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May 22, 2010

Duncan Keith


SCHUYLER BAEHMAN: Questions for Duncan.

Q. Patrick Sharp talked about what an even series this has felt like, multiple games could have gone either way. All that said, are you surprised to be in this position where you could be looking at a sweep come tomorrow afternoon?
DUNCAN KEITH: Well, I think, yeah, heading into the series, I don't think we would have looked at it that way. But, you know, we've always kind of taken it one game at a time, tried to look at it that way.
I think all the games have been close. I know we were able to get the two wins in San Jose and they were two big wins. I thought Antti played great in those games and made a lot of huge saves. Sometimes when your goaltender is making those big saves, making the kind of plays that he is at critical times in the game, it really changes the whole dynamic of the game.

Q. Duncan, last night, it's going to happen today, the Boston-Philadelphia series, fresh in everybody's mind, is going to come up. They're taking motivation from what the Flyers did. Can you flip it around, look at what happened to Boston, will that help you keep a sharper edge coming into Game 4?
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I think so. I think everybody has talked about that series and analyzed it. I think we can use it as motivation as well. The Sharks are a great team. They have a lot of great players and a lot of pride on their team.
You know, but we feel we have a pretty good team, too. We have a lot of pride ourselves. You know, we look at that series as well, use it as motivation in our way and say, you know, we want to close it out, we want to be a great team and do it the right way.

Q. Duncan, why not use the prospect of being one win away from the finals as motivation for tomorrow? Is that something you will or will not talk about?
DUNCAN KEITH: I think you can use that as motivation. That's what we're playing for. We're all playing here for the Stanley Cup. You know, we're one win away from getting a chance to play for it. I think we should use that as part of motivation, as well.
I think we all find different ways to motivate ourselves. As a team, I think we take it, you know, in baby steps, look at it one game at a time, not looking too far ahead.
There's always motivation. You're always thinking about what you can, you know, do to be better and bring that into the next game.

Q. Duncan, Patrick Sharp mentioned that trip to Vancouver for Game 3 and 4 was a turning point when things started to click. What happened on the trip? You have always been a confident group. Is that where you kind of reached the next level?
DUNCAN KEITH: I think we've always been a confident group and always believed in ourselves. But I think, you know, really we started to bear down and started to play, you know, the right way for the most part. I think, you know, you gain confidence as you go in playoffs with the more wins you get, the more success you have.
You know, I think on the whole, we've been playing solid. But I think talking in the room, we all feel that, you know, we can still be better and still bring our game to another level. I think all good teams have that mentality. That's what we have.

Q. Duncan, can you talk a little bit about maybe the difference between this year's team and last year's team. Most of the players are the same. How has last year's playoff experience helped you get to the point you guys are at right now?
DUNCAN KEITH: I think it's helped a lot. I think, you know, getting to the Western Conference finals last year was exciting. Not to say it isn't exciting this year. But I think when you experience something for the first time, you really get excited. And, you know, I think at that time last year we were happier to be in the Western Conference finals and be where we were. Now being a year older, having played in the Western Conference finals as a team, you know, there's definitely no satisfaction in being where we are right now.
We realized last year, going as far as we did, there was still a long way to go. There's still a long way to go now. I think that experience just, you know, reinforces that attitude that, you know, we haven't accomplished anything, we haven't done anything yet. There's still a lot of hockey left to be played.

Q. Duncan, a lot has been said about you guys will be doing this for several years to come. For salary cap reasons, you will lose a few faces from that locker room next year. What's the awareness like of making sure this is the window in terms of how deep this team is this year?
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I think, you know, that sort of thing where you're thinking about who's going to be back next year, all that sort of thing, a lot of teams deal with that. Every team has to face that. I think as players, for us, the best thing to do is not to get caught up in that sort of thing and worry about it.
Obviously we like our teammates and we love playing together. There will be changes next year, as there will be with every team. But, you know, I think the focus right now is just understanding we have what we have right now, the opportunity that's there, giving it everything we have with the team we have right now. Then worrying about what happens next year, worrying about that next year.

Q. Duncan, I know you're a team and you have confidence and the support of each other. When did you guys buy into Antti? He had to be an unknown quantity for a while. All of a sudden, here he is. When did you all of a sudden realize, We got ourselves a helluva goalie here?
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I think as time went along here during the season, he kept getting the odd game in. Every time he played, it seemed like, you know, he was getting a shutout, or if he didn't get a shutout, he'd have about 40 saves and let in two goals.
I think just as time went along, he gradually, you know, was gaining pretty good trust in the whole team now. Obviously, everybody has a ton of confidence in him.
I remember watching an exhibition game two years ago, and I think that was his first time playing in a game. We were in Dallas. I wasn't playing. But I remember watching him play. You know, he stopped about two or three five-on-threes in that exhibition game. I remember thinking back then, This guy is a pretty good goaltender. I don't know where we found him. There's no hype about him.
But you've seen that before in a lot of European players and goalies, you know, where they don't have a whole lot of hype, whether they're a late-round pick or free agent signing, and they seem to do pretty good.

Q. You are one win away from getting a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. Can you wrap your head around that? What is that like?
DUNCAN KEITH: Well, it's exciting. It obviously is a nice spot to be in right now. Like we talked about earlier, how that experience we had last year really I think helped us grow as a team and become a lot more mature in the sense that, yeah, we can wrap our head around that. We're in a good spot.
You know, we're not there yet and we're not where we want to be. We haven't done what we want to do yet.

Q. A follow-up to the Antti question. Talking about the experience of the team last year, that's one player that doesn't have that playoff experience. So does that make it that much more amazing what he's doing? How important is it for the team to be as efficient as possible and finish it off as soon as possible?
DUNCAN KEITH: Well, yeah, to the Antti question. Right, he wasn't here in playoffs last year. But I think the thing you have to remember about Antti sometimes, even though it's his first year in the league, he's not 20 or 21 years old like most of the young rookies you see coming up. I think he's about 26 years old, pretty mature.
I think the thing that really helps Antti out is the way he is off the ice. Just his personality, his demeanor, he's very mature, very kind of laid-back guy. You know, maybe all the cheering and all the loud noises don't really, you know, get him worked up like it would somebody else. Something like that, I think that probably helps him, just the way he is, his demeanor.
Second question, I forget that one.

Q. Trying to get it done as soon as possible.
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I mean, you know, there's no other way to put it. We're in a great position. We're one win away from a chance to play for the Cup. I think just using that as motivation and understanding our position and the opportunity we have should be enough to play the way we should and play a smart game. Hopefully we can do that on Sunday. That's our goal.
I don't think we want to give these guys any life right now. They haven't had it yet. So there's no point on giving it to them now.
SCHUYLER BAEHMAN: Thanks a lot, Duncan.
DUNCAN KEITH: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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