Thursday, June 6, 2013
Penguins focused only on Game 4
By Scott Burnside
There's always a lot of hocus-pocus when a team is down 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, and while Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma acknowledged "it's not a very encouraging picture," it was still interesting to hear Bylsma liken the situation to winning the gold medal at the Olympics.
Teams that win gold have to win four elimination games. They don't have to win them all at once and not all against the same team, but it's a process, one step leading to the next.
"In the Olympics to win a gold medal for Canada, they've got to win four games, four elimination games, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and U.S. Those are games that you have to win to go on, and that's what we're at right now," Bylsma said. "We don't have to win four games against the Boston Bruins, we have to win one game [Friday] night to move on to Game 5 to get this thing back to the 'Burgh, and that's what we have to look at, not the numbers, not the odds, not the four wins. We have to look at winning one hockey game, 60 minutes [Friday] night."
The Pens players with comeback experience include forward Pascal Dupuis, who was with the Minnesota Wild when the Wild twice erased 3-to-1 deficits in the 2003 playoffs, once against a Vancouver Canucks team for which current teammate Matt Cooke played.
"That's the closest thing. Once, against Matt in Vancouver," Dupuis said. "As far as numbers and odds and everything like that, every year is different. If you ask [the Bruins], they were up 3-0 a couple years ago, and they lost. So it's numbers, different players, everything is different about this one."
Cooke said he has seen a lot of different situations in his career and he prefers to think small picture.
"Personally, I think being in all different types of situations in the playoffs, and I've said this in the last two series, it always becomes about the next game and the next game is the most important, and you quickly have to move forward," Cooke said. "There's a lot of belief in our dressing room and the group that we have and what we've accomplished, and right now it's about Game 4 and that's it."
• Bylsma said there was no doubt in his mind there was a hook by Jaromir Jagr on Evgeni Malkin in the moments leading up to Patrice Bergeron's game winner late in the second overtime period in Game 3 Wednesday night. But ...
"I'm not sure at that point in the game I thought for one second, with how the game was being called, that I expected a call at all on the play," he said.
• Bylsma said there were no issues with defenseman Brooks Orpik in terms of playing in Game 4 Friday night after Orpik took a thunderous hit from Milan Lucic in the second overtime period. Orpik appeared dazed from the hit but did return to the ice a few moments later, and was on the ice when the winning goal was scored.
• There was an interesting give-and-take between veteran Pittsburgh beat writer Rob Rossi and Bylsma on Thursday afternoon. Rossi asked what the coach felt was at stake personally for him in Game 4 and moving forward in this series.
"I don't coach, have never coached, for my job," Bylsma responded. "When I took over as coach of this hockey team in '09, I came here to win hockey games, and that's where we're at right now. We know what's in front of us. We know exactly what's in front of us with the odds being down 0-3, but I believe in that group, I believe in that team, I believe in how we battled and how we're going to battle, and we're going to go in knowing we have an elimination game and win Game 4."