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June 5, 2011

Mike Gillis

Alain Vigneault


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Vigneault and Mike Gillis.

Q. Alain, how do you approach Game 3? I know you've talked this year a lot about one game at a time. Coming into this building knowing you're facing a desperate hockey team, what is the mindset?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I think you're going to have two desperate hockey teams. Obviously from last night's game, there were some areas that we feel we can definitely improve and do better, especially in that second period where we seem to lose momentum.
We're going to focus on our game, our game plan, make every shift count, and be ready for tomorrow night.

Q. How do you match that, not go too far, not do too much?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I think the players have to be focused on the task at hand. If you are focused on the task and what you need to do to perform well, then your emotions are the right ones, your intensity is the right intensity so you can go out there and execute.
We've been very good at that throughout the year, throughout these playoffs. I expect us to be the same way tomorrow.

Q. Mike, I'm curious as a GM what this process is like for you, especially in the final. You're two games away from winning a Cup. What is it like to watch the games?
MIKE GILLIS: It's hard. It's emotional. It's difficult to watch. You have no control over the outcome. You know, you end up stressing and being elated when your team's doing well and not so elated when they're not doing well.
It's one of the hardest things actually in this job, I think, trying to remain calm and not get too strung out about what's going on out there.

Q. Alain, can you talk a little bit about Andrew Alberts, your decision to put him in and his play last night?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I thought he played well, physical, was high percentage with the puck, very intense. Just what we had expected. He had played with Christian before. They were a good pair. They played well together. We thought that for last night's game, that was the way to go.

Q. What about Manny with an eye injury that from day to day the pressure may build up or subside, how are you monitoring that situation, Mike?
MIKE GILLIS: Yeah, he sees the doctor every day. He's doing beyond our imagination with this injury. We are not taking any chances with him. He sees our doctors every day and they monitor it all the time. They're comfortable with where he's at.
It's a remarkable story. We're not going to take any chances with Manny no matter what. So far he's doing excellently.

Q. Alain, you knew what the Bruins were about before this series, one of the more physical teams in this league. Bieksa and Kesler were hobbled a little bit last night. Do you sense them playing that card in this series?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I think if you look at the stat sheet at the end of the day, we're hitting as hard as they are. If you look at the stat sheets throughout the playoffs, we're the team that's got the most hits. That's part of our game.
Kevin didn't get hit by Percy, he got a cheap shot in the back of the knee, so that's totally different. He went down because of something that obviously you don't want to see in the game.
But at the end of the day, we know that they're a big, physical team. We can play a speed game, but we can also play a physical-type game, which I think we've shown throughout the playoffs.

Q. Could you talk about Chris Higgins, what he brought to this team in the playoffs here.
MIKE GILLIS: When we got Chris at the trade deadline, it was very late in the day. He was a player that we were trying to get and we were fortunate enough to have a young defenseman that Florida wanted, and we thought that Chris would come and fit in on our third our fourth line in a roll.
He's been everything we could ask for and more. He played well for us. He played through an injury. He's a hundred percent now. He controls the puck. He can score when he gets his opportunities. He comes to play every night.
He's been a great addition for us, has given us more than we counted on.

Q. There will be a lot of Canucks fans here. You talk about how you appreciate that fan support. What does it mean to you?
MIKE GILLIS: Well, we saw it at the end of the year in numbers that we didn't anticipate. We went on a road trip to California that coincided with a Canadian holiday. I think there were close to 5,000 people in Anaheim, and in Los Angeles there were at least 3,000 to 3500, and Phoenix was the same.
It's been really exciting to watch it evolve and to see how passionate people are, how engaged they are with our team, the fact that they're prepared to travel and be part of this. It's great.
You know, I think they're respectful to the opponents and the fans when they arrive in those cities. So far it's been a really good experience.

Q. Alain, if the fans here didn't despise Burrows after Game 1, I'm sure they did after Game 2. What do you expect the response to be like here and how do you expect Burrows to respond?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I expect this crowd to be behind their team. I mean, this is an Original Six city. Passionate for their hockey. I'm sure their fans are going to be real supportive, just like our fans are in Vancouver. You have great cities, two beautiful places really where you have two hockey teams that are competing real hard on the ice.
Both games that we've seen so far have been extremely tight, extremely hard fought by both teams. I don't think anything's going to change here as we move to Boston.

Q. And Burrows, how do you expect him to respond?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I expect him to respond the way he's done all throughout the year and how he did last night. I mean, he's going to focus on what he needs to do on the ice. He's going to play the same way, which is very intense, physical. He's a great hockey player.
He scored 35 goals last year. The coach didn't put him once on the power-play. Imagine if I would have put him on the power-play (smiling).

Q. You've known Alex a long time, seen him through injury and different play, allegedly this or that. What amazes you the most about Alex? Is it the fact he's the same guy you had years ago?
COACH VIGNEAULT: For me, I just think that Alex gets the game. He understands not only the game on the ice but he understands the game off the ice. I think that's why he's been able to make himself into a very good hockey player.
He was one of the hardest workers I had when I had him in Winnipeg. Came here to Vancouver, and he just kept plugging away, kept working at his game. He's a great example of, you know, if you stick with it and you work at it, things will come around.

Q. Mike, did you talk to the league about Peverley's slash on Bieksa?
MIKE GILLIS: I didn't talk to them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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