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Playoff Practice Quotes: April 15, 2014

Quotes from coach Patrick Roy and Avalanche players as they prepare for the Wild

Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 6:14 PM / News
By Morgan Tholen
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Playoff Practice Quotes: April 15, 2014
Quotes from coach Patrick Roy and Avalanche players as they prepare for the Wild

Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog

On Injuries Affecting the Team: “Not at all, I mean, we’ve been dealing with injuries all season long just like any other team and whether it’s the key player or not, it is what it is. We’ve always managed to win games whether we’ve had guys in the lineup or out of the lineup. So, it certainly doesn’t bother us.”

On Adaptability of this Team: “Yeah, it certainly says a lot. I think it’s... we never rely on one or two guys to do the work. We’ve got a deep lineup up front and everybody’s contributing. When guys are out, guys are stepping up here and there. I think that’s certainly been important and a big part of our success.”

On Looking Forward to this Time of Year: “Yeah, it’s exciting. You can just feel the extra energy that’s in this room and at practice. Everybody is so much more focused everybody’s just looking forward to Thursday and certainly we are all taking care of ourselves throughout the season, but this is the time of year that everyone is, you know, making sure you’re getting sleep, make sure you’re eating right, make sure you’re staying hydrated and all that kind of stuff that’s really going to pay off. It’s certainly exciting, you can feel the buzz in the city too.”

Defenseman Erik Johnson

On His Expectations of the Playoffs: “I mean a lot of times the games against them are pretty boring, but I mean that’s kind of what they want to get you into. I think, you know, they’re a team that really prides themselves in defensive play and for us, we’re obviously a really good offensive team but we’ve shown that our D can step up. You know, I think just top to bottom we are a solid team that matches up pretty well against them and I think it will be a really great series. You know, I think every series in the West will be a lot of fun to watch.”

On the Key to Success Against the Wild: “I think the playoffs should be called goalie because, I mean, the goalie that gets hottest in the playoffs is usually the one that leads them there and we feel confident with the guy that we have in our net.”

Head Coach Patrick Roy

On the Status of Jan Hejda: “Upper body injury, day-to-day. I expect him to play against Minny.”

On Matt Duchene: “No update on that. Same thing. Roughly, four weeks we said at the time and I think we’re starting the third week. Just continue to have it rehabbed.”

On Youth Hindering Success in the Playoffs (This Year and When He Was a Rookie Player): “We had eight rookies that year. That was yesterday wasn’t it? It’s like time flies. Maybe 40 pounds heavier, but I mean, no it’s a great experience. At the time you always have those butterflies, but at the same time, I mean, you focus on what you have to do and control and what you control is how we are going to play. You want to be as prepared as possible.”

On Confidence in the Playoffs: “I always believe that you cannot just turn the switch on and off. It’s a process. Everything you’ve been doing all year, you’re coming to this moment and certainly prepare you well for that and tomorrow, not tomorrow, but Thursday, we just need to focus on what we’ve been doing all year and who we are as a team, I mean, and not change. The excitement of the game will take care of itself.”

On Max Talbot’s Experience: “Any players who have a chance to win a Stanley Cup could bring something very special on the team. I mean, Jiggy (Jean-Sebastien Giguere) has something to share with our guys and same thing with Max. Probably Cory Sarich could share something. He won a Cup at Tampa Bay. I mean, any player with that opportunity, certainly could help the team. Not only to start, but during the playoffs and to calm down if we feel that in the game we are behind, I mean these guys could bring their experience and make sure everyone is relaxed and feel that we still under control.”

On Nate (MacKinnon) Being Moved Back to Center: “Trying things. I mean, all along I wanted to give Ryan O’Reilly a shot at center. Obviously, Ryan and Dutchy (Matt Duchene) have played really well together. Also, the moment I put Nathan with Ryan, they did well as well. It’s something we’re going to start with. Is it going to be like this all the way? I’m not sure. It’s brings some speed in the middle which I like and I think it’s good to have that option for us.”

On John Mitchell's Status: “I’m not sure yet, like I said, it was an upper body injury and we’ll know more in a few days. He looks better everyday and I am confident that he will play somewhere in that playoff.”

On the Thin Line Between Confident and Overconfident: “I don’t think we could be overconfident, I mean, I don’t think you want to play with that also. I mean, you want to be a confident team. It always goes back to what we’ve been doing all year-- even keel. This is really important because all year we haven’t been too high or too low, we’ve just stayed at the same level and I don’t see why we would change. I don’t see why we could go in Thursday and be overconfident. Today was a good practice, we worked on things we think we are going to be able to use against the Wild. I mean, the focus is there. Also, I mean respect and trust have been important words for us and we have to put them back in play right now.”

On the Wild’s Potent Goalie (Ilya Bryzgalov): “I haven’t looked that much in to him. This is something that we are planning to do. We have a lot of things still to do before getting to the goalies, but he’s been playing well since he’s been there. He helped them. I mean at some point, everybody thought that he could be in trouble and then he came in and played well for them and they won big games. I mean, I respect what he has been doing and we are certainly going to have to be sharp around their net.”

On the Partnership with the Team: “Well, it’s something that I have been doing for eight years while coaching juniors. I believe in this and I think it is important for me that the players feel that they have someone they can come up to and I think having everybody involved at the same time, I think it helps. It’s a healthy relation in my opinion. It’s really helped. I mean, our players as well. it’s not one player that comes to the rink that doesn’t want to perform. I think now into this game, they need to have something that they can come up and talk about and I love also, exchanging on the ice. The day we work on face-off. It’s fun. When I see the guys as a group talking about ideas and things they could do and their forecheck, everybody’s involved. Everybody wants to understand and it’s their system. That’s why we’re partnered with them.”

On His Last Playoff Series Playing Against Minnesota: “I think our tank was empty than. I like to say to you that I would like to have a better run, yeah. I think we emptied the tank over the years. It’s been eight great years and we had six times, think about it, six times when we were in the conference final. I mean, I think the team was a bit tired and not as hungry when that game ended. They certainly deserved a lot of credit, but remember who was coaching that team. Jacques Lemaire. Hell of a coach.”

On His Tank Being Empty in His Last Game as a Player: “Yeah. Yeah, I knew it was my last game. Well, I was hoping it would not be my last game, but when the game was over, to answer your question, yes I knew it was over. My decision was made.”

On Modifying His System: “Always. I think that is what makes it very interesting. This is where the players are involved. I mean, there’s always adjustment. I mean, we could start the playoff playing one way and coaches adjust to us and then we are going to have to adjust. Unfortunately that is the name of the game, especially when you’re playing the best four out of seven. You don’t know how long the series is going to be, but you know one thing. I expect their coach to make adjustments and we will make adjustments. If we feel that we have a pretty good handle on the game and we feel that’s it’s getting tougher for us, then we certainly will use something different, but that’s the thing I love about our group. All year, we have been forechecking in the neutral zone. We’ve tried 1-2-2, 1-3-1, we’ve tried 1-4, we’ve tried 3-2, and we’ve tried different types of things and I think it’s really prepared us well. Then we tried something when we’ve had a curveball thrown to us and we were able to adjust. We are not going to have to wait until after the game, we are able to do it during the game.”

On Montreal’s Favoritism (When He Played): “Well first of all, the reason why the Montreal Canadiens were supposed to lose the first round was because of their goalie. He had no experience, and everybody said that Boston had a huge edge. In the first game, I had a really good start and the start is always important. If you have a good start, I mean certainly it brings a lot of confidence and it can help you.”

On General Thoughts About Minnesota: “Well, it’s a team that played really well, especially down the stretch. Like I said before, you have to win big games to clench the playoffs. I mean, at some point they were in a bit of trouble and then all of a sudden, bang, they won big games. Thinking about it twice and whatever you thought, that couldn’t make a difference in their season. They’ve been pretty impressive winning those games. I have a lot of respect for them, but at the same time we are going to have to play strong if we want to beat them. This is a team that is well-coached and a team that is going to play hard. We are going to have to play our best.”

On Erik Johnson’s Effectiveness: “What I like about EJ is when he gets those pucks behind him. He uses his body to protect himself. I mean, he’s really good at picking up the loose puck and making quick transitions. That’s the other thing that I like a lot about EJ. The thing I also saw him improving, is the defensive-zone coverage. He’s doing a really good job and now moving up on their third forward that like to be in the slot area and I think he is doing a really good job. You can tell he is playing with a lot of confidence the way he carries the puck and the way he’s patient in the neutral zone. I’m very impressed with EJ. He’s been doing really well.”

On His Scoring Against (Edmonton Oilers Goalie) Ben Scrivens: “Well you’re not doing those types of plays if you’re not a confident player. He is a confident player right now.”

On Beards During the Playoffs: “I will have to listen to what [Jean Martineau] wants. He makes sure I always shave. No, I have no intention. I never really did it when I was playing as well. It’s not something, but it’s for the players.”

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