Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 06/04/11 at 03:31 PM ET
Transcripts of today’s Q&A’s with Manny Malhotra, Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler, Daniel Sedin, Christian Ehrhoff, and coach Alain Vigneault.
Q. Manny, can you end the suspense and tell us if you’re playing tonight?
MANNY MALHOTRA: It’s gone from day to day to game-time decision right now. I’m honestly not trying to send you guys on a wild goose chase. That’s just the nature of the situation right now.
Q. At this point in the day, do you feel healthy enough to play?
MANNY MALHOTRA: I feel really good, yeah. I felt good yesterday skating. Felt good this morning. So, again, hopefully I’ll continue throughout the day.
Q. Manny, what were you looking for from your game to give you an indication that you’re ready?
MANNY MALHOTRA: It’s tough to say. Obviously being good in the circle is going to be a big part of what I do. It’s always tough to say how your legs are going to be responding in a game. I felt good the last few days of skating as far as my wind goes.
I think early on, things we’re going to talk about if I go, is just simplicity, getting my feet moving, getting pucks in, making smart decisions with the pucks, keeping things real basic for right now.
Q. If you do play, what do you expect to feel in terms of the emotions, whether it’s first games in different situations, how will this compare to other firsts in your career?
MANNY MALHOTRA: It’s obviously an incredible position to be in. I think everybody that’s on the ice tonight has dreamed about this at some point or another in their career, growing up.
I realize the significance of the moment. At the same time, once the puck’s dropped, I’m going to have to just, again, bring it back to basics. Just another game, got to do the things I’ve done my whole career.
Q. If you do play at some point there’s going to be a shot of Manny Malhotra on the big screen and the crowd is going to be pretty emotional. How do you react?
MANNY MALHOTRA: For me, it would obviously be a very touching moment, I guess. I realize how privileged I am to play in a market like Vancouver. We have incredible fans here. They’ve shown me nothing but support this entire year and through this entire last couple months.
So it’s a privilege to play in front of them. I thank them for all the support that they’ve given me thus far.
HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, it’s going to be real emotional if it happens, if he’s good to go. Manny has been around the team throughout this injury, the last couple weeks. He’s been a huge part of our success this year.
So for us, it’s going to be a big boost if he comes back. Really happy for him.
Q. Henrik, can you talk about what that has meant to the team, having Manny never really leave?
HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, it was a given for us. I mean, from day one with the input he’s given to us, the help with the leadership group in the room, on the ice, off the ice. He’s been tremendous all year.
He’s a big part, like I said, of our success this year. It wasn’t a tough decision for us. A lot of time injury guys try to stay away a little bit more. But we want him around. We thought it was going to be a big help for our team.
Q. Manny, does that make this transition back to playing easier, the fact that you never really left?
MANNY MALHOTRA: I think so. In terms of game-day routine, knowing what to expect going into meetings, just being around the guys, it’s not going to be a big shock for me. Like you said, I’ve been in the meetings, I’ve been at the rink at the normal time.
As far as routines, it will be a pretty easy transition.
Q. Henrik, Coach Vigneault said it took him about three years to tell you and your brother apart. Through your lives, how often has that happened and have you had fun with that, like pulled the wool over people’s eyes in the past?
HENRIK SEDIN: Are we still talking about this (laughter)?
No, I mean, since we were young, it’s been the same deal with teachers or friends or coaches. I mean, we don’t try to look different from each other. I mean, we don’t really think about it. I think guys that knows us, I think Manny and Alex can talk about this, it’s not tough to tell us apart.
I think coaches, they don’t spend enough time around us in the dressing room. It’s not as easy for them. I think guys that are close to us, it’s not a problem.
Q. Henrik, do you know if Manny is going to play?
HENRIK SEDIN: Got no clue. Still guessing here (laughter). We’ll see.
Q. Alex, if Dan doesn’t play and Andrew or Keith does, just the trickle-down effect on the defensive core?
ALEXANDER EDLER: I mean, I think we have a lot of depth on the D. We’ve been battling through injuries all year. So I think whoever is playing tonight, we know it’s going to be six good players out there, and we’ll be fine.
Q. Manny, could you give us an indication, how well can you see out of that eye?
MANNY MALHOTRA: Well enough. Like I said, I’ve been cleared to play. I feel confident on the ice. That’s all that matters at this point.
Q. Alex, nine points so far in the playoffs. I think you’re second on the D after Ehrhoff together with Bieksa. How happy are you with that?
ALEXANDER EDLER: I want to be involved defensively. It’s nice to get points. But as long as I can contribute to scoring chances, to help the team creating things, I think that’s part of my game that I want to do.
Q. Manny, will you be taking the warmup tonight? Can you tell us that?
MANNY MALHOTRA: I believe so, yeah, as of right now.
Q. Question about staying disciplined in Game 2, after an emotional Game 1.
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: I think going into our first game, it’s pretty tough to keep your emotions in check. Obviously for most players it was the first game on that stage. So you probably saw that a little bit on all the penalties that were taken.
Now that we got the first game out of the way, I think everybody is going to be a little more comfortable in Game 2.
Q. Christian, how does it affect the D if Dan is not able to play? Does it mean that even though you’ll have six defensemen, the five guys will have to do a lot in a way they did when Dan went out of the game in Game 1?
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: No, I don’t think so. Our team was built on a strong and deep defense. We’ve used it all year long with different guys being out at different times.
Yeah, everybody can play with everybody, so it’s not a big adjustment we have to make. Obviously whoever comes in has to step up and play some big minutes. That’s what we’ve done all year.
Q. Daniel, now that you’ve had one game of exposure to Chara under your belt, what were your impressions?
DANIEL SEDIN: Yeah, I mean, I said all along he’s one of the top defensemen in this league. Like you said, he’s got a long stick. You got to get close to him and try to use that to your advantage, move the puck quick and move your feet. That’s the only way you can beat him.
I thought we had some good chances last game that weren’t able to beat Tim Thomas. I think that’s going to be the key tonight to score some goals.
Q. Coach, will Manny play tonight?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Game-time decision.
Q. What about Dan?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Game-time decision.
Q. I asked Claude this last series, too, the issue with Patrice Bergeron, would he play or not. Do you think there’s competitive advantage not to share that information?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I believe at the end of the day at this time of the year when there’s a lot at stake, you don’t want the opposition to know if a certain player has this or that, so they don’t try to exploit something. It’s as simple as that.
I mean, during the season we share everything, as open as we can, but we don’t play the same team usually two nights in a row. So that’s probably why most teams do it this way.
Q. When you first came here, was there ever an instance where you got the twins mixed up or did you know right off the hop which was which?
COACH VIGNEAULT: It took me three years to tell them apart. I’m not proud of that. The fourth year, when Danny got hurt, was out of basically my sight for about six weeks, I finally figured out what Hank looked like on a regular basis. Then when I saw Danny again, I was really embarrassed that I couldn’t tell them apart because they don’t look alike at all. They got two different personalities. I’m not proud to say it took me three years to figure it out.
Q. You said ‘personalities.’ What are the differences?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Danny’s a little bit more quiet, listens to his brother. Whereas Henrik is obviously a lot more outspoken, usually speaks for the both of them, so…
Q. Not to belabor the point, the injury thing, some of us get a chance to cover the National Football League, most successful sports league in North America. They have protocol. By Thursday they tell who is playing, not playing. Do you see a day when this league would follow down that road and would it be a good thing for you if they did?
COACH VIGNEAULT: At this time right now, I believe in protecting my players. For me, this is the best way to protect them. I can’t really comment on what the NFL is doing. But for now this is what everybody is doing in our league.
Q. Should Manny be able to play, is he capable of doing everything that he was doing before he got hurt?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I think if he is able to play, we understand that he’s been out for quite some time now. We’ll ease him in.
But his strong points are he’s good on faceoffs, he’s smart in our zone. So probably in those situations there we would use him. I’m definitely not going to use him with his linemates that he had before. That line is playing real well, Torres, Lapierre and Hansen. I have no intention of breaking that up.
Q. Can you address the discipline factor. Both teams maybe got more penalties than they would have liked. That might be part of the reason regarding Game 1 of a Cup Final, everyone is more amped up.
COACH VIGNEAULT: I know some of the penalties we took in the offensive zone 200 feet from our net, we’d like to stay away from that. I thought a couple of unfortunate calls, like Danny’s four minutes where his stick ends up in Chara’s face there, that’s a long way for a stick to go, but it ended up up there.
We’re obviously going to try to be better in that area tonight. Hopefully our power-play will be more effective, too.
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About Canucks and Beyond
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]