Canucks and Beyond

Post-Game with Roberto Luongo, Henrik Sedin, Coach Vigneault

05/25/2011 at 4:09am EDT


Q. Everything that you’ve gone through in your careers here, can you put into words playing for the Stanley Cup championship?
ROBERTO LUONGO: Just real excited right now. I mean, worked my whole life to be in this situation right now. It’s a great feeling, especially winning in overtime. I’m just looking forward to starting the next series.

Q. Henrik, can you explain what you saw on the winning goal, what you were doing? Looked like you were tapping your head or something.
HENRIK SEDIN: It’s my helmet. It’s a little loose (laughter).

No, it bounced off the partition or something between the glasses. We were lucky. Usually the referee blows it down when they don’t see the puck. But it was a good goal.

Q. Talk about their second goal, just what happened on that play from your perspectives.

HENRIK SEDIN: It’s a bounce. They come on a 2-0, Lou makes a great play. He comes out. That’s what you don’t want to see as a player, ‘cause it’s a bouncing puck. Very unlucky he doesn’t get it with his pad. That’s what happens.

ROBERTO LUONGO: I play like a D man. I took the shooter. I made the pass. Not my fault.

Q. Roberto, you had 54 saves, 16 in that first overtime. Specifically to that first overtime, what was that like for you?

ROBERTO LUONGO: I don’t know. I mean, that’s what hockey is all about. That’s why you play, to be in situations like that. You know, overtime in a conference final, you dream of things like that.

Honestly, I was just going out there, and I was out in front playing the game. I felt great the whole game. I was in the zone. I was just having fun out there.

Q. What does it say about this hockey team when maybe sometimes you don’t play your best hockey yet you manage to find a way to win?

HENRIK SEDIN: That’s what good teams do. I mean, we got different guys stepping up each night, like I said all along. Lou usually closes the door in the third. We were able to come back. We got a good feeling in there. We work hard for each other. It’s a fun team to be part of.

ROBERTO LUONGO: Yeah, exactly what Hank said. We got different guys chipping in every night. That’s what made us successful all year. It’s not always the same guy or same line contributing. We’ve got four great lines. Even the D men obviously contribute offensively. Once in a while, I mix in a save, and that’s it.

Q. Henrik, have you ever played a better playoff game? Where does this accomplishment rank with your Olympic gold medal, anything else you have achieved in your career?

HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, I mean, we felt as a line really good throughout the series. We were making plays that we know that we can. We had a ton of fun out there. We’ve been working hard for each other. It makes it easier.

Tonight we felt good again. I mean, we felt we could play for another four periods. We never seemed to be tired out there. That’s a good feeling to have.

I think for us, it’s up there with the Olympic gold medal for sure. It’s a tough journey to go through to get here. The Olympic medal, it’s a short tournament, you play a few games, you get a few bounces, you’re there. This is way tougher.

Q. There’s always talk about whether or not you grab the trophy, you touch the trophy, you lift the trophy. What was the thought process going into tonight and after the game?

HENRIK SEDIN: Well, I didn’t put in a lot of thought about it. I know it was going to be a tough game to win. I talked to a few guys. I mean, this is not the trophy we want to have. That’s the bottom line.

Q. Roberto, you won the Olympic gold medal in overtime last year. What does an experience like that do helping you maintain your concentration in a situation like tonight?

ROBERTO LUONGO: Obviously you use that as a preparation, especially for overtime and stuff like that. I mean, I think the Chicago game was more similar to that, you know, giving up a late goal. You know, this time where on this side of the medal. We scored late.

But overtime is overtime. That’s why we play hockey. That’s the best part of hockey. For me, you know, after you play 60 minutes of hockey, you’re not really thinking, you’re just going out there and playing. You see that every play, whether it’s in our zone or in the offensive zone, it’s exciting, breathtaking, the fans are into it. That’s what makes it so exciting.

Q. Henrik, what did it mean to see Kesler come back from his injury and battle to win a faceoff and score that goal?

HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, it was huge for us. To lose him, it makes it tougher for us to roll the lines. To see him come back to the bench, I mean, he’s a battler. He’s going to do a good job when he’s out there.

Hopefully he’s not too bad. We’re lucky maybe we get a few days here.

Q. Roberto, can you expand on being in the zone, how you feel going into the final?

ROBERTO LUONGO: I think I’ve been feeling pretty good the last couple series. The guys I think play really well defensively. Even though they have a lot of shots, we did a good job of neutralizing some secondary chances and stuff in the slot.

When guys do that, it makes my job a lot easier. It’s easier for me to play the shooter, not have to worry about other things. If we can keep doing that in the next round, I like our chances.

Q. What do you do tonight? Spend time with your teammates, family?

ROBERTO LUONGO: Going to bed. I’m a little tired. Spend time with my family, of course. Enjoy with them. Going to see these guys a bunch in the next week or so.

Q. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that you’re happy for. What does this mean to you to see Sami to finally get to play for the Stanley Cup?

HENRIK SEDIN: It was fun after the game to see his emotions. He rarely shows those. That was great to see. He’s been through a lot, like the rest of our team. We’ve been battling hard for a lot of years together. To finally be here, it’s a great feeling.

ROBERTO LUONGO: Yeah, we work all our lives for this, not only this season. Growing up as a kid, this is where you want to be. There’s a lot of guys in the locker room that haven’t had a chance to be where we are right now, including myself.

You know, you put in the work. It all starts in the summertime. It’s nice to see it pay off at the end of the day. Obviously we have the biggest step of all coming ahead of us. But right now I think we’re having the time of our lives and we’re enjoying every step of the way.

Q. Bieksa played with you a long time, gone through some injuries. People thought maybe he’d be traded earlier this year. He winds up getting the game winner.

HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, he’s been unbelievable these whole playoffs and throughout the year. He’s a good player. He’s been through a lot of, lot of injuries. It’s tough to come back from those, especially when you’re a player like him that needs to play with some emotions.

I think Hamhuis has helped him a lot this year. They’re a good D, the shots gone deeper, they’re good defensively, they can do it all. It’s great for them.

ROBERTO LUONGO: Yeah, I mean, Juice has had an unbelievable year since the start. It’s funny, everybody counted him out, like you said, being traded. He came in here with a great attitude from the start. I think that was key. You saw his maturity level throughout the season as far as his play. He was very consistent, especially with Hammer. I think they made a great D pairing.

You’re just happy for everybody in the locker room. We worked hard as a team. It’s nice to get rewarded when you go through so much as a group.

Q. Roberto, how much of a defining game is this for you?

ROBERTO LUONGO: I don’t know. Hopefully there’s a few more to come in the next couple weeks. I said to my family before the series started, this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. I’m just going to go out there and play and enjoy it. I just want to do what I do.

I work hard. I’ve been working hard all year to be in this situation. I’m just going to go out there and play and give my hundred percent every night.


Q. Did you see the goal go in? Did you see how that play happened?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I just saw it on replay. Obviously, during the game itself, I saw the puck go in the net, the players jumping. I wasn’t quite sure what had happened.

You know, this game is sometimes about getting the bounces. Obviously we got some tonight. I think we deserved to get some bounces. It paid off.

Q. What are your thoughts about going to the Stanley Cup finals?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I’m extremely proud of my players, the organization. Real happy for the fans. I mean, obviously this has been a long time coming. Like we had said at the start of the season, we were in this not to win one round, two rounds, three rounds, but to get in this to win the Stanley Cup. Now we’re going to get the opportunity to compete for it.

I think our players deserve it. I think our organization and our fans deserve it also. So we’re going to give it our best shot.

Q. Talk about Luongo and how he played tonight.

COACH VIGNEAULT: I thought he was real good. I don’t know about you guys. I thought he was real good. Tonight, without a doubt, they played a real strong game, probably their best game of these playoffs. We had a couple of breakdowns that he was able to keep us in the game.

We had one line I thought tonight that was really going and it was the twins with Burr and obviously him. He was, in my mind, the difference tonight.

Q. Is that the best game he’s played for you?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Oh, he’s played a tremendous amount of very good games for this organization since I’ve been here and since he’s been here. We’ve both been here five years.

Obviously tonight was a bigger stage. It was the first time we were in this type of opportunity. He played phenomenal.

Q. You said you only had one line going tonight. Talk about what they meant in a game like this.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I think you got to give them credit. I thought that their group competed extremely hard. For Thornton to play tonight with the injury he had, you got to give him and his teammates full marks.

But when Hank’s line was on the ice, they controlled the play. They made some unbelievable plays at their end. The only thing that didn’t do was get a few of those chances through. But they controlled the play, they did some amazing things with the puck. They’re elite players and they proved it again tonight.

Q. When Ryan Kesler goes out limping, then he comes back, wins a big faceoff, scores that goal, talk about his ability to do such a thing like that.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, he’s been one of our guys, without a doubt, driving the bus. I think we got a few guys right now that are helping with that bus drive there.

But at this time of the year, I mean, what he did was what a lot of our players are doing: you got to play through things. Even though I tell you every day that we’re all a hundred percent, I mean, it’s quite normal to say I might not be telling the whole truth.

You know, he went out and he competed real hard. He gave us a chance to win this game in OT.

Q. Looking ahead, you’re going to say you don’t care who you play coming out of the east.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Why you asking me the question then (laughter)?

Q. Any kind of adjustments you need to make going into the next round?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I think, first of all, we’ll try to enjoy this tonight. This is a great day for our team and our fans. Once we know who we’re playing, then we’ll get ready for them and make the adjustments that we need to make there.

Q. (Question regarding the farm team in Manitoba.)

COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, I think you got to give a lot of credit to Claude Noel and his staff down there who obviously did a great job with our young players. To put some of those players in the lineup at this time of the year, on this stage, says a lot about the work he’s done with those guys.

We’re real happy with what he’s done.

Q. Regarding the next round, have you paid much attention to that series? Were you watching the games?

COACH VIGNEAULT: We’ve been watching the games throughout. I don’t think that we’ve been paying tons of attention as far as systems. I think we’ve just been trying to enjoy the hockey.

In between our games, you know, you try and get your team ready. There’s a lot of work that goes into that. But at night you got to try and get away. I think for us, being hockey guys, you know, 24/7, the best way to get away is to enjoy the games. Throughout these playoffs, there have been great series, very entertaining. It’s fun to watch.

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