This morning involved a lot of running around – going from the Kings skate in El Segundo, to downtown for the Canucks ‘Daniel Sedin show. Over the next hour or so I’ll be posting some of the conversations I had with a few of the key players. There’s a lot to type up, so nothing fancy – just the raw quotes. First up, Rob Scuderi…
– Thoughts going into tonight – “It has to be ‘Let’s close it out.’ Any playoff series, like any hockey game, works off of momentum. If we allow them to have a little life, they’re going to cling to it and they’re going to rally around it. Then, the series could be longer than we want.”
– On any special mentoring he might be providing the young guys (i.e. Alec Martinez and Slava Voynov) – “Not really. I think everyone has played in big games before and the same thing applies. The only thing that might be different over the course of the series, not just for me but for guys who have been through it before, we’re suggesting there has to be that mindset, ‘We have to close it out.’ Like I just said, if you give any team life, they seem to rally around it. We’ve seen a lot of 3-0 comebacks – almost recently, the Flyers beat the Bruins in 2010. Then, last year, there was almost two of them. The team ended up prevailing in the seventh game, but do you really want to get to that point? You have to take advantage of your chance to close a team out.”
– On his season long mantra of ‘We just worry about ourselves’ and the media circus surrounding will Daniel Sedin play – “We’re preparing that he’s going to play. I think that’s really the only way you really can prepare for it, to set your mind that he is going to be in the line-up and he’s going to be effective and is going to be a factor. So, it’s not going to change anything we do as a team strategy or concept. But, it’s certainly something we’re going to keep an eye on.”
– On how to best use his dry humor this time of year – “I think the best situation is to find the balance between the two worlds. You can’t be serious all the time and you can’t be serious the whole time. I think you have to find that balance where you can keep things loose at certain times, but when it comes down to crunch time you have to realize it’s about getting the job done and becoming better as an individual and as a team.”
Also, if you haven’t already entered tonight’s First Goal Contest, be sure to do that here.