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Game Report

Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Pre-Game Quotes: Detroit Head Coach Mike Babcock


Has Draper been cleared to play by doctors and if so, will he play tonight?
Yeah, he was cleared before last game. Don’t know if he’ll play tonight. It will be based on Samuelsson. Samuelsson didn’t take the morning skate, so we’ll see what happens there.

Second injury, we just saw Pavel out on the ice. Just your thoughts on him and how does he look today?
Well, I guess he had his best overnight experience that he’s had. And he seemed to have a big turn around. So he was real optimistic here today. I don’t assume that affects today’s game whatsoever, but it could really affect the following game.

Do you enjoy the fact that Kirk Maltby tends to play a game within a game and gets chirpy out there and tries to get in everybody’s head?
Well, I think the big thing about Malts is since I’ve been here the best time of his year each year is at this time. He plays well and he plays hard. He’s been real good for us in each and every game. That’s just a side bar, Malts.

Traditionally Game 3 is such a swing game as far as, you know, you guys could basically put it away or they could get life. Last year what did they do to get Game 3, and what do you do differently this time?
Well, last Game 3, and I don’t remember it as well as I probably should. But the bottom line is they were able to get started on time, and we still had opportunities in that game. But they got started, they got the lead, and they played well and they used the momentum.  Our key here today is getting started on time. Executing early, making some plays. And just understanding that there’s going to be some energy from the crowd, but it’s just like in our building, it’s for two teams.

There’s a theory because your team is up 2 games to none they can relax and have more fun. Is that true or what do you think?
I don’t know. Relaxing is for the summer. You know, I guess what I’d tell you here is there’s an opportunity today for both teams. You know, Game 1 was huge. Then when we got to Game 2 it was huge, and now Game 3 is huge. Why? Because it’s the one we’re playing. So I think both teams are very much an understanding of how big this game is. We’ve both been here in this situation before. We understand it’s a big game and that we’ve got to be at our best.

You guys have played so well on the road this year, what is the mindset when you come into a building is it experience, is it just knowing what to expect? You guys really relished playing in another team’s building?
That’s a real good question. We’ve been a good road team since the lockout, for sure. Played real well on the road. And part of it is depth. But part of it is just understanding how to play. The other thing I think is on the road you don’t entertain. You execute. Sometimes entertaining your own people leads to turnovers and lack of execution. So we just need to play a real simple game here today and make sure we’re playing hard and ready to go on time.

No real surprises except that Pavel Datsyuk might be feeling better on his skates than was being forcast.  Or perhaps it is some gamesmanship on Babcock’s part.  As can be expected at this time of year no injury news will be forthcoming.  It is a wonder that reporter’s even bother to ask anymore.