Canucks and Beyond

Post-Game 4 Transcripts: Coach Vigneault, H.Sedin, Salo, Luongo

05/22/2011 at 9:27pm EDT

Transcripts from the Q&A’s with Alain Vigneault, Henrik Sedin, Roberto Luongo and Sami Salo.
Q. At the end of the regular season you said we haven’t gotten a lot of five-on-threes. You got some tonight. Salo in that spot instead of Ehrhoff seemed to make a difference.
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I think without a doubt Sami’s shot is a big weapon. We tried it last game on those five-on-threes. I thought we had some great scoring chances, but their goaltender made some unbelievable saves.

Tonight we were able to throw a couple little things at them that maybe caught them off guard on that five-on-three. Sami’s shot was available and we used it twice real quickly and it worked.

Q. Alain, when you get a parade of penalties like that on both sides, is there any way to predict a game like that?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, obviously in any hockey game you prepare your power-play and your penalty killing. We killed the penalties that we had to kill at the beginning. I thought that gave us a little bit of momentum and confidence.

The five-on-threes that we got, one the referee has to call, too many men on the ice, it’s obvious. The other one they shot over the glass. Referees didn’t really have to make those calls. They’re automatics. Five-on-three did what it was supposed to do.

Q. Coach, can you talk about Henrik’s ability to set up, in this game in particular?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, I mean, Henrik’s probably biggest asset is the fact that he can see plays and make plays when there’s a lot of pressure. Again, tonight that line did that for us.
They’re our offensive players and we need them to produce and they did tonight.

Q. All season long you said your team has been very good at being able to focus on the game at hand. This next game is obviously a big one. Are you confident your group can put that out of their minds?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Give me half an hour to have a little bit of fun here and then ask me tomorrow about that. I want to enjoy this a little bit here.

But to answer your question, I am very confident about that.

Q. The PK to start the series, gave up five power-play goals to the Sharks, then since then pretty much shut them down. What has been the difference?
COACH VIGNEAULT: You know, sometimes that happens. We gave up four power-play goals to them on four shots. We were in good position. We were doing the right things.

Sometimes, whether it be our power-play or their power-play, it just clicks for whatever reason. We were able to fight through that, ‘cause obviously that’s challenging. Tonight we were really tested early. Our guys were able to respond and get the job done.

Q. You go with Tanev and Ballard today. Your thoughts on their contributions?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I thought both of them, considering the stage, both of them played well. I had a really tough decision to make there, not dressing Andrew Alberts. I told him before the game. Andrew is a great individual. It was really a tough thing for me to tell him.

At the end of the day, I wanted a right defenseman, a guy that’s used to playing the right side. Neither Keith nor Andrew have played a lot of right side.

When Chris was called on to play for us this year, he played real well. I thought Keith played his best hockey with Chris. That’s why I made that decision.

Q. Can you just comment, apparently over 4,000 Vancouver Canuck fans came down here.
COACH VIGNEAULT: That’s phenomenal. In warmup, during the anthem, to hear our fans in an American city chant, ‘O Canada,’ it was just incredible. It reminded me a lot when we went on that California swing, Anaheim, L.A., and ended up in Phoenix, where I think we had something like between 5,000 and 10,000 fans following us.

Really appreciate the support we’re getting right now.

Q. Talk a little bit about Salo’s role, obviously the two goals, but he did take on a lot more responsibility.
COACH VIGNEAULT: He logged some very important minutes. Sami is one of our veteran players. He’s been here for a long time. A very important part of our core group.

I think he understands that, you know, you don’t get too many opportunities. Maybe he doesn’t have a lot of opportunities left, considering he’s getting a little bit older. So obviously he’s very motivated right now, playing real well for us.

Nobody is going to ask me about my goalie?

Thanks, guys.

Q. Henrik, how much of a difference was it on the five-on-threes to have Sami’s shot there?
HENRIK SEDIN: We made some changes last game. It opened up a lot of different options for us, for me as a passer. So Danny going through, they have to respect him back door. He made a great play to Kesler on the first goal, and then he took two great shots. When you give him that much time, he’s going to usually score.

Q. Henrik, can you talk about that play obviously setting up Burrows as well as your game in general?
HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, it was a good break-out from faceoff to Daniel, to me. Then we had a two-on-one. He waited and waited. I was looking for Burr all the way. I had nothing left but to sneak through his five hole. He kept driving to the back post.

It was nice to see. A big win.

Q. Henrik and Roberto, the journey, it’s been so long for this organization, so long for all of you. You’ve been climbing the mountain for quite a few years now. You’re almost on the top. Can you tell me what it’s like now one game away from the ultimate?

ROBERTO LUONGO: We’re excited obviously. But the series is far from over. We know that as we’ve seen in the first two series, the last one is always the toughest one to win.

We’re excited we got a win here in San Jose, but we start shifting our focus right away for Tuesday night. We know it’s going to be a big one, probably our toughest game of the series.

HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, same thing. I mean, we’ve been in this situation before being up 3?1. It’s not easy to finish teams off. We’re going to treat Tuesday as a Game 7. It’s a big one for us. We’re very excited right now, but we need to be focused on the next game.

Q. (No microphone.)
HENRIK SEDIN: No, not really. We’re playing a great team over there. A lot good players who’s been there before. They’ve been winning Olympics, they’ve been in big games before. We have a lot of respect for those guys.

Q. You and your brother have faced a lot of criticism in the first two rounds. Now you seem to be in a groove. Can you talk about what’s behind your play right now and how nice is it to be such a difference-maker?
HENRIK SEDIN: Well, it’s fun for sure. I think we’re both believers in if you work hard, you do the right thing, it’s going to turn around. Playoffs is tough in a way that if things aren’t going well, you might have a break after one series. It might be summertime. That’s the tough part.

You got to hang in there and hope the other guys are playing great. They’ve been doing that. So that’s what we need. We need different guys to step up each series. That’s why we’re here.

Q. Sami, you missed most of the season. Tell us what it’s like to score a couple of big goals in a playoff win like this?
SAMI SALO: For sure it’s been a long journey this year, having a tough off?season. But we worked really hard to get to this point. Now it’s really exciting. First time in my long career that I have a chance to play in the Western Conference Finals. Playing against a great team, couldn’t be any better.

Q. You’ve played on some excellent teams in Vancouver and Ottawa. What is it like to be one win away from your first Stanley Cup final?
SAMI SALO: It’s really exciting. All the years that I’ve been here, we’ve had great teams. Just seems this year that the team is really united together. Everybody are pulling together as a team.

Q. Roberto, can you talk about your team’s penalty killing, what a difference that was in today’s game?

ROBERTO LUONGO: Yeah, it was huge. We took five penalties off the hop. We had to step up and make some big plays.

I think the guys did a huge job, blocking shots, getting in lanes, cutting off passing lanes, making sure there’s no seam passes, things like that. Mostly kept them to the outside, which makes my job easier, let’s me focus on making that save, not having to worry about anything on the back door or rebounds or things like that.

When we’re all working together like a five?man unit, that’s what made us successful most of the year.

Q. Henrik, how much better physically do you feel now than in the middle of the Nashville series? Did you have an inkling coming in that you and Daniel were going to be more productive in this one than the last one?

HENRIK SEDIN: We always want to be productive, that’s why we’re here. So that’s not going to change.

We’re living in the moment now. We’re in this series. We’re looking forward to the next game. We don’t have to look back at other series. So this is where we are.

Q. (No microphone.)
HENRIK SEDIN: It’s nice to get a few days off. I think that was nice for everyone. Like I said, we’re here right now. We’re focused on the next game.

Q. Roberto, you had some saves, too, in that first period. The Pavelski one, McGinn. Can you take us through those.
ROBERTO LUONGO: I don’t remember all of them (laughter).

Yeah, I mean, for the most part of the series they’ve had some traffic in front, they throw pucks at the net, try to get deflections, stuff like that. I remember the Clowe save. I believe it was Boyle that took a shot. It was from a sharp angle. I was able to just get in my one?knee?down position. Even though he deflected, wasn’t much room to put in there.

The other ones, I don’t remember.

Q. Sami, can you talk about not just the two goals that you scored but the rise in ice time?
SAMI SALO: The coaching staff asked for everybody, anybody who has come into the lineup, guys that haven’t played as much, when you’re getting a chance to play more, that you step up to the occasion. Nothing new. I played more minutes in previous years.

Hasn’t been that difficult, you know, play with pretty much anybody on the team, with the Ds, cope with any partner you’re playing with.

Q. It may look easy on a five?on?three, but does it make a difference when Henrik is teeing you up for the shots?
SAMI SALO: I don’t think it matters who is playing the point when he has the puck.

Q. You have no intentions of coming back. Apparently you can’t even get a flight to Vancouver tomorrow. Reports of over 4,000 Canucks fans down here this weekend. Comment what it’s like to hear everybody from Vancouver.

HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, I mean, going out for warmup on the ice, it’s almost like you’re playing a home game. Fans are around the rink yelling and screaming. It was a great feeling going out there. It’s nice to see the support we have and how excited our city is for our journey here in the playoffs.

Yes, it’s great to be part of.

Q. Sami, what prompted the haircut? Any way responsible for your game today?
SAMI SALO: Nothing really. Kind of the Army look I had when I was 18.

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