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June 9, 2006

Michael Peca

Chris Pronger


Q. Could you both answer the idea of having an extra day mentally and how much having that normal practice would mean in this situation?
MICHAEL PECA: I think the extra day allows the coaches, you know, to obviously analyze Game 2 a little bit more, allows them to make the corrections. I think as players we kind of understand and are aware of some of the changes that we need to make, but it is the coaches that are able to break it down and, you know, kind of lay it out in simpler terms for us so we understand it and correct things for Saturday.
So the extra day allows them the time to do that a little bit more diligently.
Q. What about the mental part?
CHRIS PRONGER: Obviously the mental part as well, get the two days, obviously a long day yesterday of flying, still rehashing mistakes and things that can be tweaked and corrected. Obviously using today as the day to go out and implement those changes, you know, try to brush that second game off and get back to focusing in on Game 3 here and not worrying about what has happened in the past and worrying about the present.
Q. Michael, you were a difference maker in the Anaheim series, critical goals, et cetera, have you played long enough now that you don't put the extra pressure on yourself, in a series like this say, okay, I have got to re-replicate that performance, or do you think, boy, I need to get back to that level and do those kinds of things to help us?
MICHAEL PECA: Well, I think there's been, you know, some differences in the series so far, but I like to believe that my philosophy is I just expect myself to play at a level that I expect to be at all the time. I don't see it as, I need to step up or take over here. I want to be playing at a level where I don't have to feel there's any more where I got to go. If the results aren't there, they are aren't there. But certainly our lines still feel like we're generating a lot of chances, just not getting pucks in as much as we would like.
Q. Is Carolina's power play anything different or better than what you saw against Detroit, San Jose or Anaheim, and why the difficulty in containing it so far?
MICHAEL PECA: I think from the forwards' perspective, some of the problems we're getting into is of the responsibility of the forwards. I think we have had success in the previous series, we did a better job up ice, we disrupted break-outs, we disrupted entries, and we're not doing that as well in this series, it's allowing them more possession time in our zone. They have got the skill, if we give them enough opportunity, that they are going to find some open spots. That has been the case.
You go back in the previous series when Detroit had success is because we weren't doing the job on the entries and they are getting set-up time in our zone. That's really the main difference. If we can cut down on their possession time in our zone, we'll get back to killing off a lot more.
CHRIS PRONGER: Not only on the entries but it allows them easy access and full control and you are not allowed to pressure as a much as you'd like or as much as we have had in the past. Against skilled players like they have out there, they are going to zip it down and they move it around crisp right now. As you have seen all playoffs long, they have generated the bulk of their scoring on their power play.
Q. I was wondering, a few fans in Edmonton, you know how loyal they are, maybe have fallen off the bandwagon gone a little bit. They saw you lose your goalie, they saw you lose a game rather decisively on the road now, but you're home now. What is the message from both of you to those fans who were kind of are slip-sliding off the bandwagon?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, I don't know -- are there that many broken ankles out there?
You know what, I think obviously it hurt letting that first game slip. Second game, whatever, you got to make changes and learn from games where you don't play as well. We have been able to do that all playoffs long and rebound, and Game 3 is going to be no different. We have implemented a few changes defensively, a few changes offensively and obviously penalty killing and the power play. We're going to hopefully see that hard work put into place in Game 3.
We need them behind us as much as they have been throughout the playoffs because they have been a critical part of our success all the way along.
MICHAEL PECA: I just think obviously when we get into the game tomorrow night, we're not going to, you know, sense that there's people that have fallen off the bandwagon gone, there's going to be a crazy environment. That's what we feed off. It's not a handful of people that have, you know, been satisfied with what we have accomplished this year, and the Oilers did more than we expected, so they are happy. That's not the mentality of our team. And it's not the mentality, I think, of the fans that have stuck with us all year that really want to see us carry through and win this thing.
Q. In the limited time you have been out in public, have you had any contact with fans and what have people said to you?
MICHAEL PECA: I haven't been out at all.
CHRIS PRONGER: Me neither. I haven't been out since the Detroit series, so other than going to the grocery store and picking up take-out food, that's about it.
MICHAEL PECA: Only time I have been out was when we had break there, before we went out to New York, the family went out to the West Edmonton Mall. I didn't know what to expect. We went early on a Monday so it was pretty quiet.
It's just a tremendous amount of support. It wasn't people bombarding you with questions. People just wanting to say "good luck" and "congratulations on what you guys have done so far. You are doing us proud." And that's really a reflection of the people in this community.
Q. Michael, Shawn Horcoff was talking about, "We got to get the job done offensively to score goals." Maybe a comment on that.
Chris, in the San Jose series, one goal, I know it was a full game or almost two games but that one goal by Shawn made the difference. You don't need everybody to get hot necessarily, one goal by one guy, might kind of ease tension when it comes to goal scoring.
MICHAEL PECA: Well, obviously, goal scoring is paramount to win. You need to score goals to win. I think you don't want to get into the habit of allowing a goalie to not face a lot of difficult shots and allow him to gain confidence, because as a young goaltender you never know what they are capable of achieving.
I think there's some simple things, some really simple things, that we need to do better to give ourselves a better chance to score goals. I don't think we're discouraged by not scoring last game. We got four the game before, and he's made some good saves at times, but I think it's more us that aren't doing the things to score and we're going to get back to doing that.
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah, I don't think we need to necessarily worry about being shut out in one game, scored four in the game before. I think again we can go back to the San Jose series; we scored two goals in two games and a lot of you folks had written us off then too.
So it's a matter of us in the locker room knowing that each night it's going to be somebody different and each guy in that locker room understands that everybody has a role, everybody needs to continue to play that role and not get out of our element, like we did in Game 2, and play out of character, and certainly I think we saw a little bit of that, and that's obviously going to rectified here in Game 3.
Q. Chris, I was just talking to Brian Burke about you and why he drafted you with Hartford, he said, you would hate this description, but he said you had ballerina feet, and that your skating was quiet and smooth that's one of the things that stood out. Did you ever to have work on your skating?
MICHAEL PECA: Nothing having to do with him being 6'6" at all.
Q. I mean, for a guy your size to be able to skate that smoothly and that efficiently.
CHRIS PRONGER: I think that was Bob McKenzie's scouting report pre draft. He liked my feet and the way I moved out on the ice.
Q. Is skating something you ever had to work on? Some guys go to power skating coaches, did you ever have to do that?
CHRIS PRONGER: You always have to continue to work on a lot of different skills. Skating is one of them. Especially in the game today, you never should be satisfied and you're always trying to continue to improve, skating is obviously one of them. And whether it be on a skating treadmill in the summer or the way you train, or the way you prepare skating in the summer before you come to camp, there's always things that you can improve on and things that you can do to get better, and skating has obviously been a big part of -- especially in today's game with the way it's going to be played from here on out, being mobile back there and being able to skate, is going to be a big by-product of that.

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