Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/07/08 at 03:49 PM ET
A short Q&A session with the media, talking with Detroit Red Wings players Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Chris Osgood.
Q. Chris, 6?0 an incredible run here in the playoffs. Where do you point the finger? Why have you had such success?
CHRIS OSGOOD: In two parts I’ll answer. Personally, just doing the right things in practice with Jim Bedard and staying ready. Even when I wasn’t playing, I felt confident, even before I went in that I could do the job. Just being ready so I wasn’t standing there doubting myself whatsoever.
I was just doing things in practice, and doing things off the ice, and doing things like I said with Bedard to make sure I was ready at all times whether I was playing or not. Then again the second part is, you know, team’s playing really well. I don’t feel like I need to go in there and steal games. I just have to play solid and play sharp, and make the saves when I have to. I feel like I’m capable of doing that.
Q. Can you talk about the contributions of Jiri Hudler he’s only averaging 7 a game, but he’s the forth winning scorer on your team?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: He brings a lot personally offensively. On the power play he’s good at hanging on to the puck. He doesn’t panic with the puck. He buys time with it. He’s good at hanging on and buying time. And he’s very good at finding the open players.
You know, he’s not the biggest guy out there, but for a little guy, he’s strong in the corners. He’s tough to knock off the puck. He’s very quick in the corners, and that helps set up that part for him. But his vision is so good. He’s able to see plays develop and be able to find an open player to when he passes.
Q. How does the six-day layoff affect you in this series?
CHRIS OSGOOD: I think it’s good for our team, actually. I mean, you want to close quickly. We did that in Colorado. You don’t want to make the same mistake we did in Nashville. You never know what’s going to happen.
We relished the time off. It was good for our team, we feel refreshed. What happens is you get excited to play again, because you kind of get sick of practicing. We’ve had some time off here, and we’re ready and raring to go. We want to get things started and get on the ice and start playing games. We’re excited about it. I think that’s a good thing.
Q. You’ve been on this stage many times, even when you’re playing as a team as well as you are. Can you just describe how the intensity has to be raised up another notch with each round of the playoffs?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: Well, I feel personally that the first round is where you make the biggest step from playing the regular season to all of a sudden being in the playoffs and the intensity is a lot higher. You have to raise your level of play a little bit more. So once you get through the first round, I think you’re into the playoff mode already. And I think that helps you to continue to play in the playoffs.
So for me, personally, I feel that getting ready for the playoffs is that first few games in the first round. Once you’re over that hump, you know, you’re into that playoff mentality. You’re ready for the next game. I think that really helps you set up your success in the playoffs being able to play strong in the first round.
Q. Can you tell me a little about how much Kronwall has helped the defense this postseason?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: He’s helped us tremendously. He’s a top four defenseman. He plays all situations whether power play or penalty killing. And he brings that physical aspect to our team that I think we need.
Always, especially in the playoffs, you want to have physical defensemen that are tough to play against. You’ve got to keep your head up out there, and he’s shown that in this year’s playoffs that he can make that big open ice hit and step out at the right time. That really helps our defense when you have a player of that caliber that can still log a lot of ice time. He can bring the puck up the ice, but can he play hard defensively and physically, too.
So I think the pairing with him and Stuart has really helped our team where you have that physicality of their game that really helps our team and they’re tough to play against.
Q. You talked to your ?? we talked to your general manager just previous and he talked about how you’ve had a breakout season in the regular season, but here in the postseason you seem to be taking your game to another level. Why is that? Maybe talk about your comfort zone on the ice and why the success and why all the new Red Wing records?
JOHAN FRANZEN: Yeah, records, I don’t want to talk about the records. I just want to win eight more games this season.
I don’t know. I kept it going from the last month there in the regular season. It’s the confidence. Winning and scoring a lot, the confidence grows. Every time you get the puck it seems a little bit easier to put it in the back of the net. It feels like you’ve got a little extra time with the puck and everything just gets easier.
Q. What do you anticipate Dallas doing? Because suddenly you’re a guy that the team’s clearly going to have to focus on. And if they do send more men after you, how can that help your offensive attack as a team?
JOHAN FRANZEN: Well, hopefully that gives more room for my line mates. So if they want to keep an extra guy on me, that’s fine by me. Hopefully, Sam or Fil can get a little more chances that way.
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