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NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: BLACKHAWKS v DUCKS


May 29, 2015


Cam Fowler

Ryan Getzlaf


ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Would each of you respond to this.  This series has been so incredibly close.  Has that even amazed you that it's been that tight?  Ultimately, what should make the difference?
RYAN GETZLAF:  Well, I don't think it amazes me.  With the teams, obviously the numbers, we figured we're going to be close at the end.
There's certain things we're going to have to do tomorrow to make sure our game's ready to play.  I think that's ultimately what we have to do, is go out and play.
I thought in Game 6 we were a little bit tentative, waiting to see what they were going to do at times, and taking the pace to them at times.
It's definitely down to the wire, obviously Game 7.  We expected this series to go long.  Here we are.
CAM FOWLER:  Yeah, I mean, kind of going with what Getzy said, it doesn't surprise me too much really how this series has gone.  I think it's been an incredible series, and both teams have definitely had their moments.
I figured coming into the series, we were going to be in it for the long haul.  Just for tomorrow, I think it's just going to come down to details and execution.  Both teams, we're not going to throw any surprises at them, and they're not going to throw any surprises at us.
It's an exciting time, so it's something we're looking forward to.

Q.  Bruce said after Game 6 that nerves got the best of you in that game, and Game 7 last year.  Do you agree with that?  If so, how do you combat that?
RYAN GETZLAF:  Well, we just got to go.  We've been through the experiences now.  We have to use them the way we need to.
I don't know so much of it was nerves or just waiting to see things happen.  We're on our heels, not really going forward with it until it was time, when we were down, to kind of pour it on.
We can learn from that.  That's the biggest thing.  I always believed that you learn a lot from losing.  That's what we want to do obviously tomorrow going into that game, is have that mindset to play our game.

Q.  Ryan, you played against Ryan Kesler a lot, played internationally against him.  Now that you've played alongside him, things you learned about him, how he plays the game, and how important could he be in this kind of situation, Game 7, playing a lot against Jonathan?
RYAN GETZLAF:  I'd love to say a bunch of stuff surprised me, but my opinion of him is kind of the same as it was.  He's a great player.  He plays hard.  He makes it hard on you to play.
I've been in Toews' shoes many times, many games.  It's not easy.  I mean Kes does a great job and he has an offensive threat that makes him even more reliable for us, when he can play on both ends of the rink.

Q.  There's been a lot of talk about their top players in the last game, particularly Toews and Keith really stepping up.  Is that what you're expecting from yourself?
RYAN GETZLAF:  Yeah, I mean, anyone who read my quotes after the last game, I obviously wasn't that happy with myself and the way I carried myself throughout that game.
I played in many big games.  It's a matter of drawing back on things and just getting back to doing the things that we do well.  That includes myself going out there and just playing, not worrying so much about line matchups, where I am on the ice, those kind of things.  It's just a matter of going out and playing, really pushing things forward.

Q.  From the outside, everyone has called this an epic series.  Do you get a sense from the inside of just how good the games and the series has been?
RYAN GETZLAF:  For sure, it's been great.  We've had a blast with this series, this playoff in general.
Going into this, I think we were well aware these are two hockey teams that have a lot of top‑end talent, right through the lineup.¬† That's one thing we were definitely looking forward to, those matchups.

Q.  For either of you two.  We all know the Game 7 history.  How important is it for you guys to be able to leave the ice tomorrow knowing that you've shown them your best, that they had to beat you in order to win?
CAM FOWLER:  Yeah, I mean, that's obviously important.  Not just Game 7s.  In general, you want to leave the ice feeling like you gave it your absolute all.  If as a team you worked as hard as you possibly could and you left it all out there, you happen to lose, you tip your cap, you go on to fight another day.
But that's something that we've been talking about a lot.  When we play to our capabilities, when we push the pace and we're on our toes, we feel like we're a difficult team to compete with.
We need to have that mindset tomorrow regardless of the situation or the magnitude of where we are.  We need to come out as the aggressors.  That's something that we've talked about.  We're a really good hockey team when we do that.
We need to stick with what got us here and take that into tomorrow's game.

Q.  We've watched Ryan Kesler for many years.  What's he like off the ice?  His personality is not of the everyday hockey guy, but does that personality help to take the Ducks kind of where they're trying to get here?
RYAN GETZLAF:  I don't know about the personality changing.  But our locker room hasn't changed a lot in the last five, six years.
What he brings to the table, what he brings to the rink has allowed us to take steps forward, for sure.¬† When you're talking about adding depth the way he's brought it in throughout the whole season, it gives us a better chance to win every night, when you're talking about him playing against top‑end talent, making it harder on them, bringing that little bit of an attitude that he really doesn't care who it's against, what they're bringing, he's going to try to make it hard on them that night.

Q.  A lot has been made of playing mad or playing angry.  Why is that state of mind translating so well to the ice and will you bring that tomorrow night?
CAM FOWLER:  I think that goes back to us setting the pace out in the game, being the aggressors and playing on our toes.  You can call it different things.  You can say it how you want.
I think at times in this series, if we give up a couple goals early or we're down a couple, it seems like then it kicks in.  Then it's like, Okay, they're playing mad.  They have nothing to lose.  We're able to score a couple goals and we get ourselves right back in the game.
The challenge for us is doing that for 60 minutes.  Like I said, when we do that, we feel like we're big, we're strong, we're able to pin teams in in their own end, let these guys get to work down there.  That's when we're at our best.
You know, it's a challenge to do that for 60 minutes, but we're capable of doing it.  It's just going out and executing it tomorrow.

Q.  We've heard players talk about when they were kids playing, This is Game 7, the Finals, this is to win the Cup, the Olympics, whatever.  Where was that rink for each of you guys?  Where was that arena?  How many times do you remember actually scoring that goal?
RYAN GETZLAF:  I don't know.  I mean, back in Regina there's a rink on every corner, it's almost like Starbucks.  I played in a lot of Game 7s as a kid.  Most of them were probably out front of my house on the street.  That's where you learned to play, where we loved to play, was on our street.
We played street hockey almost every day.  Winter, summer, didn't matter.
CAM FOWLER:  Mine was in my basement at home in Farmington.  We didn't have anything finished or anything.  It was all concrete.  I threw one of my buddies in the net, I'd say 10 seconds left, breakaway, Game 7.  If I missed, I'd do it over again until I scored (laughter).

Q.  You have been playing this game for so many years, especially with the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.  Is it difficult to kind of silence the outside pressure and just enjoy the opportunity and challenge of playing in this Game 7?
RYAN GETZLAF:  Well, I mean, it's not easy.  If it was easy, everybody would be able to do it.  I think it's part of being a professional.  Like I've said all along the way, when you lose Game 7s, you lose out of a series, those kind of things, you lose big games, you learn from 'em, learn what you can do differently.
It's about your preparation.¬† I was thrilled with the way we went out today and worked. ¬†Practice was high‑tempo getting ready for tomorrow.¬† I think that's part of the preparation, is doing it the day before, doing the morning skate, those things, so that when you get to the game, you don't have to turn it on, it's just there already.

Q.  You guys have done a good job of talking about how you're focusing on your game.  What is the mindset when Toews and Kane are out there together?  What do you have to do to keep them from exploding?
CAM FOWLER:  It's a secret.  We can't tell them that stuff.  It brings a pretty unique challenge for us.  They did it last game, too.  I think both of them bring unique skill sets.  When you put them together, it makes for a pretty good combination.
For our whole mindset defensively, it doesn't change a whole lot.  They're two players where you certainly have to be aware of either one when they're on the ice.
Kane, you know, definitely likes to come back more in the neutral zone, gain speed.  He likes to pick his way through the neutral zone.
Toews likes to do that, too, but he's also greasy in front of the net.  He competes.  He works hard.
You know, they both bring unique challenges.  They're two great players, so you have to be aware when they're out there.

Q.  Guys, after six hard games against these guys, especially Duncan Keith, you see he keeps having an impact, he's not yielding, do you almost have to write off that he's going to have some kind of impact in Game 7?  How do you then adapt and say, This is how we can still win, acknowledging he's going to have some kind of impact in this game?
RYAN GETZLAF:  Well, you always acknowledge that you're going to try to do certain things against certain players.
The world class players, it's not like they're never going to make plays or do things.  Dunks is a player that makes a lot happen when he's on the ice.  We try to stick with our game plan, dump it in his corner, make him work in his own zone, where he has to make special plays in order to get involved in the game.
Like I said, when you have players with top‑end talent, you have to force them to do things that are special.¬† You can't let them get away with doing routine plays that end up impacting the game.

Q.  Cam, can you say anything about that?
CAM FOWLER:¬† Yeah, I mean, Getzy pretty much hit the nail on the head there.¬† He's a world‑class player who has been in this position before.¬† So, you know, it seems like the big stage, only he elevates his game when it comes down to it.¬† Just as a defenseman myself, I really admire the way he plays the game.
He's certainly had a big impact on their team last game, which was big for them.  Like Getzy said, you have to try to grind those guys down, make it difficult for them.  If he's defending in his own zone, obviously he can't contribute offensively, so the more you make him defend, the harder it is on those guys.  I think that's the main thing we're looking to do.
These guys have done a great job with it all series.  That's why we've had some success.

Q.  Cam, going back to your days in the basement, you said if you missed the breakaway, you'd try it again until you got it right.  If Game 6 the other night got away from you guys, you have another opportunity to get it right.  Last year when Game 7 got away against L.A., there was no other opportunity to get it right.  Does that make this chance, do you embrace it even more?
CAM FOWLER:  Yeah, absolutely.  I mean, sometimes you have to go through experiences like that to really get to the point where you want to be.  We're fortunate and lucky enough to now have a Game 7 in our home building for a chance to go compete for the Stanley Cup.
I think if there's one thing I've learned, it's to really embrace the opportunity.  We're lucky to be in this position.  I think previous years, you know, I put a lot of pressure on myself, maybe just overthinking the game too much.
It's still a hockey game.  You just have to go out there, compete as hard as you can.  For me, I'm trying to enjoy this process as much as I can because, you know, you're not sure when opportunities like these come around again.
So I'm really looking forward to it.  It's a great opportunity for our team, something we should be excited about.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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