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Off-Day May 29 Quotes: Chris Osgood and Kris Draper

by NHL Public Relations

Q. Chris, this week all your teammates and coaches have been saying that your ability to bounce back from losses or bad goals and things like that is really one of your strengths.  How do you do that so easily, and last night is a game that's easier or tougher to get past?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  It's over.  We didn't come into the series thinking we were going to win four straight.  We were hoping to.  But to say we expected it to be a hard series would be right on.  Just play the game tomorrow.  I mean, the next day, just keep doing the same thing as I've been doing.  That's about it.  I haven't really put any thought into last night, this morning.

I thought it was a real good game.  Both teams played real well, and somebody has to win and lose every night.  We were on the short end last night.


Q.  If I could get you both to comment on this.  Mike Babcock came in this morning, the morning after a loss, jovial with the media and joking.  Can you talk about the way he kind of sets the mood for the team and kind of understands when to go at you and when to give you your space and how his feelings for that kind of thing?

KRIS DRAPER:  I thought last night's game was a hard?fought hockey game.  We made a couple mistakes, and it resulted in goals for the Penguins.  And when you're playing a team that's so talented offensively you certainly have to make sure you take care of your own end.

And we had, like I said, some mistakes.  Like I said, it's over and done with.  We can't change what happened last night.  And our focus is going to be on our preparation here for the next couple days to get ready for Game 4.

The coach wants to come up and make sure that the players still feel confident, and we do.  I mean, we still have a great feeling in our dressing room.  And Mike's going to be the first one to tell you that.  That we knew that this was going to be a series.  And that's what it's turned into.


Q.  Kris, do you sense now the other side, young team, you had them on the ropes.  Their confidence was shaky.  Now they've got life.  They scored a goal, scored a couple goals.  They got the crowd and won a game in the Stanley Cup Final.  It will be different now, won't it?

KRIS DRAPER:  As well as Ozzie has been playing, we knew we weren't going to shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins out four straight games.  That doesn't happen.  They have too many weapons.  And we knew that was going to happen.  But we're happy with the way we responded last night.  It's 1?0 and 2?0, and we just kept coming at them.

We had some chances late to tie it up.  It didn't happen.  But we ? I thought we had a great start.  They were really good in the middle part of the game, and at the end we had a real good push, but just it wasn't just enough.


Q.  Given the way you've played last night, clearly you guys were in the game from start to finish.  If you were in Coach's shoes, would you make any changes to the lineup, maybe a Chelios or McCarty going into Game 4?

KRIS DRAPER:  Did you ask Mike that?  (Laughter) That's stuff that, as players, we obviously have no control over.  Like you said, we felt we were right in the hockey game.  We didn't get it done.  That's the bottom line.  But that's something that certainly Mike will take a look at.  As players, at this time of year you just go out and play.


Q.  Talk about that goal Franzen scored last night, what it meant to the team and just what it means to have him looking like he's back to where he was.

KRIS DRAPER:  That was a big goal.  Not only for our team, but certainly for the Mule.  He had been sidelined.  He's missed a lot of hockey in the Dallas series, and he was back being his dominant self last night.  He's so big and so strong.  And it looked like he had that confidence back that he knew that he could take the puck to the net.

And he did have some great chances in the third period as well.  So that's something that certainly we're going to need.  You always talk about secondary scoring at this time of year.  And that was a big goal for our team and certainly big goal for him mentally.  So that's definitely a positive that we saw last night.


Q.  Ozzie, you've been together so long throughout the playoffs, day in, day out, and yet you have a day off where you'll have a team activity where you're going to go somewhere and hang out and relax.  Talk about why that works so well with this team and the group of the guys that are together, and when you guys are together, alone, and kind of get away from the media and everybody else, what the dynamic is.

CHRIS OSGOOD:  That was the main thing, was to get away.  Some quiet time.  Just to relax and do whatever we wanted to do for one day and kind of rejuvenate ourselves.  And relax and come back tomorrow and be ready to practice.  And then play a great game Saturday.  We've always done stuff together as a team since '94, '95.  We did a lot of different things.

When you go on the West Coast, swings and stuff.  We've had a tight knit group of guys, regardless of who is here, who comes in and out.  The core guys we've had here for so long invite guys into our group and we have no clicks.  We get along great.  And that's why we play so well on the ice.


Q.  Were the Penguins a different team in this building and can you understand why they haven't lost since February here?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  I think they played pretty good Game 2 in Detroit.  I mean, I find it funny, the shots were 9?1 with eight minutes left in the first period.  I thought we played real well.  I thought their goalie made two huge saves to keep it at 0?0.  I didn't think it was that much different.

I thought they played with a lot of energy after they made it 2?0.  But any team would at any given rink.  I think when you get to this point, both teams are so good, I don't think it really matters much where the games are.

They're both really great rinks to play hockey in.  The atmospheres are outstanding.  And I thought it was a really well?played game.  Fast paced and hard hitting and a clean game that was ? unfortunately, we lost.  We would have loved to have been on the other side, but we weren't last night.


Q.  That third goal, how frustrating is it for a goaltender to get caught on a play from behind the net?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  It's no fun when you're there.  I don't know what happens.  Cut across, stayed with him.  Ended up shooting off the back of the net, went off the back of his stick, a weird bounce.  More or less, just try to get back to your net as fast as you can and make sure he doesn't stuff it in the open side.

He made a good play because he had it on the other side, used a left handed shot, pulled it back towards me.  It happens.  A lot of bounces go on during the course of a game and course of the series.

I mean, even a nice play to get it out front, and things happen.  It could have ricocheted off me or Lebda or anybody.  And it hit me in the back of the leg and ricocheted in.


Q.  Can both of you talk about Nicklas Lidstrom, what kind of captain he is in terms of his personality, has he changed at all since he's been captain, in terms of how he deals with you guys?

KRIS DRAPER:  First of all, Nick is a tremendous captain.  When Stevie decided to retire, it was a no?brainer who was going to be the next captain of this hockey club.  And very similar to Stevie about how he carries himself on and off the ice.  Really, what he does is he just goes out and leads by example, with playing at a high level, game in, game out.  And the one thing you know, Nick has become a little bit more vocal.  As a leader of the team, obviously he feels there's sometimes, some situations where he has to say something.

He doesn't say a lot.  He's not a rah?rah kind of guy.  But just like Stevie and a lot of the great leaders, when they speak, everyone listens.


Q.  Can I get you both to answer this.  Obviously the series received a ton of hype going in.  I know you want to wrap things up as quickly as you can, do you think last night's game justified all the hype that the series received?

KRIS DRAPER:  Absolutely.  I thought last night's game was unbelievable.  Like Ozzie said before, there was a lot of hits and skating, some great plays.  Big saves.  It had everything that we expected this series was going to have.  And those are the games you love being a part of.

Obviously we would have loved to have been on the other side last night, but that didn't happen.  We did get the loss.  But as a hockey player, and playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, that's what we expect.  And I thought it was a tremendous game played by both teams?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  That's exactly what I would have said.  Even used my name in it, so it's perfect.  (Laughter).

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