Comments from Jeff Carter, Jarret Stoll, and Matt Greene on Tuesday…
Q. Jarret and Matt, talk about Dustin Brown, his captaincy, his style of leadership since you’ve come to L.A. Do you remember moments where you went, That’s our captain.
STOLL: I think both playoff runs, playoff games you see what Dustin Brown is all about, the physicality, his attitude. He can make plays. He can be on the power play, penalty kill. Sometimes he’s a quiet guy, but he leads by example, he leads on the ice, which is probably the most important part of leading anybody, any team.
Yeah, he does a lot for our team. He sets the tone in any game he plays, whether it’s physically or making a play or scoring a big goal, he can do all those things.
GREENE: I think he’s done a good job being the identity this team is built around. Hard, physical forwards with some skill. Very tough to play against. He was the driving force behind that. He delivers. He plays his game. He sets a tone for us. He’s forged an identity for himself and for our team.
Q. Jeff, do you draw on the first round against San Jose being down 3-0 knowing this isn’t over yet?
CARTER: Yeah, I mean, we realize that. We realize it’s never over till you win four games. It’s an old cliché, but the fourth game is always the toughest one to get. We know we’re going to get their best effort tomorrow night and we’ll have to be ready.
Q. For any of you. Knowing how the first two games played out, chasing the whole way, winning at the end, is there a shock or surprise at all in your room that this series is 3-0?
STOLL: That’s kind of a tough question to answer. You play the games.
Our team, we’ve been down a lot this post-season, we’ve been up, been in some exciting games, some long games.
We just keep playing, trying to find a way to win. We’ve had some fortunate bounces. But it’s June 10th right now and you need luck, you need bounces, hard work, to still be playing right now.
The Rangers have gotten some bounces and luck, too. They’re still playing. Take that for what it is. But you play the games, you find ways to win games. Sometimes you deserve them, sometimes you don’t, but you find a way to win them this time of the season.
Q. Jeff, have you had any time at any point during this run to think what a special year this could be for you individually to win Olympic gold and a Stanley Cup? Doesn’t get done by a lot of players.
CARTER: It’s not something I thought about, to be honest. We still got a long ways to go here.
We’re not looking ahead, we’re looking to tomorrow night. We know we’re going to have to be on top of our game, have to be ready.
Q. Jarret and Jeff, we talk about winning players a lot. You obviously have a lot of winning players. One that has come to the fore a lot is Justin Williams. From your perspective, what is it about this guy that he’s just involved in almost every big play that needs to happen for your team?
STOLL: One word that comes to mind is how competitive he is. The type of mentality he brings. He’s a very fiery guy. You can see how much he cares, how much he loves his teammates and the game of hockey. He wants to compete so hard, so bad. Whatever it takes kind of scenario, you see that.
The bigger the games get, he’s always showing up, making the big play like you said, the big play last night to Jeff. How competitive he is, that’s what comes to mind.
Q. Jarret, what benefit do you think there will be for your group that you had a chance two years ago that you’ve experienced coming to a rink knowing you can win the Stanley Cup? What did you learn doing that a few times back then?
STOLL: No let-up. Be as desperate before Game 3. We knew we needed to be a desperate team, winning a tough road game, tough building, just try to prepare to win a game. That’s it. No other thoughts beyond that. That’s it.
Q. Coach Sutter is calm or collected, win or lose, up or down. How does that carry over to the room and to you as a group?
GREENE: Yeah, it’s good. You know, I think we see a different side of Darryl than you guys do. He’s good.
All the coaches do a good job of keeping us focused on the task at hand. If you had a good game the night before, that’s over and done with. You have to move on. It’s the same if you had a bad night.
So it’s always kind of stay in the moment, you’re always looking forward to the next game, and they do a good job of that for us.
Q. Can you talk about Darryl when you were down 3-0 in San Jose, and now in this situation up 3-0? Anything he said during this run that’s really stuck with you guys?
CARTER: I think all playoffs, no matter what situation we’ve been in, with the guys we have in the room, the leadership that we got from our coaching staff, it’s never too high, never too low. Even when we were down three, we were still confident that if we played our game, did what we needed to do, that we could battle back and we could still win that series.
This series, being up 3-0, we’re a confident group again. It’s about going out, playing our game, executing our game plan, hopefully get the job done.
Q. Jonathan’s play on the ice we’ve all talked about. The San Jose series, you had a rough night Game 1 or 2. Words of encouragement. The leadership role he plays on this team.
GREENE: He’s a huge part of our team. He’s definitely a leader on our team. He’s there every night for us. He’s playing well, puts himself on the line every night. He does a great job and doesn’t ask for anything in return. It’s great having him back there.
I think we got a lot of guys on this team who really band together, really care for each other, and he’s one of them. He plays a huge role. It’s good to have that in your goaltender.
Q. For any of you, going back to the first round when you’re down 0-3 to San Jose, what are the emotions in your locker room right after the game, then the day after truthfully?
STOLL: Well, I think right away, initially, you know, this is me personally, I was like, “Gee, are we really down 0-3 here?” Very quickly after you realize you have to win Game 4, just win one game, start putting a little bit of pressure on them. You win one game, then you go into their building Game 5.
That was kind of a turning point I thought for that series for our team, going in there and winning. Put a lot of doubt in their minds.
Exactly what we do not want to do in this series. We want to have a killer instinct and play the right way, play determined, not let any of that stuff happen or think about it.
Q. Jarret, you touched on this, but Jeff and Matt, the Rangers have talked an awful lot about lucky bounces that have gone your way. Does that irk you at all? Is it more than that in your mind?
GREENE: No, it doesn’t. You just play the game, that’s it. You move on. Obviously, we don’t want to be chasing the games like we did in Games 1 and 2. At the end of day, we got the wins out of it.
Like Jarret said, whether it’s deserving or not, they’re done. We’re looking forward right now. We got a big game coming up. Hopefully we take care of business better than we did in Games 1 and 2.
Q. Matt, the term ‘puck management,’ what does that mean to you?
GREENE: Making the right plays, maybe not making the pretty play all the time, just the smart play. Maybe a chip off the glass rather than trying to feather a puck through a guy’s skates or something like that. Might not look the best, but you want to be playing safe, smart hockey at this time of year, capitalizing on your opportunities.
If it’s getting pucks deep, grinding teams down, playing our style of hockey. Might not always look the best, but I think if we play that way, we can be effective.
Q. Jeff, a couple years ago you were traded to this team mid-season. This year you saw Marian Gaborik come in. What is it like when you get traded into this group? Why does it work? And, Jarret, how much of the onus is it on the guys already here to make a new player work?
CARTER: It’s a pretty easy team to come into. Right from day one, the moment you walk into that room, you feel welcome. It says a lot about the type of people that Dean and the management, the coaching staff, bring in. Real character, quality people.
It’s all about winning. The moment that guy walks in the room, you do whatever you can to make him feel comfortable, part of the team. You pull him along.
STOLL: Yeah, a lot of the lines of what Jeff said. But we got good guys in the room. We got good people. We got guys that want to play the right way, aren’t selfish. There’s not one selfish guy in that room. We understand if there is a selfish guy in that room, we’ll either kick him out or he won’t play. That’s honestly the way it will work.
Yeah, we all care about each other. There’s no cliques on our team. There’s no some guys going off here, some guys going off there. We all do things together on the ice and off the ice. We get together a lot. We all live fairly close to each other down at the beach, five, ten minutes apart. So that helps, getting together, doing things.
We train together. We try to train together as much as we can in the off-season which I think also helps.
Yeah, when you come into the dressing room, you know everybody. You know everybody really well.
Q. You had a pretty tough road to get to the Stanley Cup Final. Now you’re up 3-0. How accurate do you think that is as a description of any talent difference between the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference?
GREENE: You got the last two teams playing, they’re going to be good teams. We’re in a real fortunate spot right now. But this is a really good team we’re playing right now. That’s it. I don’t think there’s any correlation to that.