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May 19, 2007

Randy Carlyle


JAMEY HORAN: Questions for Coach Carlyle.

Q. Chris Pronger was quoted in the radio station back home for you guys saying that the officiating has been an absolute joke. And I wonder what your thoughts are on that, and if it troubles you to hear that your players might be sort of speaking out about the officials like that?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: Everybody's entitled to their own opinion. And in the case of officiating, obviously we think, and every coach does, that at times calls didn't go your way. And I'm sure Detroit feels that there are some calls that didn't go their way.
It's a game of intensity that gets ramped up in the playoffs, as there's more pressure on players to perform, there's more pressure on officials to perform.
As far as that, that's the way I look at it. You can't, from my standpoint, sit here and criticize. It's more about playing for the next one. It's more about giving the respect that's necessary to the people that are in charge of the hockey game.

Q. Further to that, are you concerned that Chris has put himself in a fineable position, perhaps something worse in the league from a disciplinary standpoint?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: That's something that the league will have to decide. It's not up to individuals. I stand by our player for his on-ice play, for the comments - you caught me totally by surprise in this specific instance.

Q. We've talked a lot already about Todd Marchant, but what we saw from him the other night in Game 4, could you just talk a little bit about the importance and value of players like Todd Marchant and this time of the year?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: Well, again, any time that you have a veteran player that can come in and play any forward position for you, make a huge contribution from your leadership standpoint, veteran guy that provides an energy level because he's a guy that can put pressure on pucks. He's been through various playoff series. Scored big goals in playoff series.
All those things are things that you try to utilize with him. He can calm down some of your younger players or take them aside and help the coaching staff keep people focused.
And those are all the assets of your veteran guys. And Todd Marchant displays that on a day-to-day basis with our hockey club.

Q. I don't mean to bring it back, but I'm certainly not asking you at all to make any criticism or anything, but are you ever concerned that officiating whatsoever will affect how the players will react on the ice, as far as their play?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: I think it's a non-issue in the respect - because the teams have to play. There's a set of rules. There's a standard that the league has put in place and we're to abide by it. The standard is there. The officials call it the way they see it. They're human.
If we don't like the call, I'm sure Detroit doesn't like some of the calls that went against them. To me it's an irrelevant fact and a point that the players - I know our players will have to go out and beat the Detroit Red Wings. They don't have to beat the officials.

Q. This is the third straight series that the Wings will come to a Game 5 in this same situation in the series tied 2-2. History shows if the team that wins it wins 80 percent of the series. Does that matter that they've been through this experience earlier in this playoff year and you guys have come here a different way? Do you go out of your way to impress upon them the importance?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: I don't look at the statistics behind what the other team has done previously. We focus on our game. We always show the required respect that's necessary of a team like Detroit. We have to play the best game we can possibly play tomorrow afternoon. Because the next one is the most important one.
And whatever happens tomorrow afternoon, the one after that will become the next important one. We're not into historic statistics. We're into about coming in playing a complete hockey game. We've done it in this building. We feel we can play well in this building.
It's two ice surfaces, as I stated earlier in the series, that the home ice wasn't going to be as much of an issue after we won Game 2. Those were questions that were directed. It's two good hockey clubs competing on the same size ice surface. The difference is they've got their home fans tomorrow afternoon, and that's just the way it is.

Q. You must be pretty excited as a coach given the relative youth and the talent in Perry, Penner and Getzlaf. What do they have to do to bring their games to the next level and what do you have to do as a coach to make sure that they fulfill it?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: I don't think that they haven't brought their games to the next level. I think if you look at the way they've played, and the maturing process for those individuals is going to take place over the next probably three years, not just two weeks in a playoff series or one playoff series or last year's.
They're young guys, and they have a tremendous amount of ability. I think that it's our job in coaching staff and in the management level to try to keep our young players on an even keel.
We think that they are special players. They get treated as any other member of our group is. They have to earn their respect and their ice time day in, day out. They're held accountable for their actions, as every member of our team. Just the delivery of the message, as I stated before, is not quite the same to a young player as it is to a veteran player.

Q. In what areas would you say that your team has gotten better as the series has gone on and in what areas do you think the Red Wings have gotten better as the series has gone on?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: I think with our group we have some areas that we need to improve on. Specifically, in our neutralized play and our transition game, I think it needs to be improved. And I think they have made some adjustments with their line combinations.
We've tried to make some adjustments with ours. It's more like a cat-and-mouse game. I think it's an area where each team thinks they can play to a higher level in all areas.
People talked about our power play not being productive. Well, it was productive in the last game. We weren't going to - it was going to be a low-scoring series. The first two games I think were 2-1. Is there going to be a game that's going to have more than three goals in it? Well, first game back in Anaheim it was 5-0. We were on the wrong side of that one.
We were able to score five goals the other night. So it's been back and forth. It's two evenly matched teams and I'm sure there's question marks for both coaching staffs where they would like and how they would like to improve their team play.

Q. How much of a concern is it, or at all, that Todd Bertuzzi seems to be coming back to life?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: It's always a concern when you have people that are - I don't know if it back to life is the right term - are making a contribution. I look at it and say as a member of the Detroit Red Wings we have to play well against the Detroit Red Wings. And Todd Bertuzzi is just part of that.
It's no different than their statement that Chris Pronger is coming back in the lineup. They're not playing against Chris Pronger; they're playing against the Anaheim Ducks. They're not just playing Chris Pronger. And we're the same thing, from the standpoint he's a force. There are some things that you have to do to defend him. And we have to get better at it.

Q. With Pronger coming back, a guy like Jackman, scored a goal and played significant minutes, is he going to be a healthy scratch?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: I haven't made that decision. We have the flexibility of taking a defenseman out and putting Jackman in. We have the ability to play seven defensemen. We'll visit that. We've got some ideas on what we'd like to do but I think it's a little premature to make any statement of who is going to be in or who is going to be out at this time.

Q. But is it going to be a tough decision to make?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: It's always tougher, but those are good, tough decisions when a player comes in and makes a contribution. He makes those decisions tougher on coaching staffs. And that's a good one. We like to have to make all those tough decisions.

Q. Regarding Ryan Getzlaf, you consider him playing both phases of special teams and his skill set. Teemu Selanne said last night he believes he'll be the best player in the league some day. How far off base or accurate would a compliment like that be when you project Getzlaf over time?
COACH MIKE CARLYLE: From a coaching staff, I just don't want to have to get him a bigger helmet. (Laughing). So you always try to temper your comments.
We feel good about Ryan Getzlaf's growth. We made the statement he can be as good as he wants to be. Because I think he's got a skill set. He's a big man. He's got soft hands. He can skate. He can be physical. He can fight. He's a tough kid.
And he comes to play and he's been through a major junior level and world championship - or not world championship, but world junior championships. He's made a huge contribution at the success at that level. He's starting to play a more dominant game in the NHL. It's always nice to hear players compliment one another. I want to make sure we've got a helmet that's going to fit on that head.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you, Coach.

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