Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/07/09 at 12:20 AM ET
Q. Seemed like you guys got out of the gate really fast. The first two or three minutes, looked as though you were off and running, what happened after that?
COACH BYLSMA: Well, I think we did start off well. I think we didn’t shoot the puck well enough or often enough when we had those chances. We were looking for the extra pass, when we had opportunities to get pucks on them early. Didn’t quite connect, and didn’t quite create the opportunities because we were looking to pass.
But, again, we came out skating well, and getting in the offensive zone and creating some scoring chances. You know, the game, they got that first goal, and then they got the goal on the power play right after the quick change. Quick up, and got that goal after the kill. That would have gotten us momentum, and they got that goal. I thought that was a big goal.
Q. Looking back, the timing of the first penalty kill that they had after you were really doing well on the power play, what kind of factor do you think that was on the game?
COACH BYLSMA: Again, home building, they get the kill. If we score a goal, it’s a different momentum in the game. But there’s a lot of hockey to play at that point. I wouldn’t say that was the particular turning point in the game. But they did gain momentum from it. They were aggressive and got pucks down the ice, and forced us to go back several times, which is what you do on a good penalty kill. And they certainly gained momentum from the kill, and the crowd at that point.
Q. Of all the things you can be disappointed about regarding this second period, where do you put your team’s kind of emotional meltdown, if you will?
COACH BYLSMA: You’re going to have emotions in a situation where you’re not getting a result. The other team fills the net on you. I think our guys were frustrated and then trying to play physical and started, you know, to get off the page by trying to run around and be physical. It’s a show of emotion.
We certainly tried to regroup and get back to staying on the same page. But emotions come to the surface in hockey, and they force us into a situation where we were frustrated and they had a big lead with the crowd going at home.
We tried to refocus for sure, but I wasn’t surprised how we reacted and tried to play physical. And that’s not the first time that’s happened in hockey.
Q. Just to follow up on that, it was 3-0, there were 3 minutes left, there was time to get back in it. But then it all started happening. On the bench is there anything you can do to pull the guys back in. I think Malkin started with an elbow, and it went sort of from there?
COACH BYLSMA: Well, Geno went to finish his check, and he certainly, I think, ended up riding up his shoulder and the ref made the call that that was an elbow or a rough, I think he gave him.
He was trying to finish his check and be physical on the guy on the forecheck and certainly took the penalty. Got us down to 4?0. So I don’t think at that point we were going after a physical aspect of the game or trying to get off the game plan. But that particular penalty did lead to the fourth goal, and at that point it’s 4-0. They’re charged up and feeling good about themselves.
Q. Home ice has been such a crucial advantage in this series, can you even speculate what the home crowd in Pittsburgh might lead to a win in Game 6?
COACH BYLSMA: Well, just the penalty kill of today is an example of the energy that you can get from your crowd. They get that penalty kill early on, and that builds into momentum for them. And that’s what the home crowd does for you. You’re comfortable there. You feed off the energy of the building, and we’re certainly going to have that in Game 6.
You know, we have two days here to regroup and refocus, and we will. They got the third game here tonight. They’re one ahead of us, and we’ve got to go home and use that energy of that home crowd to our advantage, and use Game 6 to draw even again.
Q. Can you talk about facing Datsyuk back in the lineup, and what he really added? Another dimension to the first line to the Wings?
COACH BYLSMA: Yeah, I thought that was - that line got to the offensive zone more. They had it in the first four games, that was certainly there for him. Controls the puck well, and, like the good players, the great players do in the game, they can move it to their line mates. They support the puck, and then they can make those plays.
He certainly did that, and they were a bigger presence in the offensive zone as a result.
Q. I’m sure the Red Wings will wonder about Max Talbot’s slash on Pavel Datsyuk’s foot. Your thoughts on any suggestion that might have been targeting a player’s injured area or sensitive area?
COACH BYLSMA: I haven’t seen the penalty. I thought I saw the referee wave the no call, and then put his arm up. That was the only thing I know about that situation.
You know, Max is a physical player and it’s not the only check he finished tonight and went to the net several times. So I don’t have any comment. I don’t even know what foot it is for Pavel. Thank you.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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