Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/30/08 at 03:40 PM ET
Q. There’s been a lot of attention in terms of the Red Wings, maybe their top 5-man unit, particularly with the defense, people focus on Lidstrom. But can you talk about what Brian Rafalski means. He played with a tremendous Hall-of-Famer in New Jersey, and just kind of gets the short shift of attention in Detroit.
SIDNEY CROSBY: He’s a good puck moving defenseman. He skates well. He’s not the biggest guy, but I think he’s smart and plays his position well. So I think he probably makes up with his size with how well he plays his position, and probably helps anybody he plays with to be that much more solid.
Q. This is a time to kind of celebrate the game, but there’s some sad news yesterday with Luc Bourdon. I know you new him a little from Atlantic Canada Midget Hockey, can you talk about how you’re getting set to play the biggest game of your career and there’s some sad news like that?
SIDNEY CROSBY: It’s tough. The hockey world is a small community. And I think a lot of guys probably crossed paths with him at some point. Personally, I was drafted with him in Junior and the NHL draft, I saw him there.
It’s sad to see someone that young have something happen like that. It certainly makes you realize how valuable life is and how lucky we are. But it’s an unfortunate incident for sure.
Q. Something less important, I guess. I want to ask about Marc-Andre Fleury and just about how good he’s been for this team, especially in this building.
SIDNEY CROSBY: He’s been solid all year long, all playoff long. I think he’s really stepped his game up in the playoffs. Like every goalie needs to do if they want to help their team win. But he’s been consistent and sturdy for us back here.
As for here, he’s been confident as well. So it starts with your goaltending, and he’s been there for us every night.
Q. We don’t know for sure yet, but there’s a chance that Holmstrom may or may not be available for the next game. Can you talk about his presence in their lineup, and particularly in front of the net, and the difference with him not being there as opposed to being there?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Well, yeah, he’s a guy who is always there. That’s where he scores all his goals. He creates a lot of havoc there.
But they have a lot of guys who can fill in that position as well. You look at Franzen. And Cleary plays there as well. So it’s not like it’s a vacant spot if he’s not there.
So I don’t think we’re really thinking about that a whole lot. But obviously, I’m sure that’s where they’d probably miss him the most is in front of the net. But they definitely have guys who are more than capable to filling that job for sure.
Q. What did Game 3’s win do for you guys? Had you lost any confidence? Did it bring any back? Did it add more swagger to the room?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t think so. It was just rewarding for us, knowing that we played more of the right way that we needed to play and got some results from it, because definitely in Game 1 we didn’t play the right way. We didn’t deserve to win.
And Game 2, we started to come around a bit, and finally in Game 3 we’re more where we needed to be. But we still have some room to improve, there’s no doubt. We need to keep getting better. We know that they’re a team with a lot of pride and a lot of experience, and they’re not going to accept losing either. So it’s going to be a tough win here tomorrow.
Q. Can you talk about the benefits of a day away from the rink altogether?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, it’s good to clear your mind. More so for your body, more than anything, just to get some rest. And you’re playing every second day. So to get a day off and just basically for your body, just get some time to relax a bit with the grind of the playoffs is always good.
Q. Your coaches said you’ve improved in every game this series. Does that extra day off, despite getting that extra day of rest, do you actually want to get out there tonight playing, saying we can play better tonight, we can have the best game this series tonight on our normal rest?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think we’ll have that opportunity anyway, no matter a day off or not. Having that day off should give us a little bit more jump and a little bit more energy, especially being at home, that’s always nice to have.
So I think for us having that day off is good. We’ll rest and take it and make sure that tomorrow we’re ready.
Q. Not to pry, but so what did you do with your day off, big day and night off?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Nothing exciting, trust me. I laid around. When you get a chance to relax, you gotta take it. And for me, I just spent a lot of time in bed.
Q. How much can you guys rally around the comeback theme, the fact that you dropped down 0-2, you have to win to get even, you have to continue to win to pull ahead. Is there a slight advantage considering if you went up 2-0, 1-0 in the series, you’ll be more comfortable at some point?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t think about that. It’s more about protecting home ice and making sure you take care of things here in your own rink. And we’ve been playing well here. And we just need to make sure that our focus is on being strong here. Up to this point, we’ve played well and we want to make sure we maintain that.
So I don’t think that’s really something we’re thinking about. We’re just making sure we’re strong here.
Q. Are you concerned with the power play, and how critical is it to get it back on track?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I’m not concerned at all. We’ve had some good chances. The puck hasn’t gone in. We’re doing the right things and the work ethic is there. I know it’s not easy not to score, but when you’re doing the right things and it’s not going in, sometimes it happens.
So I am a big believer if you keep doing the right things, eventually it will turn around. So we were able to win last game. And hopefully next game that could be the difference.
Q. Kris, I know you’re good friends with Luc. Can you talk about how you found out, and how difficult this is for you?
KRIS LETANG: I was going out of my apartment and someone called me, my agent. And just told me, like, what happened to Luc. It was so tough to handle it, because Luc was one of my great friends. Someone I can like always talk about my tough times and someone that always liked to have fun.
Q. When was the last time you talked to him?
KRIS LETANG: Three days ago. We were talking about his motorcycle, and I never thought it would happen. I can’t still believe it, because when you lose someone close like that, you can’t do much. And it’s so tough to me. Like right now, he was my best friend.
Q. Tough to focus even on hockey?
KRIS LETANG: Yeah, I don’t know why, but this morning I had no, like, energy. Even if I wanted to skate, I couldn’t approach - it’s like I lost so much energy when it happened yesterday.
Q. I’m sorry about your loss, but what’s your fondest memory of Luc?
KRIS LETANG: Me and Luc went through two seasons in Val D’Or. We had so much fun. Like after we played the World Juniors together and we won two gold medals together. We were playing together. We were roommates together. We share, like, everything together.
We were supposed to go on vacation this summer, and he was coming to Montreal all summer long to train. And he was a guy really funny. Like only close people could know really well Luc. He was a guy who always, like, stick up for you and always there for you.
Q. Can I ask you how you found out yesterday?
KRIS LETANG: My agent called me on my phone, and he just told me, like, what happened.
Q. You say you just talked to him a couple days ago about the motorcycle. Had he just gotten it, and was he excited about it?
KRIS LETANG: He got it three days ago. He was pretty excited. He’s a guy who had fun with, like, sports stuff. Like Seadoo and sport cars and whatever.
We talked about it. We know it was dangerous, but he had fun with it. I know he didn’t do, like, speed with it. He just had, like, a bad move or something. Those things, you have, like, no second chance.
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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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