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May 19, 2010
MONTREAL, QUEBEC: Practice Day
Q. You both talked in Game 1 about the excitement of playing the Montreal Canadiens. Now it's coming here to Montreal, a province you're both from. Talk about maybe the extra adrenaline playing here?
SIMON GAGNE: I'm looking forward to it. On my case, that's my first time, you know, to play against Montreal Canadiens in the Playoffs. Two years ago we had a chance to come here and play them on my side I was hurt.
So I was not able to get the feeling of what it is to face the Montreal Canadiens in the Playoffs and especially here in Montreal. So I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be very fun. I have a lot of family and friends coming to the game, so I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow.
DANNY BRIERE: Kind of the same thing for me. Obviously, I group a Montreal Canadiens fan. So to come back in this building is always a little easier motivation, I guess. The history of the team and, I mean, we have all our friends and families watching from even closer now makes it easier to find that motivation.
Also the fact that we all know about all the boos that has been going on the past few years, that's an extra motivation when you jump on the ice.
Q. You've never shied away from the boos or questions or stuff like that. I mean, you've got to be pretty pumped for this one?
DANNY BRIERE: Oh, definitely. As soon as I found out that we were playing Montreal, I got really excited about it. I've always said I wanted to experience what it was to play against Montreal at least once in my career. So this is my second chance, and I'm just grateful for the chance to play here in the Playoffs.
Q. What was your turning point, if there is such a thing, that really got you going here at the end of the season? What was it for you? Can you think of one moment or something in conversation?
DANNY BRIERE: I can't remember -- not just one moment, I guess. You know, since Peter came in, we've had lots of talks about my game and about taking it to the next step, the next level. Just coming down the stretch for some reason things started clicking and started playing better and better. The chemistry got better.
There was a moment there when me, Simon, and Ville started playing together, and I felt that was kind of the start, and there's been a lot of line combination, but for some reason things just kept going on a positive side after that.
Q. To reflect on last night's game and your goalie's performance, he helped you out a lot. He gave you a bit of a gift last night, and bear in mind it is his birthday today, and I was just curious as to what you guys were going to give him?
SIMON GAGNE: Hopefully we're going to play a lot better in front of him tomorrow. The game last night was definitely won because of him. Like you just said, it's his birthday, so we have definitely to find a nice gift for him.
I think just start to at least have a better start and play better five-on-five. Maybe it will be, yeah, a little bit more disciplined, especially early on. We know that they're going to come here and play very hard the first five or ten minutes, and if we can manage that five-on-five and stay off the box, you know, not giving them the chance to go on the power play early on, that could be a good start and hopefully finish with a win for his birthday.
Q. What do you guys attribute to the chemistry that you guys have had particularly lately? All three of you are pretty skilled guys and that. How have you guys been able to develop a chemistry among one another?
DANNY BRIERE: You mean me and Simon? Or you mean for the whole team?
Q. For the three of you, you three that are playing together.
SIMON GAGNE: Actually, we're not playing together.
Q. You're not?
DANNY BRIERE: Not anymore.
SIMON GAGNE: Sometimes, but, no.
DANNY BRIERE: I referred to it. Yeah, it started that way. I mean, I'm still with Ville Leino, and still things are for some reason started clicking. I think just the way he plays, how strong he is on the puck, and that he's able to keep plays going has found -- I think our line has found that chemistry. All three of us are different with Scott Hartnell.
But the whole team, it's not just about one line. It seems every single line right now has a little bit of that chemistry going and that confidence every time we jump on the ice.
Q. Did Simon's return just bring balance throughout everybody up front?
DANNY BRIERE: Yeah, I mean, I think it's more than -- we all saw the goals on the last few games against Boston. We were 0-3 when he wasn't playing, and we've been 6-0 since he's back in the lineup. Yes, he scored some big goals, but it's more than that. Just his presence, you know, in the lineup changes everything.
We were having that discussion when he was just about to come back with his foot, and I was trying to convince him at first, even if you can't play, just to sit on the bench, just to have his presence there. You add a player like that to your lineup, it changes everything. Like you said, it brought all three -- our three scoring lines, it makes everybody a lot more dangerous all of a sudden.
Q. You listen to Lavi's press conference the last two games. He wasn't happy with a lot of the parts of the game. He was an unhappy guy in Philly right now. I sense that he would prefer the attitude of we're down 0-2 instead of we're up 0-2. How do you get that back because you guys were so good at come being back from adversity, and here you're in front?
DANNY BRIERE: I think he's happy that we're up 2-0. But he'd like the attitude of -- I think he just wants a little bit more desperation, and I agree with him. To be successful in this building, we will need more desperation, and I think it's a way to send his message.
We have to realize that if we play the same way it's not going to be good enough. We have to realize that, so that's kind of the message there that he's trying to send.
At the same time we all realize it, and we all know. So I definitely do expect us to come out a little harder. But at the same time, it was tough. I'm the first one to admit it was a little tough to find that extra gear after playing four games where we had our backs to the wall.
Obviously, Game 7 coming back from a three-goal deficit and winning in a dramatic fashion. It was a little tough to get it going again, and I'm hoping that we'll get over that finally tomorrow night.
Q. That was the kind of thing that held you guys back in the regular season. You find that extra gear three or four games and then you'd kind of lose it, and you had to get it back?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, you look -- it's tough for anybody. Anybody that's in that position. You look at Montreal. They won that big Game 7 in Pittsburgh. I think they had a hard time, too, coming out of it in Game 1. Once you get on such an emotional high, it's tough to reproduce that night after night after night.
Q. Can you talk about the confidence that seems to be growing in this team with the play of Michael Leighton knowing you've got this guy, especially in the first period when they were just peppering him with shots, just the confidence that seems to be there that you have in him?
DANNY BRIERE: Yeah, well, I think it shows in just the way we played both games. Our first periods weren't good. Second period we started picking it up, and by the third played much better, especially last night.
Both nights he played extremely well in the first period. He saved us in the first and gave us that confidence, and gave us a chance to get our legs going, and we build off that in both games and played better afterwards. Without saying it, I think it just showed in our actions that he gave us that confidence to get it going.
Q. Could growing up a Habs fan you know what fans are like here and how they boo you. But as a young fan growing up you know how good they are when you're winning, it's great, when you're not winning, it's not so great. Talking to fans around town, everybody was saying it's really fun while it lasted, we're down 0-2 we've been shutout twice it's over, what would you say to them?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, not really to them. If they put that pressure on their team, that's fine. But it would be more geared towards my own teammates saying that we can't fall into that trap. That would be the worst mistake we could make.
This is far from over. This is going to be tough in their building tomorrow. They're going to be fired up. At the same time, you have two teams that can learn from what happened in previous rounds in that department.
So I think seeing what we were able to do to Boston, seeing what Montreal did to Washington and Pittsburgh, I'm hoping that we're not going to fall into that trap.
End of FastScripts