Q.Your second line first two rounds was pretty dynamic. These two games not so much. What's been different? COACH McLELLAN:
Well, I think the opponent we're playing against, for one. It's a stronger team. We knew that would happen as we got further into the playoffs.
The other thing they've got to get going is a little more speed in their game, I think. We'll look at that. We'll talk about it today.
We're still confident they can do the same job they did in the first two series, take some pressure off of Jumbo's line. Q. Pavelski's line, have they been tenacious enough?COACH McLELLAN:
They have been. They don't come to the rink and decide to take it down a notch. They've worked just as hard. I think the difference is the opposition is that much better. We'll have to find a way to help them.
You can see that Chicago is extremely quick and they hunt pucks down. It doesn't give them as much time and space as they've had in previous series.
Q. Would you like to see a little bit more nastiness maybe? COACH McLELLAN:
Well, it's a fine line. You know, it depends on how you describe 'nastiness.' If we're sitting in the penalty box, we have no chance of coming back in the series.
We'd like to be physical. We'd like to get after their defensemen down below the goal lines and prevent them from jumping in. You have to place the puck properly, have some speed on the forecheck.
Nastiness, I'm not sure that's going to get us what we want. The tenaciousness is probably a better word for us.
Let's go back to Game 1, traffic in front of the net wasn't an issue at all. Game 2, we'll have to look at it now. It was a factor. The Toews' role on the power play, he wasn't as big a factor as Toews getting his stick on the puck on the side. There's no doubt that he's big and strong. We had a plan. We didn't execute the plan the way we wanted to deal with him. We'll continue with that and try to enhance it somehow. Q. They can get in there and get that traffic a lot of times because you guys aren't controlling the puck. COACH McLELLAN:
I mean, time in zone, time in their zone, time in our zone, we see in the first period when we come out and we play the way we can, puts them on their heels a little bit. But there's something that happens in the game that changes it a little bit, and they, in turn, carry the play in our end.
Like you said, when you're in your zone, he's going to be able to set up camp in front of the net. Brouwer is very good at it as well. The more you're in your end, the more likely you are to err.
Rob Blake and I sat and talked the other day about things we need to change. We are very excited about playing that first period, coming out and getting it going. Yesterday second period was due in large part to the first goal, took a lot out of us. I was disappointed because all playoffs we've been very resilient after a goal scored. Last night it felt like it took a long time for us to get our energy and our heads up again.
We have to change that. We're not going to be able to beat this team if we hang our heads at any point. Q. Are your guys not doing something up high they should be or is it coincidence? COACH McLELLAN:
Well, I'm going to leave the Detroit series out. We found a way to win. Let's deal with Chicago and move on.
They're a very good five on five team, tenacious. They have the checking line that's doing a very good job.
With that being said, I thought we created enough opportunities to score more. We probably have to get a little more aggressive around the net. We've said that for two games straight now. The other thing he does, good legs down at the bottom of the net. Troy Mitchell had a tremendous scoring opportunity in the game and failed to put it up. We'll look at that and adjust as we go.
Like I said last night, I think it's a tactic. Teams looking to time the faceoff and shoot the puck. Ended up riding on the guy's hand. But you're allowed to get frustrated and emotional; you're allowed to be attached to the game, to be passionate. It was good for us to see a bit of that come out a little in the third period. Not a lot different than what happened in Game 4 in Detroit.(Comments from Rob Blake.) Q. It's been a civil series so far. ROB BLAKE:
Maybe that last five minutes showed a little bit of that. But that develops over the series. We can increase our intensity. We can play harder and more effectively, getting out of our zone a little more quickly, making sure things go the way we want them to.
Q. (Question regarding home ice.) ROB BLAKE:
Obviously we're going to go in there and try to do what they did to us. We'll worry about the game Friday night first. Q. You're aware the rest of the outside world isn't betting on you now. ROB BLAKE:
No, that's for sure. We haven't been in this position. We were down one in Colorado. Now we're down two. Like I said, when you go into the weekend games here, you've got to concentrate on Friday night's game and take that one first.
(Comments from Scott Nichol.)
Q. Discuss the situation your team is in now. SCOTT NICHOL:
We're a confident bunch in here. We know what lays ahead of us. The old cliche: one game at a time. You're not going to win the whole series going back there. Shift by shift, game by game, go from there.
We're a good team. We're confident. We didn't come first overall in the Western Conference by a fluke or luck. So we got some skilled players. We got a good team. So we just got to go by that. Q. (Question about overcoming.) SCOTT NICHOL:
I think we're better that way. Coming into the playoffs, Colorado beat us. Everybody was thinking, Here we go again, all the media and stuff. We proved them wrong. Nobody has confidence in us other than the guys in our room that know that we can get it done.
That's a good thing. We're a pretty dangerous animal when we've got our backs towards the wall. That's the way we're approaching it.Q. They're making life difficult on Thornton and some of your high end guys. Is there a way for checkers on your team to make life more difficult on them?SCOTT NICHOL:
Yeah. I think playing in their end, that makes it difficult. When they're in our end, they can be creative and all that. That's where they thrive. No one really likes to get hit. It's tough to make a play when you're faced against the glass, can't see where your teammates are.
For sure we can take a page out of their book and be tough on 'em and we'll go from there. Q. They've been on the road for a long time. You've been home for a long time. Could the flip be good for you guys?SCOTT NICHOL:
I think so. I think it's good for everyone to get together. We all go for dinners, really focus, really dig our heels in. We know what we have to do.
We have five or six days on the road. Just refocus, come together, we'll be okay. It's like I said, it's game by game. We're going to take Friday's game in and have a good outing, big win, and we'll go from there.
Q. You weren't around the last couple years. I don't know what you sense from a confidence standpoint in this group. I'm sure you heard guys answering questions about previous failures. Do you get any notion or sense of sort of a fragile confidence when you first got here? SCOTT NICHOL:
No. When I first got here, the mindset was Stanley Cup. That's what we approached this year as. That's what our goal is. Anything short of that is going to be a disappointment. We're all here for one purpose. That's why I say we're confident. We know we've had that mindset since training camp. It wasn't, Okay, we're going to come here and make the playoffs.
I remember when we clinched I don't remember when we clinched, a reporter came and asked us, Do you know what game you clinched? Went around asking 10 guys, and we had no idea. That wasn't our goal. Our goal was to win the Stanley Cup. Best of seven series. We're going to be a tough animal to cage, that's for sure.
(Comments from Dan Boyle.) Q.Joe did a good job of being physical and aggressive last night. Do you think the rest of the team can do a better job moving forward in the series? DAN BOYLE:
Yeah, I think so. I think you can always improve. We're down 2 0. Something needs to get better. I think it can start with physical play.
Q. A lot of people counting you guys out. Do you feed off that? DAN BOYLE:
Yeah. Obviously, I don't want to be in this position. But, you know, this is a good time for us to come together here, raise our middle finger in the air, you know, just do it together. It's going to take a lot of work.
Q. When a team is faced with a 2 0 deficit, is it sometimes good to get away? DAN BOYLE:
Yeah, it's good to be on the road sometimes. You eliminate some of the distractions you have at home. In this case, yeah, I think it's good for us to go, get out of here, try to get this series back on track here. Q. Scott Nichol was saying maybe you need to put more of a hate on for those guys. DAN BOYLE:
Yeah. I mean, whatever it takes. Whatever it takes. I think we can all look at ourselves in the mirror and realize that what we're doing is not good enough.
I think whatever it takes for every individual to get better, you know, make an impact on the series. Past is the past. We have to live with what we're doing today. It hasn't been good enough.
Q. Anything about their high end guys that have taken you by surprise? DAN BOYLE:
In particular, no. They're who we thought they were, and they're doing what they're supposed to do. We need to raise our game and have our top guys raise their games. Yeah, no, they're doing what they're supposed to do. (Comments Dany Heatley.)Q. Something different happening for you guys last night? DANY HEATLEY:
No. I think the first game we really generated a lot of chances and probably could have had a few more. You know, last night, I thought at times we really got away from our game. Got to get back to it on Friday. Q. In what way? DANY HEATLEY:
You know, I think when we're going well, we're chipping it, going and getting it, putting a lot of heat on their D. I thought last night we didn't do a very good job of getting behind them. Allowed them to have time for them to do what they do well.