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May 22, 2006

Randy Carlyle

Todd Marchant

Andy McDonald

Scott Niedermayer

Sean O'Donnell


JAMEY HORAN: We'll start with questions for the coach.
Q. In a situation where you're going to go into a building like probably it's going to be tomorrow night, is there kind of a blueprint for success for a road team? If so, did you pretty much do that in Game 7 in Calgary?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, I think, you know, the first thing that you have to understand is that the crowd will energize their group to the highest level. I would guarantee that. They're looking to feed off that energy that their home crowd will provide. There's been a number of comments on how loud it has been here. This is our first experience with it. We don't really know the decibel level which we can expect.
I don't think it should surprise us because we experienced that in Calgary. Historically I guess the Calgary fans have been louder than the Edmonton fans.
Q. If you execute your game plan the way you want to, can you use that energy from the crowd and possibly even turn it into an advantage?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, I think the number one thing, for any player that gets an opportunity to play in this type of situation and atmosphere, there's going to be butterflies, nervousness. You have to learn how to channel all of that energy into a positive. As easy as it sounds, some people do a better job at it than others. Our expectations are that we have to play a higher level game than we played in the previous two. The results are not there for us at this point with the work that we put in, the time and effort.
Q. There doesn't appear to be a great deal of difference in the first two games between the teams. Where do you see the difference, if at all?
COACH CARLYLE: Obviously, their special teams has outplayed ours in the sense of the results. They've scored two power-play goals in the first two games, one in each game, then they've scored a shorthanded goal and we've only scored one power-play goal for our hockey club.
Margin of error, when you get into the final four is not large. We need to continue to cut down on some of the mistakes we've made in the first two games and try to create more for ourselves.
Q. Being down 2-0, your record against Edmonton, especially here, how do you convince your players that they have a chance?
COACH CARLYLE: I think you guys have made a lot of the history. What does history get you? It gets you nothing. We're about tomorrow. We're not about what's happened in the past. I think they've utilized that aspect of it to build confidence in their group.
For us, the majority of players that are on our team, the number of people that are in our management and coaching staff, we didn't participate in anything but this season. If you look at the season series, we had two-goal leads in both games in Anaheim. They score a late goal to beat us in a shootout here, they score a goal with 27 seconds left in the final game that we played against them that we would categorize as a bad goal from below the hash marks.
A lot of things have went this hockey club's way against us, so I don't look at it as anything other than we have two hockey clubs that are evenly matched. All the games have been extremely close and competitive. They've had the better of us for the two games. By how much of a margin? You guys have to make that assessment.
Q. You've been in tough situations in this playoffs. How much and what kind of elements do you draw from that in the situation you face tomorrow night?
COACH CARLYLE: Again, the experience that you have. In the first series against Calgary, we lost the first game in Calgary in overtime. We came back and played a much better game and found a way to win it. The difference is we didn't win yesterday. Did we play better than we did in the first game? Yes, we did, from our perspective. But we still have room for improvement.
The experience that we will call on, we try to use the energy that's been created in the building to be a positive. We have to play our best game. We know that. This is a crucial game, a pivotal game in the series. They're going to approach it the same way. They're going to want to get a quick jump and utilize the energy their fans provide for them as a quick start. We have to be ready for that.
Q. Beauchemin was drafted back in '98. He toiled for five or six seasons, caught wind with you guys. Why has he had so much success this season at the age of 25?
COACH CARLYLE: I think, number one, the player got an opportunity to play in a situation with us, and he wasn't probably afforded in the other teams he was with. He had earned the right, from our perspective, that he needed a break or needed a look. We felt that, you know, he would be a guy that would come in and support our lineup.
There's no way that we could predict he would be where he's at today. But the culmination of his conditioning level, culmination of the change in the rules and the ability for him to take the next step as a player, then probably one of the most important ones is to find a partner that he can play with on a team that appreciates some of the things that he does. A partner is Scott Niedermayer and the team is our team that wanted to play much more of an uptempo style of game. Those things seem to fit what he wanted to do, his strengths.
Right now it's a marriage that looks darn good at this point. We'd like to continue to build on that.
Q. Can you talk about coming in last night compared to Edmonton flying in today, your mindset of traveling after the game?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, historically we've always tried to get to the city that we're playing to as quickly as possible to eliminate any of the challenges that do sometimes creep in, be it mechanical failure of airplanes, be it weather, be it whatever. We felt that with the early game last night, getting in here, we were basically in our beds by 1:30, 2:00 West Coast time, which was a little later here, an hour later, that we'd have ample time to rest because we weren't going to skate or have anything before 2:00 today. That gave us ample time to rest. Players would be laying around. That was the only decision that we had adhered to in the first round.
If the game was earlier, yes, we probably would have stayed and traveled today. The Oilers chose that on their own discretion.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you, coach.
We'll be bringing in some Mighty Ducks players momentarily. Questions for Sean, Todd or Scott or Andy.
Q. (No microphone.)
SEAN O'DONNELL: I think so. I think Edmonton did a good job coming in. It wasn't necessarily a pretty or fancy game. They just made fewer mistakes than we did. I think that's what happened Game 7 in Calgary and the two games in Colorado. Sometimes teams at home maybe want to try some fancy things in front of their fans, friends who might be at the game. When you're on the road, you don't worry about that. You worry about the X's and O's, play a business-like game.
That's what we did the first two, and that's what we're going to have to do tomorrow night.
Q. Andy and maybe Todd, but anybody can answer it, you obviously solved Kiprusoff in Calgary. You are being frustrated by Roloson. What do you have to do to solve his excellence so far?
TODD MARCHANT: I think when you look at any goaltender in the National Hockey League, the first thing first, you have to get traffic in front of him. That being said, we have to -- once we do that, we have to get our shots through. They've been able to block a lot of our shots, and as a result we haven't been able to get second and third opportunities. We were able to do that against Calgary with Kiprusoff, and certainly with Theodore in Colorado. It's not a huge change, but it's something that we definitely have to pay attention to.
Q. Andy, Randy Carlyle was asked the same question, but with the franchise not winning at Edmonton since 1999, does it play on the team's psyche that the team is winless here even though none of you have been with the team? I know Todd can relate to the Edmonton/Dallas rivalry there where Edmonton would come close but not quite win. Does that play at all in the psyche of the team?
ANDY McDONALD: I don't really think so. I think that's more of a media-generated thing. We don't even talk about that in the dressing room. The regular season, I think towards the end of the regular season, we were playing our best hockey, and into the playoffs, even now the team's playing -- has improved, it's playing the best hockey. We don't even look at the regular season I guess you'd say the problems we've had here in Edmonton.
You know, like I said, I think it's like more of a media-generated thing, doesn't really get into the psyche of us very much.
Q. Todd, last night I believe you were talking about something, and I wasn't able to hear it. Is there a way to potentially take the energy in the building and turn it into an advantage for you guys, maybe turn it against the home team?
TODD MARCHANT: Well, I think, you know, I've said it before, it's going to be a loud, hostile atmosphere. That being said, I'm going to use it as an advantage. There's no better atmosphere to play under than to play in something like that. We have to continue to play a simple game. Like Olie said before, sometimes when you're at home, you try to do too much. A lot of times when you're on the road, you just keep a simple game, get the pucks in, get some traffic in front of the goaltender, get shots on the net, stuff like that.
I think we're looking forward to it. I mean, why not? This is the best time of the year to be playing. It's going to be a great atmosphere to play in front of.
Q. Scott, it's been documented the last couple games that the Oilers have had a bad flu bug, guys on IV drips. Having been down this road before, is there any tougher sport to play than hockey, what guys go through to keep going on?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: It's tough to compare to other sports. You know, obviously it is a long two months, month and a half to be playing and battling like you have to have success in the playoffs. No question. Like you said, there's always other things you have to deal with, as well. It's tough. I guess that's what makes it so special.
Q. Scott, you talked about making things simple, getting shots to the net. That said, they've obviously shown their ability to block quite a few. How frustrating has that been and how do you sort of counteract that split-second choice to go ahead and tee it up and get it to the net, maybe pull back and try for a better percentage?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Definitely it's going to be a big part of the game. As a defenseman, it's up to us to get the puck. If our forward is going to go to the net, we have to get it there for him one way or another. That comes from, like you said, making good decisions, when to give it a good shot right away or whether to fake a shot and maybe have a player go down. Those are, like you said, decisions that have to be made, are going to be a big factor in us having some success offensively if we're able to do that and make good decisions that way.
Q. Are they a better team at blocking shots?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Most guys are blocking shots these days. Pads are that much better. That's a big part of playoff hockey, is getting in front of shots. They're doing a good job at it. We've seen that before, for sure.
Q. Scott, seeing Francois up close, why has he succeeded after past failures? Why has the combination of you and him, the odd couple so to speak, has worked out so well?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: You know, I can't really comment too much on Beauch, as to the path he's taken to get here. Since he's been here, he's been very steady. He has been asked to do quite a bit. He's done all of it very well. A lot of times he's out there and he doesn't make things too complicated. He makes a simple play, he does it very well. A lot of times that's the most effective thing to do for sure in this game. He's done that since he's been here. He's done a great job.
As far as us, from the day he got here, I felt comfortable with the way he played. He likes to shoot the puck. I like playing with a guy like that. He's a physical guy, which complements the way I play. It's just a fit that worked out.
Q. Andy, we heard the word "simple" come up a couple times in terms of how you want to play on the road. Has your line maybe tried to do a little too much, particularly last night? Do you guys need to simplify things a bit?
ANDY McDONALD: I think certainly it being a road game, that's the way we want to play. We want to simplify our game. I think maybe the frustration of not scoring is maybe causing us to do things that maybe play outside ourselves, maybe making an extra pass, trying to do too many different things. You know, we have to get back, especially when we're not scoring, we have to work on getting shots through and having guys going to the net. Roloson is playing well. We've had a fair number of chances.
It's frustrating. I think we're not hitting the panic button too much, but we just still have to continue to keep our foot on the gas, keep going and shooting the puck.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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