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May 14, 2011

Dan Boyle

Logan Couture

Antti Niemi

Joe Pavelski

Devin Setoguchi

Joe Thornton


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Antti, what is it about the playoffs that you seem to bring the best out of you?
ANTTI NIEMI: Well, I think it's probably the pressure, you get extra energy out of it. And I think obviously the team has to be playing well and even tougher the game, the teams being better, too.

Q. Joe, what did you as a group learn from the situation last year when you were in the Western Conference Finals?
JOE THORNTON: We'll see after the series is done. We really can't say until it's done. Hopefully we learn that -- we hate to lose. We want to extend this. We're having a lot of fun right now. Just ask me the question after the series and hopefully I can say that we've grown.

Q. What did you learn from last year?
JOE THORNTON: Really, when you get to this point, both teams are excellent teams. What have we learned? We haven't even stepped on the ice yet, so I'm not even sure. Like I said before, we'll find out after.

Q. Devin, what is more daunting when you look at the Canucks, the fact they've led the entire NHL in scoring or the fact they led the entire NHL in the fewest goals allowed?
DEVIN SETOGUCHI: I think when you look at the Vancouver team, you're looking at the best team in the league. They won the Presidents' Trophy, so they're the best team in the league.
Coming into this series, we need to be better than we were last series. We need to elevate our game. When you're playing the best team that allows the fewest amount of goals and scores the most goals, you need to be the best you can possibly be in order to compete with it.

Q. Joe, we spoke with Doug and Todd about that victory, the 2-1 overtime victory in January. You were on a bit of struggle, came back. Does that ring a bell in terms of changing your season around?
JOE THORNTON: I really don't remember the game, to be honest with you. But I know every time you come in here, it's a tough building to play in. I really don't recall the game, to be honest with you, no.

Q. Devin and Joe, can you talk about the comfort level you have gained with Niemo throughout the season and now obviously two rounds deep into the playoffs? Obviously you're confident, but the comfort level in playing together.
JOE THORNTON: Well, yeah, we feel he's the best goaltender in the world. As a team, you have so much confidence going into each and every game just knowing we have a chance to win. If we play well in front of him, we'll probably win, because he's that good.
For the team, it's very comforting to have a guy like that behind you.

Q. Joe, could you talk a little bit about the challenge of playing against Ryan Kesler and his line.
JOE THORNTON: You know, I think our line, last series with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, when they're on the same line, our line all year last year, the year before, we always play against the top line. It's no big deal to us. We just have to go out and play, play hard, because they're going to play hard against you.

Q. Joe, Kyle Wellwood, what contribution has he made in allowing coach to balance your attack out with the role he's playing on the third unit?
JOE THORNTON: Yeah, he's just very, very gifted. I think it just allows coaches to roll nine forwards. Whoever they play with, it doesn't matter, because they're all skilled. I think he allows him to do that just with the depth. He's very crafty, very, very patient. He likes the puck. He has lots of poise with the puck.
It just gives him more luxury, I guess, to tweak with the lines if he wants.

Q. In two of his previous NHL stops he had a reputation as a personality that marched to the beat of his own drummer. Have you seen that?
JOE THORNTON: Everyone is an individual. He's loved by his teammates. Just, you know, very charismatic guy that likes to have fun and we enjoy him in our locker room.

Q. What is the comfort level as a defenseman you gain playing with Niemo?
DAN BOYLE: Yeah, having had Nabby back there for years, how we're going to react is pretty easy: let him see the pucks, try to clear the rebounds, no different than any other team in the league. Right now he's at the top of his game. He's been since the second half of the season. Makes our job pretty easy.
But there's not anything different that we have to do.

Q. Dan, how much did you guys as a group learn from this experience last year?
DAN BOYLE: What do I say? No, certainly we've come a long way. Last year we were first pretty much the whole year. This year we had the fight, you guys all know, the big six-game losing streak that we keep talking about. I think we all had to look in the mirror and change our game a little bit.
The top guys all kind of changed their games a little bit, concentrated on defense, which I think wins championships. I think that's where the biggest difference was. Guys are playing hard defensively, and offensively are pretty gifted. That takes over. But defensively, I think we're a better team than we were last year.

Q. I think it was the last game you played against these guys went into the shootout; you had to score late. Was that a game that you can look at and say, This is going to typify the series?
JOE PAVELSKI: It was up and back both ways, power plays were good. Definitely they're a good team. They can produce fast, and they get off offensively and defensively. Same with us, we're similar in a lot of ways. But each night is going to be a new challenge, new situations that we're going to have to answer.
Like that night, they scored with a minute and a half, we came back. There's going to be situations we have to answer, going back to what we learned. It's something we have to step up in situations when they present themselves.

Q. Dan, are there any similarities, differences, between the Cup team you were on and this team?
DAN BOYLE: Yeah. In '04, we had different guys doing it different nights. Of course, you're going to have certain guys that are going to do it a little bit more. I think our depth in '04 was a big reason for us winning. I think that's what this team has. Both teams really. Vancouver has a lot of it, too.
But we're pretty confident with our depth. We feel our top three lines are very capable of obviously playing good defense, but they can put the puck in the net, too.
Our fourth line is doing their job. We're not expecting them to score very much. But our top three lines, you know, I think is very similar to what we had in Tampa. We can roll 'em pretty good.

Q. Joe, you obviously know Ryan Kesler from the Olympic team. You played against him a fair bit in the regular season. What was the challenge? What can you do to contain him in this series?
JOE PAVELSKI: I don't think he's going to beat us single handedly. It's going to be a line. Datsyuk, Zetterberg last series, you need a couple lines going against them, you need all five guys on the ice at the time chipping in. I'm sure he'd probably be the first to say you need good linemen along the way to help produce.
He's a good player, brings a lot of speed, is playing hard. Obviously we've all seen that. There's been a lot of media coverage on him. He's deserved it.
It's something we have to continue to do together, all five guys out there.

Q. (Question regarding home ice.)
JOE PAVELSKI: It's the same in any series. You want to get off to a fast start, you want to score early, you want to get involved early, win the first game. Obviously we're trying to get to four wins before them now. You play all year to get home-ice advantage. They got that. They deserved it. Now we're coming in trying to take it away from them.

Q. Logan, who do you think the pressure is on in this series considering the story lines, where you have come from, where you are today?
LOGAN COUTURE: I think the pressure is on both teams. The organizations have been through a lot. Both teams want to win.
So, I mean, there's pressure. But I don't think as a team we feel added pressure. We want to win, obviously. I'm sure they do, as well.

Q. That said, it sounds like yesterday you guys understood by and large across the country, you were somewhat of an underdog here. Do you buy into that? Do you appreciate being considered an underdog?
LOGAN COUTURE: I mean, they had more points than us in the regular season. They won the Presidents' Trophy. I guess you could say we are the underdog.
Both teams are so evenly matched, it's going to be a great series. You can't really say there's a huge difference between the teams. Obviously in the regular season they beat us by a couple points. Both teams have played well in the playoffs so far, so I'm looking forward to a fun series.
DAN BOYLE: Honestly, as a player, we don't really care about the underdog or not. Going back to when I was a kid, growing up, I mean, just all the hype and the stuff, defense, goalies, the little checkmark, who is better. All that stuff is fun for the fans, the media. For the players, 'underdog,' I don't think we spend any time thinking about who the underdog is. I think we're going out there to win.
I don't know if that answers it.

Q. It's interesting because you very well could try to play that underdog card and put pressure on them. It's somewhat unusual to see you guys being willing to step up to that.
JOE PAVELSKI: I think our expectations are high. That's a big thing for us. We've been here, the situation before. We want to take another step, as well as them. They've had high expectations along the way, too.
It's something we're not worried about playing this or that, we're worried about trying to play our game more than anything.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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