Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/24/11 at 02:11 AM ET
Q. I just wondered if you could talk about your decision on the goaltending. And he told us you didn’t tell him until about lunchtime, and he said maybe that was to kind of keep the pressure off. If you could just talk about that decision?
COACH BOUCHER: Yes, that’s exactly the reason why. And we did that this year. We had Desjardins come in who was coming from the American League, and he’s playing—we’re playing the Canadiens, and that’s the team he got traded from, his team of his youth.
And sometimes to avoid some pressure and making sure the guys sleep well at night, rather tell them after, at lunchtime. And we did that. And I think it paid off. He played really well.
I think the other thing, too, is that all year we’ve used everybody. And we prided ourselves on giving everybody a good chance. When people deserve things, whether they’re a fourth line or a third line or seventh or eighth D, when they deserve—I’m one of those guys that I’ll give people a chance.
And I felt that Smitty had been terrific for us for a long, long time, and he deserved to get a game. At the same time, I felt that giving a little breather to Roli, a bit like Vancouver did with Luongo, and Luongo came back and they have been winning since.
It’s a decision I don’t regret at all. I’ve done it in the past and it worked. I’ve had it done against me and it worked. And I think it’s the same for Vancouver and it worked.
So it wasn’t something emotional at all. It was something thought of methodically and it was unanimous as a staff, that we wanted to give a breather to Roli and give a chance to Smitty to participate in something he’s been a part of.
Q. After that first period, you guys were over them all first period, came out with 1-0 lead. Was there a sense of frustration heading into the second, and the way Thomas was playing at that point, could you sense maybe we’ll have to try to work hard to beat them?
COACH BOUCHER: No. You know what, with their goaltender, we’re not frustrated, we’re expecting that. He’s done it all year. He’s done it in the Playoffs. And if you don’t expect that, it’s because you got the wrong expectations. So we were expecting a real tight game.
You’re right, we played extremely well that first period. We were very poised with the puck, and it was something we wanted to correct from the previous two games where we had too many turnovers. I think we didn’t really have any turnovers in the first period. We played really good, and should have had probably one or two other goals. But I think what happened on our power play, got a little too cute.
And if you look at the replays, you know, a few times it was just an inch away. And so if you score that second goal, obviously you feel a little different, and I think it’s more the second period power plays that might have gotten to us.
And I feel that in the second period, we’re trying to make pretty plays, a bit five-on-five, still got a lot of chances, but I feel that we were better in the first and we were better in the third. It was a good second period, but good is not good enough.
If you want to beat that goaltender, you know, I guess at some point shots, I think we were 30 to 12 or something close to that, so I guess we’re going to need 55. There’s no two ways about it. That’s an amazing goaltender that keeps on doing what he’s been doing the entire year and the entire Playoffs.
Q. Your team is so known for its skill, but the way you turned around Game 4 with physicality, you started this one out with great physicality, first the hit by Ohlund on Marchand, and then you get the hit by Clark on Krejci and you get the goal coming off of that one. Is that the ticket for you guys, to get this series going the way you want, to get where you want to go? Do you feel like that’s got to be the thing, that it’s going to be a physical game?
COACH BOUCHER: No, I think the game itself is physical, whatever game you play. And there’s opportunities some games that you are more than others.
The one thing that I keep on hearing, and I heard it for a long, long time this year, is that we’ve got a few guys that have got skill, but we’ve got a lot of guys that grind it out. And that’s something that I think has been overlooked for a long time.
So whenever we played against tough teams, teams that thought they could run us out of the rink, and they found it very different.
We got guys who pay the price, who can take checks, and I think to me, the toughness, the real toughness is being able to take it and continue and being first on puck. That’s real toughness.
The rest, you can hit sometimes, but if you’re always hitting, it’s because you never have the puck. And rather get guys who are first on puck, but if there’s an opportunity that arises, our guys don’t back up in front of anybody, and it’s been like that throughout the entire year. But it hasn’t been documented much.
But for us, it hasn’t changed, and it’s not something we want to add on. And that’s the way we play, that’s the way we played against Pittsburgh. That’s the way we played against Washington. So we just keep playing the way we’re supposed to play.
I’m really proud of the guys. They fight really hard. It’s extremely hard to play in this building. And to get 30 some shots and give the opponent only 20, you know, we usually should take that.
But, against this goaltender, you need more. You need more. You need miracles. He’s making miracles. We have to come up with miracles.
Q. Can you update any, the Sean Bergenheim status?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, he was out in the first period. Obviously that hurt us. He’s one of those guys that’s been terrific for us. Got a good chemistry with his line. I was trying to find chemistry after that for Moore and Downie, and obviously missed him for two periods, more than two periods.
So we’ll have to see. Right now we couldn’t put him back on the ice, and we didn’t want to take a chance it would get worse. We’ll see tomorrow, and we’ll see the next game if we’re able to put him back on the ice.
Q. Bruins got key contributions from their big guys, Chara, Thomas. How did you feel about the play of your top players tonight?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, if you look at Stamkos, I thought he was terrific tonight. He was the one that made the pass on the first goal. Gagne gets the goal, they get another play like that, Stamkos played well. He got himself alone against the goaltender. Marty St. Louis got chances in the first period to make it 2-0. And then Vinnie Lecavalier has been great through the entire series.
So our top guys are doing everything they can, and they’re no different than the rest of the team. We’re still trying to figure out the Thomas enigma.
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