Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/05/09 at 05:12 PM ET
Q. What about offense for like some of the guys, maybe a little bit yourself. I know Game 4 has been good for you. Tomas is struggling. How do you try to get your offense going so you don’t have to worry as much about their offense?
MARIAN HOSSA: We have to step up, and you know, get it going offensively. Help this team score some goals and put them ?? instead of coming back, the last two games. So, you know, we have to be better offensively, and we have to step up.
Q. What did you think happened in that six-minute stretch when they got the three goals?
MARIAN HOSSA: That was momentum changing. You know, they scored the shorthand goal, and that kind of gave them momentum, especially in their building. And they also got the jump. And after they got another one from our mistakes.
But, you know, we are back to basically a 0-0 situation, and now, you know, it’s the best of three, and we have to make sure we play strong games at home.
Q. Do you feel pressure to score?
MARIAN HOSSA: I mean, there is always pressure. But, you know you can’t be too worried about it and start thinking and questioning. You just have to, you know, play and use your instinct. I think that’s the most important. Just go, don’t stop and think. Just use your instincts like you did the whole year, and keep things simple in this case.
Q. How important is it for Pav to go, and do you think he’ll be able to play tomorrow?
MARIAN HOSSA: There’s always this talk when one of the best players cannot play. And it’s basically, you know, it would be a huge boost and help for the team if Pav can play. But, you know, he couldn’t go, and we’re still hoping for the next game.
Q. A lot of people thought this might be a series where everybody was winning at home when it comes down to Game 7. Did you see that happening? Do you see that being that close?
MARIAN HOSSA: Yeah, definitely. We played well in the first two games. They played strong games at home, and, you know, we easily could go, you know, to Game 7. We have to be well prepared for it, and I’m sure we are. We have to be better and play more patient and smarter game than we did.
Q. How important is it to get that last line change?
MARIAN HOSSA: That’s the one thing, you know. It is important, but there are some other factors there that are really important, too, in a game.
Q. Why do you think your point totals this playoff year are different from last year? Is it missing Pavel? Or is it things you wish you were doing better?
MARIAN HOSSA: I mean, sometimes, you know, things are going your way. You’re all of a sudden getting on the board and things are rolling for you, right. And sometimes you know when things aren’t going your way, you just maybe start thinking too much and not using your instinct instead of just keep the things simple, going to the net. And sometimes it’s at the right time at the right spot, so a little bit of everything. Don’t think about it, just, you know, we’ve got two or three games left in the season, so, you know, we just have to step up and go for it.
Q. Pretty unusual for both the power play and penalty kill to be struggling at the same time to the extent they’re struggling. Why do you think that is?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: Especially last night. I thought in Game 3 we were one and two on the power play. But last night they got that goal shorthanded we weren’t alert enough. So that’s something that you have to pay more attention to details. I think we’re slipping away from all the details, that we have to do a lot better.
Q. Seems like puck possession has been the bread and butter for your guys. Pretty uncharacteristic overall in terms of your puck management?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: Yeah, sometimes we’re forcing it when we’re not there. Whether it’s in the neutral zone or in their end on the power play. It’s something we have to keep poised a little bit more. Hanging on to the puck a little bit more to find players open, and we have to get some motion as well.
Q. When you look at Malkin and Crosby, you guys have your own great offensive players. But you’ve been around a long time. Not so much whether they stack up, but how do you feel about the difficult task of trying to control not only one but two?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: You know, they’re both great players. And sometimes they play together, and other times they’re held on two different lines. So you have to be aware when they’re out there all the time you can’t have turnovers against them in the neutral zone because they’re a quick transition team. And with those two players they’re going full blast the other way. So you have to cut down on those turnovers in the neutral zone against them.
Q. How about coming home? You had a real good start at home, looked comfortable. Maybe trying to redo games one and two here?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: Yeah, so far this series has been really even. We took care of business here on home ice, and they did that in their rink. So coming back here again, you have to win two out of three, and that’s the way we’re looking at it, too. We’re playing with a lot of confidence coming into our building, and that has come to out tomorrow night.
Q. Had you turned the tide, confidence-wise, pace?wise, or do you just want to play?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: You have to continue to play with patience. You can’t get impatient and pinch at the wrong time or step up at the wrong time, you have to play with that patience, and the opportunities. When you have the puck, you can’t throw it away or give it away. You have to make smart plays with it.
Q. When you lost Game 3, you made a decision to skate instead. Did you misjudge the potential fatigue involved? Did you feel that in hindsight, would it have been good to take the rest instead?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: You can always look back and do things differently when it didn’t work out. But we’ve been doing things like that earlier in the playoffs and it’s been working out well. Some guys don’t want to skate on game days. They want to do their own thing in the morning and get ready for the game. I don’t think it mattered that much.
Q. Were you tired? Was the rest important after this last one?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: I think the whole team was tired after that game. You should be after a hard game like that. But today we had a good optional skate. I know everybody’s getting ready for tomorrow night’s game.
Q. Nobody said this was going to be easy. This is shaping up to be a great series for the NHL. Can you just talk about how good this series is with the potential Game 7 almost looming?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: Yeah, I think you see two teams that really matched up great together. They’re very similar in the way we play and the way Pittsburgh plays. And, you know, sometimes you almost take each other out. Not much is going on out there. So that’s where you have to keep with that patience, play with patience, and wait for the opportunities.
You can’t start gambling against a good team like that because they’re going to capitalize on the chances this he get.
Q. Henrik, how are you feeling today? Has the fatigue factor set in at all after a long playoffs?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: I don’t think it has. You know, I feel good today. It’s nice to have an off day. Do some treatments and be ready to go tomorrow.
Q. When you’re looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins right now that might have a little momentum going for them. What are you going to do to take that away in your building tomorrow night?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Oh, I think we’ll look back through the series, we did our job at home. They did theirs in their building. Now we’re coming back here. We have a three?game series. We have two games at home. And we’re starting off tomorrow. So we’ve just got to play a good home game and go from there.
Q. How important is that last line change?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: We have to make sure we control the game more. We can’t control the match?up, and we can have the way we want.
Q. How important is this series compared to last?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: It’s tough to compare series to series. Anaheim series was a tough one. Went to seven games. You know, even the Chicago series was pretty tough, you know. It’s only been four games so far. You know, I think it’s been a good series.
Q. Can you put your finger on what the power kill or the penalty kill and the power play? You guys have shown it in the playoffs?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Yeah, I think the PK, as I’ve been saying before, we’re doing a lot of good things. But, unfortunately, when we need to get the puck out and need to win the key face?off, we haven’t been able to do that. And we need to play with a little more desperation and little more grit.
Q. A lot of people are saying the general theory is that the Wings are a tired team because you’ve played so much hockey over the last three seasons. Do you buy that?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: No, not really. I don’t think we played that much more than the team we played against. You know, this is our job. This is what we prepare for. This is why we’re working all summer to be able to go deep in the playoffs, and we’re prepared for this.
Q. You’ve played against a lot of great players in your NHL career. What makes Sidney Crosby a little different, if anything, from others?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Well, you know, he’s up there, you know, on that list. And you know he’s working hard. He’s a great skater. He never gives up. And, you know, that’s most of the time when you play against good players that’s the key factor. They never gave up, they always battled back.
Q. In your mind, what is the key to regain the momentum and setting the pace you want to play in this game?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Well, just come out and have a good start. Take momentum right away, you know. It’s going to be a great atmosphere here in our building, and it’s going to be exciting to take the series back here and play in front of our own fans. We start off with a good start, and play for 60 minutes.
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