Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/01/09 at 02:41 PM ET
From today’s press conference with Penguins’ coach Dan Bylsma. Transcript provided courtesy of the NHL.
Q. Can you give your impression of where Malkin and Crosby are at in terms of potential level of frustration? We saw some at the end of both games maybe from both of them. Where do you think they’re at? And do you say anything to them going into tomorrow night?
COACH BYLSMA: You worry as a coach about frustration, and frustration is when you can’t let go of previous events.
You know, I think for the most part our guys have been able to ?? you know, they’re emotionally attached. They want to do well, they want to drive. Detroit is doing a good job of resisting that and being on our guys.
I think our guys are doing a good job of refocusing and getting back ready for the next shift, the next period, the next game. We haven’t gotten the result we wanted. But I think right to the end of both games we’ve stuck to the game plan and kept on our guns and kept going.
So while you see that we’re emotionally attached, I don’t see the frustration lasting longer than coming back to the bench and then getting ready for the next shift.
So that’s when a coach worries. We certainly talk about the emotions of the game, and know we’ve got to refocus and get right back on out there. The guys on our bench are saying the right things and doing the right things getting everybody refocused to keep the fight.
Q. It’s pretty out of character for Sid not to address the media especially during the Cup final. What is it about 5 or 10 minutes out here with us that he would need a break on? Can you comment on him not talking today and taking the day off?
COACH BYLSMA: Well, I actually have a game plan for the playoffs. I made a point of saying every day doesn’t need to be Sidney Crosby day. So there have been days when he hasn’t been out here. So that was it. We made a choice to give other people a chance to be up here and for you to talk to them and feel it’s important for it to be a team thing, not just Dan Bylsma and Sidney Crosby talking at the podium every day.
Q. Can you assess how the Crosby line has done against the Zetterberg line? Would you ponder trying to avoid that match-up or consider it? And have you ever seen a puck land on a goalie’s back or play like the one last night where Crosby played when he came around on the wraparound and all hell broke loose?
COACH BYLSMA: Well, I think the great thing about hockey is that you rarely see the same play twice. It’s unique every game, every situation, every bounce. If you just want to see something new, watch the next game.
So that’s one of the great things about the speed of our sport and how we play it.
On the match-up situation that you spoke of, you know, they’re at home and they get the match-up they want after whistles and those situations. And we’re going to come home, and we’ll get that decision to make.
Certainly I thought Crosby has done a good job of working and battling through it. We’ve gotten a number of situations where we’ve gotten scoring chances, good scoring chances and those are indications that you look for. Are you gaining, are you getting the offensive chances you need to get? We’ve had pucks in and around their goalie. We’ve talked about a couple of situations where it’s in the crease on the goalie, you know, scrambles there. If those go in, you think Sid had a great game and, you know, he wins the match?up. But he did not, and now we’re coming home and we may give him different looks depending on the situation of the game.
Q. We’ve all watched Sid and Malkin play and they’re playing very well, but they don’t have production to show for it. Is it fair to say they’ve got to give more? And how do you get more out of them?
COACH BYLSMA: I think the large difference in the two games is that they have been better at the net than we have. They have had a better net front presence. They’ve won the battles, the loose pucks. And they’ve scored goals, those scramble goals. That’s largely been the difference in the two games and that’s something we’ve got to do better. That’s something that every line has to do better, and that’s something that if you look at the match?up between the two teams even in the playoffs you’re not going to score a lot of pretty rush goals.
You’re going to have to drive to the net. You’re going to have to get loose pucks. You’re going to have to create second chances and you’re going to have to do it with a lot of people there. So that’s something we’ve got to do better every line.
Q. Your thoughts on Malkin, and that you will have him to play tomorrow night? Did you think for a moment there that there was a chance you would not have him available for Game 3?
COACH BYLSMA: I didn’t hear the announcement of the instigator during the game. So I didn’t think right at that moment that we wouldn’t have him. And by the time I got to the coaches’ room, we were pretty sure that we would still have him for the next game. So we’ll gladly take him (smiling).
Q. In the last game you went away from seven defensemen, finally, after talking about it for a couple of weeks. I’m just wondering what you thought you got out of that move by putting Pascal in? And if you liked what you got out of it?
COACH BYLSMA: I liked Pascal’s game. He actually added some jump. Had a couple of scoring chances, added speed on loose pucks. And I thought he played well. But he didn’t leave the lineup because we didn’t think he could add those things.
So this was a chance that our guys had played a lot of minutes before with the speed of the game. We thought we needed an extra guy in there to alleviate some of the minute pressure especially in back-to-back games. And I thought Pascal added what he normally adds, speed and puck pursuit. Did a good job.
Q. Back to Malkin for a second. Do you think you have to explain to him that he has to remain disciplined in those situations and that he did dodge a bullet?
COACH BYLSMA: Hopefully I don’t wait until something bad happens to explain those situations to our guys. We know that Geno is emotional. He drives the net, he plays with a lot of emotion. We’ve talked to him numerous times about this is the situation that you may get yourself in. They may try to come after you in those situations and different situations throughout the playoffs.
We’ve talked to him and said you’ve got to make sure you maintain composure. But that’s not just 71, that’s a lot of our guys play with that edge and play on the edge of emotions and need to make sure we keep it in check.
So we’re not going to talk about it again. We’ve talked about it a couple of times with Geno.
Q. How do you feel Marc Andre Fleury’s game is at right now, and what do you need from him tomorrow night?
COACH BYLSMA: Well, when you evaluate the goals, every one of them has been people in the crease, bounces, bouncing pucks, scramble situations. So, you know, again, they’ve been very good at that area. They have that net front presence. They make it very difficult on the goaltender and defenders because they have guys standing in the blue paint a lot. As a result, it’s been real tough in that area and they’ve gotten those goals.
So we need to do a better job of that, of protecting that part of the net for our goalie. And we also need to do a better job on the other end making sure that we’re getting there and we’re going to take advantage of standing in that area and getting those loose pucks. Because that’s been the difference.
Q. Outside of referring to the series against Washington, the comeback there as a positive reinforcement that we have been in situations before and come back. Were there specific lessons that were learned during that series that could be applied now?
COACH BYLSMA: The focus on what we need to do. You can get frustrated with the situations. You can try to divert your attention by talking about referees or bounces or whatever. But I think the strength of the situation we found ourselves in in the playoffs and even in the games we have played is you’ve just got to keep playing.
You’ve got to keep at it. Keep on the game plan. Keep wearing them down. You have to initiate and invest with how you play the game and where you play it. And deal with the emotions and then get back to the task at hand, which is Game 3 for us and coming back to our building and holding serve here.
So we have to do that. We have to be focused on that. And to be distracted by anything else would take away from what we need to do.
Q. I know you review the games and every coach does. But territorially how do you think you’ve done against Detroit in these first two games? Your opinion and what you’ve seen? And a whole lot of credit’s not going to the guy with the ski mask and the pistol in the net for Detroit either, so you’ve had some chances, I think.
COACH BYLSMA: We’ve had chances. I think they’ve played well, and they’re a good team. When they get in the offensive zone with their net front presence there’s always those net-front scrambles. They’ve done a good job of that.
I think we’ve at times and probably as much as we thought we could maybe even more with a few adjustments, we’ve been able to get to the offensive zone. At the end of the game when you look up, you’ve outshot them two games.
I think the way we’ve done the chances we’ve out chanced them in two games. We would have taken that on the road. You know, again, they’ve been better at getting the timely goal. They’ve been better at that net front area and getting the loose pucks. That’s a credit to them. That’s how they play. They’ve got the dirtier goals. And that a lot of times is what playoff hockey comes down to. So they defend like buggers, they’ve got great sticks. They’ve made it tough in that area, and they’ve gotten to the net and made one more bounce.
So our challenge is not to be satisfied, not to think that’s good enough. Not to worry about the mistakes or the bounces. We’ve got to do a better job getting to that net, taking advantage of the opportunities and getting more pucks to score. We’ve had that before, where we felt like the goalies played real well. And we’ve got to keep at it. Keep getting pucks there, and be there, and be determined to breakthrough here.
Q. It seems like these two games here whenever Osgood has come up with a big save, it seems to have inspired their team to a goal, an eventual goal. Do you sense when Ozzie makes that big save that there is somewhat of a let down or heads down on the bench at all? What do you see on the bench?
COACH BYLSMA: I would say the one time that where maybe we did maybe drop our heads was in the third period in the first game with 5 minutes to go. But barring that, our bench is saying the right things. Our bench guys are coming back to the bench. The bench is getting refocused about going back out there. I thought last game especially we were determined to keep going, keep at them.
You know, we’ve had this scenario before where a goalie was playing very well. The focus was on how well he was playing and denying us. We felt we had to keep at it. Keep getting pucks there and keep going there. And that was our focus. We’ve got to be determined. We’ve got to be determined to execute a little better so we can get there more often. We’ve got to be more determined to get pucks there, and we have to be more determined to get people there, because that’s a solution against a team that’s playing well defensively and a goalie that’s playing well.
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