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June 8, 2010

Chris Pronger


Q. Beside yourself, what else has to be better tomorrow for you guys continue to play to Game 7?
CHRIS PRONGER: We'll fix your hair first. And then... What do we get with that part?

Q. Do you like that?
CHRIS PRONGER: No. A lot of things. Bounces. We have to be more physical. We have to skate. I'm sure you've heard about 15 different things.
We obviously have to play a lot better than we did in Game 5. Thanks for that, Tim.

Q. Just wondering if you've seen or been alerted to the Chicago Tribune, nice poster of you today in the paper?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't read what you guys write. Good or bad.

Q. They have a picture of you --
CHRIS PRONGER: Next question.

Q. In the figure skating dress.
CHRIS PRONGER: Next question.

Q. Do you get motivated by the reaction you get in Chicago? Does that motivate you even more?
CHRIS PRONGER: I really couldn't care, to be honest with you. I'm worried about playing the game.

Q. Chris, you've been in this situation a few times now, a Stanley Cup Final. Is your demeanor any different now than it was in the last two? You've always been fairly loose and you seem to have a good time with things. Do you feel that's important to project that to your teammates to just keep things calm in the face of the pressure you are under?
CHRIS PRONGER: I think you're on a bigger stage. Obviously a lot more of you fine folks. You're excluded. And, you know, you have to try to keep things as light as possible in preparation for the game. Obviously, once you come 4:30, 5 o'clock for an 8 o'clock game, you have to start mentally being prepared and focused and ready to roll.
But prior to that, I think it's important to stay as relaxed as you can and use the time that's been allotted to prepare and rest up for what's going to be a tough game.

Q. Chris, you've used three out of five I think it is in the Finals. You've often said it's maintenance, how you can last, how make all those minutes. Was there a moment or a season or a switch click there that you realized I'm going to have to do this, this and this? Or is it just kind of a gradual thing you've learned over time?
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah, I think it's more gradual. I think it's -- you try little things in the summer. How you train. Things that do you through the course of the season, training and practice and maintenance in the training room after games and practices and things like that. Warming up for practice games. You try different things and see with a works best. And you try to just keep adding those little things to your repertoire and what you do to be ready to play or practice. And you use that as you continue to go along and use the experience that you have.

Q. Chris, you won a Cup, you lost a Cup. The Cup will be in the building tomorrow night. Is this more of a media thing, or do the players in the back of their mind know it's in the trunk and obviously you want to keep it in the trunk tonight?
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah, I think we know what we're up against. They're obviously trying to close this out, and we're trying to get to a Game 7. I think everybody in the locker room understands what's at stake and what we need to do. We obviously looked at a lot of the different video clips of our last game. Not very many were good. And we use that as a learning experience and what we can do right and things that we can tighten up.

Q. Based on your performance with us, you're perfectly suited for the banquet circuit. Are you a big speech guy in the room before a big game like tomorrow night?
CHRIS PRONGER: Not really. I think Peter, as I said in past press conferences, Peter has done an excellent job of keeping the guys on point and focused and understanding that we got to worry about one game. Not look at what can be the prize, whether it's a close-out game or you're trying to move on to the next series, or a position like this where our backs are against the walls, we have to focus on Game 6 and not worry about what's going to happen down the pipe.
We have to make sure that we're worrying about our next shift and not what can happen if you get to a possible Game 7 or whatever.

Q. Chris, Peter just said that when they lost that Game 6 to you guys in Edmonton, that he was nauseating. He said he almost threw up he felt so bad. You've lost a Cup, two days later, I guess, and won a Cup. Can you take us through that range of motion emotions and how down you get and how high it is when you win?
CHRIS PRONGER: That was a tough summer on a lot of different fronts. You very well know. But it was tough to start that next season, knowing that you came what was essentially a 2-1 hockey game barring an empty-net goal with 25 seconds left or whatever, but it was tough.
It was tough to get motivated again to get back on the ice. We had just -- I think we played to like June 21st or 22nd. It was a quick summer, and obviously all the rest of that stuff with the trade and what not.
But I think going to a new team, you kind of understand what their goals were right off the bat. Obviously I was brought in there for a reason. We had beaten them the year before in the Conference Finals. They felt they had a team that can go far.
That was single-minded belief, not only in Edmonton, but in Anaheim. I think we have that here where we believe we can win on any given night as long as we play up to our capabilities and play to the system that's in front of us.

Q. Chris, you have alluded to the fact that you kind of grown up and changed over the course of your career. At what point would a Game 5 that you had there in Chicago would have eaten at you mentally to think about it whereas now you probably have more of a short-term memory and you can put it out of mind and focus on Game 6 right away.
CHRIS PRONGER: I've already started to focus on Game 6. I'm not really worried about it. Probably in years past I wouldn't have worried too much about it either. There's not much you can do about it. It's in the past. I don't know if you watched much of the highlights or the video, but I have. There's really not a whole lot you can do when a puck bounces off your shin pad and goes in the net a couple of times. I'm not too worried about it. Could just have easily went the other way.

Q. Chris, Peter just said that indirectly he said Michael Leighton will be the goalie tomorrow. Can you talk about the team's confidence level in Leighton after a rough first period?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't think we're too worried about it. We've seen this story before. Not only on our team but a lot of other teams during the course of the playoffs, this year and in years past. I think he's the type of guy that can let things like that roll off him and just go out and be focused and be prepared. I'm not too worried about him. I don't think anybody else is either.

Q. Just referring to Mark's earlier question, do you recall the feeling when Carolina came in with a chance to clinch in your building, whether that was a motivating factor for you how you obviously dealt with it pretty darn well, but...
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah, I think it's a motivating factor. You're on home ice. They have a chance to clinch. You don't want to see that in your building, and you want to get to a Game 7. You want to have an opportunity to win it. That's the biggest thing. We're not here just to get to a Game 7. We want to win.
At the end of the day, we're here to win a Stanley Cup. We need to get two wins to do it. But you have to get one before you get two.

Q. Chris, in terms of -- Chicago made a bunch of line adjustments. You had different lines coming at you in that last game. Is it a matter of over thinking, making your own adjustments? Or was it more an issue the way of the team you played whatever lines that were thrown at you?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't think it really mattered who they had matched up. We didn't play very well. They could have had the same lineup going from the line combination, and it wouldn't have mattered. You're not very good through the neutral zone. They came with a lot of speed and pretty much did whatever they wanted.
Us as defensemen need to get up and get a better gap. Our forwards need to do a better job of closing gap and finishing through the neutral zone. We'll do that here in Game 6 tomorrow.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you, Chris.

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