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Off-day, May 18 quotes: Tippett, Morrow, Modano and Turco

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Coach Tippett

Q.  Defensively what has been the biggest thing for you guys the last couple games?

COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  Well, I don't know.  We talk about we have to defend as a group.  Marty is certainly a big part of that.  I think the Toby Petersen line came in and gave us strong minutes in a checking role.

Like I said, from the start, we look at one of our strengths of our team is how well we check as a group and we expect everybody to do it.  Doesn't matter if it's top offensive players or other players, that's their main role is to check.

Marty has been very good.  But our group as a whole has worked harder at the checking part of the game.

Q.  What went into your thought process putting the Petersen line, what are you trying to accomplish?


COACH DAVE TIPPETT:
  Trying to win.  We hadn't won.  We're looking for answers.  Down 0-3, looking for answers.

The one thing that Toby Petersen, Lundqvist and Eriksson do, they all play the game pretty fast.  Zetterberg and Datsyuk, they were playing faster than we were able to keep up to.  So we decided to throw those guys against them, see if we could at least calm them down a little bit.

Those guys are great players.  They're going to get great chances in the game.  If you have some people that can go at least the same pace as they are, I think, like I say, you're never going to stop them, but it gives you a better chance.

Q.  First three games, a lot of your guys were talking about their world class skill, speed, ability to make plays.  Was there almost a sense of awe in the beginning that has since dissipated?

COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  I don't know, sense of awe.  They were doing that because we weren't skating.  Early in the series, I didn't think the first couple games, we didn't skate near as well as we had in the series before.  We were chasing the game a lot.  If you look at Game 1, what happened, we got down behind real early and we were chasing the game.  Game 2, we were around the game, but seemed like we were chasing it, losing a lot of faceoffs.  We lost a lot of energy, more chasing than doing anything else.

I think as the series has gone on, we've been able to win a few more of the battles.  A little more puck time the last couple games.  We've actually played with the lead a little bit.  It's helped our group push forward a little more, use the energy in probably a more positive focus.

Q.  Can you talk more about Marty.  Was it about time he got that win?

COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  We talked about it before the game, he was due.  Our group as a whole hasn't played very well in there.  Marty takes the brunt of that.  But he was due.  He's a great goaltender.  Doesn't matter where he plays, he's going to find a way to win sooner or later.  That's exactly what we thought yesterday.  He went in there and played a great game.

Q.  How soon did you put that win behind you?

COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  You have to.  We're still in the same situation.  Last two games, our situation hasn't changed.  We have to win to continue to play.  You recognize some of the things you did well, take them into Game 6, try to repeat some of those, clean up some of the errors we had.

But the bottom line is, all?out effort has to be there.  There is no tomorrow for us.  That won't change in Game 6.

Q.  How much does the momentum, the last two wins, carry over?

COACH DAVE TIPPETT:  Well, you hope a lot from our side.  We're saying we need that momentum to keep us going.  Obviously you're looking at emotional games, we're finding ways to win.  Going home, we think the emotion of the crowd will certainly push us on.  But the momentum of finding some success in games certainly is something that pushes you forward.

Brenden Morrow

Q.  What was the difference defensively the last couple games?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  Well, I think our matchups have done a better job probably on the Zetterberg line.  But from Marty on out, I think our focus has been tracking hard, clogging up the middle of the ice, forcing them to take some outside shots instead of just doing whatever they please up the middle.

Q.  You guys have also been more focused on keeping them out in front of the crease?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  Well, I think they're probably still trying to get traffic in front of Marty.  But we've done a little better job boxing them out and letting Marty see the puck.  Holmstrom is going to get to the front, the net, sooner or later.

We're not going to be able to completely shut that down.  There's probably been a little more focus on it.

Q.  Y'all came into this series obviously planning to win it.  You get down 3-0.  It's like, 'Let's get back in it.Now does the focus turn back to winning it?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  The focus is on winning one game.  We don't look at the big picture yet.  They're still in a better position.  They got to win one.  We got to win two.  From when we were down 3-0, it was just win one hockey game.  We're not going to change that now.

Q.  Does it feel more likely or more possible maybe now than it did?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  We're a lot closer.  We're not four any more.  We're halfway there.  The odds are a little bit better, but still a big challenge.

Q.  Until this point, the mindset, the feelings, I know you guys talk about it, how has it been for you since yesterday?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  Well, we're just focusing on one game.  Our mind frame, we were pretty excited, happy to win the hockey game.  But we came to work, we're focused today on winning Game 6.

What we did yesterday's not going to carry over into the next game, so we just need to prepare and get ready the same way we did for the last two games.

Q.  Game 6s have been pretty successful for you through the years, but especially this year.  How much do you guys look at that as far as the success you've had and also the way you have won Game 6s?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  Those don't really mean a whole lot.  We're comfortable in our arena now, playing in the American Airlines where we haven't had the success we had before.

What we did against Anaheim and San Jose, it's not going to make one bit of difference against Detroit.  We just need to keep doing the things, keep competing the way we're competing, limit our turnovers, and make smarter plays.

Q.  You were pretty tentative early in the series.  At what point did you guys convince yourselves that you could play with these guys?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  I can't think of one point.  But I think just being down three games and having that desperation, let's just throw everything at them and see what happens.  That's kind of the attitude we got.  It ended up working for us.

I think we tried to start the series that way.  Detroit, to their credit, they got us away from that a little bit.  But being down 3-0, somehow we figured that was going to be the way to get back in the series.

Q.  Seems like the Red Wings' frustration level has increased a lot.  Is that from being more physical?

BRENDEN  MORROW:  I think it's losing two games.  They probably wanted to close it out Game 4.  We've gotten under their skin a little bit.  The Holmstrom penalty, the Draper cross-check that wasn't called.  Those things are frustration penalties.  I think that's a lot to do with the way we're playing and competing.  When things don't go your way, you start to lose your cool a little bit.  I think we see that a little bit with Detroit.

Mike Modano

Q.  You guys have another Game 6.  Obviously the other two were to end the series, this one is to stay alive.  Do you draw anything from those?  You have had some great Game 6s in the past.

MIKE MODANO:  Yeah, I mean, we've had them in the past where we've had to win Game 6s in other team's buildings, come back to win Game 7 at home.

But not a lot of those guys are around any more that were part of those games.  You know, I think as these playoffs have gone on, guys have gotten a lot of confidence.  They've gotten some experience being put into battles like that, pushed to the limits physically.  That's a good thing to be tested at those early rounds that we had, to put us in a position like this just to win one at home and see what happens.

Q.  What has been the difference defensively for you guys the last two games?

MIKE MODANO:  Well, I think the power play was key.  I think we've been really good at it.  Penalty killing up to this point, they finally got one last night after going 0?14, I think it was.  That's been a bright spot.  I mean, that's a real big momentum lift for their team when they have that going for them and they're able to score on it.

Then obviously just neutralizing their top guys has been a real big advantage for us, keeping those guys off the board as much as possible.  You know, they're still going to get their chances and look at things, but if we can limit that the way we have...

Q.  How annoying has it been not winning in Detroit?

MIKE MODANO:  It's been a while.  We went through a lot of years there we didn't even come close to beating those guys.  In the Hitchcock era, we kind of broke through on those.  We had some good success there.  We never had to face them in those playoffs when we won and went to the finals.

But, you know, Colorado was at the top of their game at that point.  You know, then we kind of went through the last couple years, it's been tough.  They've kind of gotten better as a team and really become one of the more dominant teams the last three or four years.  We just really seem to have our issues there.

But we felt after that Game 4, we won that, it got some momentum for us, got some confidence that we can play with these guys.  I think more or less it's just been staying loose and having fun and knowing there's nothing to lose.  No one picked us to win this series anyway at the start of it and here we are just playing to see another day.

Q.  Not only for Marty but for the team, what was it like when you finally broke through?

MIKE MODANO:  It was great.  I mean, it was a real big plus for us.  We just knew it was one game, finally we can realize what it takes to win there.  We still feel we can get better and we can do a lot of things better as a team on the ice.

That's a real big bright spot and positive to build on, too.  But, you know, for Marty's sake, everybody else's, it was a big move for a lot of guys to know.  Usually it's a tough building to play in for us.  Obviously they've had a great run there in these playoffs.

Q.  Does that momentum you built up here the past two games, does that carry over into the next game or it all goes out the window?

MIKE MODANO:  I think it does.  I think being at home, being with the crowd, I think it's going to be a great atmosphere here tomorrow night.  It should be exciting.  If we can give 'em something to get off their seats early in the game, get excited, then that's good for us.

But, yeah, I mean, they've been a great road team as well.  They came in here, had great experience, know how to calm things down if they get too frenzied out there on the ice.  For us, we just have to build on what we've done and try to really kind of keep taking it to higher levels.

Marty Turco

Q.  Get good sleep on the plane?

MARTY TURCO:  Not really.  I was pretty drained, actually.  I don't know if I sweat more than usual, whatever.  But feel good today.

Q.  What is the mood right now in the locker room?  Has to be pretty high for you guys right now.

MARTY TURCO:  Some of us haven't skated.  We had a short little meeting.  But we haven't been totally together.  Our mood really hasn't changed.  Can't really tell the difference between today and yesterday or the day before that, days even prior.

Yeah, I can't say there's much difference.  Our situation's essentially the same anyway.

Q.  What is it about this team this year, what is the biggest difference between this year and last year?  Obviously besides the longer playoff run, what has it been?  Camaraderie between you guys?

MARTY TURCO: 
I don't really know, you know.  It's going to be something, when it's all said and done, we can probably discuss at greater length, have some time to digest it.

You're just getting some big performances.  The addition of Brad, I think, has helped tremendously.  We had a lot of intense, I feel like, unattainable quests during the year.  Overall everyone is stepping up, accepting their responsibility.  People are playing well.

We know we can be better, too, even from yesterday.  I think we're going to need to be.  We know we can.  I think we will.

Q.  What are your thoughts on the Toby Petersen line?

MARTY TURCO:  You know, Petersen's line, it's no surprise to any of us in our locker room, how well they've played.  The other guys have been on top lines.  Lundqvist played on our most productive line last year in the playoffs, played the most minutes.  He's just an honest player.  Loui, as great as he's been, he's got just those star qualities that we look forward to years down the road what he can possibly do in this league.

Toby is such an intelligent player, has been around a long time.  When given the opportunities, he's always risen.  He has early in the year, minors coming here, not much fanfare, not much ice time. 

That just shows you the confidence people can take from playing a lot, the responsibility you can give to those you might not think can handle it and they have.  You're going to see a lot more of it on home ice when you can get kind of a matchup.

They played great.  He plays all the situations.  It's no surprise to us, but maybe to some.

Q.  Yesterday was there a point where you felt like this was going to be a different day, kind of sense it?

MARTY TURCO:  No, I didn't really sense it, but I knew that it could be.  I had the feeling that I just didn't want to be denied again.  We couldn't be; just to keep playing.  That was a big focus of mine.  Wasn't going to back away from the notion of not winning there, whatever anybody was saying, not that I even heard it all, but you could only imagine.  To me it was just more of killing two birds with one stone, of doing what we need to do to win, to keep playing, but at the same time just slaying that dragon.

You know, we did it.  But even right after the game, I didn't feel any sense of extra jubilation for me personally.  It was all about looking forward to Monday night and another opportunity to extend this, to continue, for me to give my teammates a chance.  That's what I do.  That's what I enjoy the most.  It's not about proving other people wrong or other doubters.

You know, I had never won there.  I haven't heard anybody think I couldn't do it, I just hadn't.  Wasn't any better time than yesterday.  Would have preferred Game 1 or 2, would have been more helpful in our cause.  But it is what it is and we're going to push forward.

Q.  How much does the momentum from the last two wins carry over into Game 6?

MARTY TURCO:  We have seen in the last series, over the years, in hockey in general, momentum is a huge part of every game.  It is from game to game.  But once you get into it, when you have it, you try to keep it.  When you don't, you try to get it back.

So probably all important first goal from their perspective I think would be huge.  I know our fans are just pumped as ever to see us back playing here in Game 6.  So it will be to our advantage to maintain it, to keep it on our side.  You know, to maintain an even keel is even greater from a preparation standpoint, to accept anything that comes your way in order to get the job done over 60 minutes, or if it takes more.

We just don't know.  I mean, it could be a big factor.  It can only help us.

 

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