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May 16, 2007
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day
JAMEY HORAN: Questions for Scott Niedermayer.
Q. Randy and you guys have talked about applying the 10-minute rule after both wins and losses in terms of putting them in the past. After last night, did that 10-minute rule get stretched at all?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Yeah. I mean, it was a tough loss, the way we lost. I mean, every loss in the playoffs is difficult. But obviously the way the game went, we were very disappointed with our effort.
It was tough. Tough one to swallow, for sure.
Q. Anything on the video stand out that you weren't expecting to see? I know you said there were going to be a lot of things you were going to see that you expected to see. Anything jumped out unexpectedly?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: No. I think we have a pretty good handle on sort of what happened. You know, they played a very good, you know, neutral-zone game. They sat back. When the opportunity was there, they were aggressive. They came up. When they did counter, they had space, found space, moved the puck very well.
That was a big part of the game.
Q. The league is reviewing the hit on Holmstrom. What happens if you have to play Game 4 without Chris?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Then we go out there with the 20 guys that are dressed, go out and play as a team, play as well as we can. Is there any other choice (laughter)?
You know, he didn't get a penalty, so...
Q. They're allowed to.
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: They're allowed to do that?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Okay. The ref didn't see it that way, I guess.
Q. Scott, I don't know if you've seen the replay of the hit since last night. If you have, what are your impressions of the hit having seen it afterwards maybe?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: It's hard to know really what's going on.
Q. I'm not sure I understand.
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I mean, my brother got the penalty. They're talking to Chris now. Anybody else they want to bring in? Maybe they should talk to Holmstrom, as well. You know, I don't know. I don't know what they're doing.
Q. What do you think they should talk to Holmstrom about?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I don't know. I'm just trying to figure out what they're looking at. The call last night was five minutes to Rob Niedermayer. Today they're talking to Chris. Does that make sense to anybody?
Q. Brother was in the clear, legal hit. They called it on the wrong guy.
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Oh.
Q. How much of last night came up today, whether on the ice, the practice today? How much has it come up today?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Well, I don't think we talked specifically about last night. We talked about what we have to do better, things that we have to improve, strategy, you know, how we can counteract some of the things they were doing. We talked about that because of last night.
You know, today's a day to try and get the energy back, get thinking positive thoughts about tomorrow night.
Q. As bleak as it may look to a lot of people right now, this team - correct me if I'm wrong - has shown quite a bit of character in quite a few different situations. I assume that's something that you guys will draw on now and utilize?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Yeah, we have to. It's a huge game. You know, if we can come out and play well tomorrow night, there's still more games to be played in this series. That really has to be our focus right now.
Obviously, the loss was a pretty good kick in the gut. But, you know, it's 2-1 only. You need four games to win a series. There's lots of opportunities left for both sides here. We have to realize that and go out and play our absolute best tomorrow night.
Q. Randy was saying last night he's had games where things just always seemed to go wrong for him, where the bounce didn't go his way, puck goes over his stick, in reference to your game. Do you buy that? Are there things about how you played that game last night you would change if you had to do them again?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Yeah, I mean, obviously there's a couple goals where the puck went through me, past me. It was my responsibility to make plays on those passes. Our goalie has the shot. That's simple hockey. I didn't get it done on a couple of those plays.
You know, I have an opportunity tomorrow night to correct that if the same type of play happens. I have the opportunity to make a better play on it and prevent it.
Q. Unrelated to the hit, can Holmstrom be a really irritating guy to play against with his style of play?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I don't know. If you let him. You know, I think really our focus as a team, come playoff time, you always have guys on either side trying to talk, trying to get under your skin. The teams that have success in the playoffs really play very little attention to those guys.
When that happens, they become a lot less effective. If we want to have success, that's the way we have to handle players that are trying to do that to us.
Q. What kind of problems do they present now having split up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I mean, obviously they're tremendously offensively talented players. When they're out there, we have to do a job with six guys, with the goalie and the five guys that are out there. We have to play good, solid defense.
Last night we had breakdowns in different spots, in the neutral zone in our end. We can't have that when you're playing like that. You can't have that happen when you're playing players like that.
JAMEY HORAN: Thanks, Scott.
We're joined by Coach Carlyle. Questions for Coach.
Q. Regarding Chris and his hearing today, what is your best guess as far as what should happen and/or what will happen?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I don't guess. You live by the league's decision. That's the way the thing will go forward.
Obviously they feel there is discipline above and beyond, then we live with it. That's the rules of the game. That's the league we play in. We support the league's decision.
Sometimes you don't like it, one way or another, but that's what it is.
Q. How difficult would the prospect be of having to play without him?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, obviously he's a big part of our hockey club. But, again, we've had stretches through the season where he wasn't on our blueline. We'll move other people in, make some adjustments with our personnel. Other people will have to share those minutes.
Q. Mike Babcock suggested last night players have a responsibility to look after each other out there; that no matter how much is on the line, if you drive a guy's head into the turn buckle from behind, he doesn't see you coming, you're responsible for that. Do you share that opinion? What's your opinion on that mutual respect element?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: There always is a mutual respect. I think in situations that do develop, sometimes it's a one-on-one confrontation where one player's involved with one. When you have multiple players, there's different factions that do come into it. If there's a player sees the other player, does he turn into him? There's all those types of scenarios that are created with it. Those are difficult because the game's played at a very high pace. If the player doesn't see the other player coming, things do happen.
It's an unfortunate incident. The fortunate part about last night was the player was able to come back and play.
Q. Understanding what you've said about respecting and living by the league's decision, does it rub you the wrong way at all that you lost one player last night for half the game, if you were to lose another player now for whatever period of time?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think those situations are on-ice and sometimes those calls go for you and sometimes they go against you. If you were to criticize or put yourself in a situation where you're always feeling that you're rubbed the wrong way, I think that's incorrect.
I think what you have to do is you have to accept what happens at the ice level, be it good or bad, and make decisions that are based upon - in the best interest of your group. I think it's important that we don't lose sight of the focus of how poorly we played. All this other stuff is window dressing today. The reality is we didn't play very well last night, and we have to play to a higher level. We're capable of that. We'll have to make some necessary adjustments. We have to play the best game we've played of the year in the next one.
Q. How would you characterize the mood of the team? Are they mad at themselves?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think they're disappointed. I think they're more disappointed with the frustration we displayed, the lack of discipline we displayed. I think the disappointment is something that is - shares with responsibility. They're holding themselves accountable. That's important for our group.
We cannot afford to play that type of hockey. As I told them, we'll be judged by our performance tomorrow night.
Q. Teemu's play in this series?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Teemu's play, he seems to be a guy that's struggling to find the net. He's a direct result of when players of that magnitude have had the ability to score and contribute on the offensive side, if they get into a drought, their whole game changes. For whatever reason, if it's a post or if it's a bank shot, the weight of the world will be lifted off his shoulders. He's carrying that because he's an emotional guy, he feels that he's not playing to the level which he's capable of.
All I can say to him is he continues to work, if he continues to get chances, he's proven out that he can score goals. But, again, if you're not scoring goals, you have to be responsible to your group and make a complement in other areas, and I think he's done that.
Q. Not that you ever want to lose a 5-0 game, but sometimes can it feed a team and make them more angry, more determined next game than if you lose a heartbreaker, a 1-0 in overtime?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: It can, but I think again we're reflecting back on the disappointment, the frustration. All those things are things we deal with today. But in reality it's about how do we prepare ourselves best for the next one. That's the steps you have to take as a group.
We're all held accountable for our actions. We are being held accountable as we speak. The only thing that we can do is we can change the way we approach the things we have to do to be effective. That is collectively by the group.
Q. Does discipline become even more important when you're playing against a team that doesn't seem to or didn't want to seem to forecheck at all, was waiting back, then kind of counterpunching?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, they did a much better job of defending the neutral ice. We did a much poorer job of getting through it. Now, is it our lack of ability or our lack of cohesiveness, our lack of ability to execute that had something to do with it? Did it have something to do with they did a better job of clogging up that neutral zone and they countered? We turned the puck over far too many times and we weren't effective on the forecheck. Our game is based on our ability to get in and grind that play, that strong forechecking game, offensive zone time. We didn't do a very good job of recovering pucks in the offensive zone. They did a better job of outlet passing, doing some of the things they're known to do.
They're a good hockey club. They didn't get here by smoke and mirrors. They schooled us last night. They were a veteran group that moved the puck around us.
Q. I know goaltending is something you don't often talk about. Do you make a decision or have any thoughts?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Have I made a decision on who's going to play?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Have you ever been to the warmup (smiling)? Thank you.
End of FastScripts