Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/21/11 at 09:46 PM ET
Q. What happened really in that period? You guys fell in that big hole. There were some turnovers and stuff, talk about what happened there.
RYAN MALONE: We gave them their opportunity there and they capitalized on it. We all kind of talked about that. Obviously eliminate their mistakes and stick with the plan. And all year we’ve been pretty resilient and having kept up with some big goals, and the guys stayed even-keeled, which was very important.
Q. Teddy, take us through your two goals.
TEDDY PURCELL: I was coming off the change on the first one. And Gags and Bugsy did a real good job causing pressure and taking them in. And Gags made a real nice play out to me just kind of faked the shot and just put it on net.
And second one was the same shift. We came down and were putting pressure on them. And we had guys at the net and I don’t think Thomas saw it. I put it on the net and luckily it went in. So it was a good chip for me and it’s one I’ll always remember, that’s for sure.
Q. Ryan, could you talk about the mindset now going in 2-2 rather than 3-1 obviously back to Boston?
RYAN MALONE: Obviously we didn’t want to dig ourselves too deep of a hole. It’s now the best of three, and we know nothing’s really been accomplished and they’re going to be ready and it’s going to be a battle here to the end.
We’re expecting seven games, and last game when their goalie says he has an easy game, that’s our job to make sure we get in there, take his eyes away, and make it hard on him. I thought tonight we did a lot better job of getting bodies in front of him and whacking away at those pucks around his feet.
Q. Teddy, Coach said you raised your game to another level in the Playoffs since the beginning of the first series. How do you feel your game has changed, and is it more of a confidence thing at this point?
TEDDY PURCELL: I think so. I think it’s a combination of a couple things. It’s confidence and just experience in Playoff hockey. The young guys who haven’t played before have asked guys like Bugsy and Vinny and Marty and Kubes and these guys who have been there before what it’s like, but until you actually experience it, you don’t really know.
The beginning of the Playoffs, Coach said we’ve got to learn quick and learn what it takes, and I think we’re doing a really good job of that. And everyone always knows that people need to step up in the Playoffs and it’s a lot of fun to contribute and we have a lot of guys doing that. I think that’s what’s making us successful right now.
Q. Ryan, we came in a little late. So Simone said it was a calm discussion after the first period. But when you go down 3-0, are you thinking in that intermission: Let’s make it 3-1? Is 3-3 even in your mind at that point?
RYAN MALONE: No, not at all. I think first we knew we had to kill off a penalty and then you can’t think you gotta score three goals and we know we’re not going to score three goals in one shift. So it’s one at a time. And we knew we had 40 minutes with lots of game left.
And like I said, we have a resilient bunch of guys here that we’re going to play to that final buzzer, and tonight we got a couple of bounces and that’s what we needed to know for us to maybe come in there and shut the door.
I think it’s great for him. He’s been working hard, and he’s a great guy and good things happen to good people.
Q. Guy, would you talk about your demeanor in that first period going into the second period down 3-0. You were calm, collected, just told the guys: Hey, listen, made mistakes, caused mistakes, calm down, play the game, simplify it. I mean, you look at that, would you say that that type of response from you was the catalyst of what happened here in the last two periods of this game?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, I don’t want to take any credit for the players doing well on the ice. They do it. Obviously, as part of the staff, I have talk and act a certain way. Everybody knows we’ve been extremely resilient this year, whether it starts from me or anybody on our staff and our leaders, they’re the ones that do it.
I just think that we came back so many times this year and everybody knows in the third period we just keep coming and keep coming and keep coming. And we came back by three goals in Florida. We came back by three goals before that, too, against other teams. And we knew we could do it.
And I just feel that last game we had no energy. It was clear we were flat. And whether it’s because the plane was delayed and we came home real late or because—for whatever reason, the one thing we didn’t want was to be flat in the first period.
And we came out flying. I thought we were doing really well. We just gave them—again, just like the previous game in the first period, we gave them three gifts, three turnovers.
And they’re a very good team. They capitalize on those. And it’s our job to make sure those are out of the way for the next game.
But if you know that you’ve got legs, and you’ve got ammunition, you just stick to it, because eventually it should pay.
But it’s a great comeback.
Q. Tim Thomas, after Game 3, said he felt a little too comfortable in that 31-save shutout. Was that an emphasis tonight to try and make sure he was in his face and in his crease all night?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, some of the players talked a lot about it. He did say that it was an easy game to play against us last game. And obviously a lot of the guys were very fired up for this game. Certainly, I did hear it in the locker room, for sure.
Q. I know it’s early, but at this point, can you say if you will go back to Roloson or do you consider Smith for starting next game?
COACH BOUCHER: We have our No. 1 goaltender. He’s taken us to this place right now. And that’s the reason why we’re here. And we have our—Smitty has been terrific. He’s had an average of over .940 since December 15th.
And the fact that Roli came in certainly helped him with pressure and poise and all that. And whenever he was asked to play since Roloson has been there, he’s been terrific. I mean, he’s just been terrific.
So whenever it’s time for him to help the team and try to change the momentum around, I don’t hesitate. It was the same in Boston. We put him in. He didn’t get scored against in the third period. We were trying to come back. He played well again.
So I don’t remember the last bad game he’s played. So obviously, when there’s an opportunity to help the team and try and turn things around, we’re not afraid to use him. He did a good job today.
Q. Sorry, to clarify, you said we have our starting goalie. Does that mean you’ll go back to Roloson or it’s undecided at this point?
COACH BOUCHER: We just finished this game now. We’re happy we just beat a terrific team and we’re just happy that we were a lot harder to play against today. And Smitty was part of it and Roloson is—it doesn’t change the status.
Q. Talk about Ryan Malone and his impact tonight. Looked like he had that big hit on Chara behind the net to get the things started tonight on that first goal.
COACH BOUCHER: I think it’s not just that. I think Ryan was—he was, I think, very eager to help the team. He’s a warrior. He pays the price in so many areas. Sometimes you notice, sometimes you don’t notice it.
We notice it every game and every shift he plays. He inspires this team. And I think tonight I gave him one of our two stars for sure because I felt that he was part of the guys that really inspired the rest of the group.
And he keeps on doing what he’s been doing. He’s one of those guys that you never know when he’s going to make a difference and it could be with a body check, could be with a goal, could be with heavy stick in front of their net.
He has just been terrific for us and continues to be, so we rely on him heavily.
Q. Is this another win in the series for you or is this the kind of win that you think it would—it would be the push to actually take the series, comeback like you did today.
COACH BOUCHER: No, I never changed my mind. Right now this day’s great. We’ll have a meal and savor, but tomorrow morning we wake up and the reality is that it’s 2-2 or 0-0 if you like it, and the illusion—the illusion is that we’re really great and we have something, but we’re not.
The reality is it’s 0-0 going into Boston, just like we were the first game played there. We went in the first game 0-0, and now we’re going there again 2-2. So there’s no difference in our approach.
Q. Could you give us an update on Steve Downie?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, he didn’t finish the game, obviously. And he’s going to be day to day starting today.
Q. Your two biggest offensive explosions of this series have come when you changed the style, stretched the ice, got the Bruins out of their cluster. Is there any temptation to try to start that way off the opening faceoff, or are you still…
COACH BOUCHER: If you follow the games period by period, in half periods, you’ll see that we’ve changed more than once. So it wasn’t something new today. We’ve done it in other games, too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it didn’t work. And we change our stuff all the time.
So I don’t think we’re going to change our way of doing things for the next game. Whatever we throw out there, though, is sometimes new and sometimes not.
But the players all know what to do when we ask them to change things, and they’re very quick to adapt. And that’s certainly a credit to the type of people that we’ve got on this team. They’re extremely willing to pay attention to details.
And it means the kind of details you need when you change something up. So all kinds of plans that we’re going to try to think about for tomorrow. But I think today, you don’t really plan that before the game that you’re going to be losing 3-0.
Q. Simon Gagne was a huge reason that Philly was able to come back against the Bruins last year. I know it’s a different team, different year, but can you talk about how huge he was tonight and what his contribution has been?
COACH BOUCHER: It’s a different year. It’s a different team, you’re right. But there’s one thing that’s never changed and that’s Gagne is a money player. He’s a clutch player. He’s always been. And I guess when he’s not, it’s because he’s retired, because I’ve seen him in junior. I was lucky enough to see him play in junior, and you saw him at the Olympics, too. And whenever it’s a big moment, you know he’s there.
And again tonight. So it’s not the first time. You look at our last two months of the year, he’s arguably in our top two to three forwards easily. He was outstanding for us. So happy for him to get his game back, it was really tough to start the year, move, change of environment. He played injured, didn’t want to show he was injured. So he had a very tough start. We gave him a long break to take care of what he needed to do. When he came back, he started this uphill climb that I think is still going on.
He’s one of those guys. So I don’t think he’s learned that here. I mean, he’s always been that, and that’s why he’s here. That’s why we got him, convinced him to come down here. So pretty happy about that.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Teddy Purcell tonight. I know you said he elevated his game in the Playoffs. Are those goals he scored part of—because of his confidence, the poise with the puck on those two goals?
COACH BOUCHER: He’s always had poise with the puck. I think what we were discovering with Teddy now is that when it’s a tough game, when it’s a close environment type of game where there’s not much space out there, he can do the same now as what he was doing before when he had a lot of space. And to me, that’s a major evolution of his game, because that means that what he was doing in the American League and college ranks, he can be doing in games now and not just during the regular season; he was doing it in the biggest games.
So I think he’s progressed so much. Real proud of him. And showing up like he did today certainly inspires the rest of the group. And it falls into what we are. Every day you don’t know which guy is going to make the difference.
Q. In a game like this, or in a series like this, how much does coaching make a difference in terms of what you’re doing versus what Claude’s doing and now you’re kind of going back and forth? In a one-game winner takes all, maybe is not as important in terms of matchups and decisions. But when you’re playing the same team now, four, five, six, times in a row, does what you do become even more important?
COACH BOUCHER: I don’t do anything. I don’t do anything. The players do everything. We can direct them. And as a staff, as a group, we have—we know our players and sometimes we can direct them in directions that can help.
But they do everything. They’re the ones who deserve everything. They pay the price on the ice.
They’re the ones who get dressed. They’re the ones who get hurt to make plays happen, and they get all the credit.
Q. Roloson, as you acknowledged, is your No. 1 guy, but you’ve pulled him twice now in this series. Is there something amiss with him? Is there something you’re seeing that he’s not doing now that he did before?
COACH BOUCHER: Yeah, we’re giving the puck to—we’re giving gifts to the opponent. So it’s very difficult for a goaltender. When it’s a rush, when it’s a power play, it’s a normal situation. Whenever you give the puck to the opponent like we did last game alone in the slot, or like tonight, turnovers at the worst moment has got a fraction of a second to react, we give him no chance. So we have to do a better job in front of him. That’s clear and simple.
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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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