Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 06/05/11 at 12:46 AM ET
NOTE: Updated with transcripts including Manny Malhotra, Daniel Sedin and Roberto Luongo. Plus Henrik Sedin, Sami Salo and Ryan Kesler videos down below.
All the game video posted here. Now, the interview video and/or transcripts, post-game. First, Alain Vigneaul (with more to be added below):
Q. Could you talk about your team’s response when you’re down 2-1, the mood in the dressing room going into the third?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, you know, I didn’t like 15 minutes of that second period. Thought we didn’t have our work boots on. We got out-muscled down low in our end and out-muscled in their end, thought they really took it to us.
But we talked about adjusting different things, especially our work ethic. Thought our guys were real good the last five minutes of that second period and real good in the third period. There’s another tough battle by two teams that are battling really hard.
Q. Talk about Burrows just in general and also about the ending, how that must have felt after the last couple days.
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I mean, anybody that follows our team knows he’s a really important part of our team. He plays five-on-five, he plays power-play, and he kills penalties. So, you know, he’s overall one of our go-to guys. Again tonight he came up big in key moments.
I thought he was one of our better players. We need him to play that way.
Q. Talk about the way your team seems to have pushed the pace another level in both third periods in this series so far.
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, if you look at our stats during the regular season, I think we were the best team in the third period as far as scoring goals. So that hasn’t changed throughout the playoffs.
We can push the pace and create scoring chances. I thought we did. I thought the twins, that line, really look over in the third and spent a lot of time in their end wearing down their defense. It paid off for us. We were able to tie the game.
I’m sure that has not happened very often to Boston this year, where they gave up a lead. They gave up a lead, we scored that game in OT right off the hop there.
Q. How did Manny look tonight and how much of an option does he give you moving forward?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, I mean, I’m real happy. It was a real happy moment for our whole group to be able to put Manny in the lineup and to have him play the way he did. He did exactly what we all expected. He was real good on face-offs. He was good on the ice. He created a scoring chance. That line played more minutes than throughout the San Jose series and I think obviously more than in the first game against Boston.
So I’m excited to have him back and I think he’s only going to get better as we move forward here.
Q. Daniel, how does it feel scoring your first goal in the Stanley Cup final?
DANIEL SEDIN: Yeah, it’s nice. I thought our line didn’t play that good tonight. But probably got rewarded for all the chances we had last game.
If you work hard, I think you get some bounces.
Q. Daniel, that’s two games in a row you were able to take over in the third period. How much is that your speed, how much is that wearing them down? What do you attribute that to?
DANIEL SEDIN: Yeah, I think we have four lines that go out there and play the same way. We get pucks deep. We forecheck really hard. It wears teams down.
It’s been like this the whole season. It’s nothing new for us. I think when we’re at our best, we usually have a lot of success in the third period.
Q. Manny, can you sort of take us from the point you found out for sure you were going to be playing in the game, then the range of emotions…
MANNY MALHOTRA: I was truthful with you guys this morning when I said it was going to be a game-time decision. It wasn’t till after lunch that I knew I was going to go. At that point, you know, the thoughts going through my head was, you know, I was excited I was going to have the chance to play, but probably the most nervous I’ve been in my entire career.
Coming to the rink, felt really normal, going through the same game-day routine. Again, the nerves kept getting to me. I was telling the guys, right from warmup, it was kind of sensory overload, just the noise, the crowd into it, all the towels waving. It was the first time I’ve seen a home crowd that excited in playoffs.
I guess I really didn’t settle down till after my first shift. It was obviously a great feeling, the ovation I got for my first shift. I think it kind of put a little bit more nerves on me, wanting to do something out there, execute. Once I got out there, felt a little bit better, started to skate. Vic and Tambo played well so that made the transition coming into the lineup a lot easier.
Q. For Roberto and Dan, what did it mean to have this guy in the lineup along with the way the crowd reacted? And overall how about that crowd tonight? How much did it affect your juice?
ROBERTO LUONGO: I think we were all excited for Manny. I mean, he’s a great leader and a great teammate, great friend. Obviously it was tough to see what happened a few months ago. I think as a group we were just so excited for him that he’s able to come back and contribute, not only on the ice obviously, but stuff that you guys don’t see in the locker room and behind the scenes.
DANIEL SEDIN: I agree. I think Manny is obviously a great friend to all of us. It’s been a tough two and a half months since he got injured. Good to see him get back. I thought he played a strong game. Won a lot of faceoffs. Like Lou said, in the locker room, you can’t replace him.
Q. A couple of questions about Alex. He says that his development as a player is due almost entirely to you and Henrik. What do you think of that? How do you relate to him on a personal level when you came in as a top-three pick, he had to try out to make an East Coast league team?
DANIEL SEDIN: Yeah, I think all three of us are pretty similar. I think we had to work really hard to get to where we are. Obviously when we first played with him a couple years back, we realized right away he was a good complement to us.
Him saying that about us is obviously nice. I don’t want to say he’s underrated but he brings a lot to the table. He works hard, forechecks, brings pucks to us. Like he showed today, he can score some big goals.
Q. Daniel, the fact you’re going back to Boston with a 2-0 lead, what worked well here and do you see any changes in your game to be different in Boston?
DANIEL SEDIN: No, I think the game is going to look the same. These two games were two really good defensive teams. It’s not going to be a lot of scoring chances. I think we’re confident playing in games like this. They are, too. But I think if all our line play like we can, we’re a tough team to beat.
Expect the same. It’s going to be a tough building to play in.
Q. Roberto, going back to Game 5 against San Jose, your team scored some pretty dramatic goals. Does that do anything for a team going forward in a series, to know the lift you get from a dramatic win?
ROBERTO LUONGO: I think obviously they’re exciting and they’re fun. That’s what playoffs are all about. At the same time you don’t want to get too high after a win and too low after a loss.
It’s a big win for us, but you almost immediately got to put it behind you and start focusing on the next one. We know going into Boston, it’s not going to be easy. We want to make sure we’re focusing on the next one, not what we just accomplished here tonight.
Q. Daniel, considering Manny has not played in two and a half months, how impressed were you by how many draws he won? Manny, because you came back so quickly, do you perhaps consider yourself a bit of a minor medical miracle?
DANIEL SEDIN: It’s no surprise to us that he wins faceoffs. He’s unbelievable at that. He’s kept himself in shape. He’s a hard-working guy. I think we expected him to play good tonight, and he did.
MANNY MALHOTRA: As far as faceoffs go, it’s obviously a lot of timing, a lot of anticipation. Over the last couple weeks as I started to work towards this goal, being able to take draws against guys like Kes, Hank, Lappy, that really pushes you to get to the next level and prepare yourself.
I think the competitive level that we have at the center position, after practice, before or after morning skates, really gets your timing back.
As far as just being able to be back in the lineup, call it what you want, but for me it was just that desire to want to be back in the lineup. It’s always tough to watch your teammates doing what you want to do, what you love to do. But with the encouragement I had from the guys from day one made me want to push myself to be a part of it again and get back in the lineup.
Q. Roberto, before you came west to join us out here, you played in the Eastern Conference. In Boston, do you have any history of good games, bad games, the crowd getting on you?
ROBERTO LUONGO: Well, I played my first NHL game in Boston. First wins, first shutout against the Bruins. Yeah, pretty good history, I’d say (smiling).
Q. Manny, strictly from a hockey perspective, how did you feel you played seven minutes and some tonight? Did you feel like you came back exactly where you wanted to be? Is there still a ways to go?
MANNY MALHOTRA: Obviously a long ways to go. The first one coming back from any time off is always a tough one. Just things like spatial awareness, knowing how much time you have when you get a puck. A lot of plays I made tonight were just chipping the puck in, chipping the puck out.
As we go forward here, I’ll become more confident with the puck again, start to try to make more plays, skate with the puck.
But I think playing seven minutes in my first game back is a good transition into things.
Q. You’re two wins away from the Stanley Cup. Are you able to put that completely out of your mind?
DANIEL SEDIN: I think we’re able here. We take it one game at a time. It’s no different now. I think we done what we supposed to do: win our two home games. Now we have to win at least one in Boston. It’s all about Game 3 now. I don’t think we worry about the two games we won so far.
Q. Talk about the intensity now that you’ve played two games in the finals. How much more of it is it now as opposed to the last round? Have you ever played in games like this before?
DANIEL SEDIN: Well, I think it’s obviously another step from San Jose and Nashville and those guys. I mean, I think we match up pretty well against each other. Like I said before, we’re both pretty good defensive teams. It’s going to be tight out there. We expect that. I think we’re ready to win games 1-0, 2-1, whatever it takes.
Q. Manny, from a non-hockey perspective, when you came out there you talked about the intensity, the cheering. Talk about that brief moment when you first take it in. What was going through your mind? Was it emotional? Did your eyes tear up at all?
MANNY MALHOTRA: It definitely got me thinking from March 16th to where I am now. I said it this morning. It’s a privilege to play in front of fans like this. When you come to Vancouver, to say that the fans here are passionate would be a gross understatement.
So just to be able to be out there again, to hear them cheering, to hear an ovation like that, it definitely makes you feel like a Canuck. You just feel like a part of this family.
Q. Roberto, Henrik being the consummate captain said he felt your warmup wasn’t good so he needed to test you early. Can you talk about that play.
ROBERTO LUONGO: I thought I had a good warmup, but anyways (smiling).
He tries to go 5-0 on me in practice all the time. I was ready. He wasn’t going to beat me this time. I was in the moment, getting ready for anything. When Hank has the puck in front of the net, anything can happen.
Q. Daniel, you’ve been Roberto’s teammate for five years. Someone asked him yesterday to assess his play, he didn’t want to do it. Can you tell us how he’s played in these playoffs?
DANIEL SEDIN: He’s been awesome all year. I think he likes to play in these kind of games. I think he’s shown that before. When he plays like he does now. He’s the best goalie in the world. I don’t say that because I’m a teammate and a friend. I say it because I mean it.
Henrik Sedin Video:
Sami Salo Video:
Ryan Kesler Video:
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Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
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Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]