Q. Your guys said they admitted they were playing tight yesterday. When a team comes out tight like that, how do you approach that? Is that a coach thing? Is that a captain thing? A player thing? Who takes charge there?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I think everybody does. But, I mean, that's exactly what we talked about. I mean, you can be tight and tentative or you can be loose and dry. Straightforward. When you're tight, I mean, you're slower.
So, yeah, you being slower, them working hard, that's just a little bit of difference that makes, and your execution is not as good.
It's interesting, when I walked out of the rink with my wife and my son, my son was like he got shot, you know, he said, You're flat. Well, we're so far from flat it's not even funny. But for your normal fan who comes to the game, that looks like the start of a game in November where you're half asleep. Well, that's not the case.
But you want to win so bad, sometimes you get in the way of yourself. One of the greatest skills as a professional athlete or anybody is controlling activation level. Sometimes you just got to take a deep breath.
Q. Mike, are you getting as much out of the second line as you should?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, we'd like them to score more. But I think if I'm not mistaken, the only guy who got a goal was our fourth line left winger last night. So we need more from everyone. And that's just the way it is.
But I think to be successful everyone's got to pick it up. You know, I think when we won the first three games of the series, we talked about Helms goal. When they won the next two, you can talk about Petersen the one night, Lundqvist scored a goal, Daley scored a goal last night. That's how the playoffs are when there's not much to pick between teams.
Q. Is there anything new on Franzen? Would you think about maybe mixing up some lines, changing some personnel around?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, you always got to try to make adjustments to win. And I think that's really important. You know, same old, same old probably gives you the same result.
You know, the good thing about it is we don't have to make any real decisions till tomorrow. So that gives me some more time, decide what we're gonna do.
Q. The changes they made with the line with Petersen, what challenges has that line presented for you the last couple games?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I thought that line skated well in their building. You know, guys, we directed 58 shots at the net yesterday. They directed 28. Let's not make things bigger than they are or smaller than they are. It is what it is.
I think that line's played well for them. But I think the Richards line was good and I thought the Ribeiro line was good. So they've basically gone to being a three line team totally and they got good contributions from all nine or ten guys that played up front and on the back.
Q. What, if anything, can you do to try to keep the puck away from Turco as far as on the dump ins? Anything you can change there?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, Turco played the puck up three times in the game last night. It's not like he had a hundred touches. But he had three very effective ones.
Yet in saying that, you know, the one he fired off McCarty's leg that ended up being the game winner, if he hits McCarty's leg, and it bounces on McCarty's stick, he shoots it in the net, it's the game winner the other way, that's how fine a line it is.
So we'll just keep going, keep skating. I think when we're playing real well, coming with speed through the neutral zone, we don't lay it in as much. When we're not executing, coming with as much speed, we tend to lay it in.
I don't know if that answers your question.
Q. Is there no update on Franzen?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Yeah, there's an update.
Q. What would it be?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Just that he's getting better and he hasn't been cleared to play.
Q. So no timetable at all when he could?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: None.
Q. Do you feel Cleary, some of your other guys, are pressing a little bit to fill that void?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I thought last night we had, I mean, Homer missed it twice, Dallas missed it, Cleary missed it. We had guys home free, clear cut opportunities that didn't hit the net. That's being too fine. Pound it off the goalie and shoot the rebound in the net.
Q. Just to follow up on Franzen, has he been able to skate at all on his own?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: He hasn't done anything, no. I mean, does he have to skate for a month as soon as he's cleared? No. He'll be playing the day he's cleared.
Q. Any lineup changes for tomorrow?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Yeah, I just answered that question. What I said is I got another day to buy time to make those decisions. So right at game time you're gonna know.
Q. How much is Dallas clogging up the middle on you guys and how much is it your lack of production?
: It's a little of both. I mean, they clog up the middle pretty well. You know, we got to move the puck a little bit quicker, transition a little bit quicker. We just got to have a little more traffic at the net, break them down a little bit.
But, you know, it's up to us to adjust and get a little more scoring from all four lines.
Q. Do you think they made adjustments in this series to you guys?
: You'd have to ask them. I'm not sure exactly what they've been trying to do the entire series. Looks like they've been playing kind of the way they did against Anaheim in Dallas. That's kind of what we expected.
Like I said, it's up to us to adjust and play the way we're capable of playing. We feel that we could have a few more chances, generate a few more chances, hit the net a little bit more with some traffic, you know, cut down our mistakes. I think a lot of their chances came on our miscues or turnovers. We just have to cut those down.
Q. It's a fair assessment to say you played a little tight yesterday. What can you do to change it?
: Well, you know, it's easier said than done. It's always tough when you have a chance to move on to the next round, you just need one more win. It may be the most overused cliché in the world, but the last win is always the hardest one.
Now we kind of wasted a chance and opportunity yesterday. Now we have to go into their arena and try to do it there. It's just a matter of just coming out and playing. I think if everyone just kind of gets their first couple shifts in, maybe gets a hit or gets hit, get a shot or something, just play the way we're capable of playing, we should be okay.
Q. Is this group feeling the pressure?
: I don't think so. I mean, we have enough leadership in here. Last year we made a good run. I think any of the young guys, even the old guys for that matter, got a good taste of a good run again. I think we learned from our mistakes then.
So, no, I don't think we're feeling the pressure. I think, if anything, it's an opportunity to thrive on the situation.
Q. How much can the experience of this group help in this situation?
: I mean, they've won the last two, they're going back into their rink. We do have a lot of experience here. It's not just at the NHL level. Guys, whether it's been the Olympics, international hockey, whatever. So now you got to play your game. You got to go up there and stay loose, see how the game goes, dictate whether we need some leadership to step up. I think everyone can just lead by going out and playing the way they're capable of playing.
Q. Are they doing anything that's different, especially regarding Henrik the last couple games?
: I think they're playing a lot tighter on him. They're trying to keep him on the outside. They're back checking him, too. So it's tough if you pull up to have pressure on him all the time. I think we're still able to create chances. That's the thing, is just executing, getting the puck in the net.
Q. You are a different team when you play with the lead.
: I think both teams are playing well with the lead. We're not giving up too much. Even last night's game, too, I think we're not giving up a whole lot even though we're still pressing, trying to get that second goal. We're not giving up a whole lot.
I think it's just a matter of executing a little bit better.
Q. Is getting just one game harder than it sounds?
: Well, they're a desperate team. They're playing well. They're not gonna give up. They're going to continue to play hard. We know that, too.
But we know we have to play a little bit better in our own end, not have any breakdowns where they can have some odd men rushes. I think we just have to bear down and play a little bit better defensively, and the offense can take care of itself.
Q. What do you do as captain specifically in a moment like this?
: Well, we still have to stay loose as a group. That's the thing you have to emphasize. Play with confidence, too. Even though we were down a goal, pressing a little bit, I thought early in the game we were a little bit tight. As the captain, you have to try to keep the group loose and still play with focus and all that. But you have to be loose, as well.
Q. Do you make jokes?
: Well, you can't be overtight, walk around here being overly serious all the time. You still have to work to try to keep the group a little bit loose.
Q. Kris was talking about 2002. He said he remembers going into Denver down 3 2. He said that's when a team is tight. But there's no sign that anybody here is anything less than confident.
: No, I don't think so either. That's one of the things you have to talk a lot about, too. You can't be tight. You can't be sitting back. You still have to play with that confidence and play loose.
But once you get that chance, you have to execute, too. That's something we can do a little bit better.
Q. Where does the urgency factor in, or does it?
: That comes into play, too. But it starts with playing with confidence. You can't press, you can't be over forechecking, trying too much. All of a sudden you're vulnerable on the back end. That's where you still have to play with that confidence.
Q. How do you keep a team loose? You would think yesterday coming into home, having a 3 1 lead, they might be loose, but they played tight by your assessment.
: You have to talk about it a lot. You have to keep bringing it up, looking at things that we're doing well, whether it's forechecking the right way, finishing checks, looking at the good things we're doing right, bring the positive things up.
Q. Is this when experience helps out?
: I think it helps. I think it helps having the experience. A lot of players have been through similar situations in the past. I think experience really helps when you're in a situation like this.
Q. How much are you guys really missing Franzen in terms of having a secondary line? He's just one guy, but in some way he symbolizes more than one guy.
: He's been so effective, whether it's on the power play or five on five, the way he can hang on to the puck. You can tell since March when he was on that streak, he's been playing with a ton of confidence, too. He was so good at taking the puck to the net, that's one of the things we can do a better job at. Remember what Mule did, he took the puck to the net a lot by himself. That's going to create a lot of second chances.
Q. Do you think some of your other scorers are feeling the pressure to fill the void?
: I don't think they're feeling the pressure a whole lot. I think we have to continue to shoot the puck. We can't pass up the chance or look for the perfect play. In the playoffs, you're not going to get that many chances each night, quality scoring chances. You have to continue to shoot that puck.
Q. Is that what they're doing a little bit on power plays, getting into lanes better?
: They're playing well. I think they're playing real well through the neutral zone where we try to come with speed. They're playing it real tight where we don't have too many openings. I think once we're set up, we still have some chances.
Same thing there: we have to get the puck more to the net. We have to create more traffic, too, in front of Turco. He's playing real well. But when you have that traffic, he has to look around a lot. It's going to make his job a lot tougher.
Q. Talk about their defensive play. What is different?
: I think they've played real well defensively in their own end. They're trying to push us on the outside, but they're not really taking any chances offensively. If they get a chance, they'll jump and go for it. When we're coming up through their neutral zone with speed, they usually have four players back where it's tough to come with that speed. We have to have quicker counterattacks on them. Instead of going side to side with the puck, come a little bit quicker with our speed.
Q. Do you know specifically the rules regarding concussions, in terms of understanding when Franzen could get back or what's keeping him from moving forward?
: I think last thing I heard, he's feeling better, he's able to ride the bike now. We have to leave that up to the experts, the doctors. If you start exercising, get headaches again, it can be dangerous. You don't want to push it too early.
But, no, that's where the doctors' expertise come in.
Q. What is the key for Game 6?
: Biggest key, I think we need score. We need to score one or two goal. We have lots of experience this year, too, Game 6.
Q. Have they been playing you and Henrik differently the past two games?
: What do you mean?
Q. Have they been on you more?
: No, we have lots of chances, we need to score. We need people to use these chance. We not score, is hard to win.
Q. How do you score more?
: Just do the same way, more shoot, more rebounds, stay in the front.
Q. Have you guys noticed, has Turco been getting better and gaining more confidence? Yesterday was one of his better games in the series. Do you guys see it? Do you think it's something you're not doing?
: No, I just especially watch myself, play better every game. Turco have good game yesterday. We have lots of chance, I tell you. We need more be harder.
Q. Kris, is this where experience helps out a younger team, winning two in a row?
: Yeah, I mean, you know, we weren't happy with the way we started the game. But as it went on, we felt we did some good things. You know, we can't come out and we can't show signs of being tentative or tight. We just have to come out and have an unbelievable game.
Our starts haven't been great the last couple games. That's something that we certainly have to be better at tomorrow night.
Q. Is it safe to say it's been more stuff you haven't been doing or doing as well in these last two games?
: No, I mean, you have to give them credit. We were totally in control of the series, up 3 0. We had an opportunity there to close them out. Didn't do it. Obviously yesterday afternoon, didn't get it done. There are some things we know we can do better in order to eliminate a team.
The one thing that we just talked about is, you know, the first series, we closed out Nashville in Nashville, the last series we closed out Colorado in Colorado. So we've been able to find ways to win on the road. That's something that we're going to need to do tomorrow.
Q. They're putting more and more attention on Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Is it more incumbent for others to do more?
: The one thing that we said through this playoffs, why we've been successful, is secondary scoring. You know, right now this game can't be won with just Pavel and Hank. Everybody has to realize that. We need everybody going. We need some other guys to step up. Put pressure on myself to score, Kirk Maltby
to score, Danny Cleary and, Filppula. I mean, guys like that have to step up and be able to take a little bit of pressure off of Pavel and Hank. Those guys are playing unbelievable. They're creating a lot of opportunities. Didn't go in yesterday afternoon for them.
But, you know, this isn't just about those two guys. This has been a total team effort from the start. That's what it's going to continue to be for us to be successful.
Q. When the team is playing a little tight, who has to change that? Is that a player thing or a coach thing?
: You know what, the shift that Dally had, you know, hitting everything that was moving, you know, kind of did settle us down a little bit. That's something that we're going to continue to do. We need guys to step up.
Like I said, this isn't just about Pavel and Hank, it's about everybody. We have a lot of experience in here that have been in these situations before. We're still up 3 2. That's something we've just got to keep hammering home. It's all about finding a way to win one game, one road game. Like I said, we've done this before in these situations. We just have to draw on that and just come out and be a very confident team. Like I said, we had some great chances yesterday. They didn't go in for us. If we continue to play the way we've been playing, they're going to go in.
Q. Do nerves become a factor?
: We're in the Western Conference Finals. This is what you expect. We're in a dogfight here with a great hockey club. At this time of year you don't expect things to be easy. That's what makes the Stanley Cup playoffs so rewarding when you can find ways to win hockey games, when you can dig down deep and find a way to win that game when you need to do it. Everyone is playing for the same thing right now. You have four teams left. All four teams feel they can become Stanley Cup champs. With that, it makes these games tough.
As a professional athlete, this is where you want to be. This is the situation you want to be in. Like I said, we've been in them before.
Q. Can I get your thoughts on the shot to Morrow? Got him a little up high. No one really saw it. Caught on the replay.
: Yeah, no, I don't know.
Q. You don't know anything?
: No. Sorry.