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May 24, 2006

Randy Carlyle


JAMEY HORAN: Questions for Coach?
Q. Randy, how infuriated were you when you saw Georges Laraque playing up the crowd? Seemed to spark your team to the burst you had in the third period?
COACH CARLYLE: I think in those situations the emotion that is pent up in the game, the crowd, all those things, lead to individuals -- I don't think that Georges Laraque would normally do that in a regular season game, and I look at it as one of those things I'm sure we are taking the thing as kind of a slap in the face to our group, but bottom line is that those things are things that we utilize as motivational tools. And I'm sure that they'll try to find something that we say in the media that they'll try to use as a motivational tool. That's the game within the game off the ice.
Q. Coach, obviously just a couple teams have come from being down three games to none. What do you guys have to do to make sure or to give you the best chance to be that third team in NHL history to do that?
COACH CARLYLE: I think the No. 1 thing that we focus on and will continue to focus on is you don't look at what the history or how many teams have done it historically. That has nothing to do with what our task is. Our task is to come out and give ourselves the best chance by winning one hockey game tomorrow night. Or preparation is one game only. That's the most important game of the season and the year for our hockey club.
Q. Randy, with all the good things that you guys have done in the series and the resilience the team has shown, particularly last night. Is it fair to say that you're in the position you're in because of simply too many mistakes?
COACH CARLYLE: Again, I think from our speculative, we talked about it right from the first series against Calgary is that the team that makes the least amount of mistakes usually has the best chance of winning the hockey game. And last night was a prime example of us making some errors that were, I wouldn't say unforced but they were not of the usually kind in the turnover of the puck by our goaltender, the turnover with our defensemen trying to get the puck in deep, choice of putting it in the middle of ice versus throwing it down the wall, overplaying the puck on the face off. That led to three straight goals. And that in a nutshell they scored three goals on blatant mistakes or turnovers by us and we beat ourselves in that situation. You have to eliminate those. You have to play as close to mistake-free hockey as possible.
Q. Randy, you've already used a goaltender switch once to work for you in the playoffs. Would you consider going with Giguere tomorrow ahead of Bryzgalov?
COACH CARLYLE: I'll consider it. You better come to the warm-up if you want the answer.
Q. Bryzgalov has been good at shaking off defeats and treating each game as a new one. Are you getting any handle on his frame of mind after last night?
COACH CARLYLE: I don't think -- in this situation it's one where I tried it stay out of the dressing room as much as possible. I don't like to go in there and root around with the players. I think today is one of those days you meet with them, set out the schedule, you deliver the message and move on. As far as getting the pulse of the group, I think he's not any different than any other member of our hockey club.
We realize the task at hand and our focus is on one game. Whoever gets to play that position tomorrow night will have to play the best game that he's played so far this year.
Q. The building was a lot louder than Anaheim. Do you sense that maybe even helped your team spur it on? You came out a lot more physical in this game than you had in the previous two?
COACH CARLYLE: Again our message is that you utilize that energy that's in the building not as a negative, but as a positive. When you have energy that's been created by fans, it's in a daunting task to ask your players to grab some of that. You know, the desperation of the situation is one that your players usually -- a coach doesn't have to do too much on the motivating aspect of it. You allow your players to absorb as much of the game plan as you possibly can, and by 4:30 it's up to them. You can't change much at that time. You give that them and let them take on that responsibility.
Our team has done a good job of that. Nobody can say that this team hasn't been prepared to go to work. And we will work and will continue to work until they say it's over. But bottom line is, tomorrow night's one hockey game that we have to play the best game of the year for our group.
Q. In the third period you seemed to get to Roloson. What did you do different and did your guys gain confidence from that play?
COACH CARLYLE: Getting to Roloson? We had a number of shots. I think I was listening to John Garrett, he talked that we had 38 shots and 19 blocked and we had something like 16 or 17 that missed the net. And in his calculation we had something like 55 opportunities to shoot the puck at the net, and if we continued to do that, we would get rewarded for it. Maybe that is the analogy that would best describe last night.
Q. We've already asked about the goaltender, but how tough was it to not take Giguere out in the other series and Bryzgalov? Is it always a tricky situation for a coach?
COACH CARLYLE: When it works you're a genius and when it doesn't you're an idiot.
Q. I only ask this question because this morning Kevin Lowe and McTavish and the Oilers who sat up there all made a statement about how they felt with the crowd singing the national anthem. As a Canadian, did that have any affect on you?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, you know, this is one time that you can talk back about being in these situations, in my other life as a player, and going into these buildings, they've all been loud. Historically, you can go into any playoff building where your team has made it to the final four, the fans are revved up. And the one thing that when you come to a Canadian hockey market in the playoffs, deep into the playoffs, that support is there and that patriotism is at the forefront and that's suspected.
And being a Canadian, it's something that you look back on and say that you're proud to be a Canadian when people have that emotion and that passion for the game.
Q. I certainly don't want to suggest any sort of panic or frustration, but is there any wonder, when you try a number of different things in this series and done a number of different things well, and yet for some reason you're coming up short. Does that at all keep you up?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, as a coach when you don't win, it keeps you up. There's always ways to lighten the load, and the one thing that -- what we've always tried to do, and we've been pretty consistent with that from our staff and our players, that our expectations are that our work ethic cannot waver, number one. And I think that we've maintained that and we've been able to attain some moderate success from building a strong worth ethic within our group.
Number two, we feel that we have to play strong defensively, and I think that we've been able to demonstrate that we can do that in certain times through the course of the season into the playoffs.
And number three, we have to play the game with passion. And we're playing the game with passion right now and we know that the situation is -- we haven't had the success that is required and we have to focus on the positives of the three games that we've gotten ourselves in this situation and go forward. There's not secret. We've got to win one hockey game and focus on that and that only.
Q. In Game 3, Vishnevski and Salei were much more physical. Was that something you challenged those guys specifically or did they challenge themselves?
COACH CARLYLE: I think there is a certainly amount of self-pride that gets involved and then that goes back to the passion and the work ethic and playing for one another. When you play a number of games that our group has played together and really the coming together of our group from Christmas on, that there are some hurdles that you have to overcome as a group. I think those are the kinds of things that are displayed when you get into an energetic type of playoff atmosphere game that was played last night, and physical aspects are always going to be a strong part of that.
Q. Randy, not speaking of your situation at the moment, just generally speaking, is trying to figure out why goaltenders do what they do the trickiest part of coaching?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, depending what the question is trying to figure out goaltenders do what they do, historically there's always been a little slight edge to goaltenders that they would be described as not normal, and to figure out what they can do. I think in our situation, scouting the opposition and recognizing the strengths and the weaknesses and where the positional play, all those things, the boxing out of their hockey club, do you hold it, do you fake the slap shot, do you throw things into the crease, all those things are things that coaches go through on a day-to-day basis when you do an analysis of who you're playing up against.
And that's no different. I'm sure they're doing the same thing with our goaltending tandem. We've been able it find a way to get four pucks by Roloson. We look upon it as an opportunity.
Now that there's a crack in armor, we've had to put some doubt there. That is the bottom line. We've got to go out and continue to drive the net and play strong hockey throughout the neutral ice, to turn the puck over and force them to make those stops again.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you. Coach.

End of FastScripts...

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