Q. Sid, it's kind of a two parter here. Can you go back to when you first, when you returned for good from the ankle injury and you guys were making the decisions on the power play, what went into the decisions, as far as, you know, with where guys were positioned on the first unit? And was it uncomfortable for you at all to be put in the spot where Gino had had a lot of success, knowing he would be put into a spot where he would be a little bit less comfortable?
When we were kind of discussing everything, and he's pretty good about coming to everyone, and usually we meet as a group. And we just decided that depending on faceoffs and stuff like that, I either was going to be back there or Gino was going to be back on the point, just depending on where the faceoff was and the team we were playing. So it was going to switch up. And as we went on, I think we just got used to set up with Gino [Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin
] being back there and sometimes I'm back there. When you've got four forwards out there, you rotate anyway.
So I don't think it was something that was an issue and still isn't an issue. You have four forwards and you cover for each other, and I think that that's been working well. It's hard for teams to defend that when they don't know who is going to be in each spot. And we can all make plays, and we can all back each other up. So it's not a really big deal.
Q. I know it's an optional today. Instead of skating you went out for 15 minutes before hand. Can you talk about what you were trying to accomplish there?
Just get a little skate. Sometimes optionals for guys who maybe didn't play as much, something like that, it's a little bit tougher, it's a little bit longer. Sometimes you just want to get out there and get what you need to do done and get off and get ready. So just little skill stuff. Nothing major.
Q. After two games going into the Stanley Cup Finals, some great deal of talk about the high skill level, the potential dramatic contests of two great teams, and it's been fairly one sided, at least the perception of the series has been a blowout so far. How do you respond to the idea that even people think you've been embarrassed so far?
It's two nothing, and we haven't scored. So we have to find ways to score goals. To be honest, I'm not too worried about people's perceptions. I'm worried about playing hockey and winning hockey games. To answer your question, I'm not worried about that.
Q. Sid, you guys have been on the opposite end of this before. But I hate to use the word "must win", but is this a must win for you guys?
Yeah, this is a big one. We're at home, and we definitely want to make sure we don't give them the opportunity to go up 3-0 here, and be one game away. So we want to make sure that tomorrow we're ready. And you know we're at home. We've played well. So I think we're pretty confident here. Just want to make sure that the desperation is there.
Q. Can you talk a little bit, one, about the frustration level about not scoring any goals really, and the other thing, at what point do you maybe change strategies or do you just keep doing what you're doing and hope things work out?
Yeah, it's obviously frustrating. You always want to score. And I think it's the nature of the playoffs. You're not going to get a lot of chances, but when you do get them, you have to make sure you put them in. As far as strategy goes, I think it just comes out of execution. I said it before, but you just need to make sure when you get those chances, you bury them. And it's really what it comes down to. They're not outchancing us by a whole lot, to be honest. We just need to make sure we put the puck in the net.
Q. Is it the Red Wings are playing too good right now or is it that the Penguins are just playing bad, for you, how do you assess that?
They're playing good. It's tight hockey out there. That's just the way it is. I thought we did a good job last night of moving our feet and being physical. But they capitalized on their chances, and we didn't. That's really what it came down to. And they're a puck possession team. And when you get your chances, like I said, you've got to put them in, because they're controlling the puck a lot of the game. And we just gotta make sure that we get the puck, we manage it well; and when we get our chances, we put them in.
Q. You say it comes down to execution. If the Wings have the puck a high percentage of the time, what do you then do to get the puck or to get it from them?
Well, we've got to move our feet and manage it well. We can't give it back to them easily. Sometimes we have to be smarter with our dumps or maybe have a little more patience. Instead of getting the puck forward, maybe make a few passes instead of getting sucked into going into areas where they want us to go. Just little adjustments. But I mean, they're definitely skilled back there, and you've got to be smart.
Q. I know you mentioned pressure earlier. You're not only the face of the Penguins, but you're the face of the NHL, for the TV networks you're very important. How much pressure is on your shoulders for this series?
I'm in the Stanley Cup Final. That's realistically what's going through my head. That's all I'm worried about. Not the TV, not anything. I mean, I've dreamed of being here my whole life. And my job is what I do for my team and what I bring for my team. And that's what I'm worried about, nothing else.
Q. In some of the chances you guys have generated, shots have gone wide or not made contact. How would you describe the confidence level in that room when it comes to getting those opportunities?
It's there. We have a lot of guys who are capable of scoring and making things happen. And our confidence is fine. We all believe in each other. Each guy believes in what they need to do. I don't think there's a question there. We know we're going to have to earn our chances, but I don't think there's a confidence issue.
Q. In all sports, at a time like this, players always say: You gotta be loose. If you're tight tomorrow night, it's not going to help. You're down 2-0. You've got to win this game. You've come home. They've been beating you here. How do you guys come out tomorrow and be anything but tight? How do you stay loose for this game?
I think you're going to be focused. I mean, I think we all realize, as individuals, as a team the way you need to prepare. You know, for sure we want to be - have that desperation level. But who is to say who is tight and who is not tight?
How do you know how one guy prepares and how another guy prepares? I don't think that's really an issue. We know what we've got to do. We have to go out and do it. But whether one guy can barely stand the nerves in the afternoon and the other guy is happy go lucky and can't wait to play, depends on how you prepare. But you owe it to your teammates to make sure you're ready no matter what. And however that is, we've got to find a way.
Q. I saw Mario in the room last night. Is there anyone that's kind of reached out to you or you've reached out to them, maybe some wisdom in this time? It's a little unchartered territory for you.
No, we're down in the series 2-0. We're heading home. I think we all realize tomorrow night's a big game. I don't think there's really anything that needs to be said as far as certain advice or anything like that. I mean, it's just important that we go out there. Like I said, have that desperation, and we need that game.
Q. Sid, you've obviously faced the Devils, and Rangers teams that like to clog up the middle of the ice a little bit. How does what Detroit does differ from what you've seen in the past from some of those eastern teams?
It's pretty similar. As far as systems goes, you're going to see most every team is pretty similar. But they have a lot of skill. Their forwards buy into playing team defense and their defensemen do a great job. You look at the names back there, they're pretty talented. And just makes you - you need to execute that much more, whether it's dumping or managing the puck, you have to make sure you're smarter with it and you're putting pressure on them, forcing them to make mistakes.
Q. It's going to be tough emotionally being down two games. Are you looking for the home crowd to maybe give you a little bit of a boost, a little emotional edge tomorrow?
I think we're always confident here. It's been the great thing throughout the second half of the year in the playoffs. We've played well here, and we've been a tough team to play against. So definitely when we come here we realize that we have an extra attacker almost out there, and it's great to have that confidence level at home.