Canucks and Beyond

Practice Day Transcript: Canucks -- Vigneault, H.Sedin, Salo, Luongo, Ehrhoff

05/23/2011 at 6:24pm EDT

Complete transcripts from the Q&A’s today with Henrik Sedin, Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff, Roberto Luongo and coach Alain Vigneault.
Q. How have you and Danny turned around to be so good this year?
HENRIK SEDIN: Again, we believe in ourselves. We believe, even though everyone on the outside hasn’t, we believe that we’re good players and we’re playoff players. We can show up in big games.

But, again, if we lost against Nashville or Chicago in Game 7, we wouldn’t be here.

Q. (Question regarding the style of game against San Jose.)
HENRIK SEDIN: I think it is for everyone if you want to score. They’re a good defensive team, don’t get me wrong about it. They got guys that want to score.

Every team obviously has different matchups, different styles. You have to be able to fight through both. Against Nashville, it was low-scoring games.

This is the way it is.

Q. How would you rate Luongo’s game yesterday compared to the regular season?
HENRIK SEDIN: I think he’s been good throughout the playoffs. He’s had his ups and downs just like everyone else. I think in the last series against Nashville and this series, too, he has played extremely well.

We’re not surprised. We’re extremely happy.

Q. Do you feel unless Luongo plays poorly he’s sort of forgotten and taken for granted?
HENRIK SEDIN: Yeah, maybe. But, I don’t know, again, I think it’s easy, especially in the playoffs, when you’re playing well or guys are playing well, you don’t really talk about that. You talk about guys that are not playing well. That’s the way it is, especially in the playoffs, I think.

Q. In terms of the penalty killing, was he your best penalty killer yesterday?
HENRIK SEDIN: He has to be. If he’s not your best penalty killer, you’re not going to kill off penalties. He was great. If he doesn’t make those saves early on, we find ourselves in a hole. They feel good about themselves, the way they play, it’s a tough game to win.

Q. Your PK has been very good the last couple games. Was it one of those things where you started off poorly and improved?
HENRIK SEDIN: I don’t know, PK, they’ve been good all year. I think it’s one of those things where we didn’t give up a whole lot of power-plays. They were able to get a few bounces here and there. You look at the stats, they’re four for four, five for five. Your confidence goes down a little bit.

When you don’t maybe trust in each other, think they’re going to kill it off, you’re usually not going to get the bounces, they’re going to make plays, you’re maybe a little bit hesitant, so…

Q. You learned from a lot of experiences you had from elimination games.
ROBERTO LUONGO: What is there to learn? We didn’t get the job done. I didn’t think we wanted to lose that game by any means.

At the end of the day, like I said, the last one is always going to be the toughest one to win. We want to make sure we treat tomorrow night like a Game 7 for us, we come prepared like it’s that game.

Q. (No microphone.)
ROBERTO LUONGO: I think right now, we’re at a spot where we’re one game away from the Stanley Cup finals, one win away. The guys are excited about that. We want to, I don’t know, obviously get there. We want to do whatever it takes to get there. I think today is going to be real important to get the right amount of rest, preparation, and make sure when we come to play tomorrow, we treat this like a Game 7.

SAMI SALO: Going out there to win if you’re just sitting back, usually things are not going your way.

Q. Penalties the other couple games in San Jose, how important is it being the more disciplined of the two teams tomorrow?
SAMI SALO: It’s important. Obviously, you don’t want to take five penalties in a row and shoot yourself in the leg that way.

Q. How important is it to close tomorrow?
SAMI SALO: I think it’s key in any situations. We noticed from the series past, we just have to have the killer instinct to kill the other team off or it will give the other teams momentum and too many chances.

Q. What does this mean to you?
SAMI SALO: Obviously it’s been a long journey, the whole year with the things that’s happened.

I’m just excited to be part of this great group.

Q. Were you close to saying, I’m not going to attempt this comeback?
SAMI SALO: Not really. The rehab with the surgery was successful. We put a great plan in. Just used the directions that the doctors gave me and here we are right now.

Q. Was this the most difficult one to come back from?
SAMI SALO: Yeah, for sure. I think for anybody, it’s difficult to come back when you missed the whole off-season training, training camp, most of the year.

Q. Any idea on tomorrow night?

Q. Is tomorrow even part of the discussion? Is it at all a possibility?
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: It’s day to day right now.

Q. Do you feel any better than you were the other day?
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: Yeah, definitely feel better than Friday after the game, for sure. But still day to day.

Q. What would be the biggest concern to keep you out of the lineup tomorrow?
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: I don’t understand that question.

Q. What would keep you out? If you’re day to day right now, what would keep you out of the lineup?
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: If it’s not ready to go, I obviously wouldn’t go. That’s a decision we got to make.

Q. If this was a Game 7, would you play?
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: Well, it is kind of a Game 7. In the playoffs, every game is like a Game 7. I don’t think that’s the issue. Either it’s good to go or it’s not.

Q. Take us through the play.

Q. The play where it happened.
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: Don’t know which play it happened.

Q. The play with McGinn.
CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF: I can’t talk about that.

Questions for Alain Vigneault:

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, our focus, again, is going to be on how we’ve approached each and every game. We’re going to try to put our best game on the ice with a real solid effort. If we do that, we’re confident that the results might go in our favor.

We’re playing against a real strong opponents, one of the best teams in the National Hockey League. We know they’re going to come here to play and work real hard. We’re going to focus on trying to put our best game on the ice.

Q. All the players acknowledge it will be difficult not to have in the back of their mind they’re a win away from playing in the finals. Is that a good thing?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I think today that’s normal. That’s normal to be thinking about that, the fact we’re up 3?1.

Come tomorrow, I think what we have to do is be in the moment, be focused on the process that needs to be applied on the ice with the right intensity and the right emotion. That’s where I believe our leadership group’s going to come in and make sure everybody understands what needs to be done. If you focus on that, then usually the results just take care of themselves.

Q. Is there any possibility that Christian plays tomorrow?

COACH VIGNEAULT: He’s day to day right now. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.

Q. How did he look on the ice today?

COACH VIGNEAULT: The few minutes I saw him, he looked fine.

Q. Any update on Aaron Rome?


Q. (Question regarding the replacement defensemen.)

COACH VIGNEAULT: I’m real pleased on how both Keith and Chris played in last night’s game. That was obviously a big stage. Both of them hadn’t played for a while, and they both stepped in, got close to 10 minutes of ice time, were real dependable, made the right plays at the right time, both with and without the puck.

You can tell that they wanted to do well, and they went out there and they did well.

Q. Talk a little bit about Keith’s ability to step in and perform, and his demeanor around the dressing room.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Keith is a quality person. He’s like the rest of the group right now: he wants to win. Obviously I’m sure he’d like to play on a nightly basis.

But given certain circumstances, he hasn’t. He’s put the team ahead of himself and made sure that he stayed positive around his teammates, helped his teammates out. That’s what we expected of him. In that situation, that’s what he’s given us. Now we need him to play and he played well.

Q. Would you like to see a little more five-on-five play?

COACH VIGNEAULT: We’ll take the games how they’re handed to us. I mean, you know, when you have a power-play, you got to try to score. When you have a penalty, you have to try to kill it.

Five-on-five, I think you have two teams there that can play real well, but we don’t dictate that.

Q. The decision regarding Christian, the fact if he doesn’t play he could potentially have a long time to heal versus making you better, does that factor into the game situations?

COACH VIGNEAULT: He’s day to day right now. That’s all we’re going to say.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH VIGNEAULT: I mean, I think this series, to some extent, is not much different than the other two. I mean, you got to work real hard for every inch on the ice. You got to win your one?on?ones offensively and defensively. I think the twins against Nashville, that’s the series where everybody seems to be pointing at, they were generating a lot of chances, they were working real hard.

You know, you got to give credit where credit is due. Nashville had a great goaltender. He made some unreal saves. That’s behind us. It’s behind them right now. They’re focused on tomorrow’s game. They’ve played well. We want them to continue to play well.

Q. You’re 0-2 at Game 5s with a chance to close. Do you of play the percentages that you’re due?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I’m not even thinking about that. I’m thinking about what we need to do tomorrow, to play a good game against a real solid team. That’s what my focus is on.

Q. Just the luxury that you have put yourself in the position of not playing from behind in any of these series.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Again, we’re in the one?game mentality. We’re going to try and play our best game tomorrow.

Q. You wanted someone to ask you about your goaltender yesterday. I found your comments interesting about no one asking you about the goalie. What was that for?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Played an outstanding game. Was one of the best players on the ice. Helped us win a game. I get tons of questions when some people question a goal he might have let in.

For us, he’s a great goaltender. One, if not the best, in the league. His preparation, his commitment to winning, his commitment to this organization is unbelievable.

I was curious the way he played such a great game and nobody asked.

Q. Sort of sticking up for your goalie?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I think I was just stating the obvious: he’s a great goaltender that had a great game.

Q. That was the first question you got in the previous press conference.

COACH VIGNEAULT: I turned the page on that and focus on tomorrow.

Anything else?

Q. Offensively for your team, whether it’s every game, every series, there’s always somebody else. Does that take pressure off your top guys, that they don’t have to press because they know someone is there if they’re not on any given night?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I think at this time of the year, the only way to win and to move ahead is if you get contributions from everybody. Can’t be just Hank’s line. Can’t just be Kesler’s line. You have to get something from the back end now and then. You have to get something from your third or fourth line. That’s how you win games and that’s how you move forward.

So far we’ve had that and we need that to continue.

Q. Sami Salo, a player who started the season questionable. He comes back with two big goals. Talk about him a little bit.
COACH VIGNEAULT: I mean, everybody knows our record when Sami is in our lineup. At his age, to come back from such a serious injury, we weren’t sure we were going to pull that off. He worked really hard, was extremely focused and positive about his rehab, accepted to go down to the minors to work at his game. Finally we were able to put him in our lineup.

Obviously, when he’s on top of his game, he really helps our back end.

Q. As the games gain more importance, what are you doing to make sure your team stays on an even keel and just relaxed?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Same thing we’ve done all year long: focus on the game, focus on the process. Our veteran guys make sure that everybody stays in the right frame of mind in our dressing room.

Q. Going back to Luongo. He looked really focused, was coming out and challenging pucks, not giving up a lot of rebounds yesterday. How does he get in the zone? Is it getting all those pucks early that helped him get into the game?

COACH VIGNEAULT: In my mind he’s been in the zone for a long time. He prepares himself extremely well to play. He’s one of the best goalies in the league, if not the best.

Create an Account

In order to leave a comment, please create an account.

About Canucks and Beyond

Most Recent Posts

Most Recent Comments

Comment by Paul in Abel to Yzerman from the entry Videos- All The Post Game Talk - 2 hours ago
Comment by Paul in Kukla's Korner Hockey from the entry NHL Short Notes - 2 hours ago