Saturday, April 19, 2003
Check out In the Crease sometime Saturday for my Game 2 recap. Quotes here:
Did you feel like you let one get away here?
No, it could have went either way, the whole game, it was a pretty tight game all over. It was one where [the winner is] whoever's gonna get the lucky bounce and they got it. It's kind of like deja vu from last year really.
Did it seem Austin was still flat until they finally scored?
That's alway the way it goes. We had a 1-0 lead and all of a sudden it seemed like they woke up a little a bit and they started working a little harder. The tying goal -- we have guys who aren't paying the ultimate price. There's no way that Gaffney shot should get through, our guy should have blocked it. Basically a couple of small mistakes. Y'know, if you want a championship you got to have everybody paying the ultimate price, and we didn't have that tonight.
Given what happened last year do you still go home with a lot of confidence?
At the end of the day are you happy for a split? Yeah. I'm not happy that you had a chance to really put the foot down on them and not bury them, but really you have an advantage where they have to win two out of three in our building. But now it's a series again, so what are you gonna do? They're a great team, nobody thought it was going to be a four game sweep. We won seven games in a row and now we've got to get our heads back there and do something again.
Did you feel like it was a different team, about midway through the second and especially after the goal?
It definitely was. It was good to see us bounce back. We've had a lot of overtime games this year, and I think that does help out when you get in these situations. We've played a lot of one goal hockey games too. We had guys who logged a lot of minutes tonight like Johnson and McCallum, that don't usually and they did a great job, and Brent Hughes, I decided to put him up between Pricer and Tally and he did a great job too. It was great to even the series and get back to where we needed to get from last night. We've still got a long road ahead of us.
Did you have to think twice about putting a brand new rookie like Hughes out there so much, as far as mistakes, or not playing the right way?
I tried to work him in a little bit slower, I made him watch the first game, and I let him know when he makes mistakes. But he's done a good job. He's a young kid, he's hungry, and I like the way he moves with speed, he makes some good decisions under pressure and doesn't turn the puck over a lot.
Is it fair to say that if the previous 120-some minutes had been like the shift leading to the game-winner you'd be in a whole different position?
You're exactly right. Going out I said guys, you know it's going to be a greasy one or a garbage goal. Not that it was a garbage goal but we had three great opportunities to score, never did, throw it from behind the net and it goes in. It's good to see Legs score a big goal. It gives us all confidence. I've preached all year long, shoot the puck and good things will happen.
It was almost like you took a page from Shedden changing up the lines so much?
You learn from good coaches, but he's got a different line out there all night long, I did it because we hadn't scored in five periods and figured I'd try a different look for a while. At least we got the goal we needed.
You've had a great system on the power play all year, do you change anything now?
Yeah, I'm gonna have to look at the game tapes. They're pressuring us more than any other team, taking away Brett Seguin, who is our trigger guy. We had the same problem against Laredo and we kind of went into more of a cycle and scored some goals.
Status on Pat Brownlee?
He's day to day. I assume the day off tomorrow and Sunday will help.
Is [amateur rookie] Sal Letteri available?
Yeah, he might meet us in Memphis Monday. We're trying to make arrangements.
Give me a recap of the goal
Just sort of battling for the puck down in the corner, it popped out to me, I passed it out in front to Greenlaw who got a pretty good shot off and the rebound came out to me and I just fired it at the net. Somehow it snuck in. The puck trickled in, I was laying in the corner looking at the net, I thought it was in his pads and all of a sudden I saw the ref pointing at the goal.
Did changing up the lines have an effect?
Yeah, you shake things up, get a little momentum going, 'cause we were kind of flat. You get a little fired up, a little bit pissed off, you want to go out there and prove something.
Any idea why the team didn't play like this in Game 1?
Well, y'know, one of the main things is the series in Memphis last year, with Memphis winning 4 games to 1, I think they were a little bit intimidating to some of the guys. But now that we've proven to ourselves we can beat 'em I think it's going to be a different series.
Are you real comfortable in one-goal games?
We've had enough of them during the year. It's not just me that's comfortable, it's everybody on the whole team. I'm confident in all these guys, we all have different jobs to do and it's nice when guys like Legault kick in a goal here or there.
We needed this. We know we can beat them if we play 60 minutes. We had a lot of heart tonight. The longer the series goes I think the better for us, they're bigger, and they play Landmesser and Nasato a lot, they may get tired. We've got to go to Memphis and try to win the first game, it would be great to get the upper hand in the series.
How do you like Brent Hughes?
He reminds me a lot of Ron Newhook from Central Texas. He's got a lot of patience. He can be a real good player here in the future, no doubt about it.