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Pre-Game 3 Quotes: Mike Babcock

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Q.  Mike, do you expect to be aggressive in trying to maintain the matchup that's worked for you at home or are you happy to just let your guys go?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Let 'em go. We're just going to play. I'm not going to make it as easy as that. But we're going to get our guys on and off the ice as much as we possibly can. We're real comfortable with three lines playing against anyone and four "D."

Q.  Can you talk about just Pavel [Datsyuk]'s ability to control the pace of play? You guys are such a puck possession team, he might be the best puck-handler in the group?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: He's a talented guy. What Pavel does is he protects the puck as good as anybody. He can take a hit and hang on and roll and draw people in. Like you say, he creates space for himself with a change of pace. And he's got great vision. So he's a good hockey player. Really good defensively.

Q.  [Penguins coach] Michel Therrien and a couple of the Penguins players the past couple of days in a row have talked about you guys in their opinion are kind of crossing the line with obstruction. There's always a war of words in these series. Can you talk about that?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don't know what there is to talk about. Obstruction is when you get your stick on someone and you don't move your feet or something like that. I think when you're in the right spot and you don't move your feet, I don't think there's obstruction. I think what they do at the end of the year is they put together a video of how to and how not to.

Q.  The implication there was you know how to do it legally, is that the implication?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don't think it's about -- I think everybody knows how to do it. It's not about -- obstruction is with your stick. Obstruction is -- there's been zero of that. None.

Q.  In a couple of series you've had commanding lead in the series. Teams have come back a couple of games on you. Is this kind of one of those swing games that could be the difference?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: It sure can be. But I mean, they're a good hockey team. We've played good teams. So when you get into these series, you know it's going to be hard.  And you know there's hardly any difference between the teams. And so you expect to battle. And we expect a real battle tonight. Just going through their players' stats alone here today, a lot of their players play well in this building. In saying that, we've played real well at home, and we've played real well on the road. We're optimistic that we're going to play well today.

Q.  At the end of the last game, Michel Therrien hinted that obviously the diving issue with Chris Osgood, in his mind, and [Penguins forward] Sidney Crosby had said that he was concerned that Osgood wasn't being held accountable in the same way that a forward or "D" man would with the same kind of activities, same kind of actions. Are you concerned about that, and has the League said anything to you at all, updating that situation?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: We met with the League today. And had an outstanding meeting. They told us they weren't very much interested in what we had to say. They were telling us how it was going to be done. I was very impressed, to tell you the truth. And most of the meeting had to do with blows to the head.

Q.  Do you think this team respected you going into this series? If not, do you think the fact that you didn't face each other in the regular season had anything to do with that?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I think they respected -- no one playing, when there's two teams out of 30 and all 30 are good, 16 teams -- I've said this so many times -- 16 teams, the League is so tight now, 16 teams had a shot. There's two teams left. They know you're good. You didn't get here by being bad. They're a very, very good team. We're a very good team.

It's interesting to me how there's a whole bunch of teams at home, and yet, sometimes when you get to this point you can take more abuse about how bad your team is. These teams are both good. But when one team doesn't win, there's something wrong with them. I don't know. I don't see it like that. I see there might be things good about -- these are two great teams in a positive situation with an opportunity.

Q.  This afternoon your two goalies are getting a huge award. Can you talk about the fact that you've needed both of them to get to this point?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Is that for goals against, is that what we're talking about? That's a real team thing, and obviously, they're really good goalies. And we take a lot of pride in that, being good defensively and offensively. If I'm not mistaken, I think we led the League as far as goals for and goals against. Is that right? And that's a positive thing for our team and a real compliment to the whole group.

Q.  To follow-up, I'm sure it was an oversight on your part. You mentioned the League spoke to you about blows to the head most of the time. What did they talk about as well as that, and did they mention the Osgood diving scenario, or diving in general?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No. I don't think so. I'm not going through the whole meeting. What I liked about the meeting today is they weren't very much interested in listening to me. They had a mandate. They came there. They told us. I think the League's in charge. I like that. I think I've heard this many times. We have great referees. They're going to do everything they can to do it right. We try to make adjustments as the series go on. When something happens in a game and a flag goes up to them, they make adjustments. They're smart guys.

Q.  On the road now, after the first two games, do you do anything from a coaching, strategy-wise as far as your game plan goes in the first 10 minutes in their building where you're expecting them to come strong, versus the first 10 minutes you would expect to do in your own building?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No. We want to get off to a good start at home and on the road. Same thing exactly. We've been hearing now for a few days, you hear every round how they're going to have a real push and have more energy at home, be better at home.

We'd like to have the best game of the series here tonight. Obviously, it's the one we're playing. And so our start tonight's important. We want to be poised. We want to do what we do and focus on us, like we always do. And so preparation is important.

I think the other thing is controlling your activation level is so important. If you do that, you can execute. And if you execute, you spend a little time in your zone and more time in their zone.

Q.  The last time a team got shut out in the first two games of the Finals was the Ducks team that you had in '03.  Can you put the shoe on the other foot and remember what that was like as a coach? You came back, you did win Games 3 and 4. So you obviously know they can still be dangerous?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: It was interesting, because one of the reasons I made the comment earlier, after two games in that series, it was all about we were unworthy of being in the Final. And I remember Jean-Sebastian Giguere stood up at one of these things and sat here and said: We earned our way here, and we have a heck of a team. And they've earned their way here. They've got a heck of a team. We've got two good teams going out. It's going to be a good hockey game tonight. I think experience, being through that in the past, helps me understand what they're going through, and yet helps me understand what we need to do.

Q.  You have back-to-back shutouts. Two parter, have we seen the best from the Wings, and if not, what kinds of things can you do to improve in Game 3?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: We have to play 60 minutes, and I thought when we got up 2-0 in the last game, we were cautious for a second. We don't want to be cautious one bit tonight. I think sometimes you get caught up in that is we want to have our foot on the gas. We want to come out and go after them as hard as we possibly can. We want to be loose and driving. And so that's been our mandate every game, all year, for every team I've ever coached. And it's going to continue to be.

Q.  Can you talk to us about Pavel Datsyuk's scoring on the road?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don't have the stats. So give me the information, and then I'll talk to you.

Q.  All of his goals have come on the road.

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: That's good for us, isn't it (smiling). I don't know. This is my theory. We match them up at home, we set them free on the road.

Q.  Any changes in the lineup, anything else you can tell us about?

COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No, but last time I said no, and then I changed.(Smiling) No, everything is the same.

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