Stanley Cup Final (Off Day Quotes): Pittsburgh Penguins – Dan Bylsma and Guerin
Courtesy of NHL.com:
Coach Dan Bylsma:
I’m sure you’re not going to reveal your strategy for Pavel Datsyuk before the next game. But could you talk in general terms of how the Red Wings are different when they have Datsyuk and when they don’t?
I think the one thing that was clearly evident in that game is his line got to the offensive zone more with the puck and had more offensive zone time. His ability to hold on to the puck and also use his line mates and use his defense in the offensive zone created more one time and created more pucks in and around our goalie and made us play defense a little bit more.
He’s an elite player. That’s what he does. They’re fortunate to be getting him back here in whatever capacity he was. He’s certainly a big factor in the game. We’re going to have to almost take a more defensive stance against him when he’s out there than Zetterberg checking Crosby the way it seemed to be playing out in the first little bit of the series.
Did you talk to Marc-Andre after last night’s game and how do you think he’ll respond Tuesday night?
Other than to say I didn’t think anything was his fault, the situation we were in. It was the situation of pucks getting by him and hitting sticks and two powerplay goals. It was a situation where taking him out was a chance to give him a break and give our team a bit of a wakener. Get a new guy in there and see if that would spark us to get focused on playing the game better.
But Marc is the guy who is going in for Game 6. We believe in him. I know he’s the type of guy who is going to be ready to go for Game 6. He’s going to be focused, and he’s going to want to go out there and play the best game of the series for Game 6.
I know that every guy in that room wants to see him in that net for Game 6. They believe in him. They’re confident in him, and they know he’s going to respond.
Detroit found a whole new level last night. If this was a movie, there would be two days of uplifting speeches in your dressing room by veterans and coaches and stuff. What really happens between then and Tuesday? Is it what those of us on the outside think is happening in there?
I’ll tell you Wednesday. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen. You know, as a veteran you just try to keep guys together, make sure guys are okay and their heads are right. I know we do have a young team, but we have guys that are experienced and guys that are kind of made for this type thing.
Jordan Staal is 20 years old, but he seems like he’s been in the league for ten years. You don’t really have to worry about guys like that. These guys seem to know how to really handle themselves, and it’s pretty amazing.
You know, for inspirational speeches and things like that, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But we’re going to do our best as a team to be ready for Tuesday.
You guys faced elimination one other time this postseason against Washington. How was preparing for a Game 6 elimination compare to playing in a Game 7 elimination?
That’s a good question. I don’t think much. Coming back home for Game 6, you know, we just have to focus on the one game. We can’t think about a Game 7. We can’t think about what happened in Game 5. It has to be just Game 6. Getting back to playing the game that we’re supposed to play. I think we really got away from that last night. I think we all know it. And we’ve just got to take these couple of days and refocus and come back and play our game. Not play with the pressures of an elimination game. Just focus on playing the game, not an elimination game.
You’re 38, you’ve been through a couple of teams. Is there a voice in the back of your head saying that there’s every chance that this might be my last Cup shot?
Yep (laughing). You never know what the future holds for opportunities and chances to win the Cup. But, yeah, I know where I’m at in my career. I know they’re going to have to kick me out of this league because I want to keep playing as long as I can. But the opportunity is now. You know, the opportunity is now for a 38 year old, and it’s now for a 22 year old, and for a 28 year old. The opportunity is now, and you have to take it when you’ve got the opportunity because, you know, it could be 14 years before you get your next one.