Bodnarchuk Discusses Game 3 Win (and playoff beards)

Bodnarchuk Manchester playoffs 2015 by TiltonA veteran in professional hockey, Andrew Bodnarchuk has seen his fair share of winning teams. Spending time as a black ace in both the Kings and Bruins organization, Bodnarchuk may know better than any of his teammates what it takes to win at the professional level. His experience and solid play have made him a key cog for coach Mike Stothers throughout the year. After winning Game 3 in Hartford, Bodnarchuk spoke to us about the contest, his experience, playoff  beards, and more…

On winning Game 3:

“This is a big one for us, I think we came in with really good focus I think we learned from our previous two series, both series we got up two goals. I think we felt out the other team a little bit too much in their own barn, but I liked the way we came out. As far as our overall team, I think we’ve got three wins but we haven’t seen our best hockey against this team yet. I think it’s something we’re going to have to clean up as we move forward, especially heading into Game 4. If there is anything we’ve learned, the hardest thing to do is put away a team, so by no means are we comfortable with our three win lead here.”

 On if they expected to be up 3-0 after struggling in first rounds:

“First off, absolutely not. I don’t think any team expects to get a three game lead. I think especially in playoffs, it’s one game at a time. Before the series, we were just looking forward to the first game, first periods. You can’t get too ahead of yourself. The Portland series was a battle, but I think at the same time, we learned a lot about the resiliency of our team and how to weather pressure and storms, in a way. It was a big learning experience series for us, and you can’t look back and say ifs and buts, you have to just keep moving forward. We are where we are now, and like I said, the fourth game is the hardest.”

On how to close out the series:

“I think we have to come in and start the same way, but as far as an overall 60 minute game, we have to keep it simple in this building. They’re a team that notoriously came out hard and forecheck hard in this building. I think stye play a little heavier game in this building. We’re going to expect their best, and we’re going to have to keep it simple and play a smart road game.”

On his lessons from being a Black Ace:

“Definitely. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on a few long runs as a Black Ace, being with Boston before LA. So, I got two nice runs with LA and obviously last year, they won the cup. So I’ve seen a lot of playoff hockey but the biggest thing for me, and bringing it to the guys, is the calm demeanor of a team that wins it all. LA was in a lot of situations last year that they could have hit the panic button, and they faced adversity, but I think their best players and their leadership did an awesome job. Whether it was practice or game-to-game, keeping the guys calm and keeping their eye on how to play and the ultimate goal. I wouldn’t say I carry too much of that over, but it’s definitely nice to see that and try to relay that message to the guys.”

 On defensive effort tonight:

“I try not to look at the scoreboard too much, but I know in the first period, we really limited them shot-wise. It was a little while into the game before they got their first shot. But they’re a team that will definitely, definitely make you pay on mental errors. That’s what I’m talking about, as far as cutting that out of our game, because at any point you make the wrong play, or a little mental mistake, they’re a team that has the skill to jump on it and put it in the back of the net. The same goes for penalties, I think if we’re taking dumb penalties, penalties that aren’t stopping their goal, they’re a team that thrives on that. They have unbelievable skill up front, so limiting their opportunities five-on-five is key for us. Just the overall game, limiting their opportunities is big because they have a team that jumps all over mistakes.”

On scoring first in a game:

“Momentum is huge, and it’s huge in playoffs. I can’t pinpoint what’s going right for us, as far as scoring first, but I think that we have good focus in the dressing room and good focus heading into the game. We have some unbelievably skilled forwards that is scoring first in the games. I think it takes a little bit of weight off your shoulders, but in playoffs by no means do we let down our guard. It’s definitely easier on the mind, playing with the lead at the start then chipping away and trying to get the lead back. That being said, we’ve had the lead a few times and given it up and Hartford has tied it up. Hopefully we can get the lead again and hang onto it.”

 On who has the best beard:

“We’ve got some good ones. Vinny [LoVerde] was sitting beside me in the locker and I looked over, and he has a pretty grizzly beard going on. I take a lot of pride in my beards, but more so some of the younger guys are definitely struggling with it. Hopefully we can keep growing them and see what we have going on at the end of the playoffs.”

Full game analysis, video highlights, and line combinations from Game 3 are available here, plus we have additional postgame quotes below.

RELATED CONTENT:

Monarchs Take 3-0 Lead in ECF, Coach Stothers Quotes

Nick Shore After Monarchs Take 3-0 Lead in ECF

Berube Quotes After Backstopping Monarchs to 3-0 Lead in ECF

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Comments

  1. Thanks Andy for the great reporting.

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