|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
May 13, 2007
OTTAWA, ONTARIO: Practice Day
Q. First question, do you ever get any sleep?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I was just saying to Phil I didn't get very much for whatever reason, got home and go to bed about quarter to 4:00, and for some reason I wake up early in the morning still, so not a lot.
Q. Bryan, I know, this has to be the biggest victory in franchise history. But is it enough to say, I don't know if you can qualify it in terms of the whole franchise?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: No, I don't know that I'm qualified to do that. I know they've had good teams here, and sometimes it just takes special ingredients in a team. Also takes maturity on the part of some of your better players. I think that's what's happened here in my short time.
Last year I saw a good hockey team, a good group, guys that tried real hard, but at playoff time it takes some experience in going through adversity and some, you know - Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson, all those guys have grown to the stature where they're at now. Anton Volchenkov, Wade Redden has really stepped up. Lots of guys have gone through adversity, and I think by doing that, you learn, and obviously you need a break every once in a while for things to happen and in a positive way, but when you do get rewarded as we did in the latter part of the year in third periods on occasions and we got a belief in ourselves (Mark), it creates the big wins in a franchise that make the difference quite often and the good things happening long-term.
Q. Bryan, is another big difference has to be there's a lot of attention on your top line but your game winners have come from Saprykin -
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: That's what happens at playoff time also. One group gets looked after, but they still put us in a position to get somebody else to score a goal. Daniel Alfredsson, Spezza, and Heatley gets us back in a game that we were not playing very well in, and Buffalo was fired and going and everything was working for them early on.
They put us in a position for somebody to make a play. Spezza wins a face-off, and Joe gets the puck into the net. It's still your top players (Mark) that get you involved in these types of things.
Q. I think that's what I'm getting at, though, that that is the main ingredient to find clutch goals from the players who don't always score?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Oh, no, but we were put in position sometimes because Joe Corvo has been in the second half of the year one of those people. We move from very much less a role to a role on the power play, number one power play, and we try to identify what he brought to the table. What he brings to the table is speed and a great shot, and last night the great shot come into play.
Whether it was a bounce -- he hit a rolling puck to start off. It wasn't like it was a perfect setup. He got a lucky bounce.
The puck was rolling when it came back to him, and he pounded it, and it came off his in such a way that it fooled the goaltender.
Q. Bryan, when you're at home, you can go into your own coach's room and don't necessarily know what's going on. There, you're just off to the side. Do you ever pay attention, listen, say, "I want to hear what's going on the other side of the goal after Briere scored"?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Oh, I heard. I heard. We were really quiet. There were one, two guys speaking up. Wade Redden was one of the most prominent. I waited for about eight minutes before I went in. I really think that the players have to find themselves and kind of get their emotions in check before I go in and make any comment to them about what happened.
I was down. There's no secret to that. For the first four, five minutes, I went and got a bottle of water and sat down. It was disappointing to be in the position we were in and let them enter the zone as easily as they did and get a chance to score, let alone actually score.
But after that you kind of shake it off and you go out, and the one thing I've really recognized with this group in the latter part of year is that they are tough. They are mentally tough. Physically you can talk about everything else, but they have to be the most well-conditioned group of guys that play in the National Hockey League right now.
I remember a couple of interviews being done with other players, kind of making fun of or kind of laughing with us maybe, maybe at us, about the amount of work our guys do on bicycles and all that type of thing, but Randy Lee and the off-ice program has done one hell of a job convincing the guys to go there every single night after games.
We give them a little direction, and we tell will them what we want done, but he's done a good job there. We do an awful lot of stepping toe. Now the guys are really seeing that it pays dividends. I listen, I hear, but you don't always get involved until you have to.
Q. Did you see -- first of all, when did you have the score chances in the two overtimes?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I honestly didn't look. I know we had all -- in the first overtime I don't think they had more than one. I think we had five or six, but I didn't really pay a lot of attention to that. At that time of the game, just win the damn game.
Q. When you went out, were you confident that you had the team working?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: This is what -- the point I made -- well, the one thing about it, if we keep playing at the level we're playing at, we'll get our chances, we'll score. Not necessarily win the game, don't know that because a flukey thing can happen.
I knew from a conditioning point of view and work ethic, the way we've played in the third periods the latter part of the year, in particular the playoffs, that we would get chances because of our determination mentally and physically be able to get up and down the ice at the level we had to.
Q. In years gone by, the Senators are up in the series. Can you tell a little bit about how it is (indiscernible)?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: As I said it was. You have to be able to recover. I think that's the strength of our team. I think we've -- I really you don't like what happened early in the year, but I think that was part of it. I think we've hammered away at enough now that the players understand that if they just stick to it. I think our leadership in the room - Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Phillips, Wade Redden - have really stepped up. They've been vocal, demanding. They've played hard.
I think when you have that kind character on your team, you have a great chance, and they just haven't allowed theirs to slide. They don't. We have little incidents within the room. We don't even talk about things. They get on the players and, you know, they look after it, and I think that's one of the things that -- I try to do the same here, say the players have to be part of the leadership here and here is how we can do it.
We have a core group that we meet with, and they make rules, and they follow-up on fines, and they do things that guys have to be on the ice on time for practice. And the coaches can do that, but when you do it, you take everything away from the players.
We've done the opposite. We've allowed them to be very important, and they really have taken the role on.
Q. Bryan, among the most overlooked things I think about the Senators, maybe not the most overlooked, but the fact that you've won 41 of your last 58 games. But to be on that type of a roll is remarkable and just the momentum of that?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I think that's the thing that really helped us going into the playoffs. We could win on the road. We could win at home. We were consistently good down the stretch. We had to be, or we were going to get left behind, and we made up a lot of points on a number of the teams that were ahead of us.
And it's carried over, and I think -- I think you just build confidence through doing those types of things and winning that number of games.
Q. Bryan, the goals that scored last night were working hard. Were you surprised, attacking the four goals?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Well, the Fisher goal was a one-timer off the pass and got Ryan off the ice. When he did turn, it caught him and went in. I thought the Alfredsson goal was a great goal. (Mark). I can't even remember the third one.
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Redden goal was a great shot. It was off a great pass and one-timer under the crossbar. A great shot, I thought, and then the Corvo goal.
I thought the one goal was a little bit hard for them. I'm sure was the Fisher goal, but the other three we - just I thought they were pretty good shots.
Q. There's no weakness there with Miller.
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Yeah. I think there's some things in this game that they've talked a lot about the goaltending. We think very definitely a situation where we can score some goals on him.
Q. He's vulnerable?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: No. That's a strong word. He's like every goaltender. There's places that you can put the puck that you have a real good chance of scoring.
Q. You have trouble with him.
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: He really does a good job with his pads. He's a big guy, rangy guy, he does a very good job. I think the Heatley saves were a really good example of that.
Q. Bryan, you realize that the Senators have never won a series being up 2-0.
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: We've never won. Have they ever been up 2-0? I guess not.
Q. You haven't lost one?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I heard all about the 0-8 and all that in the second game. I do understand that.
Q. Coach, do you think Buffalo has much left to give?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Oh, very definitely. This is a very competitive group, high skill group, lots of speed. And I was watching the clips and this morning, and they had - we allowed a lot of entries because of speed and too much respect for them in a couple of areas. But they have - they have a good hockey team. They can play a lot of people. It's two games. We have to win four, and we respect that very much about them.
Q. I would just think that's got to be awfully -- you were talking about the goal last night, but for them being up 2-0 and kind of giving a really good punch and then at the end.
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: No. I think that's always difficult. As I say, we kept to the plan and kept going and going. We weren't very good early. They were all over us. They might have had 3,4 in that period the way it was going. I think that's where Ray gave us a chance again to kind of hang in and hang in. And once Alfie scored, I kind of got the feeling on the bench now we have a real chance to come back.
But this is a good club, and we can't take anything for granted. I really mean that. I think that our caliber of play is good if we work hard and pay attention to detail.
Q. Bryan Murray credited a message you gave between the third period in the overtime for the way the things went after that point. What did you say?
WADE REDDEN: Think about it here for a second. I think just putting that behind us I think was the biggest thing we had to do, just refocus and start fresh. I think that was probably the most important thing, and so obviously everyone was - kind of sank on the bench after seeing that go in. But to get - come in the room and kind of regroup, that was - we did that, too, which was important.
Q. Naturally to be up 2-0 in the series, you can't let them back in, but how big of a boost is it coming home to be up 2-0, you know, two wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals?
WADE REDDEN: It's great. We went in there and did a really good job, and I think every game keeps betting bigger and every game is always your biggest one (Mark) going forward and always the tough it one.
So, I mean, we know that -- it's not wrapped up by any means. We've got a lot of work to do, and being at home obviously we like being here, but, you know, it's going to be tight games like it was down there. We've got to be prepared for that.
Q. You've been around awhile. Is that the biggest win for this team, that win last night?
WADE REDDEN: I think, yeah. Obviously it was a big one, but, you know, to be in this position right now, obviously we're pretty happy about that and being at homecoming into Game 3, you know, obviously got a great opportunity ahead of us again.
So yeah, that was one of the biggest ones we've been through, especially the way it happened and being in overtime and having to battle after giving up that late one. So it sure felt good and being up 2-0 is a good feeling.
Q. How big is it -- you know, the Spezza, Heatley, Alfie line is producing, but your game winners have come from Saprykin and Joe.
WADE REDDEN: Yeah. It's great. Obviously everyone has been chipping in, and obviously it's been paying off. I think you look at the overtime when we got going again and we had a number of chances. You know, I thought we played pretty good. We really didn't create much in the third because we were doing the job protecting. But, you know, when we regrouped and got back out there, we had some pressure in their end, and there's different guys could have had a chance to win it. So, you know, it was a big goal by Joe. Obviously he's got a great job, and Spezza is winning the draw was key.
Q. When you stand by a goalie for years, it could have been a knockout punch. Can you just talk about the difference this year and how that wasn't a knockout blow.
WADE REDDEN: Yeah. I think one of the things we stressed I guess right from training camp really just being strong team and mentally strong. And I think at that time - I mean, it's obviously you're so close to victory and to keep our focus and to keep playing and knowing we still got a chance to win. I think that's one of the things that, you know, is probably different, just having that confidence and the trust to keep working and eventually get things to happen.
Q. Wade, the fact that this team has won I think 41 of its last 58 games going back, the momentum that has generated and the confidence. Speak to that.
WADE REDDEN: Yeah. I think it goes back right, you know, to our start of the season, and obviously we talked a lot about, you know, wanting to be good at this time of the year, and we come out of the gates a little sluggish and weren't real good early in the season and kind of found our game from there.
And I think everyone realized what we had to do to be successful, and that's everyone being together. And so I think you can attribute it to that.
I think it's a real focus on teamwork and being together and everyone is really contributing that way.
Q. Talk about after Briere scored the goal what the mood was like in the room.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: We were disappointed, but, I mean, that's the way it goes sometimes. They got a good break, hit Volchenkov's skate and right to Briere. So we knew we had to regroup. We were only one goal away from taking a 2-0 lead in the series, and I think we regrouped and came out very strong in the first overtime.
Q. How big of a confidence builder is that to win in double overtime to take a 2-0 series lead and to be coming home?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: It's confidence, and I think we trust each other and we -- it shows that everybody is believing what we're doing. It shows a lot of character, I think, which is nice to see, and we definitely put ourselves in a good position.
Q. Bryan was saying that you guys are mentally tough, but one of the things that maybe goes unnoticed is how physically tough you are in the sense that you're in great condition.
I mean, we laugh at you guys sometimes doing interviews on bikes and everything, but you're in great physical condition and that helps, obviously, going into it.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: That's what you like to think that all the work you put in throughout the year is going to pay off and, you know, especially when you go far in the playoffs. That's when you're going to see the difference, and I think, you know, we have four lines that can go and play a lot of minutes and, you know, I think it helps us as a team and definitely helps the coach and who he is going to put out there.
Q. A lot of your goals are coming from well out of the net. All four goals last night, I think, were from the face-off circle, around there. Is there a weakness in Miller in that respect? It's hard -- you have difficulty, I guess, scoring when you're really close? Scrambles and stuff you've had, but from far out you're having a lot of success.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Try to shoot the puck when you get a chance. Yesterday we had, you know, a couple of great shots on power play goals, two shots that I don't think any goalie would save. So I don't know if it's a weakness for him, but we're trying to take shots when we have them.
Q. They're 0-12 on the power play, I guess.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: O-12.
Q. It says a lot about your PK at the moment. Is there anything that you're doing differently? Are you being more aggressive than usual?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: No. I think we're just trying to -- doing what we've been doing all year. We always try to be aggressive if we can. That's a great situation. Their power play was a little bit better yesterday. They got a lot of power plays early in periods where the ice was really good which helped them, I think. You know, but overall I think we go out there and work hard, try to out work there.
Q. What happened with Tallinder?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Ask him. I don't know. I don't know. He came right back after. So I don't know if he was trying to draw a penalty or he seemed fine.
Q. Daniel, I'm kidding, but it can be pointed out that the Senators have never won a series when up 2-0.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Yes. So many stats, but every time I have bagel for breakfast, we do pretty good. So, I mean, you can throw stats whichever way you want. We know we're in a good position. We know there's a lot of work to be done. I don't think we're going to take anything for granted. We're just going to try to prepare for tomorrow and go out there and give it everything we have. Give ourselves a real good chance to win another game.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Usually it's Sundays. After that it's after that. I think we feel good where we are. There's no question.
Q. In the series where momentum is such a big part of the thing, that Briere goal, a complete knockout punch for you guys, how do you respond to that?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: You can't worry about those things. It happened and obviously wouldn't have wanted it to happen, but you just got to move on and get it back. I think that's the feeling we had and, you know, it's not always going to work out that way. But as long as you go out there and give yourself another chance, you know, we got to be positive that situation where we're only one goal away from taking a 2-0 lead.
End of FastScripts