Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/20/07 at 09:23 PM ET
Q. Obviously you talked about the last play, how did you see it develop and did you believe the puck was suddenly there in front of you?
EEMU SELANNE: I just tried to do some forechecking job, obviously made an unbelievable play as well. I was obviously surprised to get that puck so open.
But it was good bounce and it’s great to see that go in.
Q. Teemu, when you get an opportunity like that, is there a tendency to try to be conscious of not going so - too fast and being patient, was that like having kind of a goal scorer’s touch that you were to kind of able to take your time and put that puck in?
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, everything happened so quickly. You don’t have really time to plan anything. But obviously over the years I’ve been practicing that move so many times that it just came in my mind and I knew I would have to get upstairs because he goes down all the time and he covers all the bottom.
So it was - it was great to see that go in.
Q. Scored a lot of goals over the course of your career. Where does this rate among them?
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, probably the biggest one. Hopefully the biggest one is still coming. But obviously this felt so good. And very important win. But it was - it needed 22 guys to believe that we can come back. We were down 1-0 over 59 minutes. Scott Niedermayer scored the tying goal. There’s a reason why he has won everything in hockey. Unbelievable effort by him. I think the momentum changed a little bit for us.
We started believing even more that we were going to come back. And our club has never - not ever once quit this year. We have to keep battling and believe good things happen. But it’s still a good win, but we have to move on. We know the biggest games are still coming.
Q. In the sense you’ve dodged the proverbial bullet the last couple of games when Detroit seems to have carried the play and you came out on top both games.
TEEMU SELANNE: I think they’re dominating the games. Giguere has been unbelievable the whole year. He’s really gave us a chance to win every night. Some nights we get a lot of shots but we can’t win the game. So this was one of those games that we have to shoot so many and we found a way to win the game. But we can be better.
Obviously we can’t take so many penalties on the ropes. Again we’re shorthanded so many times, and it’s hard to win that kind of way. But you know we have 10-minute rule. You enjoy it and then move on.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you.
Questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, can you just talk about the way your team hung in there and didn’t give up to force overtime and then to win it after seemed like the Wings controlled the play?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Again, this group has been pretty much a resilient bunch of athletes that are committed to doing whatever it takes.
And when things don’t go quite the way you’d like them to go throughout the hockey game and you’re still in it, you know, with down one goal, they’ve had the ability to reach back and they’re the ones that should be credited for it, because a lot of things didn’t go our way tonight and there’s lots of room for improvement.
In the end we found a way to get it done. There’s been no quitting in this group whatsoever right from the beginning, early in September in training camp, right through to tonight. And they’re to be commended for that.
Q. I was wondering if you could talk about the second period and what these players were kind of - what their thoughts were in the third.
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: We asked again and we’ve asked it a couple times that you can’t go out and take four straight penalties or five straight penalties in a period and expect to have momentum.
I think at one point we had two shots for the period. We took four straight penalties and it really taxes a lot of people that are penalty killers, your defense, and then your goaltender. Again, we can’t continually do that.
But we’ve survived that tonight. And you know we had some great performances by some individuals, stepped up and were a big part of our group. Once we got into the third period we said we know we can be better, let’s get back to doing some things that has given us some success, some momentum.
And we stayed with it. And we pulled a goalie with I think it was a minute and 47 seconds left in the period but we scored on it. And it’s a good move when it works. And when it doesn’t work it’s a bad move.
Q. Two questions. First, could you just explain why you called a time out when you did, and secondly the decisions the last two games to put in Carter and Motzko and give them the ice time, especially late in the game. What was the thinking there and what does that say about those kids that they did what they did?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Again, the timeout was utilized because the players were dead tired. And we had 47 seconds left and we didn’t want anything bad to happen. Settled down, got our checking group out there. We got Beauchemin and Niedermayer because they were on the power play. We felt it was necessary at that point.
As far as utilizing the other young kids, we felt that we needed a little bit of energy, and I thought they provided that for us. They were fine.
Obviously it’s a tall task to ask that of young players in the Stanley Cup Conference Finals, but these guys are veteran players that have come in after one year in the American Hockey League, for the Carter kid and Motzko has played a number of situations that would be as intense at the lower level. But they’re confident. The big thing about those kids is they’re going to be part of our future and we have to make sure that we can expose them to some of these situations and expect them to come back even stronger.
I think it will be easier for them to play in the next game if we make a decision to utilize them. I think those things are important.
Q. Do you have a ground rule on when to pull the goalie and did you do it then because nothing seemed to be really going for you?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: No, the reason we did it then was we need that. The goaltender was going to come out at some point. So when the penalty was called, delayed it a little bit and then we made the decision to pull the goaltender. That gives us six-on-four. And then you start with the puck all the time. We were able to find a way to keep the puck in a couple of times. I’m sure people will say it deflected off Lidstrom’s stick.
But we executed. Pronger moved the puck down to Selanne, into the middle to Niedermayer and shot it. And that’s what happens when you direct the puck. Sometimes the bounces go for you, sometimes they go against you.
For our group, we weren’t quitting. That’s the one thing that’s going to be a consistent with this group of individuals. You can trust them that they’re going to give you their best night in, night out.
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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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