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May 24, 2010

Jeff Carter

Mike Richards


Canadiens – 2
Flyers - 4

Q. Everybody's going to want to know why you touched the trophy?
MIKE RICHARDS: Um, it was actually a little bit of a debate on the ice. I don't know if you'd seen, but I thought a little about it last night, and my first instinct was to grab it.
Obviously, took us a lot to get here, and obviously not the trophy that we want; but we haven't done anything conventional all year, especially in these Playoffs, so might as well go against the grain one more time.

Q. Mr. Snider was saying afterwards, he believes you guys are a team of destiny. He thought that after you guys beat Boston. Do you buy into that at all?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't know. It's tough to say right now. We have a great team. We have a lot of belief in our team. When the chips have been down, it seems like we get better; and obviously, we play well as a team.
So we're fully confident. I don't want to say destined or anything, but we have a great team. We feel we have a good chance, obviously; and we're going to lay it all out there.

Q. You and Mike came to this organization together. You've combined for that last goal. What was that emotion like being on the ice to score a goal like that together?
JEFF CARTER: Oh, it's great. You know, we've been here for five years now. Lot of ups and downs.
MIKE RICHARDS: By you guys (laughing).

Q. It's all us.
JEFF CARTER: Always. This is what we've worked for. We've worked for this for five years. It's come a long time, but it was nice to put the last one in. Obviously, a great effort by Richie just to get down there and give us a chance; but definitely a good feeling when we heard the crowd erupt.

Q. Blocked shots have been crucial to this team's success all through the Playoffs, even up to killing a 4-minute double minor. Can you talk about the unselfishness of the players in this locker room on this team?
MIKE RICHARDS: I think that goes without saying. A perfect example is Lappy, and Bettsie kind of goes unnoticed with that, but he's the same way, Powsie, and the system that Pete has put in, I think everybody's bought in; and blocking shots is something that I think we put a big emphasis on before any game, especially on the PK. Our defense does a great job; everybody's bought into the system.
You put your body on the line, whether it's finishing hits, blocking shots, and we've done a great job of that so far in this Playoffs, and I think it's shown with the victories.

Q. Could you describe the shorthanded goal, and when, exactly, you realized it was going to be like a three-car pileup?
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, I was actually going to go off, and then the puck just took a soft bounce, and I thought I could get there. I seen Halak kind of hesitate a little bit to come out. I just tried to poke it by him, got up, and the puck was actually just sitting there ready for him to take.
So I just wanted to avoid the goalie stick that was laying there and I just put it in.

Q. When Brian Boucher got hurt and Michael Leighton came in, was there any change in the mindset, that this is a rallying cry that this is one more thing to overcome that changed the team that got you guys on this roll?
JEFF CARTER: You're doing a great job, man, keep going.
MIKE RICHARDS: Thanks. I'm in the groove right now. I think all year the adversity that we faced with Razor going down and then Leights went down, and then Bouch went down; it was just one after another.
That maybe set something up a little bit, or we learned from what we can do from before with different people stepping in, and it's happened all year with injuries, different people stepping up.
Jimmy McCrossin's done a great job of keeping people in shape and getting people back healthy. We just feel comfortable, I think, playing in front of whoever is in net.
All year it's been pretty much somebody different from month to month, and the Playoffs have been no different; and we feel comfortable with Leights in net, as he probably feels comfortable stepping into a situation that obviously wasn't the easiest.

Q. You guys have faced more adversity than most teams heading into the Final with the slow start and all the injuries and all that. Can you put that in perspective for us and what the trip means when you think back to what the season could have been?
JEFF CARTER: Could you start over, please (laughing)?

Q. All the adversity you guys went through, the slow start, the coaching change, the goalie injuries that you already brought up, could you sort of put that in perspective what that means heading into the Final?
JEFF CARTER: Yeah, it's been a long year. A lot of things have happened. Like you said, injuries, coaching changes, all of the above; I think you really learn from those. It builds character. You just keep rolling with it.
We have a group of guys in that room that no matter what happens, they never give up. I think we've seen that come to the forefront in these Playoffs here. It's a pretty amazing thing to be a part of.

Q. Just a couple years ago, you and Chicago were both struggling, went through some tough years. Where do you see yourselves in terms of where they are? I think a lot of people expected them to be here, but maybe not you guys, at least during the season. How do you stack up against them? Do you consider yourselves underdogs?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't consider us underdogs. I know what this group is capable of, and how they're capable of playing. Obviously, our year wasn't the same as theirs with the whirlwind and the ups and downs and the roller coaster that we went on this year.
But, like you said, a couple years ago I think we kind of started at the same position. They drafted our players, they drafted Jeff and I both. I think, overall, we have a similar team, a lot of depth, good defense, goaltending that we trust. If you look on paper, I think it's a similar lineup on both sides.

Q. Obviously, this year's been very strange, but even stranger that you come back and find yourself on this line that's playing so well. You've only played together a couple games and you actually enter the Stanley Cup Finals getting better every game. Is that part of how strange this has been?
JEFF CARTER: Yeah, strange is, I guess, a good word. When I got the call today, I got the chance to come back. I just worked hard to get in shape. I didn't know what my role was going to be like on the team getting back because things were going so well.
It's obviously good to play with Richie and Gags, makes it easier for myself. I feel like every day I've gotten better. And the last two games I think our line has really built, and I thought we were pretty solid today, so hopefully we can just keep going.

Q. This team has been so strong and so consistent in the second period through this whole Playoffs. How important has that been for you, and why do you think that is?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't have an answer. I wish I did for the effort in the second period. I don't know why it is, but it obviously helped us out today; and in the end, I guess, got us the victory.
But I'm not too sure why it is; but as games go on, I think we've been getting better. As the number of games have gone on, I think we've gotten better too.
We just go out there and play consistent, and keep the shifts short and roll them through. When we get in trouble, we turn pucks over. So I think in the second period we did a good job just getting the puck in deep and cycling them.

Q. Five years ago both of you got your feet wet as pros by winning the Calder Cup in this building in front of a crowd very much like the crowd here tonight. Is there anything that you brought from that experience that you think is going to help you to this experience?
JEFF CARTER: You're on a roll, man (smiling).
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't know. The city, obviously, has welcomed us since we've been here. It was a long time ago, so it's tough to kind of draw from there.
But we know what to expect every time we play a game in here. The crowd is always loud, supporting us, and behind us. Especially in this Playoff run, I think they've given us more of a push. We've come into games and known what to expect, and they've been behind us too.
So it's a building that we feel comfortable playing in and expect to play well here every time we touch the ice. They're a big part of it, the fans are a big part of it, and the energy that they bring to the game.

End of FastScripts

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