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NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: KINGS v COYOTES


May 19, 2012


Ray Whitney


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Ray Whitney.

Q.テつ Was the day off yesterday good for this team?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Yes.テつ Just to get away from it.テつ Obviously, the situation isn't ideal for anyone.テつ Getting away from the game, relax, the sunshine was nice.テつ Guys got to relax, get away from the game.テつ It was needed.
Today we got back, focused a little bit, and we'll be ready for tomorrow.

Q.テつ When you say 'get away,' physically or mentally?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Both.テつ Obviously guys are banged up this time of year.テつ It's good to get away from the game mentally, shut your mind down a little bit.テつ We'll have a meeting tonight with the video and whatnot.テつ It was a good day for us.

Q.テつ Are you a fan of the early starts?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ I have three kids, so getting up early is not a problem for me.テつ We'll check all over, make sure he has a wake‑up call.
No, it doesn't matter.テつ Especially the time of year we're in, the game we're in, it shouldn't be a problem.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the mountain your team has to climb?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Being down 3‑0 is a big enough mountain.テつ We realize how difficult it's going to be.テつ But we certainly aren't just throwing it in.テつ We're going to give it everything we have and see where it leads us tomorrow night.
Literally that old clichテδゥ:テつ one game at a time, you have to do that right now.テつ They're playing well, going in the right direction, we have our hands full.

Q.テつ Does this come down to one shift at a time?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ We broke it down like that last time and I thought we did a better job of it in terms of trying to execute better and keep their opportunities better.テつ We did a better job at that. テつWe ended up at the wrong end of it.
In general, I thought it was a better performance by us.テつ It's going to take something along those lines again.テつ Obviously we're going to need to score some goals which is easier said than done.

Q.テつ (Question regarding motivation.)
RAY WHITNEY:テつ We've had that motivation most of the year, and the first two series.テつ That motivation is irrelevant at this point.テつ It's the best eighth‑seed team I've seen in a long time for sure.テつ That motivation, we have enough motivation in our locker room right now.テつ Everybody else counting us out, that was happening before the series started.
I don't think that's any added.

Q.テつ You always talk about how you want to hang around the game.テつ Why has it been tougher to hang around these games?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Well, these guys play a similar game in terms of style with the smothering defense, smothering forecheck as a group.テつ They forecheck with five guys and back‑check with five guys.テつ Your time and space is limited.テつ Pattern most teams would like to play.テつ They're doing it real well right now with team speed.
It's frustrating.テつ It's tough to do.テつ Sometimes I think at times you get frustrated.テつ Like you said earlier, somebody said shift to shift.テつ If you take a shift off, don't play as tight as you need to, you get a guy like King coming off the wall and scoring the go‑ahead goal.
You have to be focused the entire game for all your shifts.テつ There's not a lot of chances created out there either way last game.テつ So you have to make the best of your opportunities when you do have them.

Q.テつ When you talk about that frustration, when you play better in Game3, it's going to take another effort like that, when you don't get the results you want, does that add to the frustration?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Yeah, it can add to it.テつ We realize we are going to have to be at our absolute best to beat this team, as it should be at this point of the season.テつ You shouldn't be able to walk on a team.テつ But I'm sure it's a different scenario if you're looking at it from the other side.テつ They're playing well and having their way with us.
As a group, there's only one way you can go, and that's to continue to fight as hard as you can till the end.テつ We plan on doing that tomorrow night.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Well, obviously your top scorers have to produce.テつ Right now it's tough for us.テつ Like I said, it's hard to score in the playoffs, for one.テつ When you play a team that's smothering like this, without a lot of power plays, it's even more frustrating to try to create offense.テつ They're doing a good job.
Obviously you have to look at your top scorers to produce.テつ But when you're playing a team that's pretty good defensively, you're going to need some contributions from everybody.テつ This is, unfortunately, a team game, and we're built around a team concept.テつ We need production from everybody.

Q.テつ We're seeing this combination from them of size, talent, size.テつ Is that a combination you haven't seen in the past?テつ Speak to their style, how that's different than what you've seen in the past two rounds.
RAY WHITNEY:テつ Their style is similar to Nashville, except they might be a little bit bigger on the wings.テつ Their competitive level is as high as anyone's.テつ You'd expect that out of a Sutter team.
There's one thing that they do very well, that's get the most out of players.テつ You're seeing it now.テつ They're a competitive group, playing well as a team.テつ Like I said, they forecheck hard with heavy purpose.テつ They back‑check hard with purpose.テつ That combination is what you're seeing out there now, which is pretty dominating.
If you can do that against the Vancouver Canucks and slow them down like they did, then it's obviously a good recipe for success.テつ You got to tip your hat to them.テつ They're doing a very good job at it.

Q.テつ Is an elimination game any different?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ You mean as in being old (laughter)?

Q.テつ Talking about the contract next year.
RAY WHITNEY:テつ You covered your ass on that one (laughter).
No, I don't think so.テつ You play for the season.テつ You focus for the season.テつ You worry about the other stuff when it's over.テつ I haven't really thought too much about that past tomorrow.
But obviously there's a few free agents.テつ With the uncertainty with the team, where it's going to be, may be a concern.テつ We've heard good things as of late, but we certainly don't concentrate on that.テつ As a group we've done a good job all year long making sure we leave the outside business to the people who deal with that.テつ And inside the locker room we've been pretty good all year of focusing on that.

Q.テつ How is the mentality of this team today?
RAY WHITNEY:テつ It's good.テつ We understand what we're up against.テつ You can mope around, feel sorry for yourself if you want.テつ It's not going to do you any good.
You can go back and say, This team did this, this team did that.テつ Not too long ago Philly came back and beat Boston down 3‑0.テつ You can't look at stuff like that.テつ You really focus on winning one game against a very good hockey team.テつ We'll take it from there if we get that done tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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