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NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS: KINGS v DEVILS


May 31, 2012


Adam Henrique

Travis Zajac


NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac.

Q. Travis, is there anything about the Kings that you saw on film that was different than what you saw in person last night?
TRAVIS ZAJAC: I don't think so. I think we knew coming in they were a big team, they were a physical team. They were good in the offensive zone, cycling pucks, controlling the play. We saw that a little bit last night from them. They have some D men that can jump in the play and make plays. We knew that coming in. We knew they had a good goalie who could play the puck and make big saves for them.
I think we saw all that last night.
ADAM HENRIQUE: Yeah, I agree. You know, obviously watched video and find out their tendencies. They got a big, fast team. They keep coming at you. They roll all four lines. They're a deep team.

Q. Travis, they were of the opinion after the game they played their worst game of the playoffs. A couple guys talked about that. Is this potentially a missed opportunity that you didn't get them when they were at their worst at home?
TRAVIS ZAJAC: I think we kind of feel the same way about our game. We didn't play at our best, I think. We were a little nervous in the first period, a little tentative. You could see that. We weren't making plays. We were throwing the puck away a little too much. We weren't moving our feet and getting on the forecheck like we usually do.
For us, we felt that, yeah, we missed an opportunity because we were able to hang around against this team, you know, not playing our best game. Still having a chance to win, that makes us feel pretty good that we can play better, be a little bit more successful.

Q. Different styles that the Kings present compared to the Rangers series that you just completed.
ADAM HENRIQUE: They're a different team than the Rangers or other teams we have faced so far. I think they bring a little bit of all of those teams into one.
They're a deep team. They have puck‑moving defensemen, solid goaltending. But that's to be expected. Obviously they're here for a reason.
I think we need to, you know, focus on our game, how we need to play. I think, like Travis said, maybe we were a little nervous coming out at the start of the game. We were throwing pucks away. We weren't hanging onto the pucks, making plays.
I think there's a lot of room for improvement on our side.

Q. Travis, Pete DeBoer talked a little bit about the newness of this for a lot of guys. All those nerves behind you and it's all about the hockey now?
TRAVIS ZAJAC: I think when you get past that first game, it is a series. You get that all out of the system.
I think as the game went on, we did get better. We started to make some more plays. We started to play our aggressive style. So I think we take the positive out of that and we move on.
Like you said, we'll be better the next game.

Q. Adam, didn't seem to be much chippiness last night. People were thinking maybe that's because the teams haven't played each other much. Was there enough last night that the temperature could raise on Saturday?
ADAM HENRIQUE: I think so. Obviously they're a team that we haven't seen very much over the year. There's not that big rivalry like the Rangers or Philadelphia. It's the Stanley Cup Finals. I'm sure it will ramp up. Maybe not the chippiness, but just the physical play all around. I think it was there last night for the most part. I'm sure that will continue throughout the series.

Q. Adam, since Travis has come back into the lineup, gotten healthy, been good to go, what are the noticeable differences in the balance that you have as a group of forwards?
ADAM HENRIQUE: Getting him back, he makes our team that much deeper. Obviously not having him for the majority of the year was tough. He's one of our leaders. He's one of our best players. He's a guy that we rely on in big situations.
I think he was probably the biggest acquisition we could have made after the trade deadline without having to get rid of anybody. So it was nice to finally get him back and see him out there playing well.
He enables our team to be that much deeper. We're able to roll all four lines more. He's been a huge part of why we've had success.

Q. Travis, what was missing as far as getting the forecheck established in the first half of the game yesterday?
TRAVIS ZAJAC: Well, like I say, we were watching a little bit. We weren't reacting quick enough. We just didn't execute in a lot of areas. We didn't execute well enough in our dumps, on our routes. We didn't win enough battles to keep pucks alive, keep the forecheck going.
Like I said, we can execute in more areas and we'll have more success.

Q. Travis, was some of that watching due to a result of not having played the Kings since October? As much as you can see them on film, you don't know them that well?
TRAVIS ZAJAC: There's a little bit of feeling out, I think, early on in the game. It's weird. Like you said, you don't really see the Kings too often. You don't really know what to expect.
But, you know, as the game went on, it was like playing any other team. I think from the start of the game, we'll be better next game. We'll have to be. They're a good team. They got a lot of contributions from every line throughout the playoffs and all their D. It's going to be a good test for us.

Q. Being better, everybody has talked about it. What exactly do you have to be better at?
TRAVIS ZAJAC: Well, we got to start from the beginning getting pucks behind their D. They stand up well. They got back pressure all the time from their forwards. For us, we have to get pucks behind 'em and go to work.
You look at the other series, Philly, Rangers, we were able to create some offense from off our cycles, from going high to low, to the points, getting traffic, getting shots in net. We definitely didn't do enough of that yesterday.
So, you know, like I said, we'll have to execute I guess in that part of our game. Hopefully everything else will take care of itself.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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