Q. Can you just talk about what happened late in Game 2, whether you expect any carryover or change of tone for Game 3?
I think we saw frustration on their part, but I think they're trying to spark their team, get their team going and gain some momentum going into Game 3. So I think that was one of the reasons why things happened the way it did last night.
I agree with Nick. We felt we played a real disciplined hockey game. There was some stuff going on after the whistles, and we just skated away from it. That's something that we've been staying with all playoff long. We don't want to get into scrums. It doesn't benefit us. If we can play five on five, we'll continue to do that. So that was the end of the game. It's over, it's done with. I don't think there's going to be any carryover, except for the fact they're going to be definitely physical. We know that any time they get an opportunity to hit any one of us, especially our star players, that's exactly what they're going to do.
Q. Did you have a problem with the way they went after Johan [Franzen] late in the game there?
Saw a couple -- obviously everyone knows what's happened with Franzen and concussions, and definitely they went out of their way to hit him in the head. Good thing is that he has a new helmet and a big head, so he was okay with it. And he was back at the rink today, and he's going to be fine. He knows he's a target. He scored a lot of goals. We were thrilled to have him back on the ice. It was a tough injury, injury that certainly caught him off guard and certainly caught our whole team off guard. We didn't see this coming. To get him back in the lineup was a great boost. And he's a presence out on the ice. So he's definitely going to be a target.
Q. You guys are known to skate away. You mentioned you skate away from scrums, it doesn't benefit you. It makes you guys a difficult team to hate. What does it say about a guy like Pavel [Datsyuk] that didn't skate away and took a shot?
That was unbelievable. It shows when things happen, someone took a run at [Goaltender Chris Osgood
] Ozzie, and there was a scrum. And Pavel was right in there, throwing. It just shows you how bad this team wants to win. And when there's a scrum, we have five guys that are going to stick up for one another. And that's exactly what happened late in the game.
Q. Kris, can you compare and contrast Nick's captaincy to [former Red Wings captain Steve] Yzerman's captaincy?
I can certainly compare it. You're talking about two world class individuals. The same thing with Stevie and Nick, they don't say a lot, but as soon as they start to speak, everyone stops what they're doing and listens. And the message is very clear. And I think that's what makes great leaders. Very similar -- exactly like Stevie, the way they lead on the ice. They just go out night in and night out. They're your best player, and they inspire you. You see the way Nick plays and plays at such a high level. You want to be there right with him. And he's been unbelievable, probably every game I've played with him. And it's just great at this time of year to be playing with such a great leader, such a great captain. And he's certainly one of the huge reasons why we're here right now in this situation we're in right now.
Q. Nick, given what you guys have been able to accomplish the last two games, especially last night holding them without a shot for the first 12 minutes of the game, where does this team rank in all of your years since you've been in Detroit from a defensive standpoint?
It's tough to compare teams to what we have. Previous championship teams are back in the '90s. I thought we -- the team we have right now is tough to play against, where the forwards are coming back hard. We're playing tight as a group. We very seldom have a big gap where you give the other team a lot of room to skate through the neutral zone. And we try to push teams on the outer side. Under Scotty Bowman, when he was our coach, we played a similar style, but we had left wing lock, we call it. We had three guys that could stand up at the red or blue line and prevent teams from coming at us with speed. That's one of the similarities that we used to play under with Scotty and the way we play right now.
Q. Gary Roberts said this morning that Franzen embellished. The coach is saying, and several other players are saying, that Osgood is diving out there, that he's looking like a soccer player. What do you think the Penguins are trying to accomplish by saying things like these?
Because that's the way they're looking at it. But our approach is that we're going to continue to play like we have. We have to continue to play hard against their top players, take their time and space away and try not to give them any room out there. We've been doing a good job at that as a group of five on the ice. If they think we're playing a clutch and grab or trying to slow them down, so be it. We're trying to play the style we've been playing all season.
Yeah, things are going to be said. This is the Stanley Cup Finals. We have thick skin. The bottom line is finding ways to win hockey games. And we've been able to do that. We feel that our work ethic is very good. We feel that we're skating. We're doing everything that we can to play as a team. And we're going to continue to do that. Like I said, for us to get involved in scrums and four-on-four situations, that's stuff we don't want to do. We want to stay away from that. We feel if we can keep rolling four lines we feel that that benefits our hockey club. So those are the things that we're going to continue to do.
Q. Do you think it's maybe because they're panicking a bit, trying to divert attention or trying to take away from yourselves?
Well, you know, I guess you can ask them that question. The one thing that we've done all along in playoffs, really, is the concern is our dressing room and how we're playing and how we feel as a team. And right now we've done some good things. We haven't accomplished anything, that's something that we realize. We're coming into a building where Pittsburgh's had a lot of success and a lot of confidence. So tomorrow night, it's a huge game. We've been in series before where 3-0, 2-1 -- it's a big difference. Momentum is huge in the playoffs. And that's something we just want to continue doing, winning hockey games and try to create a lot of momentum for our team.
Q. Nick, back to Kris' answer about being a captain. How much of the way you approach being the captain of this team is based on what you learned with Steve Yzerman as a captain?
I had Steve as a captain for 15 years before I had a chance to be the captain. And just from watching him up close, the way he approached the team or how he prepared himself for games or practices, it's something that I tried to take after, especially the way he played in games. Like Kris was saying, he wasn't an overly vocal captain, but once he spoke, he usually said the right things. He came up with things to get the team going. But he also responded on the ice. He also brought the game on the ice. And that's something that I try to do as well.
Q. This might not apply to the Penguins. You may not want to answer it, so you don't end up with bulletin board quotes. When you get into a situation like this where you had a team maybe looking for a spark or letting frustration boil over, do you get a psychological advantage where if you deliver some setbacks early in the next game you might be able to push them into an even greater tizzy or just completely ruin their whole psychology?
I think they're going to come out with lots of desperation in the game tomorrow night, especially in their own building. They're going to feed off the fans. They have been playing well in their own building. So I think that's the way they're approaching it too. I think they have to come out with a good push, and they have to try to continue to push us back. Whether we can get first goal or something happens, we have to wait and see that. But our approach is going to be the same, that we have to play well defensively, but when we have the puck we're going to try to take it to them as well and hang onto the puck and make plays in the offensive zone. It's kind of tough to answer.