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June 11, 2006

Rod Brind'Amour

Cam Ward


Q. Much is made about Ryan Smyth's ability to get in front of the net and be around there, I am just thinking in general here, is it the big guys who are strong or is it the little feisty guys who are zipping out who are more problematic.
CAM WARD: Obviously over the years Smyth has made that his trademark of being in front of the net. With the new rules that are set up in the league, it's tough to know what you can do to move the player out of the front of the net, so maybe now the smaller guys have the same advantage as a big guys.

Q. What was last night like with finally getting to play here, and having a lot of family and whatnot in here and playing in the Stanley Cup Finals in your hometown?
CAM WARD: It was extremely exciting, it's something I have been looking forward to, to have the opportunity to play your first NHL game in your hometown. Being in the Stanley Finals is definitely something you dream as a little kid. I had a lot of fun with it. I was excited. Thrilled for the opportunity, and I thought things went really well, except for the end result.

Q. What is this whole sort of experience been like with your dad really being able to come and be with you almost this whole run?
CAM WARD: It's been a lot of fun. You remind yourself that you won't be where you are if it wasn't for your parents and your family, and I have been blessed with tremendous support throughout my entire family and friends, it's exciting to have them come and be involved and be a part of -- Coach Lavi has done a really good job of letting the parents come in and experience it with their kids.

Q. You obviously manage pressure pretty well and I notice you and your teammates you do a little bit of that soccer loosening up in the hallways before the game. Can you talk about how that got started, the little game that you play amongst yourselves, and how the World Cup is going over in the room?
CAM WARD: Obviously it's huge, the World Cup. I am thinking of maybe trying out next year for Team Canada, we'll see how it goes.
It's just something that we do as a team to have some fun and get loose at the same time, kind of get your mind off the pressure, or the game, just to loosen up.

Q. There were a lot of players upset at how the game ended last night and there were quotes about officiating, things like that. I know a couple of players said that nobody wants us to win. Is that kind of the approach now, "us against the world"?
CAM WARD: People are entitled to their own opinions. Doesn't really matter what we think. We know what we're capable of doing inside the locker room, you know, it's just, we got to worry about what we got to do on the ice, not really what people are thinking outside the dressing room. So it's tough to say.

Q. Did you have a chance to look again at a replay on that goal? Did you have any idea exactly what happened and what can you maybe take from what happened on that play, anything that you try to learn from down the road?
CAM WARD: I guess the only thing I would have changed is to control my rebound, not to let it pop out in front like that.
I did see the replay and it is what it is, it's not something I am going to get too involved in right now because it won't really when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter what I think or what I say it's not going to change the end result. Just going to get ourselves prepared for Game 4.

Q. The playoffs are an awfully long time to get to this point. As a player, how do you physically cope with the mental and physical grind and what do you do to keep in the game?
CAM WARD: I guess it makes your days off that much more important to make sure you do get that rest, you know, refuel the tank I guess you could say, so that you are capable of leaving it all on the ice. But at the same time when you are playing every second day, you get comfortable in the game situations and it's something that I don't mind. It's just you have to hold yourself accountable to stay hydrated, to stay prepared off the ice as well.

Q. If you make that soccer team do you want to be the goalie? And also does the team need to be more relaxed or angry or somehow combine those for the next game?
CAM WARD: I'd be a goal scorer in soccer, but we just have to do our own thing, you know, get back to playing the way that we know that we are capable of doing and be ready right from the drop of the puck, and be excited and be physical at the same time.

Q. Rod, when you were in the room last night you can feel the tension about the officiating. You had a few things to say. Has the group calmed down a bit? Are you still thinking about that?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: No. I don't know that we were all that upset. I think I was more upset that we lost. I don't know officiating, that wasn't the reason why we lost the game. That's for sure. You're just generally upset because you lose a game at the Stanley Cup Finals that, you know, that's the reason. We didn't play well enough to probably win. Our power play was not very good. We had five power plays. We had ample opportunities there to score and we didn't. That's why we didn't win the game, I think.

Q. Rod, having seen the replay last night, on the goal, just your thoughts on it 24 hours later?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: You know what, I think if it was the other way around and one of our guys had done it, I would have wished it to be a goal as well, so I can't really say it's not a goal. I think the only question that we have had was we were explained before, because we had a goal disallowed in a series very similar and it was disallowed, basically saying that you can't -- a goalie has to be able to make the move to stop the puck if you are in the crease and you can't impede that. That's the explanation why our goal was disallowed and then when you look at that, you say, well how is that the same. That's the only question.
I still think it should be a goal. The guy is not, I don't think, intentionally trying to go in there to knock it in. It happened to hit him as he was going, but they have said before they made a precedent that that wasn't going to be allowed. That's I think why it irks us, but that's water under the bridge now.

Q. Curious, two things, one, what do you guys have to do to get more involved in the game early? And also with Eric Staal, he was so dynamic, so dominating through so much of the playoffs, what is going on with him in this series that you have seen?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Well, I don't know that. I mean, last time I looked he was still leading scorer in the playoffs, I think, so I don't know that a couple of games off where me may not have scored is a big deal. Obviously he's our best player we love to see him light the lamp. I go by the theory you can't hold a good guy down too long, he's going to break out. That bodes well for us. The other things we could do to help him. I think we'll make a few adjustments in that regard to take a little bit more of the heat off him, but he's going to bounce back. He has all year, if you looked at him 82 games, he didn't go too long without being dominant. I think it's just a matter of time.

Q. The starts?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I'd love to have the answer for you. We don't plan to get behind and have to get to our game. I think the games that we have gotten behind us, we have taken penalties early, it seemed to take us right out of the flow of what we want to do. Last night was a real perfect example of that. We killed a lot of penalties in the first period and you know, seven of our best forwards aren't getting out there. I think that's the key reason.

Q. A question about you on faceoffs: Talk about what it's meant to you through your career and how much did you have to work on it to get to the level you are today and how much do you still have to work at it?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Well, I don't know, never had so much questions about it in my life until the last few days. It's kind of caught me off guard, just wasn't that big of an issue. For whatever reason it has become something now. I don't know that you work on it in practice. I never do because coaches don't drop the pick the way linesmen do. I never get involved in those type of things, that will throw your timing right off. I mean even last night it wasn't that great but a lot of them are just, if you watched a game, they go sideways so much and to me it's typical. If you look at the end of night on the faceoffs and if your team is doing pretty good on an average, it's because they are getting in there, fighting for those pucks. I don't think last night we were as good at doing that as well, so it's not so much a lot of times the one-on-one battles of the centermen it also includes a lot of other people.

Q. Talk about the differences in your mind when they got the matchup with the Torres and the Peca line up against you, what difference it made for you and your guys' approach?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I don't approach it any differently. I know my wingers they don't approach it any different. We have a job to do. We have to go out and score and not get scored on, whether we are playing against whoever. I didn't know that that was the matchup all the time. Seemed like there were a lot of different guys going on them.
To answer your question, we don't really care. It's not really a matter who we play against. We just got to do our job.

Q. I guess there's no such thing as a good loss in the Stanley Cup Final, what were the positives you can take into the next game?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I have to think about that, because you are right, there are no good losses at this point.
Any positives, that we still get to play another game, that didn't cost us the series. Not much positive out of that game. When you lose at this stage of the series, I just don't think that there's positives you can gain. Other than the fact that I don't real -- I mean, everyone made a big deal about the crowd. It was awesome but it didn't affect our play at all. So I think that's a positive, that we know we're in for it now. We have had the one game in here and, if anything, it was more exciting than anything. So that's the positive, I guess.

Q. To follow up, do you notice them trying to be more physical when it was the Torres and Peca line. Raffi talked about that, the need to be physical against you because of the amount of minutes you play.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: No. I mean, every series everyone is finishing their checks. You are supposed to, this time of year especially. So I don't notice any more or less. Every time you have the puck, you take it to get hit and move it. That's kind of the way you play. You know you are going to get hit. So it's not anything new, I guess.

End of FastScripts...

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