Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/26/11 at 02:20 AM ET
Q. Guy, I know you like to talk about a team game and that everybody contributes, but in a game where Sean Bergenheim wasn’t there, you got such contributions from Marty, Vinny and Stamkos, I was just curious what kind of responsibility they put on themselves in this game and how they came through it.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: I was expecting a big game from those guys, but I disagreed that they didn’t have big games in the last games. Looking at the scoreboard, there’s more to the game than just scoring goals and having points. They had very good games before. It just wasn’t going in for some of them, and for some other guys it was going in.
So for me, they just get the result of their previous games’ hard work. So I don’t think it’s an on and off switch. It’s something that you build every game, and they got what they deserved.
Q. You said after last game, if only you could solve the enigma that is Tim Thomas. After tonight, would you say you’ve solved that or most of it?
COACH GUY BOUCHER: I guess we solved it for tonight. But every game is an opportunity for them and for us. And I’m sure he’s going to come up big. He said they were going to win for sure. So I’m sure he’s going to come up big in the next game. So we’re expecting that.
And we know he’s a very good goaltender. So today is today. But the next day is going to be another story that we have to figure him out.
Q. Claude Julien seemed pretty unhappy with the calls tonight. In reference to what you said today, just your reaction to that? He seemed to think maybe there was a connection.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: Well, first of all, I was asked that. I didn’t bring it up myself. So I was asked. And people put numbers in front of me. And those are the facts, the numbers. If you’re asking me, power plays are 5-4 for them tonight. And they were 3-0 for them the start of the game in the first period, and it was 4-1 for them before we got our other power play. So I don’t know who got the advantage today. We got less power plays than them.
Q. What was the difference on the power plays for you tonight?
COACH GUY BOUCHER: First of all, more poise. The last two games, one of our power plays had a lot of poise and the other one didn’t. And I think today both power plays had a lot more poise. And we got the results out of the poise that we had with the puck, managing it a lot better.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the development of Teddy Purcell. He says when he first got here that maybe he didn’t quite understand the intensity it took.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: No, he didn’t. He didn’t. But you know what, that’s the beauty of this game. And working, I think, with individuals, individuals figuring out with great leaders around him, I think he saw Vinny and Marty, just like Stammer figured it out also coming in, he’s a great hardworking guy, when you see those guys and what they go through and how hard they train and how much they pay the price on the ice every night, you know, you gotta learn. And I think Teddy’s certainly one of those guys that’s learned a lot this year.
He’s put a lot of effort into it. It’s not something that just happened. He’s worked really hard at it. He’s been through a lot. We sat him one time in the stands. After that, had a little tendency to understand faster.
But we always knew he had the skill and always believed that he was a really good player. And I think he didn’t know how good he was.
So I think when he figured that out, he started to control the puck a lot better. He started to figure out that he’s got a lot more speed than he thought. And then he’s six-foot something, and he can certainly manage himself on the ice against the big boys.
And certainly I’m part of a group of people that’s very proud of him right now.
Q. What’s your assessment of the way Roloson played tonight?
COACH GUY BOUCHER: We won. That’s all. That’s what we’re asking. We’re asking him for a chance to win, and that’s what we got.
Q. How much did you feel that you and Stammer and Vinny had to step up tonight?
MARTIN ST. LOUIS: Well, I feel we have to step up every night. Luckily we have a lot of depth in our lineup that we don’t have to do that every night. But I expect out of myself every night. I know Stammer does the same thing and Vinny does the same thing. The reality is it’s not going to happen every night. We’re playing against some good teams out there, some good players.
But you know, we have good depth. That’s why we are where we are today.
Q. Having said that, how much pressure or responsibility did you guys put on yourself for today? Because if Sean was not in the lineup, backs-to-the-wall kind of game, how important was it for contributions from you guys and Vinny?
STEVEN STAMKOS: I think we’ve done it all year. We’ve had key guys out of the lineup from the beginning of the year and we’ve had other guys step up. And it was tough not having Bergie with the way he’s played in the Playoffs.
We knew the importance of this game. And like Marty said, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves every night. It was nice to get rewarded. Special teams were great tonight. But once again, Teddy stepped up. He had a huge game.
We’ve had different guys each game step up. Like Marty said, that’s why we are where we are. Roli made the saves when he had to. I thought we played a real solid defensive game and limited their shots.
Q. Marty, diving for cover in the goal there. Just wondering what you saw when Steven was winding up.
MARTY ST. LOUIS: They made a good play because Gagne put it back in front. I actually was going to get a good look. It went back to the point, and the guy played me and kind of pushed me or tripped me. I fell down. And I knew I was going into the net, but because we had control of the puck, I made sure that I went all the way in the net so I wouldn’t interfere with Thomas if the puck was going to come back against the grain and he had to push out that way. I didn’t want to interfere. I was just going to take cover and hope for the best.
Q. Steven, your goal tonight was one that was kind of a classic Steven Stamkos goal. Did you feel you found that zone again?
STEVEN STAMKOS: It’s tough. They’ve got a good P.K. I thought the last couple games we struggled on the power play. And that’s where we usually excel and we beat teams.
So today we made a few adjustments but it was just about getting pucks to the net. Marty obviously made a great play not to interfere with Thomas, but Brew made a great play. He got the puck, he came and he faked it. We made eye contact. And just tried to get the shot off as hard as I could and luckily it went in.
Q. How do you feel about Game 7, the prospects for it and how you guys will react?
MARTIN ST. LOUIS: We knew it was going to be a long series. This is a good team. Comes down to one game. Luckily and fortunately, all our team has been through a Game 7. Some of us have played more but we’ve had that experience. So we know what to expect.
The fourth win is always the toughest one to get and we know both teams will battle hard to get it.
Q. Marty, all your coaches have said that you relish the big games. Why do you think that is?
MARTY ST. LOUIS: I think that’s what you play for. Whether it’s as a kid in the driveway and pretending to be a Game 7. Those are the games you watch as a kid. Those are the games that gets your fire going and those are the ones you want to play in. The do-or-die games. Our backs against the wall.
You want to leave it out there, and I was fortunate to get a couple of good bounces today. And guys made good plays.
But I felt like in those games, I said I like to give myself a chance to help my team.
Q. Steven, they cut it to a one-goal game twice in the third period. Is it human nature, when you have the two-goal lead, to get a tad bit comfortable and then all of a sudden the work isn’t over?
STEVEN STAMKOS: Two-goal leads, three-goal leads, they’re tough. As much as you want to keep pressuring, like you said it’s human nature. Psychologically you don’t want to give up anything and maybe you tend to stay back a little bit. We keep telling our guys to keep pressuring them.
But we played in so many tight games all year that we know how to react. We stayed collected on the bench. We realized what we had to do. Guys were dedicated and getting the pucks deep and blocking shots, and Roli It’s nice to have a two-goal cushion. Thank God Marty potted that one or else it was a different game. It was our ability to stay calm on the bench and react to the situation we’re in. And we’ve done it all year and we have to do it one more time.
Q. Was there any adjustments on the power play? Do anything differently or why did it work so well?
MARTIN ST. LOUIS: To be honest, our last couple games, we just haven’t been there. Not many scoring chances. Sometimes it’s not about scoring but it’s about gaining momentum.
Our second unit has done that the last few games. They played really well in the power play. It’s kept us in some games momentum-wise. And tonight, last couple of games, I feel we squeezed our sticks a little bit. Not enough poise.
I think tonight we just let go. We said just let’s go play. Nothing to lose here. Our backs are against the wall. Let’s go play. And we got rewarded by putting the puck on net.
Q. Steven, can you talk a little bit about Marty’s role that we might not see on the ice?
STEVEN STAMKOS: He’s the heart and soul of our team. He and Vinny are our leaders. You see how hard Marty works during the game. You guys get to see that but you don’t see what happens in the room. He’s the first guy to step up and get the guys going. He’s obviously been through every type of experience and every single type of championship you could win, he’s been there. He’s won individual awards. He’s won the Stanley Cup and he’s always been a big part.
He knows what to do and how to react in those situations. And he stepped up before the game and said a few words, and just the respect he has from every single guy on the team. Coming from him, we take that to heart. And like I said he leads by example on the ice with his work ethic and everyone follows that.
But the way his leadership qualities are, especially in the Playoffs, he’s been our go-to guy, and he was again tonight, and can’t wait to see what happens in Game 7.
Q. What did he say?
STEVEN STAMKOS: A couple words of wisdom. He knows what to say and how to say it. Got the guys fired up. He’s been through those types of experiences before. So anything he says we’re going to use to our advantage.
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