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


June 8, 2006

Craig MacTavish


Q. Should these guys be coming home mad at themselves or what exactly and --
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Hey, everybody wants to, when the team has lost a couple of games, like "why aren't they bearing their soul?" And I mean, now is not the time for that.
It's disappointing. We're all disappointed in case anybody was wondering. We're disappointed with the two losses, but we have adjustments that we need to make. We missed opportunities. That's maybe the most disappointing thing of the two games is the missed opportunity that we had. And we got to make a few adjustments. As somebody said after the two losses in San Jose, I think it was Gretz, saying that the playoff series never starts until somebody loses a home game. We got to make sure that doesn't happen.
We put ourselves in a difficult position, but, you know, there are 28 other teams that are in a worse position. At least we're alive and kicking, feel like there are definitely things that we can take from the first two games, that are going to help us going into Game 3. Don't feel we got dominated. We gave up too many goals. We were porous at times defensively which we have to shore up. We have done that in the past, and we're going to have to do it again.
There wasn't a lot of physical rust but there may have been some mental rust in our game in terms of how we need to play to get back to the same level of success that we had before we eliminated Anaheim.
Q. How do you get to Ward given how well their defense is playing, blocking shots and when you do get to him he seems to have the answer for most of what you got?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Yeah, another thing, I feel like we have had opportunities, we haven't got a lot of breaks in the series in front of the net. I mean, we put 26 or 27 shots there last night. We had another 20 or so that were blocked, so we have to do some things tactically different. We have to devise a different game plan as coaches to make sure that we're freeing up some space and some unobstructed shooting lanes that we can get the pucks to the net. Their forwards have done a real good job of stopping us. They collapse down low in their defensive zone coverage and when it comes back to the points, where they should be vulnerable, their forwards are doing a good job of blocking the shots. We're very much aware of that and we have got to find a way to get to some of those unobstructive shooting lanes. Then when the pucks do get through, on the occasion that the puck does get through, it's been in pretty tight to Cam and we're having a hard time getting it up and over him and the few chances that we have had, I think Horc has had a couple or three of them in the first couple of games, we haven't been able to put that puck in the back of the net, something that can change the momentum, certainly in Game 2.
So he's played well, but as I said last night after the game, we're making it -- we have made it easy on him in the location of the shots and that's got to change. We have got to come out. We have got to hold court. I guess it's cliche time right now, but we have got to play well in our own building and we have got to turn this into a home-ice series and we do that by getting a win Saturday night and again, I have a sense that, you know, I have to, if I didn't I'd still tell you this but I feel like home ice is going to be a pretty significant advantage. We don't underestimate them by any stretch. We don't think that they have won two games by good breaks. They are a team -- we flew a lot at them in the first period last night, came out with a real aggressive mindset and as I said last night, we wanted to finish all the checks, we were guilty of a little overexuberance but we threw a lot at them and they handled it. So we have got to be a little more conservative in that respect, and make sure that we're not giving them the odd-man rushes that they received in the opening period, because they have proven one thing that they can capitalize on those odd-man rushes. They are capitalizing and they are more opportunistic than us at this point in the series and that's got to change.
Q. Seems their penalty kill is fairly aggressive and taking away time and space, that kind of thing. What kind of challenge does that present for a group that's trying to set it up and trying to work it around and --
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: We have got to make some changes in terms of our philosophy and maybe some of our personnel on our power play. They have really done a good job identifying the threats of our power play and taking them away. We made some changes going into Game 2 that gave us a couple of chances early, but we got to be more effective. We're hopeful again that home ice will swing the balance of the special team game. But we have got to make some changes and try and exploit what they are doing so well against our power play till this point.
Q. Hemsky has been very good in the first two games, Horcoff and Smyth maybe not so much. I know you win and lose as a team, but do you need more out of those two guys more than anybody else?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: You answered your own question; win and lose as a team. There's not one player on our team that we count on to win us hockey games. As I said last night, if Horc and Ryan are guilty of anything, it's trying to do too much and trying to be difference makers and, you know, we'll take that. They understand that and, you know, we're not relying on them to put the puck in the back of the net every night.
We're a team, much like Carolina. They are getting it from all three lines, and we're a team built of the same ilk and we need some scoring.
Q. How much does the San Jose series play into what you are trying to accomplish on Saturday? Some of guys talked about you know, using it as a springboard or are you reluctant to sort of go back in history to use that in trying to get to where you want to get to on Saturday?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, I mean, as a coach, you can at times, and I don't like to, but you can be the master of the obvious and, you know, we have done it before. We can do it again. I mean, it has, I guess, some merit. They all know that. What I will say is Game 3 was a tremendously difficult game to win here and Carolina quite clearly has got the momentum, all the momentum in the series at this point. Things are going well, they are getting timely goals, timely saves when they need them, and that will be the most difficult game to win, will be Game 3, and you know, quite conceivably could be another overtime game.
But having been there, and been in that position and succeeded and overcome a late San Jose lead, and then won the game in overtime, we know that momentum changes and then we won four games after that. I am not saying that's going to happen, but we have got to have our best game here Saturday night and, I mean, the energy level has been good. The buy-in has been good. We have got to slow our game down a little bit and do a little bit greater degree of mental energy than physical energy right now.
Q. Yesterday you were pretty happy with Jussi's play. Now that he had a game to play and dealt with kind of everything that's gone on building up to that game, do you think he will even be a little better and sharper just because he had some game action for the next one?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: I think that's it and I was really impressed by the way that he played last night, and he had a calm demeanor from the minute I told him he was playing right through the entire game. I mean, everybody got a little frenetic there in the third period last night, but I was really impressed by his calmness, and that was emphasized in the way that he handled the puck. Normally if you are going to be nervous, it's going to manifest itself in a bunch of mishandles and he came out of his net, he was aggressive, he handled the puck, and with Jussi in the past when he's handling the puck well and has the confidence to do that, he's playing well, and he made some big saves for us: Staal in the second period, then there was another one, a slap shot in the second period, too that he made a real good glove save on before they made it 3-0. So he's going to be all right.
Goaltending wasn't the factor obviously last night why we lost and we talked about that yesterday.
Q. I know you are not happy about being down two games. It's not like you were dominated in either of those games, so I mean, do you take some confidence from that, that it's really just a matter of a couple of adjustments and probably changing the focus of your game more than doing anything drastic?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: That's exactly the way I feel, that A, you want to be confident coming through the first two games knowing that you weren't dominated and B, you want to understand that you lost for a reason and there are areas of your game that you have to rectify.
It's not a complete overhaul of our game. We're not asking our team to get to a level that they have never been at before. We're asking our team to get to the level that they were at and I think that that will be enough to get us back in the series. Will it be enough to win? We think so at this point, but right now we're just looking at Game 3.
Q. Wondering if you are concerned over the discipline and number of penalty and trying to rein the guys in from taking penalties but still keeping them as aggressive as you guys like to play?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: The one thing I was concerned about last night going into the game was just that. I thought we did a fine job in the first period. The second period there were two penalties that I thought were undisciplined, untimely penalties and then the third period I wasn't worried about the penalties that we were taking in the third period. Sergei takes the penalty that makes it 4-0 and at that point the game is out of hand and you want to continue to finish checks realizing that it's going to be a long series and you want to, as they want us to pay a physical price, we're going to want them to pay a physical price, so we have taken a lot of penalties throughout these playoffs. We just want -- we wanted to be physical and at times that's the most difficult thing to manage, is being physical and at the same time being disciplined. But you know, we did pretty good job in analyzing the game again today. Certainly through the first period and then there were maybe a couple of undisciplined penalties in the second period that we would want to do over, but we're capable. We're capable of having that discipline and getting back to that type of game. I mean, everybody understands the urgency of it. Everybody sees how effective their power play has been. So you put two and two together and you try and stay out of the box and don't put your team in that position.
Q. You have been on the other side of a hot goaltender, Dwayne Roloson left a lot of teams shaking their heads in earlier rounds. Do you worry about that, that if you don't get a goal early on Cam, he's starting to get pretty confident, that it might affect your team?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, the one thing that he's shown throughout these playoffs is that he's unflappable. I don't think his confidence has ever wavered. He might have looked a little vulnerable in Game 7 against Buffalo late; understandable. But he's a very confident guy and I don't think that his confidence level can get too much higher than it is now, coming off a shutout in Stanley Cup Finals.
We'd like to pick away at that confidence but we're not worried that it will get any higher. We obviously want to get to him. We think our home crowd will give us the pop that we need to give us just a little bit extra to get the puck in the back of the net in the first period.
Q. Will Georges be suspended for that game misconduct?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: No. He's available tomorrow. From what I've heard from the League today that he's available tomorrow. It's a clean slate once the Finals start. So it's his first game misconduct, so he will be available for tomorrow.
Okay thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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