Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pre-Game Thoughts from Alain Vigneault, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, and Daniel Sedin (Transcripts)

Hours away from the puck drop in the Stanley Cup Finals Game Seven, Alain Vigneault, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, and Daniel Sedin met with the media and here is what they had to say. Make the jump for the transcripts from NHL Media Services...

2011 SCF Pre-Game 7 Transcripts (Vancouver: Coach Vigneault)

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Vigneault.

Q. Alain, you said yesterday that Alex Edler is fine, is he good to go tonight?


Q. Coach, can you talk about the insertion of Jeff Tambellini, Game 7 in his hometown, a dream scenario, especially for him tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Without a doubt, for Jeff to come in at this point. He has had some experience in this series, but he hasn't played regular. But he's going to get an opportunity here tonight to play the seventh game to win the Stanley Cup. I'm sure he's excited. He knows about their history in B.C., the history of the Canucks. I'm sure he's going to be real good tonight.

Q. Just wondering if you managed to sleep okay or were you tossing and turning thinking about all the things you might do in the game tonight depending on the situation?

COACH VIGNEAULT: It was like every other night. Obviously today coming to the rink, if you're not a little bit nervous, safe to say it's probably not normal. I think both teams, players, coaches, everybody, will be a little bit nervous. You just got to manage those nerves and go out and enjoy the moment and play. I think that's what we're going to see.

Q. Alain, you came off the ice with a big smile on your face and said to somebody, This is the best morning skate ever." Why?

COACH VIGNEAULT: That I had. I said it took me over 100 games, but this was the best one. I skated real smooth and had a good shot on net, so I was pleased with the morning skate. I wasn't talking about the players because I don't put a lot of stock into morning skates.

Q. You mentioned you didn't want to break up your third line because of the way they were playing at home. Do you feel the same way?

COACH VIGNEAULT: We'll see tonight.

Q. Coach, have you or anyone else spoken to Mason since yesterday and is there any update on him?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I talked to Bernie when I got here this morning, and he had talked to him. I think he might be on his way today or tomorrow. I am not 100% sure because I think he had to see the docs this morning and I haven't talked to Bernie since 7:30 in morning.

Q. Alain, it's still a bit cloudy whether he guaranteed it or not, but Daniel after the game was confident about Game 7. Can you speak to a high?profile leader like that being outwardly vocal about his belief in the team.

COACH VIGNEAULT: What did you expect him to say (laughter)? Come on, we're in this to win.
Daniel is one of our leaders on our group and he believes in the group and he expressed it. I think it's a normal thing to do at this time.

Q. Coach, all season long you've been preaching one game at a time, but this is it.

COACH VIGNEAULT: This is it. This is the last one. The last time you're going to be hearing me say that (laughter).

Q. Is there anything different you say to the team prior to this one?

COACH VIGNEAULT: No, you know, we're going to focus on the process, focus on our game, what we need to do. That part hasn't changed, and confident that we're going to play a real hard game tonight.

Q. Alain, how much are you addressing your own emotions about tonight? You asked players to ramp up, you asked players to seize the moment. What are you going through as a life?long hockey guy going into tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, you know, I know how hard this journey is, not just to get to the Stanley Cup Final. I've said many times how privileged I feel to be one of the 30 head coaches in the National Hockey League. It's a tough business to get into, it's a tough business to stay in, and I was out of this business coaching in the NHL for six years so it took me a long time to get back at it. This is my fifth year in Vancouver. I knew what was at stake this year. I knew I was in my window of opportunity, and to get a chance to play for the Cup, to get a chance to play in the seventh game for the Stanley Cup, I'm real excited. Doesn't it show (laughter)?


2011 SCF Pre-Game 7 Transcripts (Vancouver: Kesler, Bieksa, D. Sedin)

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ryan Kesler.

Q. How does this compare with the gold medal final in terms of what you've talked about, this process, 82 games, and how this is a different stage? Can you compare them?

RYAN KESLER: It's tough, you know, we played 82 games before we got in the playoffs, the Olympics were two weeks and it seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. The game itself, you know, has some similarities, but it's tough to compare the two.

Q. Can you enjoy the moment? They were talking about trying to enjoy the day, but obviously you're nervous, but just soaking it in?

RYAN KESLER: It's all about enjoying the day. Every day you don't wake up playin' for the Cup, Game 7. You know, it's awesome.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kevin Bieksa.

Q. Did you want to treat it like a normal game or did you want to treat it differently?

KEVIN BIEKSA: A bit of both. We realize obviously what's at stake, which means you have to be focused every time you're out. Every shift could determine the outcome of the game. But at the same time, we're playing the game of hockey so the rules are the same and the ice is the same and the pucks are the same. So you've got to go out and play. You can't put too much pressure on yourself.

Q. Is there extra motivation knowing Mason won’t be in the lineup?

KEVIN BIEKSA: We obviously wish Mason was in the lineup right now, but I've said from the beginning, we don't need extra motivation. The Stanley Cup is enough motivation for us. So we're not looking for any extras to help us get to that peak motivation. We're in the Stanley Cup finals. We would like to win it for him and for everyone in this dressing room.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Daniel Sedin.

Q. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it sounds like you said "We're going to win Game 7"?

DANIEL SEDIN: You know, that was probably me being excited and the words came wrong out of my mouth. What I said was if we put our best game on the ice, I like our chances. That's the way it's been all year. When we play our best, we're a tough team to beat. We show that at home.
We like our chances.

Q. Even if you had said that, that's what you need to believe, right?

DANIEL SEDIN: Absolutely. If you don't believe that in this room, we're screwed. So everyone, we believe in ourselves here, and it's no different now.

We should be proud of what we've done this year so far. Taking this to a Game 7, home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup finals, what else can you ask for? We're out to enjoy it and we're going to play our best game of the season. I'm sure if we do that, we will have a good chance.

Q. You never know who the hero might be, someone is going to be a hero.

DANIEL SEDIN: That's the best thing about it. We're going to go out there and every shift is going to be important. Whatever you do out there is going to be for the good of the team, and that's what's fun about players. Everything is on the line and you can be the hero any given moment, so it's a lot of fun.

Q. Daniel, what does leadership mean today?

DANIEL SEDIN: I think you go out there and play your best. I think nothing needs to be said today. I think we've said enough throughout this year to be prepared. If you're prepared enough, I think that's what good leaders do. They show up every game during the regular season and in the playoffs and lead by examples.
So right now, nothing needs to be said, we go out and play our game. Like I said, if we play our game to our best, we like our chances.

More Later...

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