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May 17, 2010

Simon Gagne


Q. What do you think this morning of Jeff Carter being on the ice ask skating?
SIMON GAGNE: Surprising, you know. Great news for us. I don't think anybody was expecting Carts to be skating that early. They were talking about six weeks, so we were kind of looking at maybe if we go to Stanley Cup Finals, but not in the third round. To see him today able to skate by himself, it's definitely great news today. Very fun, very fun, very happy for him.

Q. Paul said yesterday it would be a long shot for him to play in the series. After what you saw today, do you think that's changed?
SIMON GAGNE: You never know. I think it will depend on Jeff's feeling, you know. He did skate by himself. That's one step, you know, closer to practice with the team. I know badly how hard he tried to come back and play with us, but it's a process and you never know.
But for us right now, we have to focus on what we have right now, and not to worry about that. But I'm sure Cartsie is going to do his best to come back as soon as possible. But like I said, for us, we have to focus on the players we have on the team.

Q. You don't think you provided any inspiration to him?
SIMON GAGNE: I don't know. Who knows? Maybe. That's Playoffs. That's what is great about playoff hockey. You see stuff like that, you see something that might inspire other people, and not only in my case, on other cases. Guys blocking shot, and blocking shots with their face, well, talking about Lappy, but it's stuff that inspires other people to do more things, you know, and sacrifice their body, who knows, maybe Cartsie going to try to beat me because right now he's on pace to beat me right now.
He was supposed to get back here after 6 to 8 weeks, and we're talking and skating after three weeks. I did it after a week and a half. So he's in better shape than I was.

Q. Was there a reason you didn't practice today or just giving yourself time to recover?
SIMON GAGNE: No, I just said it's been like that since I came back so -- no, at one point when I'm going to be good enough, I'll start to practice with the team, but it's no point right now. I still have to take time to get better, you know, and healing and that's the best time for me to do it, you know. It's not putting any weight on it, not skating hard on it is the best -- the best time to do it. But nothing to worry about it.

Q. You stressed last night that it was only one game. You can't get carried away. That being said, how important is it to keep the confidence level that you guys had winning those last four games and coming out and dominating as you did last night?
SIMON GAGNE: Yeah, you know what, like you just said, it's only one game. We're happy with a couple things we did in the game. We have to definitely play better five?on?five. Our power play was maybe the reason why we won the game last night. Five?on?five, we're not too happy about our game. We still have to come back to the way we played against Boston the last four games. That's the type of hockey we want to play.
We know that they're not happy about their game, that's for sure. No, it's Playoffs. That's what's great about Playoffs. Doesn't matter if you win on or you lose, you have a chance to play another game. It's best of 7.
So it's only one game. Well, we got the first one. We know that they're going to look to even the series. That's what they came here for now. They came here to get a split, and that's what they did against Pittsburgh and Washington. So we're definitely ready for them to get definitely a bigger game. So we have to be ready to match their intensity especially in the first ten minutes. We all know they're going to come a lot stronger.

Q. Danny Briere was saying last night that some of the French Canadian guys on this team have some added incentive. Just so happens all three of you guys scored last night. Is it added incentive? Do you enjoy playing Montreal a little bit more?
SIMON GAGNE: You know, I can't lie to you now. It's a little more special playing Montreal. That was tough two years ago for me to not be able to be in that series. I was hurt at that time and you have no idea how hard it was for me to be in the stands watching my teammates play against Montreal. That's something when you grow up, you know, it's almost a dream to play against Montreal Canadiens in the Playoffs.
Now we had a chance to do it a couple years ago, I was not there. And two years after now I'm able to be here and play them. It's a lot, you know, it's a lot of emotion for me - and I think Danny and Claude - to be able to face that team. Now you've got everybody back home watching you. You've got your friends, you've got your family, and it's a lot of people watching you on TV because it's going to be televised back home. It's really special. It's only one game, but hopefully we can keep going for the rest of the series like that.

Q. When you grow up, are you dreaming about playing against them or playing for them?
SIMON GAGNE: No, no, against them (laughing). I was a Quebec Nordiques fan, not a Montreal fan.

Q. Have you thought about what it would be like to go to Montreal for Game 3 and 4? We talked with Max Talbot and those guys, and it was really emotional for them to go play in the Playoffs and knowing what the atmosphere would be like in the Bell Centre. What do you imagine it will be like for you guys?
SIMON GAGNE: You know what, it will be special. We know what to expect when we're in Philly. We know the crowd and how loud it is, you know. And we kind of use that on our side. Going to Montreal we can expect their fans to be as loud as their fans and now the emotion of everything before games. Even when we're going to get to Montreal and all, I'm just thinking about when we're going to go to dinner downtown. Now the city's crazy right on now over there, and it's going to be special to go there for four days and be part of it.
It's something, it's fun to be part of it. We have to be glad and we have to take the moment. It's something big, you know. We have to welcome the challenge. It's not going to be easy to go over there, but let's focus on the game tomorrow first. But it's definitely going to be something special to go to Montreal.

Q. Didn't you grow up in Montreal? And if so, why were you a Nordiques fan?
SIMON GAGNE: No, I grew up two hours from Montreal, Quebec city, so I was a Nordiques fan. It's like, I don't know, Philly and New York Rangers almost or Yankees and the Sox, you know. It was definitely the same thing. It was almost the Stanley Cup Playoffs or game every time the Nordiques and Montreal were facing each other. I grew up I was a Nordiques fan.

Q. Do you expect Halak to come back and be the goalie he has been in the Playoffs? I know he was pulled in Game 1 against Pittsburgh, pulled last night. Do you expect him to rebound like he did in the Pittsburgh series?
SIMON GAGNE: Yeah, he did it before, so I don't see why he's not going to do it. I think he's a goalie. That shows a lot of character in the Playoffs. So I expect him to come back very strong tomorrow. And he did show it against Pittsburgh and Washington, so there's only one game.
I don't think it's his fault what happened last night. We got lucky, you know. It looked like every time we had a big chance we were able to put it in. Lot of them was a screen too in front of him, so it's only one game. We definitely have to expect him to come back even stronger than he was against Pittsburgh and Washington.

Q. Could you talk a little about Michael Leighton's performance in the first period last night? It seemed as though you guys were trying to get your legs?
SIMON GAGNE: Yeah, you know what, it's unbelievable the way he played. Not able to play a game for two months and come in in that tough situation against Boston and now facing Montreal. We all talk about the start. We're not very happy about the first 20 minutes last night. He was able to make some big saves, you know. If one goes in, maybe it's a different game.
He was our best player last night on the ice, and it's great to see him. It's great for his confidence, and to get the shut out. Sometimes that's the way you need. You need to get your goalie to be your best player. And sometimes that's what you need. You need like him to help you get into the game, and that's might be why after that we're able to play a little bit more relaxed. Sometimes you get nervous, first game in the Playoffs. You're looking at the other team, you're trying to see what they're going to do. You know, it's the first game in the series, and that's why you need your goalie to be your best player and he did. And at the same time I'm very happy for him. He worked hard to be here and I'm talking when he was hurt, working hard to get back and you know get some he rehab and try to be back where he is now. I'm very happy for him.

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