June 10, 2002
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Game Four
Q. How did you find adjusting to your new linemates?
SAMI KAPANEN: Everybody plays with different linemates at some point in the year. Rarely do you see one line spend a whole season playing together, so it's not a problem.
Q. Was the resilience a problem?
SAMI KAPANEN: I don't know what the problem is right now. The bottom line is we lost the game and we have a couple of days to recover and figure out what to do before the next game.
Q. Detroit deserves a lot of credit for the way they have played offensively.
SAMI KAPANEN: Everybody is always talking about all the firepower they have on offense, but we found out earlier in the series that they are one of the better defensive teams in the League and we're seeing that right now. Their forwards come back to their defensive zone fairly quick and are strong on the backcheck. There's not a whole lot of time to make a play in the neutral zone. We have to find a way to get the puck in deep.
Q. They made it so tough for you to get any forecheck going.
SAMI KAPANEN: The big part is they have so much offense. And once you get down through the neutral zone, you are looking to make the pass and they are all over you. And that's why we have to be better making a quick first pass and getting our offense going through the neutral zone quicker.
Q. What can you guys do to create more scoring chances?
AARON WARD: At this point I guess we just have to stick with what we are doing. There are a lot of All-Stars on their team. They are very strong in their defensive end. And when they take a lead, we have to open up a little bit and that doesn't always work to our advantage.
Q. Did you have trouble doing more things tonight?
AARON WARD: No, we didn't have trouble, but that's the way the game works. It's seven games and we just have to pick it up.
Q. The fact that that crowd will be looking to clinch on Thursday, how hard is that to adapt to?
AARON WARD: The clinching game is the toughest, just because you have so many emotions and situations running through your mind. It is a lot of pressure. But still we're in the Stanley Cup Finals, and there wasn't pressure going in a whole lot. And we have to maintain that idea that the onus is on them that they were expected and are expected to take it.
Q. Are you surprised with the difficulty you are having offensively?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I am not surprised. We're trying to do everything we can to get a goal and get something jump-started, but nothing surprises me. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and you have got to do what you have got to do.
Q. Their team is so tough to try and generate things.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: They are a good hockey club. We haven't really gotten to our game, but at the same time it was a 1-0 game and we have had great chances to tie it up on the powerplay. That would have been a whole different game. When things aren't working all that well, we keep it tight. And we're still in it, fortunately. When you are down two, it is tough to come back on, especially against a team like Detroit. It is tough against any team. But not getting that goal was a big thing, and it was tough to get things going after that.
Q. How deflating was it to miss that opportunity to score?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: It's deflating, but it's not that big of a deal. We are still in the game at that point since it was only 1-0. That's not the turning point of the game. It was a big chance for us. But we still got to maintain our composure and keep playing. We had a little bit of a breakdown on the second goal, but that's how the game goes.
Q. Did the fans give you a nice send-off? Was that something that you were expecting?
ARTURS IRBE: I think they were just cheering us on because they saw our effort and they wanted us to go into Detroit with a good feeling that we're ready and that they are behind us. That's how I approached their cheering.
Q. What do you see from Detroit's defense that you can appreciate?
ARTURS IRBE: I am not a defensive coach or a defensive specialist.
Q. Do you feel you have something to lose the next game?
ARTURS IRBE: There's always something to lose and something to gain. It doesn't work that way, there is something to gain and something to lose. We are going there to gain the ground.
Q. When you are facing two or three guys in the offensive zone, is it easy to be aware of who all the Wingers are that are coming against you?
ARTURS IRBE: It doesn't really matter. I know what kind of players that are on the ice. I know what we have, and if you are going to start to sort players this way, then we'll take out a realistic approach to the game because, sure, there are some shooters and passers and so forth. But once the puck hits that player, that's when I react and try to see their tendencies. That is the only way to go about it.
End of FastScripts...