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April 29, 2013 3:35 pm

April 29 practice quotes: Dustin Brown

On the team’s mindset heading into Game 1:
“I think we’re in a good spot mentally as a group. This is a fun time of the year to play hockey. To get back here after what we did last year, that was our first step. It’s important for us to have the right mindframe and mindset – we went through it just last year, but sometimes you’ve got to really focus on how hard it is, and how much work you have to put in to be successful at this time of the year, and that I think is what we need to focus on as a group, is shift by shift, literally taking it one period at a time. Just focusing in on that as a group, with what we did last year, we can’t sit back or relax for any moment.”

On drawing on last year’s experience and “knowing what it takes” to win:
“Yeah, it’s just bringing that to the forefront of how hard it is to actually be successful at this time of the year and doing the right things both on and off the ice to prepare yourself, because two things that I think at this time of the year [are important] are preparation and your will. We have good preparation. I mean, that’s just a matter of doing it, right? The will is the mental part.”

On what worked well in last year’s playoff series against St. Louis:
“The one thing, other than maybe Game 1 where they came out really hard the first 10 minutes, I thought we got off to really good starts against them. I think that goes a very long way. Again, playing in the playoffs, getting a lead, getting on them early goes a long way not only in the individual game, but in the course of a series when you can get on top right from the get-go. It goes a long way in being successful, and I thought we did a really good job against them last series, last year, doing just that. I mean that first game, they had us on our heels, and Quickie made a few great saves for us and then we kind of weathered the storm and after that, we kind of played our game. Especially at the start of games we got on them very quickly.”

On whether St. Louis is a “dangerous team” considering their recent play:
“I think every team’s a dangerous team. We were an eight-seed last year, right? I mean, you’ve got to get here first. I don’t read the quotes or anything like that, but it was us, San Jose and them all jockeying, and they finished on top. I mean, I thought we were playing good hockey, and they’ve…been playing better hockey. Again, at this time of year, it’s about preparing. They’ve got a big, strong, physical team over there. Their goalie is playing well. It’s a matter of just focusing on what we need to do and making it difficult on them.”

On whether he expects a “feisty series”:
“The way the teams are built, I would imagine it’s going to be pretty physical, yeah.”

On the relevance of the team’s eight consecutive wins over St. Louis heading into Game 1:
“I don’t think it’s very significant. This time of year is a whole different beast in the sense that if you look at the standings today, everyone’s even. Their team has changed. They’ve picked up a couple players. Our team has changed. Everything is different about it, and the intensity goes up. I know we beat them a few times in a row now. I’m not exactly sure the number, but that’s all thrown out the window the second the playoffs start again. They know that and we know that.”

On returning to practice on a opposite Justin Williams on a line centered by Mike Richards:
“I’ve been playing with Stick on the wing – me, him and Kopi – for almost two years now, and I play with Rick on and off. Again, this is not about the line combos. It’s about making sure if these are the line combos that are going to get us a win in Game 1, then these are the best line combos for us. You get put in the spots and you do your best in those spots and it’s not anything too different. It’s not like you have a guy who’s been playing center playing wing, or flip-flopping wingers. I mean, I play left wing. It’s just with a different centerman.”

On what he sees in Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak:
“Well, if you look at their numbers over the last couple years, they’ve been two of the better – probably the best – tandem over the last two years. Halak – we haven’t seen him as much, just because he’s been injured a lot against us, so we’ve seen a lot of Elliott. He gives them a chance to win every night.”

On gaining confidence and momentum over the playoffs:
“I think last year – again, like you said – you progress through, you build more confidence. But we also, as a group of guys in here, we I think understood the importance of a Game 1, whether it’s in the first round, or if you get by the first round, by round two, you get the first game under your belt and you win it, it gives you a slight edge on the next team. It’s an interesting thing when you go through it, because you could feel the momentum. I think momentum is probably more important in playoff hockey than regular season, because you can really step on a team’s throat, or vice versa, in certain situations.”

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