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May 25, 2006

Craig MacTavish


JAMEY HORAN: Coach MacTavish is at the podium.
Q. You promised yesterday there would be in rodeo in the first period. Can we start there?
COACH MacTAVISH: I didn't -- I don't ever remember promising. I said I didn't think that would be the case, but you never promised. No, I just really felt like it wasn't going to happen to us. I thought the first couple of shifts were good. I was pretty comfortable with the first two shifts, and then we got back on our heels. They came -- you got to give them a lot of credit. They came and got a couple goals. They got a good break on the first one. They haven't gotten many breaks to this point in the series. They got the break on the first one. The second one found its way through.
We always say just don't give up that third one and you can always fight your way back. And all the games I've been involved in if you can keep it to two and manage it from that point forward, you got a chance to come back.
But they got the five-on-three. We started to take penalties. There was some questionable calls I thought, but we deserved a lot of them. And you know, a team with a two consecutive five-on-threes with a 2-0 lead is difficult. And so we didn't survive the first period.
And then in the second period, we got back. The momentum changed and the fifth goal hurt us. We got -- we weren't puck conscious enough there on the face-off, and Lupul was the only guy that had his eye on the puck and he came in and dug it out of traffic and put it upstairs, and a real goal-scorer shot. So we didn't mount much in the third period as well.
So we got a lesson. I think we've been seduced into getting away from our aggressiveness because we've had success sitting back. And once we started to play in the second period, then we seemingly got our game back and got some of our aggressiveness back. We got the lesson. It was expensive. They're obviously a confident group leaving here and it's up to us to answer back in Anaheim on Saturday.
Q. How do you go about making sure that this isn't a momentum swing that lasts a long time and that's it just a blip in the road for your club?
COACH MacTAVISH: We have got to turn the tide in Anaheim. We've got to do a lot of things. I think the most important thing is to be aggressive. When we're playing well, you're an aggressive hockey team. The most important thing for us will be to sustain some of that aggressiveness. We haven't really done that throughout the series. And, you know, to go on and win the series and then win the next series, we're going to have to be a much improved team from what we've been the last few games. That's very obvious. We're very capable of it. We feel like we got the lesson and we can bouncing back, but we'll see Saturday.
Q. Mac T, how much does it, if at all, give you any concern in three periods of hockey you had nine goals scored on you?
COACH MacTAVISH: Well, it's a concern obviously. That's a lot of goals going in. But the greater concern is the way that the goals have come from a product of them winning a lot of the battles. And we've got to do a better job in our end. And again, we were faced with a similar set of circumstances against San Jose where our defense are battling hard and they battle the puck up high, and we get at got a little cute just inside the blueline and not strong enough on the puck. And then they crank two back down and then the defense have to fight that battle again.
A lot of goals are coming from the fact that they've got a considerable territorial advantage, and we have to turn that around by making some plays early. We had trouble getting the puck in deep in the first period. We had four or five chances to get it in deep and we tried to flip it by and they had good sticks and knocked those pucks down and they turned our forechecks into breakouts and we're spending a lot of time in our season. It's of concern. We have to play better.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Coach.
COACH MacTAVISH: Thank you.

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