunities, so when you do get them, you try to get them in the net as much as you can. But you know they're few and far between. A mistake free game is sometimes impossible, but, you know, the least you can cause out there, the better.

Q.  You finally get a lead in the game, in the series, the other night in the second period.  Zetterberg comes back, ties it up, but then you finish it off. How did you do that the other night?


MIKE MODANO: It was a big third period. Probably the most exciting period in the playoffs that we've had at home. But Zetterberg's goal did get them back in it. Obviously, Holmstrom's goal/no goal situation kind of helped us out probably, too, a little bit. But we weren't going to let that bother us. We just wanted to go out there and throw a great 20 minutes in there. If we gave it our best, we felt we could finally get a win.

Q.  Marty is due to win at Joe Louis Arena. Your thoughts on him?
   
MIKE MODANO: It's something that, you know, haunted him for a while, I'm sure. Great thing about sports is you get that opportunity to redeem yourself over and over again. Again, the environment is set up and the situation is set up for him to really succeed tomorrow. And hopefully, you know, if he's our best player, we'll win.

Q.  Probably about 20,000 fans that are ticked off this series did not end in a sweep. Your thoughts on playing in front of all the angry Detroiters tomorrow?
   
MIKE MODANO: We had 20,000 the other night that were really happy that they didn't sweep. You know, we weren't going to let that happen, especially at home. But we know that that crowd here, it's a great Red Wing and great hockey town, we know that. So we have to have a great start, maybe try to get the fans eliminated from the game, try to not let them get too involved, go from there.

Q.  A comment about playing on that line with Brad Richards.
   
MIKE MODANO: We experimented with it a while ago. I think Dave was really set on three centermen, trying to get more depth and that. You know, critical times call for critical measures, so we needed to load up something and try to get two lines going, pretty much reserve that one line to just go out there and skate with those guys, check them, see if our lines could get freed up a little bit.

Q.  Talk about special teams a little bit. After the first two rounds, you guys dominated on the special teams side. You finally finished on the plus side. How important is that for tomorrow night?
   
MIKE MODANO: It's been the success of our playoffs. Every time we've done well on it, it seems like we've won or been able to advance in some rounds. It's been a real big part of our team all season long. For the most part of the year it was up in the low 20s. Top five in the league for the most part. Same with our penalty killing, one or two in the league all year. Those two aspects of the game have really become valuable because of the rules and everything that's changed. We've tried to really become conscious of that, make it a big advantage for us.

Q.  Did you spend a lot of time on that today?
   
MIKE MODANO: We did. We went over it a little bit. We had some meetings this morning, talked about some instances that we ran into the last couple games, continuing with our breakout, how we enter into the zone. We did a little bit of zone work today on the power play. You know, just were really working on the top part of that power play, getting shots from the side. With Brad and Zubov out there, you have different looks where you can get shots and passes coming from all over.  So just running through a number of options there.


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