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January 24, 2007

Randy Carlyle

Lindy Ruff


MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Carlyle?

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about the great strategy in shutting down the great Sidney Crosby?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, I think there wasn't too much strategy. When you have the ability to put great players over the boards every shift, and I don't think that any coach could dream of having the luxury of consistently putting those types of players over the boards.
And as far as Crosby is concerned, tonight I thought some of the older players in the league showed their worth, in Joe Sakic, Brian Rolston, Yanic Perreault, they were the strength of our group. There were a few shifts in the second period where Joe Sakic was the first guy back on the backcheck and Barry Trotz and I made comments that's what a great leader does and he continues to do that day in, day out.

Q. Can you talk about the TV announcers holding a running conversation with your goalie throughout the third period?
COACH CARLYLE: I knew that they would be talking to him, and Marty seemed to be quite comfortable with it. And in an event like this, I think it's an opportunity for the fans to really get close to the players and a close-up situation. I think that's the exposure that we're trying to continue to produce to grow the game and these are the types of things that are innovative and they're earth-breaking.

Q. Randy, did you really mean to try and put the Perreault line on the Crosby line because he said it on the intermission on TV or was that a joke?
COACH CARLYLE: It was a little bit of a joke but in reality we felt that Perreault with his history of winning face-offs usually starts with a puck. If we start with a puck with that group of players, more often than not there's more positives come out of it than negative.
I think we made a mistake in the third period as coaching staff that there was three guys that had an opportunity for hat tricks and we only put them together in the last four minutes, and we probably should have done that at the 10-minute mark, with Rolston, Perreault and Rick Nash. All three of them could have played together a bit longer and we should have done that quicker.

Q. Lindy, what was it like to share that experience with your children on the bench? It seemed like each one of them came out for the periods?
COACH RUFF: It was a chance of a lifetime for all three of them. It's not often that you get to share a little bit of your daily duties and give them a little bit of feeling what it's like to stand behind the bench and the pace of the game and the players.
And our players treated them with a lot of respect. They had a lot of fun with them. Sure, it's something that they're going to talk about for a lifetime.

Q. Lindy, obviously you played a team concept and Daniel Briere probably doesn't get the spotlight very often but now he's one of only several players who got five points in an All-Star game. Can you talk about his performance?
COACH RUFF: I thought, again, that that line of Heatley-Hossa-Brier was a great line and they made great plays. Dany made several really good passes. It just seemed to click. The reason we did put them together is that connection between Heatley and Briere that had been there in a world championship, and that line just seemed to go good.
And Dany is a good player. He gets recognition for being a good player. He's a very good player in this league.

Q. Did you know that he was one point away from the record for a game, and if you had, would you have used him, tried to get him the record?
COACH RUFF: You know what, I had -- that's probably something I should have been up on, but I had no idea. I had no idea at the end of the game he had the number of points he had already. So it was -- that was a very special night for him. And just like Randy, any time you can make it even more special, would have tried.
But I think driving home in that Dodge Nitro is pretty special too, he's going to be a happy man.

Q. To have three starters and an MVP and the whole experience, what can this do for the home stretch? Does this weekend, can you carry anything over, or use this in any way?
COACH RUFF: You really use this week or come out of this week, there's going to be teams that are going to build off some momentum. I think we've got some players that have had great experience. We don't anticipate any let-down. I think we had four players here total.
And those players, the three in the main game had a tremendous time, and I know Thomas in the YoungStars game was -- that was a special moment for him too.
So we want to use it to build some momentum and come out of this and know that it's going to get even tougher down the stretch here, but it's been a great experience. I thought our players did a great job of representing our city and our fans and I was proud of how they handled the whole week.

Q. Lindy, so how many times did you yell at Ovechkin for not contributing on the backcheck?
COACH RUFF: You know what, Ove, he was great the whole night. I thought -- I thought the players, 90% gave an effort that was special in the game. I think Randy already mentioned players backchecking. There was lots of players that got back. I think I actually anticipated maybe a little bit less in the scoring category. But there were some fabulous plays made out there.
And I thought his play in tonight's game there was a couple times one-on-one even as Rick shot late in the game that you close your eyes, you think it's going in.

Q. Obviously Brian Campbell is a big part of your team. Did you have a stroke when you found out he was driving to NASCAR at 165 miles an hour?
COACH RUFF: I think there's some opportunities for some players to do some special things. If I would have been in his shoes and had that opportunity, I would probably have taken it, too. So it's tough to criticize as a coach. I think he had a very capable assistant beside him in the passenger seat, obviously.
That's the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I think it's something that was calculated. You hope that your player is going to be safe in some of their decisions.
He made it through it. I guess you can say he was living life in the fast lane for a little while.

Q. Lindy, can you talk about the play of Jason Blake, coaching him as opposed to coaching against him?
COACH RUFF: I thought he played very well in the game. He is a tough -- he's a great competitor. He's a great skater. He's on the puck a lot. And I thought tonight, again, was no different. He can make plays.
He can make plays in real small areas. He can -- he's one of the quicker players. It's nice to have him on your team instead of always coaching against him.
MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen.

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