Official transcript of interviews Tuesday:
An interview with:
Q. Duncan, has Jonathan Toews changed at all since the last time he was on this stage?
DUNCAN KEITH: I don't know. I don't really notice much. I'm trying to worry about my own game. Noticing changes in his game, I don't really
think so. He works hard, battles hard, competes every game, every shift he's out there.
Q. Has Jonathan matured at all since the last Cup run?
DUNCAN KEITH: Definitely I think you mature as you get older probably on and off the ice as people and as players. I think you just get that experience and you understand that, hey, not everything is going to go your way, not everything is going to be seen the same way from different people.
I think he's done a good job just keeping a level head. That's what makes him a great player.
Q. Facing Rask this round, tough goaltender. Considering the ones you've faced lately, is it just one more guy?
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, obviously there's been a lot of talk about Rask.
Rightfully so. He's played great for them. He's a big part of their success.
I think we've played some good goalies in previous rounds. We've managed to find ways to score. So hopefully we can do the same.
Q. What makes Coach Quennville an effective leader?
DUNCAN KEITH: He doesn't overdo things. Whether it's meetings, just holding court talking to the players, he keeps that presence about him that when he does come in the room, has something to say, we listen. He's not in there holding meetings every day, wearing guys out. That's one thing that stands out for me.
On top of that, I think he's just really a fair coach. He demands a lot, but he's fair. I think he's seen a lot as a player and as a coach and I think it helps him keep that level head, stay on even keel. I think that rubs off on the team.
Q. Has your relationship with Brent Seabrook changed at all?
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I don't know if it's changed a whole lot. Still drives most of the time. I don't know, I think we've been good friends off the ice since day one. We were paired up together early on in our careers.
We lived together our first year in the League. He's a great player. He's easy to play with. For me, it makes it easy for me to play out there with him.
I think we have a good friendship off the ice. We live close to one another in Chicago, back home in British Columbia, too. We get enough of one another. I'm sure he gets kind of sick of me once in a while.
But I think just that friendship off the ice definitely can help your chemistry on the ice, too.
Q. Conversations change, married, all that stuff.
DUNCAN KEITH: 95% of our conversation is about hockey. You know, definitely now that his wife is pregnant, I've had a boy, you do talk a
little bit differently. We're getting a little bit older now. It's not about where we went the night before or anything like that. It's more we're getting a bit older.
Q. How has Patrick Kane matured and what have you seen with his maturity?
DUNCAN KEITH: I don't know. I think he's always been a little bit misunderstood in some ways. Every guy likes to go out and have fun,
especially when you're a young guy. He's no different. Sometimes it just kind of got caught on camera, pictures, things like that. Maybe one incident sticks out in people's heads.
To me, he's always been a good guy, a good teammate. I think now he's got a girlfriend. You can tell, he's 24, turning 25, he's not 18 or
19 anymore. It's kind of fun seeing him and Toews get a little bit older, have girlfriends. They're starting to stay in on a Friday night, watch a
Q. Is that one of the biggest differences with this team, compared to 2010, the maturity of those guys?
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I don't know. I think obviously they're three years older. At the same time if we're talking Toews and Kane, they were
two of our best players the year we won.
Yeah, I think we've all matured over the last few years. We've learned a lot, especially losing back-to-back years in the first round.
It's basically been the same team that's done that.
We've grown together a lot the last three years as a group. I think that's helped.
Q. What is the difference between this team and 2010 Championship team?
PATRICK SHARP: You feel like you can walk into any hockey locker room at any level and it's very similar. You have the same kind of character guys. I don't want to keep going back to 2010, but everybody's with friends on and off the ice. You can say that this year as well. We've been together for two seasons.
When there's change in your roster, it's tough to build that chemistry and camaraderie, so very similar.
Q. How important is it to be able to sleep in your own beds to recover?
PATRICK SHARP: It was nice. It was an exciting game. I had to apologize to Kaner for not celebrating too much. I was too tired, couldn't use my energy.
Had a couple days to relax, take care of some things off the ice. The finals, you kind of compare it to a Super Bowl almost, taking care of tickets, family and friends who come in for the game.
Get that stuff out of the way, just focus on hockey.
Q. (Question regarding the goalies.)
PATRICK SHARP: Seems like we ask that question at the start of every series. The goalies are so important this time of year, whether it's the individual guy in the net making the saves or how well teams are playing defensively.
You look at Boston, they don't give up a whole lot. Doing what they did to the Penguins is impressive. Rask is a big part of that. They have a good team system and they all commit to doing that.
Q. (Question regarding the lines.)
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, that's Coach Q to a T. He has a great feel for us as players, what we can bring to a particular game, upcoming game. He's done a good job of scouting teams we're playing, looking at different matchups.
I think all of us as players, we're comfortable playing with each other. We're used to being thrown around in different combinations and we all trust that Joel picks the right ones.
Q. (Question regarding Chara.)
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, there's always guys you focus on and key in on, address prior to the game. A guy like Chara, he's so big, physical, skilled. But the thing that impresses me the most about him is his work ethic and leadership skills.
He's a guy that if you happen to get him one shift, he's going to come back and play even harder. He's a tough guy to play against. We know that going into the series. We've seen guys like that every series.
Q. Were you surprised how they were able to shut down Pittsburgh's offense?
PATRICK SHARP: You look at those two teams, they're pretty evenly matched. Playoffs, it's so hard to score goals, put up big numbers, get to the net.
Seems like the more importance that's put on a game, the more tight-checking it is out there.
To see the low scoring really wasn't a surprise. They have two of the best players in the world. Shows you how well Boston is playing right now.
Q. (Questions regarding the lines and addressing Chara.)
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, maybe. You still have Toews, Sharp and Hossa on one line. I'm with Handzus and Bickell who have been playing well. A few lineup changes, you don't know if they'll stick or stay. They're looking at their options now. It's probably a question better directed at Q.
We'll see what happens.
Q. Have you faced anybody this season like Chara?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, I think the best example is probably Suter in the first round. There were times Johnny's line would go out. He'd play
the full shift. Then myself, Handzus and Sharp would come out. Suter would stay on for that, as well.
I don't think we've played anyone with his reach yet. So you have to be careful with the way he uses his sticks, deflects pucks on the power
play. For us, we don't want to think too much about it, use our speed to our advantage on him, try to just play hockey, not worry so much about playing against Chara.
Q. On starting the season overseas during the lockout
PATRICK KANE: It was a good experience for me to go over and play.
I was happy I did it. Thought I got off to a good start here because I went over.
Looking back, I thought it was a good idea that I went over and played.
Q. (Question regarding 2010.)
PATRICK KANE: Everyone on our team was probably rooting for it at the time to be Vancouver. You know, at the same time when they're lifting it up a year after you did, from the time we spent with it, whether it was in the summer, our days with the Cup, banner raising, things like that, the Cup kind of felt like it was yours. The other team gets it the next year, we weren't the defending champs anymore. It was tough to see, for sure.
Q. Stanley Cup experience, is it the same type of experience for you now as you approach Game 1?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, I mean, like I said before, I think you try to soak it in a little bit more now. You certainly get a lot of messages and requests for tickets at a time like this. That's cool because everybody wants to be a part of it, to see two special teams go up against one another, in a series that should be great.
To compete for the Stanley Cup says it all right there.
Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, I mean, to give up two goals in four games against a team like Pittsburgh is crazy numbers. At the same time you look
a little bit deeper. They had a couple bad breaks. I think Malkin one night had 20 or so attempted shots at net. So they were getting chances.
Obviously Rask played great. They played a great defensive team game against them.
I think you can look at other series, too, where Toronto had some success on them. Obviously the Rangers not too much. They're playing good right now, so they've figured out how to play defensively and as a team, too. It's going to be a tough challenge.
Like I said, we have a lot of depth on our team, are going to need everybody to step up.
Q. Can you compare the Cup winning team to this years version of the Blackhawks.
PATRICK KANE: I think a lot of us that were here in 2010, we consider we're better players now. I myself feel that I'm a well-rounded player, got a lot better defensively and without the puck as time has gone on.
I feel like I'm more focused about hockey now. Like I said, I'm going to soak it all in, but at the same time take advantage of the opportunity.
Q.(Question regarding private life, public reaction.)
PATRICK KANE: It's funny. You know, whether it's just walking down the street to try to go to a movie, go to dinner, something like that, there's always a few people that recognize you. You kind of learn to wear the hat down low by your eyes, keep the head down and keep walking.
There's great fans in Chicago. I think you'd rather have them recognize than not recognize you. Just to show how great of a hockey city it is, that's how excited they are now.
Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK KANE: I don't think you have a choice, to be honest with you. That's just the way the coaches, you know, put it on, whether it's
the wingers or the center, whoever is back-checking, the first guy back.
Guys like myself, you see Hossa, Hossa is probably the hardest back-checker on the team, you see guys like him doing it, it makes everyone around the team say, If he's doing it, I can do it, too.
Q. You had some struggles in the Western Conference Finals. Can you tell us what was said to you or what triggered you and turned things around for you?
PATRICK KANE: You know, I think for me, I'm a player that wants the puck and I'm a better player when I have it.
I think whether it was teammates, coaches, coaches from the past, my parents, just saying that, You got to want the puck. That's what I tried to do in the last two games. Felt like I had more success when I did that.
Try to have that same mindset going into the finals here. Just try to get the puck and make plays, not so much worry about scoring or getting an assist or points, just try to get it and make plays. That should take care of itself.
Q. Are you looking forward to playing against Chara?
MARIAN HOSSA: It's going to be really interesting. Obviously we are good friends. He's my neighbor. He lives right across the street.
But this coming up two weeks, that has to go on the side and we just have to play the roles. I’m going to play my game, he's going to play his game. I'm sure right after we'll be friends again.
It's going to be hard two weeks, hard battle. It's going to be also fun and I really looking forward to it.
Q. What are the main challenges of playing against Chara?
MARIAN HOSSA: He's the biggest guy on the ice. His stick is so big.
If you don't move your feet, he's going to hurt you, he's going to come close to you and pin you on the board. You have to make sure you're moving your feet, stop and start.
It's not easy. But if it's possible, it's better to play on the other side.
Q. What makes Coach Q an effective coach?
MARIAN HOSSA: I think he got great personality. He's a players' coach. He's easygoing. He will bring the best from the player. He'll
leave you play your game. But you have to do what he says defensively.
I think he's been great to the players. Players realize that. There is not that many coaches like that.
Q. Treats you like grown-ups?
MARIAN HOSSA: Oh, definitely. He trusts us, but also on the return he want to see the results obviously.
It's been great communication between the players and him during the whole year, and also during the whole career I've been here. It's been great.
Q. What do you think of the match-up?
MARIAN HOSSA: Yeah, last three years both teams been in the Stanley Cup Finals. There's lots of players experienced this moment, how to handle it.
It's going to be great series. Just because there is few new players for each team, you know, but not as many, it's for both teams pretty much same.
It's going to be really interesting series and really looking forward to it.
Q. How much of the success in the series will be predicated on finding a way to get past Chara?
MARIAN HOSSA: Well, we know he's going to play almost half a game each night. He's their top guy. The team is around him. So, like I said before, he's going to hurt you if you don't move your feet. If you standing still, you have to shift him. You can take advantage stopping and starting, it's harder for him to move because he's so big.
He's unbelievable. He's one of the best defensemen. We know it's going to be battle against him, but we have to find a way somehow to deal with him.
Q. Knowing him as you do, is there anything you might have an advantage against him, next-door neighbor and all that?
MARIAN HOSSA: I try to joke with him because he like to be serious all the time on the ice. I know he doesn't like to talk on the ice. I try to throw some funny stories on the faceoff, make him laugh a little bit.
Q. Did it just wind up that way?
MARIAN HOSSA: Yeah, we are friends, neighbors. We know each other such a long time, obviously. We play together when we go back to the
junior in Slovakia. I know Z a long time.
Q. After the playoffs last year, how long did it take you to feel right?
MARIAN HOSSA: Tell you the true, when I start feeling right, I thought I was right when I was coming here after the convention. I come here to work out. As soon as I was skating, start doing more exercises on the ice, I realize that's not me.
For me, it worked out there was a lockout so I could took extra couple months to skate on my own, get into shape. Also I was doing bicycle and you just pedaling, right?
As soon as I go on the ice, all of a sudden there was bunch of guys skating beside me. There is so many new things, the puck is coming your
way, you have to shoot, skate, watch the players. So many things going through your mind. I knew I wasn't ready for it.
It worked for me there was a lockout. I could go back and take my time. When the season start, I was ready.
Q. Did you ever think that might be it for you hockey-wise?
MARIAN HOSSA: You know, there was some mind, you think about that thing obviously. You have so much time off, you start thinking about
So, yeah, that crossed my mind also. I knew when I was getting better, that a good sign. I took my time. I was getting really much
better. I was pleased I had so much time to take my time and I was back to normal.
Q. What's it like being in your fourth final in six seasons?
MARIAN HOSSA: It never gets old. It's always fun to be here with
you guys answering these questions (smiling).
This is a great moment. It's even better when there is the last game you win. It would be great again. Looking forward to it.
Q. (No microphone.)
MARIAN HOSSA: You know, somebody said I was choosing good teams when I was free agent.
But now I sign long-term. We have a great group of guys. We find a way after a couple years to go to the Finals again. This year was great year for us.
Q. (No microphone.)
MARIAN HOSSA: They just prove they have strong defensive game. They play such a great team game. We have to be really disciplined. By that I mean we have to play five-man unit up and down. We just cannot have turnovers. We cannot just go one against three in the neutral zone. The
bluelines are crucial for turnovers because they can hurt you.
Q. (No microphone.)
MARIAN HOSSA: This season was a great story, great start. We felt like after so many wins we had something special here. Joel did excellent job to roll four lines, feel like the first couple lines had more energy, so they didn't have to play as many minutes the first two years after the Cup.
I think that's great, we can roll four lines. Everybody is in the game. We feel like we have more energy.
Q. Compare this year’s team to the Cup team
MARIAN HOSSA: There are some similarities. A little different type of players, different size players. But there is pretty much everything what we had there in 2010.
Q. Anything different about this year coming back this year? Greater appreciation getting to this Final as opposed to the other ones?
MARIAN HOSSA: I always appreciate when I make it to the Finals. This time of year, still playing hockey. It's been great.
I know what you're asking. I definitely appreciate it. I'm still healthy, I can play on a high level. Like I said before, I was glad I could return and be myself. I'm here now.