May 15, 2001
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Practice Day
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you test this series (inaudible)?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, that's obviously not the way we wanted to get off to the two-game start in Colorado. But saving grace is we've got two at home now and we've got to take advantage of home ice and try to get the two back and try to even the series up and make it into the three-game series. I don't think we did ourselves any favors in Colorado.
Q. Chris, you guys said that you wanted to get better after Game 1. You did so many things better. What do you need to do to get over the hump and win one of these?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, I think biggest thing is just getting everybody going. I don't think (inaudible) we're happy with the way we've all played individually or as a team. Game 2 was better than Game 1 but not good enough. From me all the way down, we've got to be better. And we'll look for that in Game 3.
Q. Patrick's got a lot of credit in this series. But you agree that you're not getting a lot of quality shots on him?
PIERRE TURGEON: Well, I thought the first game we didn't have a lot of chance. I thought the second game we had better chance. And obviously we played better the second game. But it's not good enough. You know, down the line we've got to win hockey games, and we got to make sure every time we have a chance to shoot the puck, we got to shoot it. Go for rebound. Present some traffic in front of him. I thought in the second game we had better shots.
Q. Is it a case of their defensive players being more tenacious than you?
PIERRE TURGEON: I think it's a mix of both. I think they are playing well, in the same time we could play better. And we've just got to, you know, do a lot of things right as far as winning the battles on the board and getting in their zone a little quicker instead of giving them a little bit more time to make a play and turn and put the puck out of their zone. And obviously we can improve in that situation.
Q. How about you personally, Pierre? Do you feel as one of the teams begin, can you do more?
PIERRE TURGEON: Yes. Obviously you've got to step up and do more. There's a lot of guys got to step up at the same time. We all know. We could -- we can play better. And we did play better the second game. But, again, it's not good enough. We've got to come out with a win. But we all know, like Chris was saying, everyone's got to do better. And we've got to come out with a win.
Q. With Forsberg out, what does it do to their depth if Stephane Yelle can't play Game 3?
PIERRE TURGEON: Well, Forsberg is obviously a good player for them. But they do have a lot of that in their team. And at the same time, you look at their team, you know, we're capable to step up and play better. That's something we got to do.
Q. (Inaudible) doing anything specifically to take away your timing space?
PIERRE TURGEON: Well, obviously they're a good team as far as neutral zone. They're a patient team. And they come back hard and they don't give you a lot of time as far as making plays. But in the same time, we've got to find a way to get the puck and winning the battles on the boards and that's -- you know, it's playoff hockey. You won't have a lot of room out there. You've got to make sure you work to have your room and win the battles and that's how you're going have a scoring chance.
Q. Chris, what do you feel you're going to have to do personally to give your team a better Chris contribution?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, I think that just take over games and dominate games, whether it be not only shutting down the first line, but contribute offensively, whether it be on the power-play on five on five. I think we've struggled five on five getting scoring chances and we've got to do a better job getting in on the forecheck, creating turnovers. I don't think we've done a great job of that. That's something we've got to look to do in Game 3.
Q. Do you feel you've done a good job shutting down their line?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, yesterday, but not in Game 1. You know, it's -- you know, if we continue to shut them down, if you go by statistics, you know, when the No. 1 line doesn't score, they usually have a tougher time winning hockey games. Yet, they just got contributions from everyone. That's why we have to do that as a team. Not like for the No. 1 line or No. 2 line, we need balanced scoring and solid defensive play and not worry about whether we win 1-0 or whatever. We've got to shut them down and turn to the offensive.
Q. How big will it be having the LA line game at home?
CHRIS PRONGER: It will be big. This Colorado as a second period, when it's difficult to make the line chance and you're trying to match a defensive pairing against Sakic or whatever the case maybe. It's a lot more taxing in the second period there because of the line chance. A lot of times you get caught up on a draw and you're not able to change and your match-ups are screwed up.
Q. (Inaudible) Roman Turek after giving up a roll (inaudible) is he the kind of guy that won't lose his confidence and start to worry about that?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't think he should worry about anything. He's proved what he can do in the first two series. And we'll look for him to come up in the big Game 3 for us. He's been a big part of the reason why we're here and we'll see a big Roman Turek in Game 3.
Q. (Inaudible) and the way you've played, how do you go in with defense?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, we've just got to be confident in what we have as a team. Not really worry about who's on the other team going into the other series. People have them written off because Pete Forsberg wasn't in the lineup. It's a team game and when you play well as team, you're going to win a lot of hockey games. That's why they're up 2-1.
Q. Before this skate, you guys had a team meeting. Do you as captain have a message for the team?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, I think the bottom line is we need more from everyone. As I said before, from myself, from Pierre, from Roman all the way down the line to the guy that plays five minutes. We've got to get everybody going in the right direction and playing consistent and playing each shift like it could be our last. When can't have any lulls in our game as you see. When you get down, it's tough coming back, eventually now with so much as stake. Teams are clinging to their leads.
Q. Are you stepping up and staying in there? O?
CHRIS PRONGER: That's more Joel. There's not much you can say. You've got to go it on the ice. Show your teammates lead by champ and hopefully they follow.
Q. How much of that last minute slash was due to Foote elbowing you?
PIERRE TURGEON: I knew that question was coming up. Well, you know, it's obviously you know why I react like that. And it's -- when you look back now, maybe I shouldn't have done it. I shouldn't have done it. But we had some momentum in the game and we did have some scoring chance, even when we took Roman out of the net five on five, we had a couple chances at the end. But it's done. It's got to turn the page and it's got to move for the third game and have a good game in the third one.
Q. Chris, how much has their experience of having been in the finals been a factor?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't know if that's been a factor. Factors's been we've been down in both games, and it's tough skating uphill all the time. We've got to get off to better starts and get the lead. They play different when they are playing from behind. They take a lot more chances. We're going to get more chances. Getting off to the start and getting that first goal and getting the momentum is going to be key.
Q. What are they doing specifically from what you've seen in the power-play and making it difficult at times?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't know. You know, it's one of those things where both San Jose series and the Dallas series they were really pressuring us out high in the shooting lane very fast and you're not able to get a shot in the net and you've just got to throw it in areas and hope your forwards get there. With your power-play we just haven't been effective or created a lot. Last game we got a few good chances and were able to capitalize. We've just got to outwork them. When we get up, we slack off a little bit and take for granted we've got an extra guy out there. You've got to work more, and we've got to take it upon ourselves as a power-play unit to go out there and get the job done. Especially early in the game like Game 2, we've got to find a way to get the puck on net to get that lead.
Q. Pierre, Colorado has never given up a two-game series lead for a long time. Talk about that.
PIERRE TURGEON: It's a good challenge. And they are obviously a good team. But they're beatable. I mean, they're -- we've got to move for the third one now and I think what we can do in the third game and obviously at first we're down. But we've been in that situation before. It's not like we're never -- against Phoenix a couple years ago, we came back from behind. We make it tough on ourselves, but it's possible. So we've just got to go for the third one now and not look any further than that.
(Coach Quenneville enters the press conference.)
Q. What was your message to your team? You guys had a meeting today. What did you have to say?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We kind of went over special teams today, and we talked to some of the players and will probably talk more tomorrow about what we need to do. I think we're all upset about last night's game. We feel we were much better than we were in the first game. But still not good enough. We still need or the better across the board. But we know it will be exciting to get back home and get some momentum going and get ready to go. But I think we're all upset and we want to do something about it.
Q. Coach, planning any lineup changes?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yes. Contemplating maybe a couple changes. That is definitely a possibility.
Q. (Inaudible) going to play tomorrow?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Good, possible.
Q. (Inaudible) is he a possibility tomorrow too?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yes, he's under consideration.
Q. Do you talk one on one with Turgeon and guys like that that you want more out of? Will you sit down with them?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We talked to a number of people today and we all addressed what we have to do as group. And more individually, and we'll get collectively together what we have to do as a team.
Q. How important was it to get Pierre where he was for the rest of your team?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I think the one thing we had success at the Dallas series. We had everyone at the top of their team. We need that to have any success against Colorado. You look at the strength of their team and goaltending is strong and their defense is extremely tough to play against. But I think that's where we've got to make a determined effort to try to get to that scoring area and do whatever it takes to score and make a play in that area and across the board offensively.
Q. Power-play struggle, but they came through with a couple goals last night?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yes, the power-play hadn't been producing with the light goal in the Dallas series and getting on the board here yesterday. But the nice thing is, that's the type of goals you're going have to score with traffic in the net, point shots, deflection, rebounds, screens. That's how you beat him. He'll stop everything he sees. But we want to make sure he's got some distractions.
Q. Can you talk about Scott Mellanby's plays?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, you can't speak highly enough of what Scott has done for our people, our team, and how he's played. He didn't leave anything on the table. Every shift he gives everything he has and he's on the puck. As a teammate, you just appreciate what he's trying to do for you. I thought that their line was a real bright spot for us last night. If we had three lines giving us that from here on out, we would be in good shape.
Q. The last goal that Turek allowed was an aberration. Do you forget about it?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, we'll forget about it. It was one of the fortunate bounces that had. Their goals were -- they were kind of innocent plays. And at the same time, we'll move on knowing that I think we'll all be better.
Q. How much of Turgeon's slashing at the end of the game was frustration, and how much of the frustration at being shut down?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, whether you can measure either way, it's still unacceptable. Knowing that they'll always call retaliation penalties and that's our message to the guys. The initial infraction might be missed, but they'll always detect a retaliation play. You better learn.
Q. Do you sense that he and Pavol are getting a little frustrated?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I think they're expecting more from one another. I think as teammates we're expecting more, and as coaching staffs expecting more from them. We don't want to put any pressure on them, we're not concerned about the productions, we're just worried about the competing.
Q. What did you think about the play last night?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Maybe improvement over 1 but still got to get better.
Q. Joel, I know you also want to score first in a game, but the Avs, the way they play when they have a lead, is completely different than when they have to play catchup.
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well like to score first. I think it's a big advantage. I think both teams play to their strengths once they are in the lead. It's tough competing against the team when (inaudible) and not being fancy and everybody's in that mode. And you know when we find when the game's tied we're better than when we're chasing, although we did have a great second period for the most part and got a tie later on with it. But I mean we look back in the success of the teams. When we look at who scores first. It's an amazing ratio particularly in this playoff.
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, they're missing a couple pieces if you can't. I'm not sure if he'll be back or not. I don't know if anybody knows more of what happened. But he didn't return later in the game. He're been a pretty good player for them. They use them in important roles, checking role, killing penalties, smart player. But they've got some other guys that did a pretty good job of filling in last night.
Q. Coach, the audio was bad. Can you go over what you said about what your thinking was as far as lineup changes?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, we've got some possibilities of bringing some guys in. Finley was one that was mentioned. We'll also consider some moves up front.
Q. Joel, is it a fine line at this stage of the playoffs for your team players to put more pressure on them or pull back?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Good question. I think that your relationship with the players as individuals as long as your communication lines are there, some form of consistency at this time of the year, I think you try to do whatever you can. I think players do the same thing. I think as linemates, your same objective is that if you recognize the guy next to you is struggling a little bit, and you're not happy as a line. I think everybody plays a part in it. More so this time of the year. We're trying to get the best out of everybody. And you try to pull everything out that you can, so we all know the importance.
Q. Joel, you say when you need more out of everybody, are you talking effort or execution?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think both. I think whether it's effort or execution, I think if you've got the effort, the execution gets better.
Q. Joel, what was your message to the guys coming home down 0-2? What kind of mindset do you want them having?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, we'll talk more tomorrow. Today we talked to a lot of the players and a lot of people. We went over some special teams situations. And their mindset is that we come back here and we get some momentum going, we're right back in the series. But we feel that this is not a hopeless situation. We feel good about our team. We feel that the way we played last night, we're heading in the right direction, but still not acceptable or good enough if we want to go on and turn ourselves around. If we get one win under our belts, we are heading in the right direction.
Q. Is there any concern about (inaudible)?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I don't think it's going -- it's going to be the tough goal, you're going to have to pay a price. Their coverage is tight, their defense is strong and their positions are there. And they'll give you the shots off the perimeter. But at the same time, you're going have to score though ones that are going to be banging and crashing in front of the net and paying the price. That's going to be the way it's going to have to be.
Q. Has Patrick been good in the series? Do you feel like you're getting enough high-percentage chances?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: It's tough to get high percentage chance. We want to make sure we get enough chances too that you have to be concerned with. They don't get much off the returns. You want to make sure that the shots we do get, they're people that we might not be able to see them. We definitely improved that part of our game last night. We and we want to make sure that we build on that knowing that that's the type of the plays that we have to make to get to them.
(Keith Tkachuk entered the press conference.)
Q. (Inaudible) being home gets the last line change that checking line and (inaudible) and get a different look?
KEITH TKACHUK: It's going to be tough. Either way you're going have to face them. It's going to be nice to get the LA change. I don't care who I play against. They are going to do a good job of plays anyway. I'm going to see him the rest of the series in that line, so you just get to them.
Q. Is it frustrating the way you finish off Dallas coming into this series, you felt like you have a lot of momentum?
KEITH TKACHUK: Yes, there's a little bit. The first game obviously we didn't play well at all. The last game was encouraging. The bottom line is, we're down two games to one. They took home ice. It's a little frustrating, but we haven't played our best yet, it was nice to come back here. It was encouraging but we're coming back to our place now and we have to take care of our home ice.
Q. Do you expect to have a little more sympathy than they did late in the game (inaudible)?
KEITH TKACHUK: Well, I don't know. They're doing a pretty good job right now. They look pretty good. We feel if we get this one tomorrow night and we drag out the series as long as we can, that will benefit us with that layoff. And with a lot of fresh young legs. We still feel we're going to get better, the series will go along, it will benefit us.
Q. Joel was talking about getting more production out of our big guys. What do you need to bring?
KEITH TKACHUK: Well, obviously, if you're one of the top guys, you have to produce. It's just not goals and points, because that doesn't make you a great player. It's a doing the little things and getting dirty in front of the net and crashing and banging. The goals will come. Obviously our best part is getting the numbers up. We have to, in order for us to be successful, our players have to go.
Q. Keith, it seems like a lot of those things (inaudible) because of your size and you don't go down easy?
KEITH TKACHUK: I'm not going to dive. Sometimes honestly you have to dive to get penalties. But I'm not going to do that. I know it's going to be a battle in there. I want to score a goal. I'm not going to dive. Sometimes guys take liberties, but that's their job. As long as you're doing the right things and working hard, you'll get some calls, be I'm not going to dive.
Q. Was there anything you took from the Kings series against the Avs that maybe you can emulate?
KEITH TKACHUK: Well, they stayed focused. I mean, when they were down three games to one, they stayed in it. They kept physical. They dragged it out. Who knows what would happen if they didn't hit that post late in the second. So it's a long way from over. You know, everybody's assuming that it's over but it's not. We're just going to keep going and playing physical. Game 3 is the most critical game of the year right now.
Q. You guys have come from behind much of the series?
KEITH TKACHUK: It's going to be huge. It would be nice to play with a lead, I think that's why our team has been successful this far in the playoffs, is getting the lead. We play so much better when we do have the lead. We play a patient game. It would be nice tomorrow night, especially for the home crowd, to get in early. They did a good job in front of their home crowd. It was an exciting building in Colorado. We want to do that tomorrow night right away.
(Pavol Demitra enters the press conference.)
Q. Frustrated this far?
PAVOL DEMITRA: Yes. So far, yes. I'm just, you know, it's very tough. And you know I'm just waiting every single game and it just doesn't come. And I know I have to do it. It's guys like me that have to score a goal if you want to win the game.
Q. What can you do?
PAVOL DEMITRA: I wish I knew. It's tough to say. I know I'm just coming into the rink every single game and just talk to myself, I have to do it. And we just -- everything is just so close (inaudible) you got a couple of chances. If you get a chance to score the goal, if you're not (inaudible) it just doesn't work out.
Q. Are they doing anything specifically to you?
PAVOL DEMITRA: I don't think so. I feel okay. I feel good on the ice. I just, you know, last game we got a couple of chances. And we can do it. I mean, I want to do it. I know I have to do it if this team will win the game. Know guys like me have to, but in time. We (inaudible) and score the goals.
Q. Is it hard not to go at it really pressed?
PAVOL DEMITRA: We got a lot of guys here, you know, we just can't score the goals. But if you -- you know, I'm a part of the guy, and if I not go it, I just want to do it every single time. I want the do it more and more. Maybe I it's tough to do it. I just want to start having fun like how do it before. Every time I go to the rink, I just have fun. I don't think about it. That's how you have to do it. If I don't think about it too much, that's how it's going to work out for me.
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