Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 05/20/11 at 03:11 AM ET
Sorry to get this up so late. Here’s the transcript of the Q&A from Thursday’s practice day with Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis
DAN HAMHUIS: It’s something we thought we could be better at. I think so far we’ve done a good job.
Q. What did you think of Kevin’s game last night?
DAN HAMHUIS: I thought it was awesome. He’s been playing really well for us all season. Stepped it up all playoffs. Last night, really seeing some results of the work he’s been putting in. But he’s been playing like that the whole time.
Q. It’s both of you. But you think you really emerged as a top pairing? How would you describe what you bring? Also, why do you think you do so well against a team like San Jose?
DAN HAMHUIS: Well, I think we both enjoy the role we’re in right now. We take a lot of pride in shutting down other team’s top lines and playing good defense.
We both have the ability to jump up offensively, as he’s been showing, getting shots through to the net. Kind of two-way players. I think that’s why it’s been working well for us.
Q. Take you by surprise that they were looking more for retribution than a comeback almost? It was 3-2 when they started to lose it. Game is available to them.
DAN HAMHUIS: I don’t know what they were thinking. We took advantage of the power-plays. We were happy with our focus.
Q. Were you surprised at all they didn’t take another look at Eager and there was no talk of suspension?
DAN HAMHUIS: I haven’t heard anything.
Q. Are you surprised?
DAN HAMHUIS: You know what, I actually didn’t see the hit. I don’t know where I was. I was getting a drink of water.
I’ve seen one replay but haven’t looked too closely at it.
Q. Was last night fun for you to be in the mix, all different kinds of ways?
KEVIN BIEKSA: Yeah. Winning was fun, too. That was a big part of it.
Yeah, it’s been a fun series so far. A little different series than the Nashville series for us. More our style of play. When you’re winning, it’s a lot of fun.
Q. Is there a reason why you’ve been involved more offensively?
KEVIN BIEKSA: A few of those opportunities that have been presenting themselves in the game. I don’t know why. Just sometimes you get those chances. Game?@1 there, Hank chips the puck in there. If it goes to their goalie, I peel off, go to the bench. It so happens he played it perfectly so Burr could get on it first. Maybe just had a few more of those chances.
Q. How much of a factor has discipline played in your team’s game all season?
KEVIN BIEKSA: A huge part. I think we’ve learned from our mistakes. Obviously, there’s no secrets of our last two playoffs have ended with undisciplined games. I think we figured out pretty early in the season if we’re going to be disciplined, let the other team take the penalties, stay away from the scrums, all that stuff, focus our energies on the right things, it’s going to benefit us. It’s been a good year.
Q. Is that hard to do when a team was doing what they were doing last night?
KEVIN BIEKSA: I think we’re at the point where it’s not as hard as it used to be. It used to be difficult to turn the other cheek. I think initially felt like we kind of had to fight back, push back. Now we’ve been doing it for so long, now it’s habit to turn the other cheek, take a punch in the head. I don’t think it’s as big of a deal for us anymore.
KEVIN BIEKSA: As did he. Two guys with high opinions of themselves. I don’t know about that one.
Q. Do you think you’ve come a long way in that department?
KEVIN BIEKSA: Just depends what you’re insinuating there (laughter).
Q. I’m asking you, because he was insinuating something.
KEVIN BIEKSA: Maybe we’ll go have a talk, come back with an answer.
Q. How are you a better player than you were then?
KEVIN BIEKSA: I just think I’ve gotten better every season. I’ve been that way my whole life. Tried to get bigger and stronger every year physically, and mentally try to make better decisions every year and learn the game.
I’ve play with a lot of good players over the years. I came up as a rookie with Mattias Ohlund and Jovanovski. Sami Salo was there. I’ve played with some good players since. So I kind of take a little bit from everybody, learn, try to get better.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ryan Kesler.
RYAN KESLER: Seems like every game someone is stepping up and producing. That’s a good sign.
Q. You went through a long drought in this building. This year that changed. Does that make you more confident going into this game?
RYAN KESLER: Definitely. We’ve won in this building. We’re confident we can win in this building. We’re going to focus on Game?@3 here and throw everything we have at them.
Q. Kevin talked about how you have learned to turn the other cheek. Teams getting undisciplined, you have stayed disciplined. How much has that played a part in this season?
RYAN KESLER: That’s huge. You know, I think in years past we were always the team being undisciplined. You can really see a change in the overall team. We don’t get rattled out there. We stay as even-keeled as possible. We always focus on the next game.
Q. Do you look at that as a factor of why you couldn’t get past the Blackhawks last year, that discipline play wasn’t there?
RYAN KESLER: Who knows. They had a pretty good team. You know, for whatever reason, we didn’t win.
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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.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]