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May 19, 2010

Chris Pronger

Mike Richards


Q. Can you just give a quick quote on how well your goalie's playing, and as a follow-up question, it's his birthday, just thinking of what you might want to get him today?
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah, happy birthday, Michael.
MIKE RICHARDS: It's his birthday?
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah. It's going to cost him. No, he's playing excellent. Obviously, it wasn't an easy situation for him to come into in Game 5 in Boston. It just shows you the preparation and hard work he was able to do while he was out and trying to prepare to get back, and the hard work in the gym and obviously with his injury, trying to get healthy with the off chance he might get an opportunity to get thrown back into the mix, which he did.
He was prepared, and focused and ready, and you're kind of seeing what he's been able to do since his return.

Q. Would it surprise you that the Canadiens today are once again talking about how they need to get more traffic in front, get the rebounds, loose pucks? Obviously, that's something that you've prevented them from doing, would it surprise you that that's their strategy for Game 3?
CHRIS PRONGER: No, because it's probably our strategy, too. That's pretty much Playoff hockey right there. Crowding the front of the net, throwing pucks there and hoping for bounces and loose pucks to travel under your stick. You know, I don't think it changes from us to them to, you know, Chicago or San Jose, the remaining teams in the Playoffs.
It's been a part of Playoff hockey for as long as I can remember. You know, you see funny things happen when pucks are thrown at the net. You know, that's a big part of the game.

Q. You guys seem to be on such an even keel. You're not getting too worked up over wins, you're not getting too down when things don't go well. Is that really the attitude you have to keep going. You've seen firsthand being up 2-0 doesn't mean that it's over, you know what I mean?
CHRIS PRONGER: It's a lot of practice during the season, lot of ups and downs. We've had our fair share, and have learned how to deal with them. You know, I think that's what's great about our team is we understand some nights we might not have our best, but we've got to find a way to win. And other nights when you play well, sometimes you don't get the breaks and you're going to lose some games.
No matter what you need to continue to come back each day to the rink and be prepared and focused and put the work in, the time in, and hopefully, the next game out you'll be able to rebound and play better.
But, I think we understand the situation we're in right now. We're up 2-0, but we've merely just defended home ice. It's up to us now to try to come in here and play even better in Game 3.

Q. Lavi was not happy again last night. I mean, you almost sense listening to him that he wishes that the attitude and the mindset in the games was as if you were down 0-2 instead of up 0-2. He wants better starts. He wants more consistency throughout the game. Can you change that mindset here? I mean, you've been so used to playing from behind the past couple of weeks. Can you give him that?
CHRIS PRONGER: Is that a question?

Q. Yeah.
CHRIS PRONGER: Didn't sound like one. It's more a blanket statement, which you're really good at. You're really good at those, Tim. I'm going to make up my own answer because I don't like yours, so (laughing).
Yeah, it's very easy to kind of tell yourself that you obviously need to come in here and be even more focused and prepared than we were for the two home games. They're obviously going to be in their home building. Last line change, all the rest of that stuff.
But their fans are going to be behind them. They've been loud and boisterous all Playoff long. We need to be cognizant of that and try to play an even sounder, tighter, defensive game and get off to a better start.
It's no secret we didn't play great yesterday in the first period, and Leights came up with a lost big stops. But that game's over with. We can't dwell on that, we can only move forward and worry about Game 3, and that's tomorrow night.

Q. Both clubs?
CHRIS PRONGER: Mike is here, by the way.
MIKE RICHARDS: Don't feel obligated to ask me. That's fine.

Q. From both of you guys, really, both clubs have been very resilient in the Playoffs. But for what you've gone through in your series, people in Montreal just talking to people today they're saying it's over, we're down 2-0, the run's over, the dream has died all that kind of thing. Give me a sense how much you respect the resilience they've shown in the Playoffs, the kind of stuff you've dealt with as well?
CHRIS PRONGER: I think the same people may have been saying the same thing in the previous two rounds as well. I don't take too much stock in that. They're obviously a team that's has proven over the last couple of rounds that they can come back, they can play well. I don't think they thought they were out of either one of the first two games.
Leights played extremely well. We were able to get a few past Halak early and get the lead. The games change when you have the lead. Teams play differently. It's up to us tomorrow night to get off to a good start again and try to get that first goal.

Q. Mike?
MIKE RICHARDS: Same thing as him, pretty much took the words out of my mouth.

Q. Can you give us a quick comment on your goalie's performance, especially last night?
MIKE RICHARDS: Yeah, it's similar to Chris. He's worked hard to put himself in a position to come back. All year long we've put our goaltenders in difficult situations to come in and play, and each time they've answered the bell, and this time has been no different.

Q. Maybe a different spin on what they were asking you. Just the feeling of being a team that's down 0-2 when you know that, you know, it's not looking good. Obviously, you can't have that attitude, you can't be thinking, you know, we're still in it.
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, they're probably talking in the dressing room about playing well, out-chancing us, and maybe even outshooting us, too. But I mean they're a resilient team, obviously. They were down 3-1 to Washington, and back against the wall against Pittsburgh too.
So they're probably just as confident as we were last series when we played Boston. I mean, we have to expect them to come out with their best tomorrow.

Q. How much do you tailor a game plan to a specific goaltender? Do you watch tape, does it change a lot or because most goalies play a lot of the same style is it pretty much the same?
MIKE RICHARDS: A lot of goalies are similar, I think, with just the standard butterfly. Obviously, there are some goaltenders that there are different things that you can try to exploit while you're shooting on them or just have a mindset going into the game of what you can use. Especially Playoffs, you watch a lot of video just to see kind of what his tendencies are.
We did a little bit before the series and kind of seen some things that we might be able to take advantage of. Not saying that they're working, because obviously he's a great goaltender and making a lot of big saves. We just have to keep getting bodies to him, and keep getting scrambles in front of the net, and hopefully we can keep getting the lucky bounces.

Q. This is a question to Chris about Mike. People here know a lot about yourself, Simon, Daniel. What does Michael bring to the team?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, he brings a lot. I think when you look at centermen and two-way guys that play both ends of the rink and play physical, he's obviously a guy that does all of those for us and score big goals, and set up big goals as we've seen throughout the course of the Playoffs here.
You know, I think it's safe to say as he goes, we go. You know, he's been a huge part of our success in the Playoffs offensively. But I think a lot of times his defensive contributions get a little overlooked because of the offensive side of the game. You never know when a big hit may come, and that always keeps people on edge out on the ice, and that intimidation factor of a big hit can play a big part.

Q. Do you like playing in this building? Can you guys feed off the energy that's expected here?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, whenever you're playing in any opposing team's building in the Playoffs, it's always exciting. Especially a building as big as this with this many fans and as loud as they're going to be. It's a fun atmosphere to be a part of, and it's up to us to try to silence them early and try to take them out of the game. But I'm sure that will be a little more difficult than it is.
But really, you relish the moments of playing on the big stage in buildings like this where the fans are as crazy and ruckus as they are, but I'm looking forward to it.

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