Press Release

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Date of Release: May 31, 2009 
Type of Release: Public Relations 
Category: Conference Call Transcript 

Stanley Cup Final-Pre Game Two Media Availability-Pittsburgh (Dan Bylsma)
Contact Information: 

An Interview with:

Q. Your thoughts on the Crosby Zetterberg match up?
 COACH BYLSMA:  It's a pretty good one.  Two talented players.  I thought both battled extremely hard.  You know, they butted heads a couple times last night just in the middle of the ice, at the net.  Couple confrontations.  It was, you know, it was toe to toe.  And they'll get to do it again tonight, I'm sure.

 Q.  Speaking of confrontations, Sidney had one at the end with Maltby.  Do you like to see him sort of fired up from that standpoint?  Or is he such a great player that you just want him kind of to play and do what he does so naturally?
 COACH BYLSMA:  I think one of the strengths of Sidney is that he plays with emotion, and he's a competitor.  There's a fine line there every day, every night, even in practice, there's a fine line there with controlling those emotions and yet playing on the edge there.  Driving the net, battling on pucks, and that wasn't the only confrontation in the night.

 Q.  The guys are in kicking the soccer ball around.  Kris Letang's running around having a lot of fun.  Do you get the sense your guys are pretty loose heading into tonight's game?
 COACH BYLSMA:  I think the media uses those words as foot loose and focused.  We knew after Game 1 someone was going to have a 1 nothing lead.  And after the game, much like we would after a win, we have a meeting on what we did well, what we need to do better, watched some video.  There are areas we can be better at, different focus for our team.  And it's business as usual.  And that would be a usual locker room for us.
 So I'm not reading too much into it.  If you see something totally different than what we normally are, then I would look to read into it.  But that's what guys would normally do on a day like that.  We took our time to be focused on what we need to work on, what we can get better at, what we did well, and the guys played soccer and kick around the tennis ball like they would normally on an optional day.

 Q.  Coach on weighing seven "D" and going with six at this point instead?
 COACH BYLSMA:  Again, Phil Boucher adds something to our power play on the last 30 seconds, not having him, we would have to find a different solution.
 You know, playing the 12 forwards, while it may initially look from the on set that it would alleviate ice time from our centermen, it doesn't.  If you can look back at the games when we did play 12.
 So going to play two and two, you know, getting a fresh set of legs out there is something that we've talked about as a coaching staff.  And with the amount of power plays there seems to be in the game right now, if yesterday was an indication, we're weighing those options and we'll go with that at game time.

 Q.  Have you specifically addressed changes to your face off people?  Is there a face off protocol you will adopt, do anything different?
 COACH BYLSMA:  Sometimes in a game when you're getting, you know, beat in one aspect of the game, you can get a little frustrated and not focused on what you need to do.  We have a game plan.  We know    we've studied what those players will do in the face off circle.  We went over those reminders again today.  One of the things we did talk about during the game and need to focus on is the individuals that are flanking the centermen.  They have to be aware and be ready to jump in and help out.  Because a lot of the draws that were won were the wingers getting in there, and the "D" men getting in there.

 Q.  Your team did a great job of going back 2 0 against the Capitals, and there is a good series here after being down 2 0 against the Red Wings a season ago.  Is this a second game after losing Game 1, an overall sense of desperation given your team's comeback ability at times in postseasons recently?
 COACH BYLSMA:  Well, you can go into this game tonight saying it's a must win, but it's not the focus your team needs to have to have success.  We're certainly looking to come into tonight's game and win it.  But more importantly how we play it, and how the game plays out.  We want to dictate.  We want to play at our pace and get to the offensive zone.  If we can do that, then we'll take the outcome.  If we can put the Red Wings back.  If we can force them to play defense more.  If we can play in the offensive zone more, then we'll take the outcome.   And that's what the plan is when you play a seven game series.  You've got to dictate, and dictate for long stretches of time.  Forcing their team to deal with your team, and that's what our goal is going into tonight's game.
 We did that at times last game.  But we can do a better job, we can execute better.  We need to.  And that's what our focus is going into tonight's game.
 The last thing I say is not we have to win this game.  That's not the right focus for our team.

 Q.  In a situation when you guys are facing adversity and you haven't had a ton of it since you took over, but who is the guy you've come to know on your team and in that dressing room that sort of is the rock that that room can sort of lean on in times like that?
 COACH BYLSMA:  I think part of the strength of our dressing room to this point has been it's not just one guy.  You can look to Billy Guerin at times, Hal Gill, Sidney Crosby, you know, Sergei Gonchar.  Different times it's been different people saying we've just got to keep focused.  This is what we need to do better, and have a level head about the situation and get back to what we need to.  Not get caught up in the emotions or being down by two or being down by one in this case.  Or minimizing their scoring chances and ending up losing that game.
 We know we have to get to our game.  We know we can do a better job of it.  We know the areas we can execute better in.  If we do that, again, we'll try to dictate the pace.  And there are lots of guys in that room that are being level headed about it.  And that's the challenge for tonight's game.

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