Hawks quotes from Tuesday interviews

June, 1, 2010
6/01/10
6:34
PM CT
[+] EnlargeBen Eager
Dave Sandford/NHLI/Getty ImagesBen Eager and Chris Pronger had words after Game 2, so it will be interesting to see if anything develops on the ice Wednesday.

Here is a transcript of interviews Tuesday with coach Joel Quenneville, John Madden and Brent Seabrook:

Q. You may have been asked a couple times about home ice advantage or playing Chicago or other places that you've played. When you've played, was there ever a barn that you absolutely honestly hated to go into and maybe were even mildly fearful?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, I used to play in here when it was no fun back in the day. Whether it was Toronto or Colorado or whatever the teams I was on, they had tough teams. It was one of those nights you knew you could be in for a long night, but that's part of the game.


I think certain games you welcome that challenge. But I think tomorrow we expect a very competitive game. I think discipline is something that we stress going into every game no matter where we're at in this playoff season, and I think tomorrow's going to be the toughest challenge we've had all Playoffs. I think being smart about how we go into it and playing with energy is what we're all about.


Q. Do you have any update about Ladd's availability?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: We'll address that tomorrow. Same status as he's had in the Playoffs.


Q. And you've had seven different players score goals, is it a depth of talent or something the Flyers are doing that have allowed those guys to score?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: We've got some depth in our lineup. We've had some guys that when we make up lines, we feel a lot of guys can play with anybody. I think we have a lot of interchangeable parts. We've got a lot of high-end players that can make plays and have patience with the puck.


Some guys have maybe a little more skill level than others, but I think they're all able to score. I think that's what you see in a lot of playoff Series. The guys that get most of the attention sometimes aren't the guys that are being productive. I think a guy like Hossa all year, we were talking about him throughout the Playoffs and his production, but his effectiveness is what we appreciate, his contribution to our team game. Now he's all of a sudden on the score sheet, but he does a lot of things to enhance our game.


The thing that we like about it going into games is we don't care who scores, but there's a lot of options. We feel all four lines can score.


Q. With that said though, how necessary is it to get Kane and Toews on the score sheet going forward to try to win this Cup? Is there anything you can do to get them going?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, two-thirds of that line was on the ice when we scored the winning goal, so we'll look at that as a positive. They had some threats around the net. Some nights they don't go in. In fact, they're more effective and useful than they were in the first game.


I think it's a bit of a trend. I think, throughout playoffs and the history of Playoffs, it's not always the top line that gets it done as far as the goal scoring. By committee or by a team, there's a lot of different areas. Your defense can even complement our scoring as well.


Q. Can you just talk about John Madden a little bit and how positive an influence he's been on younger guys like Toews and Kane?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, I think Johnny Madden's experience is a key factor to our team. As far as how he is in the locker room and on the ice in practice, he knows how to have fun at the right times. His approach is just what you look for. Critical in face-offs for us, useful in that area.


The one area immediately this year that we're looking to be improved upon in our team game was our penalty killing. I think he really enhanced it. We moved up from being one of the lower tiered teams last year to one of the top teams this year. I think he's been a pivotal part of that team.


I think at this time of the year his experience is huge for us. The young guys particularly, guys that haven't played at this time of the year, it's the little things that he can say or do that is noted.


Q. If you don't mind, take us back there again. What was it like coming in here in '74 or '75?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: I'm not that old.


Q. But the old Spectrum and this team?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: I would say that there were some nights -- I started in '78. It was a tough building. They had a lot of guys that some nights, depending on the score, would get ugly. It got ugly a few times. But back in the day, I mean, there were a lot of nights where there were long nights. When I say long nights there could have been five-on-fives or bench-clearing brawls, but that's a thing of the past.


Q. When teams are ahead 2-0 do coaches warn teams you're only halfway, 2 out of 4? Is that message driven even harder knowing the propensity for the Flyers to come back and win?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: Our focus is on one game. Tomorrow's going to be our toughest game, and they're going to be ready. We're looking for the perfect road game. We have to play the best game we've played all Playoffs.


We feel we can still move up in the first two games levels. That's our focus and our mindset. We don't want to get further than that and looking past tomorrow's game. Our mindset is we want to win that game like we have to win.


Q. John, there's been some questions about the crowd and how they'll be tomorrow. You've played a lot of interesting games here. Do you have any particular story, whether it's the vocabulary the crowd uses or what is different about this crowd? Anything specific you can give us?


JOHN MADDEN: No, nothing comes to mind, but they're definitely loud. They're definitely into the game, and it's safer to be playing on the ice than to be a Chicago fan in the stands; I can say that.


Q. I'm just curious. How many times have you been asked this spring about the crowd either in Chicago or wherever you go? And does it honestly make any difference at all to you? Do you think where you play what the crowd sounds like? Is there truly a difference?


JOHN MADDEN: We've played in some big hockey markets in Vancouver and San Jose. The crowds have been unbelievable. Obviously at home in Chicago it's been great. We've had that question asked a lot.


Now, coming to Philly, I haven't played here a lot, but from Sharpie and Eags and a few of the guys that have played against the Flyers, you know, it's a fun barn to play in. You know, the crowd's going to be a lot of fun.


BRENT SEABROOK: I have no idea how many times that question's been asked. But the building here is great. I've played here a couple times in the Playoffs. It's a fantastic building to play in. I think it can play to a team's advantage, especially Philly's. If they're playing well, and the team's going well, their fans will let them know it. So it can be to their advantage for sure.


Q. John, the trend here as in the San Jose Series there were at least three games that could have gone either way down to the end. Two games in this Series could have gone either way, frankly. But you guys win them all; how come?


JOHN MADDEN: Somehow we end up with more goals than them. You know, I don't know. We've just been able to hold our composure a little better. Obviously, Dustin Byfuglien in the San Jose Series came up with some big goals for us. Timing is everything.


But we've just been able to hold on, or get the penalty kill at the right time or the power-play goal, and that's always been the difference. That's playoff hockey.


A lot of times people will look back on a Series and say, you know, San Jose could have won a few games if they just had a couple breaks. But right now we're getting the breaks and hopefully we'll continue to get those.


Q. Brent, Peter Laviolette talked about how he wants to get at Antti Niemi tomorrow night and make him feel like a rookie and crack under the pressure. Can you talk about what Antti's mindset is like and why you don't think he'll buckle in Game 3 or at any point in the Series?


BRENT SEABROOK: He's pretty calm, cool, and collected. He doesn't let much bother him, at least nothing that we can see. He's pretty quiet in the room. He does his own thing and makes big saves.


He's been huge for us all year, and teams have tried to get at him and get traffic and bump him a little bit. You know, he's really answered the bell. I don't think he lets that stuff get to him. He just continues to play his game, which has been great for us.


Q. John, is there any difference when you have a 2-0 lead going on the road as opposed to the last Series you were coming home with the lead? Now you're going on the road with the lead. Is there any more caution or anything like that with this team having history of making comebacks and they're looking to get going at home now?


JOHN MADDEN: I think, if anything, we'll be more aware of what's going on. Obviously, in the San Jose Series coming back up 2-0, we thought we were a little more in control because we were going to be playing in our building. Obviously, those games were tight and could have gone either way. But in this particular case, this Game 3's huge. We're not concerned about where we're playing hockey. We're concerned about winning games. So having said that, we're looking at Game 3 as a pivotal game. If we can get that, obviously, we like our chances more.


Q. Why do you think you guys have had such success on the road? I know you don't necessarily care where you play. But it is a little more difficult to play on the road; isn't it?


JOHN MADDEN: For some. I think we just play a more simple game. We're not so worried about line matches. We're not so worried about certain things. We're just out there playing hockey and sticking together. When we're able to play a simple game, we seem to be able to roll the lines and have better forechecking and just keep playing.


The best thing I can say is it is a simple game. We're not concerned about where we're playing; we just go out there and play hockey.


Q. Can you just talk about your role with this team over the last couple of months? Obviously, this is a very young club overall. Have guys leaned on you for advice? I know a lot of them made the semifinals last year, but this is a little bit of a different animal here.


JOHN MADDEN: Yeah, there's been a lot of talk and just one-on-ones with a few guys. Lots of questions about my experience playing in maybe this building or in certain Finals certain things have happened. I just shared my experience. My role on this team has just been to try to provide a solid, steady, fourth line center.


Q. As a team, how much have you all discussed the history of a home team that's won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final 31 times, and went on to win the Series twice. But twice the teams have not done it last year and the '72 Blackhawks. Have you guys discussed that or talked about that?


BRENT SEABROOK No. Didn't know that stat. We don't like to talk about that kind of stuff. You know, we're focused on winning Game 3 and that is where our focus is and where it's got to be.


Q. Patrick, last time you played in a playoff game here was in 2005, Calder Cup Finals. You know what this crowd's going to be like. Can you talk about what it's going to be like playing a playoff game here in Philadelphia?


PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, Benny and I were talking about that earlier. It's Benny's last game as well and the crowd's awesome. The Orange Crush comes out and fans are very knowledgeable, and certainly let the home team know if they're not playing well, they're not happy with the way they're playing.


So it's going to be a fun atmosphere for everybody. As a team, we come out to quiet them the best we can.


Q. Ben, you said last night that Chris could keep the pucks. I want to know about the towel. Can he keep the towel, too, or did you keep that?


BEN EAGER: I'm not too worried about what happened last night after the game. You know, we're just going to leave that on the ice, and worry about tomorrow.


Q. If I can ask you, at this stage of the Series, has it gotten to a point where the rivalry is pretty healthy, like you guys don't play each other essentially at all during the regular season. But it seems that there's a fair amount of closeness now.


BEN EAGER: I think last night was a step in the right direction. You know, it's a lot different than the first game. There was a lot more checks thrown, a lot more stuff after the whistles. You know, guys are starting to get after each other.


The more you play against another team, especially in the Cup Finals, there's going to be some dislike, and I expect it to be no different tomorrow night.


DAVE BOLLAND: It's changed. It's a real playoff game now. From that first one that we played, it got more nastier, and just little things after the whistles and everything's happening.


Q. Patrick, what do you attribute your success over the road this postseason to?


PATRICK SHARP: I've been asked that question a lot during the Playoffs, and I don't have an answer for you. I just think that we're a team that gets along well off the ice, and we enjoy each other's companies, especially in the Playoffs. Not much to worry about in hockey except hockey, and that's what the focus is.


We're stuck with each other for a long time, and we enjoy each other's companies. Sometimes that translates on the ice, and our past success doesn't have much to do with tomorrow's game. It's start from scratch and we have to play our best to win.


Q. Are you surprised by how Philly has been able to maintain guys like Toews and Kane and Dustin? Do you put more pressure on yourselves to produce when you're in a rut like you are right now.


PATRICK SHARP: We're not worried about Johnny, Patrick, and Dustin. They've had a great playoff, great season. They do so much more for us than put pucks in the net. So it doesn't concern us. We've said all playoff long that we don't care who scores the goals as long as we're getting the wins. You see Benny step up with the game winner last night. We have four lines that can contribute offensively, and that's the reason we're here.


Q. How glad are you guys to be here in Philadelphia instead of back in Chicago and constantly hear all the talk about how you're going to sweep the Flyers? Are you glad to be away from that kind of talk?


BEN EAGER: There wasn't too much talk of that in Chicago, not that I heard at least. We did our job at home. We won our two games. They're going to be looking to do the same thing here. And we expect an effort like they put forth last night, and we'll have to be ready for tomorrow night for sure.


Q. Peter Laviolette said he wants to put some pressure on Antti Niemi in Game 3. To paraphrase him, wants to make him feel like a rookie and feel the pressure. Can you talk about Antti's make-up and why maybe the pressure won't get to him?


PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, it seems like all season people have been waiting for Antti to slow down and show he's a rookie. It seems that he's been getting better and better all season long. I know he's definitely got the confidence of us as a team in the locker room, and I think he's starting to prove to everybody else what kind of quality goaltender he is.


So to score goals in the Playoffs it's no secret, you've got to get to the net, and get puck and bodies there and disrupt the goaltender as much as you can. We're not surprised by those comments. I guess we're going to try to do the same thing to their goalie.


Q. Dave, there is a trend developing here. You guys played San Jose. And I would say at least three of those games were a coin flip. They could have ended in either team's favor. The two games in Chicago could have gone either way, but you win them all. You guys have won all those games. How come?


DAVE BOLLAND: I don't know, really. I think the last two games we haven't played our best, same as some of the other ones like in San Jose. I think we just tried to stick to the game. Just try to do what we do out there instead of trying to do a lot more things. We try to just keep it simple.


I think, as well as stealing those games, Antti has done a great job for us this whole Playoffs. He's been great for us, so I think we give him credit as well.


Q. Patrick and Ben, you guys played with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. It was their first experience at pro level. Now here we are five years later. Can you talk about what you saw from them then and the players they've matured into now? And also what your experience is with the crowd, what you think the crowd will be like when you go out there for Game 3?


PATRICK SHARP: I think the crowd's going to be awesome. It's Chicago and Philly. I know I'm biased. The only two teams I've played for at the NHL level, but I think they're two of the best crowds in the league.


It's going to be loud. They're going to be all over us and supporting their team. So I think we're all looking forward to that.


As far as Jeff and Mike, they're great players. They were highly touted coming in as rookies and they joined us in the Playoffs in the American League, and were a big part of that championship winning team. So they're great players and their careers have really taken off since then. It's nice to see what they're able to do. Hopefully, we can stop them for a couple more games.


Q. Patrick, there are always mind games in the Cup Final and all that stuff. Does Pronger taking the puck matter?


PATRICK SHARP: I didn't even know he took the puck until I saw that clip this morning. Doesn't matter to me. I didn't think twice about it. If he wants it, he can have it. We're thinking about hockey between the whistles and during the 60 minutes. So if he wants it, he can go grab it.


Q. If you all could address this. You guys haven't lost since the Vancouver Series. How much has that helped the mentality of this team knowing that the confidence of knowing that you guys could come back from anything and win games?


DAVE BOLLAND: It has been -- I think we've been great on the road as well. We've learned how to win on the road and to do what we do on the road. I think all of us having confidence and taking that pressure on the road to do well. I think for us now is to come in here and do what we did on the road in San Jose and Vancouver.


BEN EAGER: Yeah, like Dave said, we've been, you know, trying to show up prepared for every game. And we've been doing a pretty good job at that, practice hard. And Joel's put a good game plan for us, and the guys have been buying into it. Trying to keep it simple on the road, which has really helped.


We've been in trouble a bit at home a few games, but we were able to get through them with good performances by Antti. We're confident on the road, and we're going to be ready to go tomorrow night for sure.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26