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Game Report

Stanley Cup Final-Game Four Pre Game Quotes: Focus on Pavel Datsyuk’s Return


Pittsburgh Head Coach Dan Bylsma

Are you expecting and/or game planning for Datsyuk?
Right now they’d be lying if he wasn’t in. They say he’s going to play. At least that’s what I’ve read. So we’re planning on him being in the lineup, and possibly more additions as well.

Does that change anything for you?
Well, I don’t know in what capacity those guys coming in are going to play and how much they’re going to play. They played Zetterberg an awful lot last game. And if I’m assuming that if Datsyuk comes in, that would alleviate some of the pressure on his ice time. But still looking for those guys to be out against our skill players. So I expect the same kind of approach from their team if he’s in.

Are you seeing what you’d like to see out of Chris Kunitz, or is there something missing there?
I don’t know what the NHL stats were last game for his hits. I think they were 11. I think we had them at 13, the way we count them. That’s a lot of leaving a mark. That’s leaving your mark in a lot of different places. That’s what you count on from the guy. Leaving a mark, being a presence on the forecheck, going and driving to the net.

 Detroit Head Coach Mike Babcock:

Can we assume from the fact that Pavel’s still out there that he’s probably not playing tonight?
I wouldn’t assume anything. Pavel already told me that he’s warming up and planning on playing. Now, we’ve had lots of plans over the years. We’ll see what happens.

Well, you let us in that Draper was playing yesterday. So you have not made a decision on Pavel and it’s going to be game time, correct?
I’m not making the decision. When Pav’s ready, he’s playing. He’s making that decision or the doctors and trainers. When he feels he’s ready to go, and that foot allows him to have some pop, he’s playing.  Right now we have Draper going in, we have Abby coming out.

How are you?
Feel great, actually, you know. Really good. I’m missing my son’s graduation today. I missed my daughter’s birthday on Tuesday. So probably not running for Father of the Year, but other than that, everything’s good (laughing).

Looks like today is all about Pavel and whether or not he is returning.  Bylsma is a refreshing change from the hold everything close to your vest types.  He seems pretty candid.  What’s even more shocking is to hear Mike Babcock cracking jokes.