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Off Day, May 17 quotes: Mike Richards

NHL.com @NHL

Q:  Upshall says that it's easier for you guys to play tomorrow without pressure, that all the pressure is really on Pittsburgh.

MIKE RICHARDS:  Yeah, yeah, in a big way it is.  I think after last game we can't help but think on their part.  For us, it's desperate times again, and we'll go out there and play hockey.  I think before last game everyone was loose and joking around the room.  Not worried about making mistakes.   And we go out there and have a great first period, a great start.  So hopefully we have that same mentality tomorrow night.  I don't see why not.  It's the same situation, pretty much.

Q:  You guys have a lot of confidence after a big win.  How much more boost will it be to get Kimmo back?

MIKE RICHARDS:  Huge for us.  He's our best defenseman.  He's the quarterback on our power play.  He kills penalties.  He's really one of the best leaders in our dressing room, and maybe even in the league. He does so many great things out there.  I mean, it is just like you said, the confidence that we have in him back there, it just echos throughout the dressing room.

Q:  How much more confidence do you have knowing that you can beat Pittsburgh in this series?

MIKE RICHARDS:  Yeah, I think we've had troubles with them in the series, just not playing our best.  Knowing that we're able to beat them when we do play well.  With players coming back, I think that boosts that confidence more.  When you have confidence in beating a team, you do different things.  You're more confident moving the puck.  At the end of games you're just more confident being composed with the puck.

When you have that confidence in the game and that little bit of a strut, I guess, it really shows on the ice in different aspects of the game.  And the power play you're making right decisions.  You're not panicking with the puck.  I think we've had that for a while.  They might have taken it away in the first couple of games, but I think we're getting it back with the way we're playing now.

Q:  You went back to the net more in Game 4, I guess.  Talk about that aspect of the strategy of trying to get to him and maybe rattle him a little bit from up front?

MIKE RICHARDS:  Yeah, the first couple of games I think we let him off the hook.  Not going to the net and trying to pass around him too much.  Maybe giving them too much respect.  Obviously a good goaltender.  But when you get pucks to the net and he's having trouble seeing them, there are going to be rebounds there.

As long as we have people there to follow up, that's how we scored most of the goals in the playoffs so far.  So if we keep doing that, I think he's going to keep having trouble seeing the puck and clearing the rebounds.

Q:  How does Coburn look to you out on the ice?  And have you had a chance to talk to him about how he feels in general, how his spirits are?

MIKE RICHARDS:  I haven't had a chance to talk to him, really.  I mean, it's tough for him.  He obviously wants to play.  I'm not sure how he's feeling, but he looks all right out on the ice. But it's not always how you feel right away. It's the after-effect.  He might have headaches or dizziness or things like that.  Even though at this point in the season you want to play pretty bad, you don't want to risk something like that for the future.  You're concerned about his health, but you obviously want him on the ice, too.



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