Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/01/08 at 05:01 PM ET
Q. Has Lidstrom said anything to you guys, either last night or this morning, and if you could just talk about what he’s meant to you during this playoff run?
NIK KRONWALL: I think Nick is one of those guys, when you have a chance to be on a team with a guy like that, it helps you to grow as a hockey player, and as a person as well. We had a little talk this morning and just want to make sure that all the guys knew what was going on and stay focused on what we need to do.
Q. Can you talk about Hank as a defensive player and what that means to this team, when maybe your best offensive player is that good defensively?
NIK KRONWALL: He’s meant a great deal to our team. I think everybody starts to see that. As you said, he’s our best defensive guy, but while at the same time our best defensive guy, he plays all situations. And we’re lucky to have him. There’s not a lot of guys like him in the League.
Q. Can you talk about how comfortable you guys are on home ice and how much the opportunity to win it at home is pretty key for you guys, because you’re so comfortable here?
NIK KRONWALL: We feel very good about our game. We played well at home before. But at the same time, we lost game 5 against Dallas. We didn’t execute enough. We feel like we know what we need to do. And if we can just stay the course and do what we need to do, we’ll be fine.
If we don’t do that, if we don’t have our battle level very high, it’s going to be a tough game.
Q. You touched on it briefly, the Game 5 loss to Dallas was a somewhat similar situation. What lessons do you take away from that experience that might be able to help you out tomorrow night?
NIK KRONWALL: I think in the Dallas series we came out, we were nervous. We were just sitting around waiting for them to come at us. We can’t do that. I mean, it’s the Stanley Cup Final. And you’re just you have to focus on what you need to do for 60 minutes. If you come out there and start playing nervous, they’re going to come after you.
We need to come out, have a good push from the start, and just go after them no matter what the score is.
Q. Can you talk about the team’s resiliency last night in killing off four of the five power plays in the first period, and then killing off the five on three and five on four in the third?
NIK KRONWALL: Well, of course, penalty killing is and the special teams are very important in the playoffs. I thought we did a good job yesterday of keeping them to not a lot of shots. Whenever they got a shot, Ozzie made the first stop, then we just tried to keep them away from the net.
Q. How much do you take from what you guys were able to accomplish here in the first two games into tomorrow night? Does it mean that much?
NIK KRONWALL: Oh, we played really well, I think, the first two games. And we need to play very well tomorrow night, again, to be able to win the game.
There’s a lot of things that we need to focus on and need to do to be able to come out on top.
Q. You played with Hudler on the power play. What makes him so efficient with the puck, because he doesn’t seem to need much of a chance to score?
NIK KRONWALL: He just has the touch. Some guys are just born with that, I think. Hudler is not a guy that needs to play 18, 20 minutes. If he gets 10, 12 minutes, he’s still going to find time to score, especially on the power play. He’s so gifted with the puck, makes the plays when it’s there. And when it’s not there, he’ll take the shot. He’s just a great, great guy to play with.
Q. To the extent you can, can you share with us maybe the tone of what the conversation was like today when the players gathered in the locker room talking about the opportunity tomorrow?
NIK KRONWALL: Well, of course, it’s a big opportunity for us. But at the same time, we haven’t won anything yet. It’s still a long way to go. Game 4 is always the toughest win. We know it’s going to be a game tomorrow. And we just need to stay focused for 60 minutes and come out with a good push from the start.
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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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