Canucks and Beyond

Canucks Today: Q&A with Sedins, Malhotra, Luongo, Salo, Ballard

06/07/2011 at 5:37pm EDT

Q&A with Henrik Sedin, Sami Salo, Daniel Sedin, Manny Malhotra, Roberto Luongo and Keith Ballard.

Vignault’s comments previously posted here.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Henrik.

HENRIK SEDIN: He passes the puck, Rome steps up. It’s not like it’s a blindside. I think the guy didn’t even know that he was there. I thought it was a good hit.

Like I said, we have to move on. This is the finals. We got no time.

Q. Is this a rallying cry for you guys?

HENRIK SEDIN: No, I don’t think we need that. Like I said, we got to support Aaron. He’s been a big part of this team, a great player for us. It’s tough to see what he’s going through right now.

At the same time you don’t want to see a guy like Horton out like he is. That’s not fun to see. I’m hoping he’s going to be fine.

Q. (No microphone.)

HENRIK SEDIN: If you look at the game, you look at what happened, special teams is a big part of what happened. We’ve done a good job all year to bounce back. We’re going to do that tomorrow.

Q. Was there anything specific on the power-play?

HENRIK SEDIN: Mistakes, that’s the only thing. We’re not moving enough. We’ve have been unpredictable all year because the way we’ve been moving on the power-play. Right now we’re moving the puck, but we’re not moving players into their box. That’s what we need to do.

Q. When you’re not scoring on the power-play, does that allow them to be more physical?

HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, we give them momentum. We kill all the momentum we get from the power-plays. You’re not going to score every power-play, but you need to get some for your team.

If you’re on the bench and you’re watching them score on the power-play, that’s a killer.

Q. People are making you guys out to be the villains. How comfortable is this team if you’re the bad guys according to the hockey world?

HENRIK SEDIN: I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, we don’t really care. I feel for Aaron right now. As much as you don’t want to see a guy go down like Horton, this is the way it is. I know the guys we have in the room. We’re honest guys. We’re hard-working guys. We’re a tight group.

If people on the outside say what they want to say, that’s fine.

Aaron has been a big part of this team. He’s an honest player. Again, you don’t want to see a guy like Horton go down.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Daniel.

Q. Your teammate gets four games, your thoughts on the severity of the punishment?

DANIEL SEDIN: Yeah, I mean, we totally disagree. We support Rome. He’s a hard-working guy. He has no intention to hurt anyone out there.

At the same time you never want to see a guy leave the ice like that. Certainly support Rome.

Q. As far as you’re concerned, there shouldn’t have been a suspension?

DANIEL SEDIN: No. We have to move on, another game tomorrow. But we don’t agree with the suspension.

Q. Do you think it’s easier for them to throw the book at Aaron Rome than somebody else making the hit?

DANIEL SEDIN: Rome was killed in San Jose and nothing happened. Now he gets four games. I don’t know.

Q. In Chicago they used the hit on Seabrook as a little bit of a rallying point. I’m sure the Bruins will try for the same thing. How do you take that away from them?

DANIEL SEDIN: I think we’re thinking of Rome right now. He’s a hard-working guy, great teammate and a friend. He’s going to be out of the playoffs. It should be a rallying cry for us, too.

Q. (Question regarding the power-play.)

DANIEL SEDIN: That was the difference in the game. They scored a few on the power-plays, a few on our power-plays, too. Five-on-five we’re still playing well. Power-plays need to be better.

Q. (No microphone.)

DANIEL SEDIN: No, you still got to look at the game, what you did wrong. After today’s practice, some meetings, I think we’ll forget about last night’s game and move on.

Q. (Question regarding Roberto being able to bounce back.)

DANIEL SEDIN: That’s not a problem. Can’t really say it was his fault. As a team, we didn’t help him out. As I said, they scored a few on the power-play, a few on our power-play, which shouldn’t happen.

Q. (Question regarding Tim Thomas.)

DANIEL SEDIN: Like I said, five-on-five I think we’re doing a good job. But we need to score on our power-play. We’ve done it all year, done it in the playoffs. It hasn’t been good for the first three games. We need to be better. It’s costing us games right now. You don’t have to score on the power-play, but you have to at least gain some momentum for your team. We’re not doing that right now.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Manny.

MANNY MALHOTRA: It’s the danger of playoff hockey. Rivalries and animosity grows. That’s the effect of being in the playoffs. You see a lot more hostility towards one another. But we’ve cleaned that up and we realize where our focus needs to be now.

Q. You’re in a unique position watching this team this year. Losing Rome, losing that game, how mentally prepared do you think these guys are to right the ship?

MANNY MALHOTRA: I’ve seen it from the outside. I’ve been in the room. But I know the ability we have to respond to certain situations. Losing Rome compounded with losing last night’s game, we’re, again, moving forward, focused on making sure we do the right things to give ourselves the best possible chance to win tomorrow.

Q. Anything you learned from the Chicago series, losing Game 4 badly?
MANNY MALHOTRA: Our mentality is going to be the same whether we win or lose a game. I think we’ve done a great job throughout the entire playoffs. We’ve never been too high, we’ve never been too low on ourselves.

Today doesn’t change the mood in the room. It’s good. It’s where it needs to be. I like where our focus level’s at.

Q. (Question about ability to play in a Stanley Cup final.)

MANNY MALHOTRA: It’s devastating to be so close, to be playing in your dream, now to have it taken away. It obviously hurts a lot.

But that being said, he was a huge part of our team. His attitude, his mentality, his focus, just being around the guys is going to help us a lot. Even though he won’t be able to play, he’s definitely going to be a big part, have a big impact on this team.

Q. Do you think it was too stiff?

MANNY MALHOTRA: I think as a group we don’t agree with the suspension. I’ll leave it at that.

Q. Burrows’ bite, Rome’s hit, people are making you out to be the bad guys. How comfortable is this team with being the villains in this series?

MANNY MALHOTRA: I don’t think we put too much stock into what people have thought of us in terms of good or bad guys. I think all year we’ve done a great job of keeping things internal. The greatest pressures that we’ve had all year and the greatest pressures we’ve seen have come from within our room, the challenges we put on ourselves, the peer pressure we put on ourselves.

We understand there’s going to be a lot of hoopla around the team, whatever people want to call us. The biggest thing that matters is what we’re saying in the room.

Q. Can that be a rallying point if the hockey world is against you?

MANNY MALHOTRA: I think our biggest rallying cry, again, comes from inside our room. It’s setting out a goal at the beginning of the year, continuing to stay on that plan is our focus. It’s not about winning in spite of somebody or in spite of certain people. Right now it’s about playing for ourselves and playing for each other.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Sami Salo.

SAMI SALO: Our thoughts are with Mr. Horton. Hopefully he’s going to make a full recovery. Our team has to move on.

Q. What is it like for a player being in this situation in a Cup final? I’m sure you must feel for both right now.

SAMI SALO: Yeah, for sure. Like I said, it’s tough to see. Obviously Aaron is hard-working. Not being able to participate in the rest of the playoffs, and obviously the same thing with Horton, our thoughts are with him, and hopefully he’s going to make a full recovery.

Q. Is a loss a loss at this point? What we saw last night, can you easily put that behind you or…

SAMI SALO: I think we had a tough loss in Chicago in the first round. Same thing. We got blown out. But we came out strong the next game. That’s our mentality, focus on our game, put the best game out there the next game.

Q. Is it actually easier to make sure that you step up because it seems like there’s a lot of areas that were just off for the Canucks generally last night?

SAMI SALO: I think we had a really strong first period. They got lucky bounces the first goal with our breaking a stick. It just accumulated over time. They got some easy goals at the end.

Overall, you know, we just have to change a few things.

Q. The NHL is talking about the crap and garbage going on in this series. Do you feel this series has gotten out of control a little bit?

SAMI SALO: No, no, not at all. All the three series that we played so far have been hard-fought. Things happen all the time. So nothing that crazy.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roberto.

Q. How do you bounce back?

ROBERTO LUONGO: The score doesn’t really matter. We’re in the playoffs. It’s all about winning a game, right? As a team, we got to look at it we lost a game. We just got to get back to doing the things we do. No matter what the score of the game is, we have to keep playing our game, not deviate from our game plan.

Whether we’re trailing by one goal or up by one goal, we have to play our game.

Q. You had back-to-back losses in the Chicago series. It seemed it affected you more.

ROBERTO LUONGO: Like I said before the series started, I waited my whole life to be here. I’m not going to put my head down. It’s time to get back to work.

Obviously last night was disappointing for all of us. We have a great opportunity. We’re in the Cup final. Even though there are going to be some tough times, you have to be in the moment and focus.

Q. They say they’re rallying around Horton. Henrik says you’re playing for Rome now.

ROBERTO LUONGO: We all feel bad for Rome. We don’t feel he deserved what he got. We do it for ourselves, and obviously a teammate like Rome that won’t be able to help us out for the rest of the series.

At the end of the day we want to win for all the guys in the locker room whether they’re playing or not.

Q. (No microphone.)

ROBERTO LUONGO: Alain asked me when there was about eight minutes left. I said I wanted to stay in. If I would have known they would have scored three more times, I might have thought about it (laughter).

Even though we were losing 5-1, it was a pretty intense game and I still wanted to be in there.

Q. What do you think happened at the end?

ROBERTO LUONGO: Obviously, they kept putting the pressure on. The game was pretty much out of reach for us. I don’t know. I mean, they obviously were not satisfied with 5-1 and kept pressing. We started maybe taking our attention away from our game plan, started worrying about physical aspects of the game, which we shouldn’t be doing at this point.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Keith Ballard.

Q. (Question regarding Rome.)

KEITH BALLARD: It’s obviously a tough situation for him today, it’s a tough one to go through. We have to make sure as a team we pick up the slack and everybody contributes.

Q. Is there accountability on both sides in plays like that?

KEITH BALLARD: Yup, absolutely. You never like seeing a guy lying there on a stretcher. Only people on the ice understand how fast it is, the decision-making process, how fast it is when you’re making a play. That’s only multiplied when you get into the Stanley Cup Final. That kind of situation, it’s a fast game.

As a team, we don’t agree with the suspension.

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