home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 15, 2009

Jordan Staal

Eric Staal

DAVID KEON: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm David Keon of the National Hockey League's public relations department and I'd like to welcome you to our call. We have Pittsburgh Penguins' Jordan Staal and his brother Carolina Hurricanes' center Eric Staal. Thanks to both of them for taking the time today to join us and answer your questions and thanks to the Penguins and Hurricanes public relations department for helping us arrange the call. On Monday night in Pittsburgh, the Hurricanes will meet the Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final at 7:30 eastern time on Versus, TSN and RDS. Jordan and the Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in six games, followed by the Washington Capitals in seven, with Jordan scoring two goals and three assists for five points in 13 games.
Eric and the Hurricanes defeated the New Jersey Devils in seven games and last night finished off the Boston Bruins in an exciting 3-2 overtime victory in Game 7 of that series. Eric has posted nine goals and four assists in 14 games so far in the playoffs.

Q. Eric, over history, visiting teams don't win very many Game 7s on the road. You've been able to do that twice now. I'm wondering why you think you've been able to pull that off as a team.
ERIC STAAL: I think our resiliency as a group has been there for the last two, three months especially. I just think, whether we're on the road or at home, when our backs are against the wall, we respond well and we do the right things with the puck. You know, we just continue to play our game.
We got down 1-0 but we didn't quit. We knew if we kept doing what we were doing, eventually we would get our break. We got the job done.
It's not always easy on the road, but we fought hard and I thought we deserved the win last night.

Q. I don't think a lot of people would have picked you to be among the final teams. Are you surprised to be here at all?
ERIC STAAL: No, not really. I really, really like the way our team has been playing the last two, three months of the year. I just thought that we got on a roll and we started to play our system, play the way that Mo wanted us to play. Then we started feeling comfortable in the close games. We fought extremely hard to push hard for that six seed. Once we got into the playoffs, once you get there, you can beat anybody.
We started gaining confidence. We've got a good group of guys. When you have that feeling in the locker room, you have to take advantage of it. We're halfway there. We got to keep her going.

Q. I know Jordan played against Marc last year in the playoffs, but it wasn't the Conference Finals. What is this going to be like brother and brother? Do you finally get to answer the question of who is dad's favorite?
JORDAN STAAL: I don't know. I'd have to say it's always exciting playing against your brother. Obviously even just during the season it's fun. But, you know, to finally make the playoffs and face each other in the playoffs, it makes it that much more exciting.
Who knows who the old man is going to cheer for. I'm sure he'll be excited to watch every game.
ERIC STAAL: Yeah, he'll be entertained, no question. But it's exciting. We're both competitors. We're both looking forward to it. We both don't want to lose. You know, one of us is going to be moving on to the Stanley Cup finals and hopefully win that trophy, and that's the biggest thing.
You know, two good teams going at it. This is the best time of year to play hockey. When you're brothers playing against each other at this time of year in the Conference Finals, it's exciting not only for yourself but for the rest of your family, for sure.

Q. In the regular season, neither one of you ever had a huge game against the other one. I think Eric, you've had a couple of two-point games. Are you due to have a huge game in this series against each other?
ERIC STAAL: I'm due for a big game, a real big game.
JORDAN STAAL: So am I. Huge game. Going to break out in the series like crazy (laughter).
ERIC STAAL: No, we've had good games. The last two games of the regular season we played against Pittsburgh, they were hard-fought, very, very fast-paced, exciting. It should be the same, I think.

Q. It's probably inevitable that somebody asks you this. Do you guys talk much during the season when you're on the road or at home, not playing each other?
ERIC STAAL: Well, we try to. We talk and text message quite a bit during the regular season. And then even during the playoffs here, you know, if we play on other nights, you watch the other person's game. I usually do send a text message after the game. I think the communications will probably die down a little bit here in the next two weeks or so during the series (laughter). But, you know, we talk probably once a week, I'd say, something like that, during the regular season.

Q. What do you talk about? Do you talk about games, family stuff? What might you text each other?
JORDAN STAAL: I think a lot of it's just the games. You know, usually when we are texting each other, it's usually after a big game, you know, Eric had a few points here, Marc had a great game. If you had a good game or not, if something else pops up in our lives, obviously we're going to talk about it. It's more or less a lot of hockey.

Q. Jordan, I wanted to know what your reaction was to the big win last night. Were you excited or a little bit I wouldn't say disappointed to be playing your brother, but what was your reaction?
JORDAN STAAL: Well, I was really excited. I was laying on my couch, as soon as they scored, I was jumping up and down. So I was pretty excited about it. Obviously, you know, when you have two Staals, one is moving on anyway to the Stanley Cup finals, so that's always a good thing. You know, there's no better feeling to watch your brother win a big game like that, and obviously being able to face him in such a big series.

Q. I'm curious if this is something you wanted one day, to face each other deep in the playoffs? Did you expect this day to come eventually?
ERIC STAAL: I've always wanted to. I wanted to play, you know, Marc or Jordan in the playoffs. This is the time of year that you want to play and be involved in. Now we're in the Conference Finals against each other, an extremely big series. You know, the spotlight will be on. And it's a challenge. It's fun. You know, you're facing off against your brother. These are the times that you want to be out on the ice and you want to be in that competition. So I've wanted this for a long time. You know, he's pretty young. I'm not I wouldn't say an older guy yet. So it's neat that it's happened this early and hopefully many more years down the road.

Q. Jordan, is that how you kind of feel about it, too?
JORDAN STAAL: Yeah, much the same. You know, obviously personally you want to do well, you want your team to do well, but at the same time you want your family to do well, as well. We both couldn't have gone any farther without meeting each other, so that's obviously a good thing.
Again, it's just so exciting to go out and play and just have that challenge. You know, obviously we're both really competitive and we both really want to win, so it will be a lot of fun.

Q. What do you think will be the most difficult part of the change in your relationship over the next couple weeks? Will it be difficult to compartmentalize and say, We're brothers, but at the same time we have to compete at the highest level right now?
ERIC STAAL: Obviously, when you start the series, you know, it takes on an animal of its own, it takes on a world of its own. You know, things change from game to game. But for us, we'll probably start. And then once the series starts, you know, you're kind of in your zone, you're in your focus. You know, once it's over, it's over. So we'll probably be both doing our own things throughout the series, and once it's over, it's over. We're still brothers and family. You know, one's gonna be disappointed, one's gonna be excited. But in the end, you know, it's the way it had to be, and this is the challenge we've got in front of us, and we're excited about it.

Q. Have you ever played against each other in a big game before?
JORDAN STAAL: No, no, I don't think so.
ERIC STAAL: Not like this, no.

Q. In the last round, Ovechkin and Crosby and who will end up on top was the big story. What are you going to do to make the big story this series Staal versus Staal? Any hat tricks?
ERIC STAAL: Hopefully some big games on my side so it's a story about the big brother, not the younger one. We'll see what happens.
But for our team, we've got to be aware of especially their three lines with Crosby, Malkin and then Jordy. They're all dynamic, offensive players that can play both ends of the rink. Hopefully it will be No. 12 on the Canes that will try to take over and have some good offensive games and play well. It's going to be a good series.
JORDAN STAAL: Yeah, much the same. I'm sure all the hype is going to be there. Obviously, there's a lot of great players in the series. There's a lot of -- there's going to be a lot of great battles. There's obviously going to be that excitement compared to our series against Washington, so it will be a lot of fun.

Q. Do you think there's a chance of duelling hat tricks?
ERIC STAAL: You never know. Never say never.
JORDAN STAAL: With me playing, there's always a good chance for hat tricks. I don't know about Eric (laughter).

Q. The important question is, who has the best playoff beard right now? Who will Marc be pulling for in the series?
JORDAN STAAL: I don't know why, but I definitely have a better playoff beard. Definitely nice and full and flush. I think I'm looking pretty good.
Marc, I'm not sure who he's gonna be cheering for. You know, he texted me last night and he said it's going to be a tough series to watch. You know, it's going to be interesting, the family, which side we roll on.

Q. Do you want to rebut that?
ERIC STAAL: I'll agree with Jordy. His playoff beard is pretty good. Mine is pretty bad. But he was a grown man at age 12. I didn't hit puberty till I was 20, so it's a little bit different (laughter).
And then with Marc, I don't know, it's tough to say. I'm sure he'll be watching along with other buddies at home. He's going to have a tough time. He's probably just looking forward to an entertaining series.

Q. Jordan, can you talk about the possibility of having to shadow your brother and what that could be like, having to go through a series where you could be matched up against each other.
JORDAN STAAL: Yeah, it's obviously an exciting challenge if it does happen. You know, I've been playing against a lot of the top lines last two series, so I'm sure Eric is right up there, so I might be matched up against him. Who knows. Again, it's just another big challenge, you know, for myself and for my line and for my team. You know, it will make it that much more interesting.

Q. Eric, your thoughts on that?
ERIC STAAL: Well, he's obviously played well against the other teams' top lines in the last two series. They wouldn't be where they are right now. I'm not sure what the matchups are going to be or what Dan Bylsma or Mo is planning for matchup-wise. But for me it's about focusing on what I got to do and playing my game, no matter who I'm against on the other side. It will be the same if it is Jordy. You know, I'm going to make sure I'm moving my legs, using my size, and trying to do those things that make me good and not focus on who I'm playing against.

Q. Could you both touch on, it seems like the NHL is doing a great job of getting back into the mainstream. Everybody is picking up on the hype. Can you talk about what these Game 7s are doing for the league. You've both been a part of a couple now.
JORDAN STAAL: Yeah, I think these do-or-die games have been pretty exciting. Three out of the four in the last round. You know, it's something that everyone seems to be picking up on and everyone seems to be watching the games. You know, everybody is glued to the television. It's always exciting that way. I don't think any team was planning on playing a Game 7, but it's definitely exciting for the fans.
ERIC STAAL: Yeah, I just think that there's a lot of good teams out there. There's a lot of very, very good players in this league. There's a lot of good players on different teams. I think the NHL and everybody there has done a good job of kind of promoting and pushing those players on every team. It's kind of worked out to where it's been such a tight series, especially this last round where they're going to Game 7s. That's where you lay it on the line. That's when you want to have your best. That's the exciting games to watch.
It's done all that so far. Hopefully, you know, the rest of the way it gets just as good.

Q. Jordan, when your brother brought home the Stanley Cup a couple summers back, did you stick with tradition and not go near it? Get your picture taken with it? What happened there?
JORDAN STAAL: I took a couple pictures with it. They wanted all the brothers in the picture. For the most part I stayed my distance. I was pretty young already. You know, I was a little naive. At the same time obviously you want to enjoy it. It's obviously your brother. He's close to me. Obviously wanted to be a part of the excitement he had for winning it. You know, I was a part of the celebration, but at the same time I kind of kept my distance.

Q. What is your dad doing? This is probably a busy time for him work-wise. Is he planning to come to every game?
ERIC STAAL: I don't think either of us wants him to come down (laughter)
JORDAN STAAL: No (laughter).
ERIC STAAL: To be honest, I feel bad, but it's so hard for our parents. Sometimes when they're at the games, like for them, they don't know who to cheer for. Do you jump up and cheer for the visiting team when they score and when the home team scores you obviously stand up because everyone else is. For myself and for Jordan, after the games, to talk to them, it's a grind. It's a series. You know, you got to forget about the game and move on. You know, it's tough. I think their plan is they might just stay home and watch it on TV and then they'll catch the next round. You know, it's just a tough situation.

Q. I've heard this a couple times about the competitors you both are. Four brothers, lots of backyard games, local rink games. Anybody in the family who is the biggest competitor? Tough to deal with losses back in childhood?
JORDAN STAAL: I don't know. I think, again, we all were really competitive. Jared always got really upset during the games and stuff like that. Eric, he always had that fire in his eyes. Me and Marc are much the same. I wouldn't say anyone really stood out. But I think I'd have to say that everyone really hated to lose. Everyone had that extra edge.

Q. Following along in the family stuff, did you hear this rumor that if it should get to Game 7, some ridiculous number of overtimes, just the two of you would come out with a couple of pillows at center ice.
ERIC STAAL: I'd put him in a headlock like I did in the commercial (laughter).
JORDAN STAAL: It would be interesting.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297