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Off Day, May 17 quotes: John Stevens

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Q.  We had the updates on both Timonen and Cobe?

COACH STEVENS: Kimmo looks like he's going to be ready to go. Cobe, I'm still not sure. He was still talking to Jimmy and the doctors. I think that's something that will probably be a decision that if not made today, it is something we'll make in the morning. I have not heard on Cobe. He had a full practice, looked good. Step in the right direction. Kimmo looked great. So looks like we'll get one for sure.

Q.  What is that going to be based on? The decision whether Coburn will be able to go tomorrow?
   
COACH STEVENS: Pardon me?

Q.  What will it be based on? What has to happen?
   
COACH STEVENS: He just has to decide if he feels well enough to play. I mean, he's still trying to get back on the ice and see how he sees through his eye with the injury he's had, and make sure he feels 100%. So make sure the doctors feel comfortable with him playing, and make sure he feels comfortable in his own mind. So make sure of his health, he's a healthy player. And if he is, we're glad to have him back. If he's not, we're not going to put him in harm's way, either.

Q.  Scotty Upshall said the pressure really tomorrow is on Pittsburgh. He said he's got nothing to lose. We can play almost with a different type of relaxation, but it's on them to end it and not have to come back to Philadelphia. Do you agree?
   
COACH STEVENS: Well, I think there's a certain degree of pressure on both teams. I said this to our team the other night, we both have to win a game and move on. You know, we need to move on in the series, and they need to win a game to move on. But we were in that situation ourselves. You want to try to close it out as soon as you can, and for us, we'll have to continue to try to make strides in our own play, and play with the urgency, discipline, and execution level that we did last game.

Q.  For everything that Kimmo and maybe Braydon if he comes back, give you on the ice, is it at least a nice feeling from a psychological standpoint to see your top two defensemen back out on the ice?
   
COACH STEVENS: Well, yeah, no question. They're great players. They're a big part of our team all year, but I think that's true of all the guys. It's great to have these guys being able to be around. But Kimmo's an elite player in the league. He's not just a great player, he's one of our leaders. To lose a guy like that, they're not easily replaced. You need a lot extra from everybody in your lineup just to try to close the gap that was left behind when he was out. So Cobe's a big guy, plays in all situations, creates speed, good defender. And Kimmo plays in every situation that there is in the hockey game. So to get one or both back would be a great lift for us in a lot of ways.

Q.  You got the first win in this series, how has the confidence of your club changed now knowing that you can win? In their building, does it change anything, that you know can you win in this series?
   
COACH STEVENS: I think any time your team wins, it builds confidence in your team that you can win. In the playoffs I felt we had some trouble closing on Washington. But I thought once we finished them off, it really helped us getting into the Montreal series. Now that we're able to win a game in this series, I mean, Pittsburgh's playing well. They were on a roll. And now we're able to win a game. It builds confidence. The enthusiasm in the group starts to build. The belief in the things that we're doing continues to build. Our power play had success. Our penalty kill I think is getting better. And Marty played solid, so there are lots of good things that come out of that game that we can build on leading into the next one. Because there's no question we're going to have to play extremely well, we'll have to play hard, and we'll have to be disciplined to win on the road.

Q.  You mentioned the power play, it's been such a huge advantage for you guys this season. What happened in Game 4 that wasn't there for Games 1 through 3? Did you change anything or was it just a matter of pucks bouncing a different way for you?
   
COACH STEVENS: Well, no, we changed our units a little bit. We put Hartsy with Danny and Lupul.  And Jonesy played the first unit with Kimmo being out. But I think there was a willingness to shoot the puck. We had a lot of pucks at the net, we won a lot of puck battles. The goal that's we scored came off rebounds at the net. And that's been our m o all year. I think early in the series we were looking to pass the puck into the net, and Pittsburgh just angled too well. They take lanes away. They've got big guys out there, experienced guys. You're not going to have the highlight goals that end up in the net through five passes through the seams. I think you have to shoot the hockey puck when the lanes are there, and I thought we did that.

Q.  The NHL playoffs are famous for guys playing hurt and through all sorts of injuries. But even by those standards is what Kimmo's doing a little extraordinary? Does it feel a little different when he's playing well?
   
COACH STEVENS: Well, I think it's different the fact that it's an unusual injury. I think in Kimmo's case, it's been killing him not to be able to play. But I just think he had to get to the point where the doctors told him he's beyond any risk of long term injury, and putting himself at risk of something severe happening. I think that's what we needed to hear in his case. There is some discomfort there, and there is some pain there. He still has some of the issues that he had before. But in terms of the medical danger, he's by that point. I think that's what he was waiting for. You know, he wants to play. There's lots of guys in our lineup right now that are playing through stuff. Obviously, he's playing through a lot here, and he can't wait to get back and play.

Q.  The possibility of getting two defensemen back, you have three guys available for that number six spot. How do you base that? On experience? What goes into that decision?

   
COACH STEVENS: Well, that's going to be a tough one, to be honest with you. Guys have stepped up and really played hard for the team. All the guys that have played. So, we'll wait and hear on Cobe, and then we'll look at our pairings. Some guys play special teams, some guys don't. Some guys have played together, before, but ultimately we'll have to make a decision. It will be a hard one, but we feel comfortable any one of those guys can come in.

Q.  Have you given any limitations to Kimmo and how much you can play him? And are there some techniques he can use during the game to keep the blood flow going or between periods?
   
COACH STEVENS: First of all, I think we're going to try to keep him under 40 minutes. But I think Kimmo's one of the guys like hatch, the more they play, the better they play. He's been able to work a little bit since he's been off. I don't think that will be an issue. He'll continue to play a lot of the situations he has. As far as what can he do during the game? He can take his skate off between periods and walk around a little bit. Allow his foot to circulate a little bit, and retie before he goes back on. That is one thing can he do. But in terms of limiting his ice time, we don't have the margin of error to do that or luxury to do that. As long as he's feeling well, we'll keep an eye on him. But I would expect him to play significant minutes.

Q.  Do you expect to hear about Braydon today?
   
COACH STEVENS: I can't even tell you that. I'll wait, I'll talk to Jimmy and see where we're at. It might be a thing that he feels great right now, but we want to get through the night and see in the morning.


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