Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/07/11 at 01:32 AM ET
Q&A with Tim Thomas and Mark Recchi. Video (and transcript below):
TIM THOMAS: Don’t call us ‘old man,’ because we’ll both answer (laughter).
Q. What part of your anatomy are we supposed to kiss tonight?
MARK RECCHI: It is what it is. Like I said before, I care about what my teammates and coaching staff are thinking. People that have any question marks about it don’t know what it takes to win so…
Q. What got you guys really getting into it?
MARK RECCHI: The first period was okay. Timmy made some huge saves for us. It was a good period for both sides. Our power-play got going in the second period and it was a difference for us.
We were able to make it 4-0, which I think at that point was important for us. The floodgates opened up a little bit in the third period. Sometimes that happens in a game like this.
They’re a competitive team. We’ll enjoy this tonight, but we’ll forget about it. I mean, it’s no different than losing in overtime or anything. It’s a win and that’s the bottom line, and we got to get ready for Wednesday.
Q. Tim, do you feel somewhat vindicated tonight with your performance in light of how some people were questioning your style outside the crease?
TIM THOMAS: No, because I was happy, you know, with at least the base of how I was playing in the first two games. I mean, I had a 1.5 goals-against in regulation in the first two games, so…
I think I’d rather listen to my goalie coach, Bob Essensa, than anything else.
That wasn’t the case. That’s it.
Q. The check you threw on Henrik Sedin in the third period, was that purely the competitor in you?
TIM THOMAS: He was catching the puck. That happens a lot in practice off of rebounds and stuff like that, where the guy reaches up to catch the puck. I’ve learned from practice if you wait for him, he can put it down this way or he can put it down this way. I get scored on in practice if I sit back and try to react to where he sits the puck down with his hand.
I had 1/100th of a second to make a decision of what I was going to do. That’s the way I decided to play it to try to keep the puck out of the net.
Q. Tim, can you talk about what it felt like to get all the goal support for a change tonight?
TIM THOMAS: That was great. We started scoring and the floodgates opened and we just kept going and trying to score more. I think, you know, the right approach. It was nice to see Recchi get a couple of goals, Danny Paille get a couple of goals, Chris Kelly get a goal. Like it was good to see the scoring spread around.
It reminded me of the Montréal series where everybody was putting in goals here. That’s what we’re going to need the rest of the way out for us to win the Stanley Cup, we’re going to need contributions from everyone.
Q. Do you play any different in a situation like that where there is a lot of scoring, a lot of goals?
TIM THOMAS: Actually, the big challenge in situations like that is not to play any different. It’s just to try to play the exact same way that you’d been playing.
Q. Mark, you were at your best during the regular season when you played the emotional type of games. You did that again tonight. Is this the type of game you are looking for the rest of the way?
MARK RECCHI: Yeah, we have to play that way. Obviously, when it’s 4-0, 5-0, we got a little carried away. But we play our best hockey when he play on the edge, we play that way, we play physical, we’re passionate about it, we’re involved.
We played this like a Game 7. That’s how we’re going to have to play the rest of the Stanley Cup finals if we’re going to be successful. The guys were ready and the guys were prepared.
I knew we would respond. We have all years to situations like this. We all believe in each other. Whether we won or not, we knew that we were going to give everything we had and we were going to play the best game out of the three so far, and we did tonight.
Now we’ll enjoy it but forget about it tomorrow and regroup and get ready for Game 4.
Q. Mark, how much of that did Shawn Thornton bring to the lineup?
MARK RECCHI: I thought he was awesome tonight. He has a physical, veteran presence. He’s won a Cup before. He knows what it takes. He’s a great leader in the dressing room. He’s a big guy that can skate well. He gets in on the forecheck. He’s a presence, and that’s important. When you have a big, physical team on the other side like that, you know you got to match that.
Thorty came in and played a heck of a game for us. It was nice to see. Obviously you suspect Seguin in with Horty out, and Seguin has his feet wet, now he can come out, he can come back in and step back in and be a force for us, as well.
Q. Mark, what was your reaction when you saw Horton hit the way he was? Was the second period explosion any way a rallying around a fallen teammate?
MARK RECCHI: We talked about obviously playing for Horty. He’s been a great teammate all year for us, been a great guy. It’s tough to see your teammate laying down there on the ice. We knew it was a late hit. But we’re more concerned about his health at this time. The League can take care of the rest.
The refs did a good job. Like I said, the League will handle things the way they handle it. We can’t control that. We focus on what we have to do now. We just hope—we know he’s doing a lot better right now, he’s doing okay at the hospital, so…
Q. Mark, early in the game you gave Lapierre a taste of his own medicine.
MARK RECCHI: I got in trouble for that. Coach gave me heck for that (laughter).
We didn’t know this morning that he said something. You know, it’s emotional out there. But it won’t happen again. You know, it’s an emotional game. You get involved. Obviously when it happens to one of your teammates, they kind of mock you a little bit, when it happened in Game 1, it was a little bit—you know, it’s a little bit of frustration on our part.
It is what it is, and we’ll forget about it and get ready for the next game, so…
Q. Did Brad have to talk to you to calm you down tonight?
MARK RECCHI: No. Marshy played a heck of a game tonight. He played with a lot of emotion. It was great to see. I’m happy for him.
But, yeah, I’m the one to calm myself down, so it’s good.
Q. The series is now 2-1. Do you feel like you’re right back in it?
TIM THOMAS: We’re more back in it than we were before the game tonight (smiling). I didn’t even mean that to be funny.
No. I mean, it’s baby steps. We needed to win this game to start turning some momentum, you know, to start to get us back in this series. We’re still down 2-1 in this series. I wouldn’t consider that right back in the series, but I wouldn’t consider us out of the series now either.
Next game is another important game. We need to approach it the same way that we did the game tonight, have the same effort from all 20 players. If we win next game, then I’d be comfortable saying we’re right back in it.
Q. Mark, you were saying there was some talk about the Rome hit in the dressing room. What was said and what did the coach say to you?
MARK RECCHI: Wasn’t really a lot of talk. Obviously we all knew it was late. There wasn’t a lot of talk. It was more of, Let’s make sure we do this for Horty. Horty has been a great teammate for us all year. Let’s get this win for him tonight.
He’s been tremendous for us. He’s such a great guy. It’s tough to see him down. That was more the talk.
We can’t control what happens. We know it was late, but we’re not in control of what the League does. That’s their job. We’ll handle it the same way we handled it after Game 1. They’ll do their thing. Whatever they do, we’ll just focus on what we have to do for Game 4.
Q. This is for the old man on the right. Cam Neely’s 46th birthday, 25th anniversary of the trade. This game had a Cam Neely feel to it. Tim, can you talk briefly about his influence on this organization and this team.
TIM THOMAS: I didn’t realize it was his birthday or that it was the 25th anniversary of the trade.
MARK RECCHI: We know it’s Lucic’s birthday tomorrow.
TIM THOMAS: You know, even though he’s not playing anymore, when he’s around the locker room, around the team, he has that intensity. He still wants to win. He still has that feeling.
That spreads. Every once in a while you see the TV clips of him up in the box, how excited he gets when we win. I think the first time I remember that was a game against Montréal maybe not this season but maybe the season before or two seasons before, I don’t know. But I’ve seen it. He still has that hockey player little kid in him when we win. So I think that rubs off on us.
Q. Mark, late in the first period Tim made two consecutive saves right in the crease. How much of a lift did it give you guys going into the dressing room?
MARK RECCHI: Yeah, I mean, that was a huge lift for us. It was two great saves. It was a good, hard-fought period, the first period. Enabled us to take a deep breath after that first period, get our emotions back and get ready for a big push in the second.
He’s done that all year for us. Gives us an opportunity every night, you know, to win games. It’s nice for us that he can breathe a little bit out there and get him some goals, which is nice.
I expect through the course of the series, they’re all going to be pretty tight games like they were Game 1 and Game 2.
Q. Mark, can you pinpoint what the difference may have been offensively or was it a matter of getting different bounces in this game?
MARK RECCHI: We got a couple more bounces, a couple more breaks than we did in Vancouver. We got to get pucks to the net. That’s important. We got to get people driving to the net, stopping when you go there.
When we get in trouble, we have tendencies to go to the net but kind of get away from it. nhlWhen we go to the net and stop, that’s when we have, you know, success and our team’s much better. We get our forecheck going better that way. It’s a combination. Everything seems to fall in place.
I don’t think we’ll expect eight goals. We have to know this will be another battle, Game 4. This is going to be an all-out war to win this. Guys will be fighting for space on both sides again.
Q. Have either of you seen any interference major prior to this season, because this is the second one in this building? The only two at least this season?
MARK RECCHI: No, I’ve never seen that before this year, no.
TIM THOMAS: No, me neither.
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