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June 10, 2006

Craig MacTavish


Q. I just asked the players about the power play. What is going on with that, and the answer, if you didn't hear it, Hork was talking about you had made some changes and things at practice, and you think you are doing it better, but what is your assessment of this power play?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, we got -- I mean it's always disappointing when you are up 1-0 and you end up with a lengthy five-on-three in the first period. You know that you have to capitalize on those. Ultimately they normally even those up, so we were disappointed that we didn't. Made some changes in what we wanted to do on our power play. We were a little bit more effective, but more effective getting the pucks to the net. Missed a couple of shots on the five-on-three, but not only on our power play but five-on-five, we weren't as committed to going to the net. I think that you know, it was a by-product of not having a lot of pucks get to the net in the first two games, and we were standing on the outside, where they were falling during the first two games and now we created a few shooting lanes for ourselves, got pucks to the net, we didn't get enough traffic or enough bodies in front of the net.
We got to get our power play going better. It's capable of doing more, for sure. We have got to analyze that tomorrow and we're going to get something out of that if we're going to win the series for sure.

Q. Can you assess what Markkanen gave you tonight?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, I mean, he played incredibly well, I thought. It was great for him. I was really happy for him. I was happy for us that he gave us that type of effort in the net. We certainly needed it. We felt like we could have been up a couple after the first period but we weren't. Then we got protecting the lead, and they are a tough team. They are not here by coincidence. And he had to be real sharp in the third period.
They took it to us early on in the third period while we're protecting the lead. Once they tied it, we got back on our game and they got a little less aggressive.
But great performance, handled the puck well, set the puck well for the defense, got to a lot of rims, played very well.

Q. Can you talk about how physical your team was on Rod Brind'Amour tonight.
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, we were not passing up any opportunities to punish a guy that's playing 25 minutes a game. He played 24 odd minutes tonight, I think. You always want to make those as tough a minute as possible, and when you see Rod coming down, you want to make sure that you are finishing your checks. I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight.

Q. Your top line finally broke through with scoring. Can you comment on what they have done differently in the series?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: They capitalized on -- they probably had less chances tonight in tonight's game there than they had in the two previous games, but they capitalized. It was a big goal obviously to get that goal in the first two and a half minutes of the game, and couldn't come from a better source.
Everybody knows the scrutiny the first line is under when you are not winning and to combine that not scoring. So it was a big goal for Hork and then Smitty to get us the game winner, and nice pass from Hemmer. You know, we were a little tight, I thought, and hopefully this win will help us loosen up offensively and we'll be able to capitalize better. But you have got to give Ward credit as well.

Q. Just expand on Hork and Smitty in Game 3s when you are down 2-0 and scoring big goals.
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: I don't really remember the other ones, but -- yeah, Hork's overtime goal. Hemmer has had a hand in a lot of those over the course of the season, and, you know, we have scored a lot in the last minute or two in big games in crucial games. And, you know, it's normally those three that are putting the puck in the back of the net. But it's just a collection of offense that we have, and I mean, as I said before, we don't count on them, each and every night. We want them to score playing good, responsible hockey and they did that. We eliminated the rush chances to a certain -- to a higher degree tonight, and that helped control their offense.
Q. You said you were going to make some changes. Out of the changes you made, which one had the most impact on your game?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Oh, I thought we did a better job getting pucks to the net. We had, I don't know what the final total was, 30-something shots. We did a good job, a much better job of that tonight than we did certainly in Game 2. Now we just have to put everything together in Game 4 and get it back to even. The changes we made on our penalty kill really impacted the game tonight. I thought our penalty kill was real good, where we were more disciplined in the amount of penalties that we took. So those things helped, for sure.

Q. Do you think Smyth's goal in the end, old-school kind of hockey like that --
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Yeah, chip in power I was saying to somebody. Vintage Ryan Smyth goal, and it couldn't have been prettier in our estimation, but got the puck to the net, and you know, he went there and just had the composure in that situation to stand in there. And as somebody was saying in the back, it's not the first time he's been in that situation or the first time he went to the net.
Q. Peter Laviolette felt he was in the crease and he wasn't pushed there. I don't know if you saw the replay on it at all, did you see it that way at all?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Oh, I think it's a moot point right now. It's in the back of the net. It's 2-1, so we'll let them determine -- talk about that.

Q. Talk about the job that you guys did collapsing down low, really protecting Jussi in first period. Carolina had trouble getting pucks to the net.
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: We did a pretty good job. We spent a lot of time in their zone first half of the game, then they started getting momentum, but we had more guys in the right position, more guys above the puck, and less odd-man rushes against, less frenetic play in our own zone. We recognized the dangerous areas of the ice and we had good presence in the dangerous areas of the ice.
Q. You had stated you had better be able to slow them down in the neutral zone. Were you pretty pleased with what happened tonight?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Yeah, I thought we did that to a certain degree, and you know, got to give them credit, they played a tough game. You had to be reasonably happy with the situation they were in, in this building, in this situation, going into the third period, down 1-0. I mean, I can't believe they'd be too unhappy with the situation they were in, and they are a tough team. We're going to have our hands full as we all know.
Q. How did you see the Moreau non-goal?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, Mick was behind the net, and Cam had it about right between his legs. And Mick lost site of it obviously. He couldn't see it from his angle, and quite clearly, all of us on the bench knew it was laying free between his legs, so that's -- I mean, it's unfortunate, but that's the angle that Mick had, and when -- you think the goaltender's has got it covered, you have got to blow the whistle. It was unfortunate but I wasn't upset with the interpretation there by Mick. I could understand where he was coming from.

Q. Were you worried though that it was going to come back and bite you?
COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Well, you always are, but it's -- we have been down that path of disappointment before in those situations, so you just kind of let the water roll off you and you go on with the next play.

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