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 13, 2017

Guy Boucher

Bobby Ryan

Craig Anderson

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Postgamey

Ottawa-2, Pittsburgh-1

BOBBY RYAN: It felt great, obviously, to come through. An important and crucial moment, I guess. We had talked at length about getting the pucks out at the battles at the blue line. We had to win those. I was kind of lucky that the puck had found me in the middle. I think, once you get in there, you go with -- aim over and something instinctual. Got fortunate that I found the back of the net.

Q. Kind of big picture, how long did it take you to kind of feel comfortable in the system that you guys are playing in?
BOBBY RYAN: Game 82. It took me longer than most. I had a tough year with the learning curve. I had some growing pains with it, and I think that's evident. I think everyone is well aware of that.

I bought in like everyone else on the team and stuck with it. I'm finally, I guess, getting a reward for it by being here. I said before I would trade all the offense in the world to be in the Western or the Eastern Conference Finals, and pretty happy about it.

Q. Craig, can you walk us through this game from your vantage point from start to finish?
CRAIG ANDERSON: I knew right off the bat, take a couple penalties, that we had to be on our game. Penalty kill came out, did a great job as far as getting momentum for us. If we give up a goal early there, I think momentum, building erupts, as you saw when they scored in the third. Because we were able to kill those penalties early in the game, we took any momentum they may have generated from there, and Bobby made a great play to Pageau.

Q. What was the mindset going into overtime after giving up the equalizer late? You had obviously, probably at times outplayed Pittsburgh in the third period, certainly outshot them. Just walk us through what was said in the locker room between the periods.
CRAIG ANDERSON: I think the main thing is, when a period ends, all momentum that was gained or lost starts at zero again. You're able to come out at a fresh start. I think that's the main message, at least that I tell myself, is that it's a fresh start, 0-0 game. Just for myself make the next save.

Q. Can you talk about what it was that the penalty killers were doing that was so successful to kill five power plays, four in the first period?
CRAIG ANDERSON: I think every time the puck was on our stick, we got the puck out. So that relieved a lot of pressure. I know Bobby can talk from the power play side of things. When you can't get set up, and every time you turn around, you're chasing the puck down the other end, it really changes the mindset as far as from an offensive side of things. That was probably one of the biggest things for us is we were able to get the puck out, relieve that pressure.

Q. Bobby, the play with Pageau, you did that before in the playoffs, the play is just there and you make it?
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, I think that's a play that, if it doesn't work, you're going to hear about it from the coaches. Pageaur's got the hot hand right now, and that puck that he redirected -- the fore-check, the puck ended up there because he was so great on the fore-check. I had seen him circle out. I knew he was coming right back to that post, and really it's just a quick strike play. He makes it easy on me to make that play because I know he's going right back to that area.

He had a great shot. He put it right in the middle of the net. On that short side, that's perfect.

Q. Bobby, you said before the game you weren't going to risk chasing down any 50-50 pucks. I'm wondering what happened to that strategy.
BOBBY RYAN: Was that one 50-50? Yeah, on that one, I think, ultimately, your job as the offside winger there is to come across for support. So I was doing that. If that puck goes back and we lose the battle on the wall, then at least I'm there and in the right position. We can call it 50-50, but really I was just trying to be underneath those guys a little bit and give them support. They did a great job in that battle. That's a two-on-two battle that could go either way, and they beared down there on the wall.

Q. Bobby, when you go through a regular season like that with the learning curve, what's your mindset like when you get to the playoffs? Is it that you're trying to flush the regular season, or is it more confidence that you were just starting to get it?
BOBBY RYAN: It's a refresh, I think, for me. I think it was a complete restart. I was out for a while, and I had played game 82, and I went down there and just tried to come back from an injury and feel good, and I did. I just knew at some point those pucks that I had been chasing all year long in front of the net, they were going to come, and they did in the first series.

I think that you just want to redeem yourself, right? You let yourself down. You let your teammates down and everybody around you. Now I'm getting to, I guess, redeem myself a little bit. That's all I'm trying to do.

Q. Coach, what did you like the most about this victory here tonight?
GUY BOUCHER: Well, I think there's a lot of things to like, but it's just one game. We won't get excited too much here. I think our players did a good job in the first period. I think we had a lot of penalties there, and we had the kill against a really good power play.

But I think our guys have displayed what they displayed all playoffs and all year -- blocked shots, and our players are dedicated to try to be first on the puck against a team that's very fast, and they've got quickness to be first on puck, and we knew that. I mean, it's the first one. We're expecting the next one to be even tougher.

Q. Can you get a sense of just how confident this team is going into an overtime period?
GUY BOUCHER: You know what, I don't think our attitude changes. It doesn't change before the game, between periods, whether we score a goal or get scored. I think that's what we've acquired over time is to stay calm regardless of what's happening in the score. When they scored the goal, nothing changed on the bench, and nothing changed what we needed to do, and the same for the overtime.

So I think we didn't do any extraordinary things. We just did the ordinary things well, and we stuck to it.

Q. Guy, Bobby was just saying that it took him until game 82 to really figure out where he needed to be and what you want him to do. He said his learning curve was bigger than most, but when he got to the playoffs, it was a total refresh. I was curious if, when the playoffs started, you said anything to him to help him start over again?
GUY BOUCHER: No, I think that Bobby had some terrific stretches during the year, and when you're an offensive player and you're doing all the right things but you're not finishing, because that's what it was with Bobby -- there's sometimes he's just as good as now, just he wasn't finishing, and it gets to be a mental block. Then you start thinking that you're not doing the right things.

Bobby had a tough year also on a personal level, and there's nothing you can do about that. Some years are tougher than others in that respect. So he had a lot of things to manage.

For me, I thought the first time he came back from his first injury, he was amazing. He just wasn't finishing. And then got injured again, then came back, and I thought the last 12 games of the year he was great. He was just as good as now. He was blocking shots, he was paying the price, a real good, solid, two-way guy.

Finally, the last game of the year, he finally got that goal, and at the same time, we're starting the playoffs. I think it's -- once you get a refresher, some sort of schism or stoppage of some kind and you get another chance to start back at zero or whatever, just your mind is a little freer. That's all it was because really he understood everything since the beginning. He's in the right places, and that was never an issue, ever.

So I just think that he really became a good, solid two-way player, but that's what we've asked of all our players, whether it's our defensemen or our forwards. Some guys took a bit more time to be consistent at it, but we've seen terrific stretches of Bobby the whole year. For me right now, this is just the finishing part, that's where it's paying off. That's it. The rest, he's the same guy that's done a lot of good things for us during the year.

Q. Guy, could your team have possibly executed your game plan any better than it did tonight?
GUY BOUCHER: Yeah, we can. I think there's obviously a few areas that you always want to improve, and we're expecting a really tough pushback on their part the next game, just like on their power plays, they pushed hard. Whenever they got some space, they gave us some problems. We want to make sure we're aware of what their plans are. So we'll definitely try to be as thorough as we can to make sure we're aware of any adjustments that they're going to make.

But I think the fact that their top players can come out of nowhere and create something, that's already -- that's the biggest worry that I think you're going to have against that team. We're aware of it, but it's hard to be perfect. These guys are really, really good. I mean, that's the Stanley Cup champions, and it's a top group, and it's a group that doesn't have any flaws. It's very difficult. So we're expecting even more difficulty the next game.

Q. There's two questions, if I could ask two. The first one would be a lot of talk about Bobby Ryan, obviously his game. What's happened with him and Pageau? I don't know, when you first put them together, did you expect to have that kind of chemistry? What's driving the two of them?
GUY BOUCHER: No, I don't pretend to be a genius and know in advance what the guys are going to give me. I change my lines all the time, depending on what I need and depending on matchups and depending on who's doing great, and that's what happens. When you change, you figure out some chemistry between guys that you wouldn't know. It all looks nice when you put it on the board, but then life happens after, and all of a sudden you get some nice surprises.

But what I like is our players are used to that all year. And it's given them a chance to get accustomed to each other and get different types of chemistries but also be open to, at any moment, we adjust, and we change lines, and we change pairings. I think that's just made our group more versatile and more ready to adapt.

That's just one pair there that's done well together, but we've had other guys also we matched up in other games. In the first series, it was Brass and Bobby. They were terrific together. And then it wasn't the same against the Rangers, so we switched it. And it's paid off.

Q. And the other question, you mentioned the power play earlier -- or the penalty killing, early momentum from that clearly?
GUY BOUCHER: Yeah, without saying momentum, at least we didn't lose anything. To get us momentum, I think it was a steady gain after that. I don't think all of a sudden we took over. I just thought we were steady. We killed it. We were calm. It was difficult, obviously, because it can come from anywhere in that power play. Our goalie was solid. Our players were willing to block shots and were in the shooting lanes.

Just like the last series, I think there's a display of paying the price from our guys, and I think probably in the penalty kill it was evident. But after that, it was just about grinding our game and bringing what we brought before to this game, nothing different.

Q. Coach, can you explain the success that you've had in overtime so far in these playoffs. It almost looks like your team is more comfortable playing in overtime than in regulation at times.
GUY BOUCHER: I wouldn't say more comfortable. We've been good. We've been good. It's just I know one thing is our players are really good at not fearing the outcome, and we play the way we play. Whether it's overtime or third period or we're leading or we're trailing. We just really keep the same approach. So it's been healthy for us.

But to say that we have this great solution in overtime, that would be absolutely wrong to say that. We just play the overtime the same way we play the other periods, and they just turned out for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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