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May 15, 2010

Peter Laviolette


Q. How do you get these guys off the emotional high of something that is this historical and get them focused right away to play tomorrow? Or is that easy because they can't think about it like they have nine days between the last series?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: We're ready. I think when there are four teams left, you're way down the road. I think it's easy to move on. Certainly I feel it was a lot tougher after the New Jersey series, you know, waiting those nine days. I think it was nine days. There was so much time, you know.
Halfway through that it was almost like you forgot we were in the middle of the Playoffs. There were lots of teams and lots of work to do, the sun was out. You know, you're not competing at the level that you need to in order to be successful.
So I really feel like we're ready. We're still dialed in. You get one day off. I think it's a good thing for our team. I actually think it's a positive. We're dialed back in. Everybody is still energized. We're not coming down. We're still up there and ready to play hockey. I think it's a positive. I think it will be a different story.

Q. You were worried, weren't you, about that layoff?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: The last one I was concerned. Like the practices were really good, the guys worked really hard, they did everything that we asked in practice. But there is something about game conditions and that willingness to sacrifice yourself and your body and everything that it takes to win hockey games.
You get away from that and you can't get that same feeling in practice when you're away for that long. So the good news is we're jumping right back in, and I kind of view that as a positive.

Q. Is there anyway to know before you go into this next round if there is still plenty left in the tank? That it wasn't used up just to get back in that series and pull that one out?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: We're in no different shape than anybody else. Certainly not in different shape than Montreal, with two 7 games under their belt.
You know, it's a long road. We have plenty of gas left in the tank. Every day we hope to get a little bit healthier, and, you know, we're in good shape.

Q. Even emotionally?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: Like I said, I think guys are in here today and they're excited. There is an excitement that I think you get past that at some point in the Playoffs. When there are only four teams left and, you know, the vision is right there in front of you. I think you get past that, moving on. The more you move on, the more excited you get. The more energy you should have. That's how I feel anyway, and I'm sure they do as well.

Q. Your team and the Canadiens were very even. They were 2?2 during the regular season. In your mind what is the key to this series?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: You know, we're just getting into the Canadiens right now. We just left the game. Nobody went to bed last night early. It's hard to get to sleep. You're up here this morning and you're sorting everything out, talking to players. We're trying to dial them in. Tomorrow we'll have a much better plan for us on what we need to do.
Montreal has done an excellent job defending their end. They're a very good offensive team. I think that flies under the radar sometimes, especially when you're playing the Pittsburghs and the Washingtons of the world.
They had to be good defensively, but they're very good offensively. They had some skill players and we're going to have to be tight defensively, but we'll really get into it here this afternoon.

Q. How were you able to keep doubt from creeping into that locker room between games 4 through 7 and then during Game 7? Was it something you said? Was it just the players themselves?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: It was the players. The players deserve the credit for what took place. They're the ones that have to go out on the ice and play the game. I think that you can give direction, but they're the ones who it's their sweat and they earned it.

Q. You asked Danny about the possibility of Laperriere coming back. I know you can't comment on the player situation, and he deferred to Nodl, and said Nodl's done a great job somewhat in that role. Can you talk about Nodl, and maybe the possibility in the abstract here as far as Laperriere might be able to come back sometime later in the series?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: I'm not going to comment on that just because I have information that you're suggesting. But I will comment on Nodl, I thought he played an excellent game. We're using him with three minutes to go in a one goal game. He was still taking a shift. Physically he was strong. Defensively he was strong. He got pucks out. He got pucks in. He played with a lot of poise, and he had done that through the series in the role that we had asked him to play. He kept his game simple.
I thought he did a terrific job defensively with his positioning, with his physical play, his puck movement. We weren't asking him to be a Simon Gagne or Mike Richards. We asked him to play a defined role and he did an excellent job at it. And therefore he continued to play late into the game last night.

Q. Is he a young Lappy?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: You know, those are big shoes. Lappy's shoes are big shoes.

Q. No, I said a young Lappy?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: It's hard to say. You know, Lap, he'll certainly bring a whole set of qualities that you want, certainly a guy that you would want to emulate, you know, if you're a guy like Nodl, and you're looking at how you want to play the game. That would certainly be a good guy to follow.

Q. Kind of amazing as a 7 seed that you have home ice advantage The East Finals?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: We're excited about it. I actually caught myself with Homer talking about Montreal. But for us to get home ice for our fans would have been terrific. For the last month of the regular season, first round and this round here, I hear there is a big gathering in the building last night.
They talked about it when I first got the job. That was one of the things that was exciting was the passionate fans. Passionate good, passionate bad, they're passionate, they want to win. And they bring that energy to the building. I think it will be just a great place and great environment to play a hockey game tomorrow night, and I know the players will be looking forward to it.

Q. Whether you had a moment last night after the game, did you call anyone in particular? What was going through your head about what you had just accomplished?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: I didn't call anybody because everybody for me was there in Boston. I'm from Boston, so my family, my wife, my children, my mom and dad were there. You know, that was last night, and now it was great. Now we're moving on. Hoping we can take the next step.

Q. Nobody would ever turn down home ice advantage, everybody loves to have it. It seems like a positive. Yet, we see these games are pretty much straight even, why do you think that is that the road teams can play so well on the road?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: I think when the puck drops, you know, that goes two ways home ice. And in saying that, I'll take it just for the record. Home ice I feel can be important. It certainly was for me a few years ago to know that Game 7s were in our building.
But after the puck drops, I really think it's about the players and the way they play the game, the energy and execution on the ice. And that's what determines the hockey games.
Having said that again, I'd rather be home.

Q. Both Danny and Simon said that they're 30?something now and you'd never know if you're going to get another chance or not. Can a coach maybe play to that a little bit and say, you know what, guys, don't take this for granted. You're young, but it may be a long time before you're back here again?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: We've had those conversations. We actually had those conversations when I first got here with some of those players that you're talking about. Simon and Danny. And you never do know.
Again, back when Mark Recchi came to our team. And his first couple of years he had won the Cup. And 17 years or so, you can do the math on the numbers, I'm not exactly sure. But he was a guy who thought that he would get those opportunities and they'd come again. And he waited 15?plus years to get that next opportunity. You do never know. You never know what's in store for your team. You start a season, everybody starts with the same agenda. Then slowly things work themselves out through the regular season, and then through the Playoffs. Then you get down to an opportunity for a Final Four or final two or an eventual champion. You just never know if anybody has a crystal ball. You can't figure those things out, so you have to make the most of the opportunities that you're granted.

Q. Did you always believe when you took this job and this team, that you'd be sitting here talking about being in the Eastern Conference Finals?
PETER LAVIOLETTE: It was exciting to take this job because of the players that were here. If we're being honest, there were a lot of highs, there was a lot of lows with this. And I think that that made us stronger, I really do.
Even still down the stretch, even what we just went through, there's been ?? it really tests you to get to the end. It tests everything about sports and about you as a person and character. You've got to stay strong, and our players have done that through the entire season, through the Playoffs. They've been passing tests and they need to continue to pass those.

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