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June 15, 2006
EDMONTON, ALBERTA: Practice Day
Q. You guys have to play without Dougie. How does that affect you?
ERIC STAAL: Doug Weight is a great player. He's been battling for us all Playoffs. If he doesn't play, we're going to miss that. But I think we are a resilient group, and we have other centermen that can move in in that position and can do a good job.
Q. Are you surprised how well Markkanen has stepped in? He's done a pretty good job for them. Cam has had a great Playoffs, but -- (inaudible)
ERIC STAAL: He's made some key saves. I think we have had some chances here and there where he's made some big saves for them, but I think we need to do a better job of getting at the net and attacking them and, you know, maybe some more traffic and hopefully getting to them a little bit better next game.
Q. Does seem a little bit shaky handling the puck. Is that something that might want to get him handling it a little bit more?
ERIC STAAL: He comes out of the net a lot. He likes to get out there and sometimes, you know. You want to pressure him when he gets out of the net, and hopefully he turns one over or coughs one up and you capitalize. But he does get out of the net very well, and we need to pressure him.
Q. How quickly can you put that game behind you from last night?
ERIC STAAL: For everybody it's already behind us. We're looking forward to Saturday. We're looking forward to, you know, getting back on the ice and playing our style of game and hopefully close out the series.
Q. You are still one win away, and the other guys have think your situation is pretty favorable. Is that how you approach it as a team?
ERIC STAAL: That's what you have to do obviously. The other game was tough. We were right there and it didn't happen. But we're a resilient group. We're going to refocus and reenergize and we'll be ready Saturday and hopefully close them out.
Q. A game like that, something you pick up as you proceed to Game 6?
ERIC STAAL: It's a long series. You need to be able to compete and battle every night. It's not going to go your way all the time. You need to reprepare and get focused again on your task, and I think as a team that's what we have to do. We'll be ready Saturday.
Q. These next 36 hours has got to help veteran guys to heal up. You are a younger player, but what is your opinion on that? It gives them a chance to feel better physically.
ERIC STAAL: I think so. I think for those guys especially they get that extra day to rest their body and hopefully be ready to play Saturday. I think for everybody it's kind of, you know, a little bit of a rest period to get ready for the game. We know it's a big one and we need to come out on top.
Q. Pronger is out there all the time it almost seems, playing 30 minutes a game --
ERIC STAAL: He plays a lot. He's played well for them. We need to be physical and, you know, he's a great player. Knew that coming into the series. But it's going to take a team to win the Stanley Cup for both sides and, you know, as a team we have got to play better and get it done.
Q. How would you characterize the way you guys are feeling on the flight in today? Angry, frustrated? How would you characterize it?
ERIC STAAL: I think we're excited to get playing again. I think we're excited for Saturday. Everyone has forgot about the last game. I think we're focusing on what we have to do to get a win, and that's what we're going to try to do.
Q. (Inaudible) had an edge because you are used to the travel?
CORY STILLMAN: I think the media used to complain about the noncharter issue before. Now that you guys charter everywhere it makes us get up at 4 am.
CORY STILLMAN: You know what I think teams are used -- I guess more us than the west with the travel, and it certainly, I think, helps our confidence a lot more than it would them to be able to leave games and not have to take the 3, 4 flights. Sometimes L.A. to Edmonton or Dallas to Edmonton, whatever the case may be.
Having played in the east my first couple of years the travel was pretty easy. Usually you are in bed by midnight, or at the latest 1:00. That's not the case out in the west now.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: You look at it, we're in a pretty good position still. Obviously we blew one. Tomorrow is going to be a new day. Saturday is another day to go at it, give it all we got.
Q. How difficult is it to swallow losing the way you did?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Any time you lose in a situation like that's it tough, to lose on that kind of a play where you are looking to maybe score is tough, but a loss is a loss and we got to leave it behind us and turn the page and like I said, I think we'll be fine.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Obviously if you got a little nick here or there I am sure a little more time is good. But if you ask most of the guys, actually they'd just rather get out there and play and get it on. You have to ask them about their injuries.
Q. Is there any concern about Cam Ward giving up the goals?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: You can't blame him. They were all great shots. Our goaltending is the reason we're still playing, so definitely never blame him.
Q. Talk about the confidence coming into Recchi's call (inaudible) place in him?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: He's been great all Playoffs. He actually plays his best games on the road. Obviously you need that, but he had had the experience here, employed a couple of times, played great. We know we're all going to bounce back as a team.
Q. You have got lots of centers on your team. Dougie cannot play --
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: We're not going to miss the fact that we don't have a center. We'll miss the fact -- if he can't play, that's obviously a huge loss.
But every team has injuries in the Playoffs. It is always about the other guys filling in. And if he can't go, that's what is going to happen.
Q. Talk about the third period in overtime. You have had very few shots. Were they wearing you down? What happened?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Third we took a lot of penalties, I know that. That kind of got us on our heels a little bit. Really wasn't much of an overtime, so we couldn't speak of three minutes' worth of time. That's pretty much it.
Q. First time this team faced actually having the Stanley Cup come to the center ice. Did that make the team a little tight?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I don't think so. Again, just like another game, I think we obviously -- we just got off to a bad start. Obviously, I think that put us on our heels right off the hop.
Like tradition, we fought back and we didn't have enough; got to try again.
Q. You faced a lot of distractions there, in rally, the hats are there, all that sort of thing. Now that you are sort of away from all of that --
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I don't know. I don't know that we had distractions. At this time of year every team, every player, is going to have distractions. So I don't know that just that was -- that time -- was the reason for us not to play extremely well. I don't think so.
Q. Did you talk to Cory of a the game?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I talked to him today. He has been our best player all Playoffs especially in the Stanley Cup here. We win as a team, we lose as a team. Certainly he wasn't the reason why we didn't win.
Q. They feel they have the momentum back. How do you see it?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I'd much rather be in our position.
Q. But there's a fine line when it comes to momentum shifts in the series.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Well, there hasn't been a lot of that if you look at it. Nobody has really run off three in a row or it's gone one back, trading blows here. I always feel like every game is its own entity. Once that game is toast the next one is all that matters. There really is no carryover.
Q. You guys are going to be asked about Doug Weight the next three days, if he's in or out.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: The beautiful thing about that is that we don't know. You will have to ask him. I am not a doctor, and we certainly don't talk to the doctors.
Q. You guys have such a good record coming back off a loss.
RAY WHITNEY: Well, again, that comes from us not dwelling too much on a loss. The teams in the Playoffs are good hockey teams. The teams in the Finals are very good hockey teams. So we didn't think we were just going to walk away from this by any means.
They played a hard, determined game the other night. We did as well. It was an exciting game. We'll respond again on Saturday night.
Q. As much as there's talk about home ice advantage, can they come out and try and do too much?
RAY WHITNEY: I don't think so. Getting scored on in their first shift is what we wanted to do. I thought we responded well to that and they responded well, and it was kind of back and forth for most of the game. It was entertaining.
I don't think we were too wound up or too reved up. We were actually quite calm and played a pretty good first period. Obviously, penalties were a big factor again in the first period.
RAY WHITNEY: I think -- I guess if that's what you are talking about, yeah, shifting guys around maybe to see we're not sure again -- we don't know anymore than you do in terms of what his status is. But all year long, you know, mentioning that we always kind of slipped people here and there, nowadays in the NHL there's no more of that. Here's your three or four lines; that's what it is going to be.
Coaches are always meddling and putting people around and moving people around and adjusting. So if that happens, it won't be a shock to anybody. It won't be that hard to adjust to it.
Q. Do you notice the physical play stepped up on their side, especially Raffi Torres' --
RAY WHITNEY: Raffi Torres plays hard every night. He's solid. He hits you -- you know, he finishes his checks every game that I have watched. There is no difference now. They have -- they finish all their hits. They haven't done one game more than the other.
I thought they have been pretty physical for the whole series, and that's going to be expected. That's the way the Playoffs have been going for us all year long.
Q. (Inaudible) hit the post there and Markkanen knocked it away with his glove. That was a lucky --
RAY WHITNEY: I didn't know he knocked it away with his glove.
Q. Turned his back.
RAY WHITNEY: Was it going in?
Q. Looked like it was --
RAY WHITNEY: I saw it hit the post. I kind of lost where it went. I didn't know if it went right left, or up. I didn't know he hit it. The one that surprised me more was the one he made on Stillman -- the first shift in the second.
I mean, he read the play real well. That's what good goaltending is: Not just making the save, but riding the play. But I thought Jussi has been great the last -- you know, actually he's played well the whole time and certainly given them an opportunity to win in every game.
Q. Do you like the way your team handled all this? You are so close to the Stanley Cup and -- how did you handle it as a team?
RAY WHITNEY: We were obviously disappointed. That's not -- the way it happened is probably not how you want to lose a game at home. You don't want to give a shorthanded goal. All year long, our team has been able to shrug off whatever kind of loss it is: An unfortunate one, ugly one.
We're pretty good at just rubbing it off and moving on as we are when we win the game. This will be no different on Saturday. We'll have to -- nothing we can do about that game now. We'll have to just push a little bit harder on Saturday.
Q. Would you like to see 2-3-2 in the Playoffs instead of all this travel like they do in basketball?
RAY WHITNEY: When I was in San Jose we played 2-3-2, got up on Detroit. I think -- no, it's still better 1-1-1. I think if you -- we got swept by Montreal the first two games of the series, San Jose beat Edmonton the first two.
Go back and they have three at home. That's -- that might be a little bit of an advantage. I mean, there's a lot of travel, but if both teams are doing the same travel, that's fair enough.
Q. Torres is now fully confident of running around continuing to be intent on hitting guys hard. How do you handle that as a team?
RAY WHITNEY: Be honest with you -- I think you guys pay more attention to that than we do. Obviously he hit Dougie pretty hard, but it was just a hit. We know the scouting report. We know they all finish their checks. I don't think we paid anymore attention to Raffi Torres than anyone else, and I don't think that's going to change by any means.
Q. When you are on a power play in overtime you already got three. Looked like you could have gotten four, five. You are thinking this is gravy?
RAY WHITNEY: You certainly would have liked your position. You had fresh ice, fresh bodies coming out of an intermission. Certainly not the way we would have thought it would have went. Unfortunate.
I don't know. Great shot. I will give him that. It was a heckuva shot.
Q. When you are hot you are hot.
RAY WHITNEY: Yeah, it was a great shot, but obviously we were a little disappointed with that.
End of FastScripts...