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June 15, 2006
EDMONTON, ALBERTA: Practice Day
Q. Update on -- or if there is an update on Doug Weight and or Aaron Ward?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: There is no update. Both guys finished the game last night.
Q. Is it good you got a little extra time, you can evaluate them? How does it help you over the next 48 hours?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: I think the two days off can be useful just to get away from that last game and separate yourself from that game and move forward and get ready for Game 6.
The time is good to identify the fact that it was just one game, and we move on and now. It's Game 6 in their building, and it should be another great game. With the exception of the 5-0 games, they have been pretty exciting games, one-goal games.
I don't think we were planning on sweeping 4-0. It would have been nice, but we knew that we had had a good team, and we were going to be in for a long series.
Q. Everybody has bumps and bruises in a series like this. These two days, at this juncture, does it mean a lot to the veteran players?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Everybody gets the extra days, their team as well, so I am not sure if the guys would rather play or take the extra day. So I guess it's just preference, but there's no question as far as healing goes. The extra day is going to help.
Q. Giving up 4 goals, did the Oilers finally get to Cam? Any concern there?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: I really can't blame Cam for any of those goals. He played a pretty good game for us.
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Raffi is a physical player. I think we out hit them last night 22-19, whatever it was, but he's certainly a guy that can skate and bang bodies. We're going to have to continue to pound the body as well.
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Raf was up a little bit in Long Island. We knew that going in that he was tough, and Michael Peca was hitting and Staios and Smith, Green. They have got a physical team. We watched their series before this and knew that that was part of their game. I don't think it intimidated us.
Q. They were wearing you down five-on-five. Did you feel that --
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: We had scoring chances 14 to 12 even strength for us, so I mean, there is -- they always seem to be making the case for themselves, you know. I can't control what they say.
Q. Do you see them having the home momentum?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Let them have it. We don't like momentum. Never works -- hasn't worked for us in two rounds. Let them have it.
Q. What is your read on them today? After losing in overtime with a chance to close it out, what is your read on your guys today? Where are they?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: It was obviously -- in the locker room last night it was a tough loss. You wake up today; you get on a plane. You got work to do; there's a practice tomorrow.
There's a game coming the day after that. Just knowing what I know about my team, they will be ready to play. And the game that took place last night, when the puck drops two nights from now will be long gone in the past from everybody's mind.
Q. (Inaudible) you have got 6 centers in the lineup, so if Dougie can't play --
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: We have got 6 or 7 guys that can play center for us. That's not an issue for us. Actually, more guys are playing more so out of position by playing the wing. Based on Game 3, we moved wings to centers and centers to wings and just mixed it up a bit.
Q. Given the travel that you have already had to date, does it behoove you to maybe get this done Saturday and not deal with yet another 5-hour flight back the other way with a quick turnaround?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: The good thing about the Playoffs is everybody is in the same boat. The travel is irrelevant because they do the same thing that we do.
Q. A little more accustomed to it given where they are in the world?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: They have the same schedule as we do. I don't think there's any advantage or disadvantage there. (Inaudible) were you surprised that Aaron came back and played because he missed the whole second period? Are you of that opinion, or was he just a warrior and he's --
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: I am sure on both sides there are a lot of guys that are banged up. They make it this far in the Playoffs you are going to feel the effects of it. And, no, I mean, they are going to come back and play if there's any chance, so --
Q. Do you build on the fact that you have already taken a game in their building and have a bit of experience?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Obviously that was a big game for us. But, again, just, you know, experiencing the Playoffs this year and getting this deep, every game is its own identity and it's -- it can be separated.
We won Game 3 in New Jersey; we had momentum and we lost Game 4. We lost the first two games in our building against Montreal. Then we won four straight, including two in their building, so the momentum and one game leading into the next, it hasn't really -- hasn't stood up a lot. But, you know, I can't tell you what is going to happen in Game 6.
The puck will be dropped, and two teams will go at it. We'll be ready, I can tell you that.
Q. Talk about Eric Staal scoring the last 5 goals for you.
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: He's been great since training camp, pretty much. He's been consistent through the year, through the Playoffs; he's a great player.
Q. Your power play was so dangerous last night. You were so good. When the other team scores, is it an unbelievable shock? You were getting the puck in their end easily.
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: It was obviously not the break we were looking for. We had moved it out of our end pretty effectively and through the neutral zone. We had gotten it set up and moved it around and gotten opportunities. But, again, you just never know. It is one of those instances where there was a turnover and ended up in our net.
Q. Stillman was taking it a little hard how things shook out at the end last night --
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: There is no blame for one person on our team. We'll swing together and we'll go down together. That's the way this operates here.
Q. Did you speak to him at all?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Yeah, both him and Staal, just this morning real quick.
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: He's made some big saves for them. I think he's played well. He made some good saves last night. I thought he made some great saves in Game 4. I thought he was real sharp in Game 4.
Q. Are you surprised that he's coming in after being out so long?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: From what I can remember correctly, he was pretty good in the lockout here. He's a good goaltender.
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Montreal was pretty physical. They had a fast skating team and big defense, and they played an aggressive style. We dealt internally with some bumps and bruises then as well.
Q. As you are going through this travel back and forth, any thoughts on what a 2-3-2 series would be like? Would that be beneficial to the players?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: I don't really know if home and road is that much of an advantage. Maybe early on in the Playoffs, but not when you are down this far. There is too much at stake, too much at the end of the line.
Q. What would you think of a 2-3-2?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: Just coming five hours, probably welcome it. To be honest, I haven't given it any thought.
Q. Cam Ward almost seems to be playing a little bit better on this side than he does in rally. Do you see any trends there?
COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: No. Actually, prior to the series he played great on home ice. He's played great the whole Playoffs. He had had an outing or two that maybe he would like to forget. But last night I don't fault him on the goals. There were a couple of nice shots, missed coverage, so I thought he played well.
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