The Pittsburgh Penguins had an off-day today, after playing (and winning) 3 games in 4 days, but head coach Dan Bylsma still talked to the media for about 10 minutes. Here's what his thoughts were.
With the usual opening salvo: "No injury updates for our team. Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net next game."
On Brooks Orpik leaving the game last night, was it something aggravated or new? "New injury." [And that literally was it]
On delivering the knockout blow: "I think we have that mentality going into the last game. It was a situation where the Rangers had played a really good Game 3 and we were able to get a second wind. Last night was either 2-2 or 3-1 and we didn't want to wait and see how that game turned out and make it a best [of three]....We know we have that ability coming back here to Consol, with our fans, to get that 4th win."
On Paul Martin: "Paul's play is understated at best. He's not dynamic, not attention grabbing but he's been every bit of a shutdown time for our team in every situation, playing against the other team's top guys and done really an outstanding job for us throughout this playoffs. And he's also been on the offensive side of things, leading the way for us.....We even were down to 4 defenseman, we had an equipment problem that Kris Letang left with for about 7 minutes. The minutes he logged, with the situation we were in was just outstanding for our team."
On learning anything new from this team: "I think we found it in the first round of the playoffs, where we talked to [laugh] getting to our game and Penguins hockey. I'm not sure we've had that all year long with the injuries that we've had and the players in and out of the lineup I don't think you can said it in one stretch of the season that was how we needed to play...We found that in the first round in Games 5 and 6 and we've gotten good stretches of it this round with this group of guys, and we've got it on both sides of the puck."
On Jussi Jokinen: "He's a big time performer. You've seen it in his career, he's been that way, he's scored OT goals, he's scored series clinching goals for his teams. He's really maybe one of the smartest players that I've ever coached and he has a knack for being at the right spot at the right time. He's been all of that for us throughout these playoffs and he's riding a point-streak here but he has that knack and ability, frankly I saw it in the Olympics as well- to my dislike. But he's scored big goals for us, makes big plays last night, gets the puck to the cage. 3-1 is a much different story for our team and he's been able to do that and find a way for a long period of time for us now.
How impressed is he with the Penguins response in games: "The response has been a team for our team, we've responded throughout the playoffs...We've responded in games throughout the first round. We responded [in this round] to a loss in Game 1 in overtime at home. They get that win, you have to come back and respond.
On improvement in faceoffs: "Our matchups have been better, in terms of the faceoff circle. Even last night with Jussi and Brandon Sutter being on the same line for a big part of the last couple of games- Jussi hasn't taken a lot of draws, but he has some good numbers and good percentages against some of the Rangers so he's jumped in on the left dot to take some draws. Marcel Goc is strong on the left dot, Brandon on the right dot, Sid's good in the circle as well. We've been able to utilize our guys on the different matchups to hopefully try to gain an advantage in the circle. Again, special teams is probably the biggest area that shows up and being able to have Goc and Brandon on their strong sides for faceoffs has helped an awful lot to win draws and get the puck down the ice on special teams."