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Kronwall press conference

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
Question:  Can you talk about how the defensive unit has been in just about every aspect in the playoffs so far this season?


Niklas Kronwall I think so far it’s been working out really well. Obviously the backbone Ozzie has been playing really well for us and Conklin came in and played a great here at the end in the last period last night. So far it’s been working out, but we still feel like there’s some areas that we can improve on and hopefully we can continue doing that.

Q:  People talk about the physicality, but the mental toughness of this team and the willingness to avoid the penalties and not go for the goading speaks volumes about this team’s defense as much as anything else. Doesn’t it?

Kronwall:  Absolutely, but I also think it comes with experience and we have a lot of guys in here who have been around before but are still just thriving to win again and I think that’s what makes this whole organization so special. It’s not okay to be second. We always want to up top there and it’s all about winning games. To do that, you have to stay out of the box.

Q:  How important is it for this team now to finish now with the opportunity in Game 5?

Kronwall:  Well I think of course we want to come out and win on Wednesday obviously, but it’s going to be a tough game. We know that they’re going to give us everything they have. For them, it’s do or die and they’ll come at us with everything they have. We have to stay patient and try to stay out of the box as we always try to do. Come out with a good push from the start and we’ll go from there.

Q:  Staying patient might be easier said than done, but having been there before how much does that help going into this situation?

Kronwall:  Well of course it helps. I really do think it helps. Like I said before, the experience this team has and we have some guys who have been around for many many years and I think that comes into play especially in situations like this. I think it came into play last year when we lost Game 5 and we had to go to Pittsburgh again. We never let it get to us. We just hung in there and stuck to the game plan and it worked out in the end.

Q:  Nik some people are saying that your hit in Game 3, even though they win Game 3, could be the turning point of this series. Do you maybe buy into that?

Kronwall:  Well, I don’t know. I think that’s up to you experts or journalists to talk about for us. It’s about winning games and we have to play solid defensively and stay out of the box and stay patient out there. Hopefully we can get the job done.

Q:  One thing Babcock said about your hitting prowess is that the other team knows you’re out there. Do you presence being felt by the other team in that sense – got their head on a swivel?

Kronwall:  I don’t know. I really don’t try to think too much about that. I just try to worry about my own game and make sure that I do what I need to do to be my best out there. If that makes them pay more attention than good for us.

Q:  Does intimidation help in the philosophical sense in hockey?

Kronwall:  I don’t know. I think we’re all adults and we’ve all been playing this game for quite many years and I don’t know if that intimidation factor is that big anymore.

Q:  Is the puck possession style you guys possess, is that as evident in this series as any other? They’d like to do it, but they just can’t seem to get the puck away from you.

Kronwall:  I think obviously that type of game or that’s the game that we feel we control and that’s the way we have to play. Of course the other team is trying to take it away from you. We just feel that the more we have the puck, the more we control the game and the more fun it is to play too so that’s the way we want to keep playing.

Q:  Can you just talk about the importance of the physical aspect of the game you guys play?

Kronwall:  I think the physical aspect is very important and I think it’s very important that we all do it. I mean when you have guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg throwing their body around, that’s when you know that the team is going. Like I said, our forwards have been doing a great job and it’s not just the defenseman, our forwards are doing a great job.

Q:  You guys probably throw more big hits than anybody in the playoffs. What role or what impact does it have on a game?

Kronwall:  I can only speak for myself, but when you see a guy like Stewie making a big like that it just gets you fired up and it just makes you go out there and just want to do the same thing. I think that’s the same thing for the whole team. It just elevates the game to a new level.

Q:  When you’re sizing up an opportunity, what generally do you see and what makes you decide that this is a moment versus pass?

Kronwall:  Well I think a lot of times it depends on the situation of course. If they have an odd man rush or something that can turn into an odd man rush, you don’t want to take that chance and the risk of getting played over so to speak. You have to kind of evaluate the situation and if the opportunity is there than go for it.

Q:  Lidstrom rarely misses games and you don’t usually get the opportunity to be the lead dog yesterday on the power play. How different was that for you to be that guy on the power play that everyone was looking to?

Kronwall:  I don’t think it was just me. I think we all tried to chip in a little bit, especially on the power play with him being out. But it is what it is and hopefully he can be back here as soon as possible. I had a good time last night.
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