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May 20, 2010
MONTREAL, QUEBEC: Game Three
Q. (No Microphone)?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I think any time a team gets far in the Playoffs, you see certain characteristics, a will to fight back, speed, players that are on their game, good goaltending. There's always lots of characteristics, I think, in order to make it deep.
You know, it takes a certain something to get further along in the Playoffs. So I don't think it's really fair to compare either team. They're both different.
Q. How good of a spot do you feel like you guys are in, considering everyone's saying you haven't played your best game, but you're up 2-0, you know in your building. Do you guys feel like you're in a good spot considering you haven't played your best game yet?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I think if we play our best game, I'll feel better about it, you know. And, again, I said this last night, I don't think we played poorly in some of the periods. I think I more narrowed it down to the first period of last game. But the third period, there was nothing for them. They had nothing.
So I think if we can play three 20-minute periods, you know, that's what we're looking for is consistency.
Q. I know he's not a player tonight, but what do you see in Carter today the first time he's out there skating-wise?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Jeff looked good on the ice. He was skating, he was shooting, passing. He looked good.
Q. You guys play with a lot of desperation. You had two against Boston for four straight games. Now you're up 2-0. How do you get that desperation? Is it tough to find desperation when you're up 2-0?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: It's certainly hard just to go in and talk about it. Desperation is something that comes upon you in desperate times. Certainly Montreal will be that way tonight. You know, they're finding themselves getting more desperate, and that's just human nature, I think. And it's hard to go in -- the only thing you can do is continue to talk about your game, show things what you need to do better, how you can play better, your strides, your physical play, your battles on the puck, your emphasis on your team play. You can talk about those things and show those things.
I think we'll be better tonight. I think we'll start the game better. We're away from our -- away from our building and we're back on the road and we're as a group, and I think there is something to that sometimes when can you get out and get away, and get together. Have a pregame skate, take a day off, get some rest, but come out and have a pregame skate together, and you're maybe more unified.
Q. How big would it be for you guys to take a 3-0 series lead in their house here?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: You know, why don't you ask me that after the game. There's a lot of work to do, so certainly that's the plan. But we also know that it won't be easy. It's going to be a good game tonight. It should be a good game.
Q. Based on what you saw from Jeff Carter, how encouraged are you that his return is sooner than perhaps later?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I don't comment on any of that. That comes from Paul Holmgren, the General Manager. Again, he looked good out there today.
Q. Early in the Boston series, I guess the first three games, the team fell behind most of the games. In this series, you've held the lead in the first two games. How important is holding that lead and particularly in this building to get the first goal?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Well, I think that I like playing with the lead better. You know, we had a hard time in Boston playing our style. There were periods that I didn't think that we played well, but I think it was more to do with the way they played their game, and we couldn't generate what we were looking for.
When you have the lead, it allows you to continue to attack and for the ice to be a little bit more wide open because the other team has to press. So they're getting spread out instead of staying in units and in blocks. It becomes a little more spread which allows us to continue to attack. I'd rather have the lead.
Q. I can't remember if Pronger's had a shift on the power play where he was at the net as opposed to in the rotation. In this series, do you want them more back there as opposed to up front?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: There hasn't been many times five-on-four when he's been at the net. I can't recall.
Q. But he's been effective in that position?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Where?
Q. At the net.
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Not really five-on-four. I don't think I'd really mess with the power play right now. I think I'll just leave that to Joe Mullen and what they're doing. They're doing a heck of a job. The players, I think the power play's fine right now.
Q. How much of a reason that you have a 2-0 series lead, how much is on what Michael Leighton has done so far?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Michael Leighton's played extremely well for us and needs to continue to do that. You always hear about Playoffs and teams. Rarely does a team that's not getting good goaltending advance. Goaltending has to be part of the picture. I've said this -- I think I said it last press conference -- we're built as a team. It's not really based on one person.
Yes, Michael saved us, saved our bacon in the first period the other night. We don't want to do that. That's not the way we want to play.
Our best result always comes from a team effort, a group of guys believing in an identity, and going out and playing that identity with some passion, and, that for me, leads to our success.
Along the way, Michael Leighton has got to play well, and Chris Pronger has to do his job, and Blair Betts has to do his job. There are lots of things that have to take place, but I think it's more from a group.
Q. Does it look as though Lappy's getting stronger?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I thought Lappy looked good on the ice today as well. They both skated well today.
Q. When you have veteran players who have played big games before, why does the crowd still matter in a game like that? You've got guys that have been around the block a lot?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Well, I like playing at home. I like our building. We still have veteran players, but our building has been great. You guys know that. I know it's been great here as well. The Montreal fans have been very passionate about their team. I don't think it matters.
I do think it comes down to the players on the ice. But as things happen on the ice, that's when the crowd can come into play, both good and bad. You know, they can gain momentum from their crowd, and they can utilize that to their advantage. But there is also a window of opportunity to turn that the other way. So that certainly would be, you know, the ideal situation would be to try to turn that.
End of FastScripts