Stoll, Richards, Sutter preview Game 7
Jarret Stoll, on having experience in winning a Game 7 on the road:
They’re obviously different series, different teams, buildings, all that kind of stuff. Focus on your start. Worry about getting a good start, everybody into the game right away. Try to establish your full team game as quickly as possible. Home ice isn’t obviously a factor in this series, it doesn’t seem like. But I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fans there and be excited and ready to go. We just have to play our simple, smart game that has got us a lot of wins on the road over the course of the regular season and the playoffs. It’s been a great series. It should go down to Game 7.
Stoll, on the centers playing even minutes in Game 6:
We’ve had some games this series and even last series where we’ve had – I know Darryl wants to get that as close as possible – where we’re all rolling four lines. Everybody is playing. Our pace and tempo is high and sometimes it’s tough to play against that. If that’s what they were in the minutes, then I’m sure that’s what we want.
Stoll, on whether Game 7s are fun:
Yeah, they’re fun. There is always a little bit of nerves, but I think for every game there should be a little bit of excitement, a little bit of nerves. But Game 7’s are fun. They’re fun for everybody – players, coaches, fans, the media. It’s what it’s all about. You want to play to win one game, win a series, go on to the next round, win a championship, whatever. When you have a best of seven or a best of five, that’s one thing, but when it comes down to just one single game that’s pretty exciting.
Stoll, on Darryl Sutter having the team feeling like they’re underdogs:
I’d say we are. 16 points is a lot. Of course in the regular season with how tight the league is and how good teams are. They’ve had a great regular season last season and this year. They lost a tough Game 7 to Detroit last year at home. We hope to give them that same fate as last season. That’s obviously the goal. They’re a great team. They’ve got a lot of good things going on over there and I’d say a lot of pressure is on them. A lot of pressure is on their goaltender. A lot of pressure is on their entire team to win on home ice.
Stoll, on the success of the visiting teams in Game 7’s of this year’s playoffs:
I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t think home is that big of a deal. If you have the right attitude, have the right mindset and have the right bunch of guys that go into a tough building and win and play well and battle out a game I don’t think it really matters. Four out of five, it’s tough to explain those reasons why, why not. You just play the game and hope for the best.
Stoll, on the team’s interaction with Darryl Sutter:
I think we get each other. It goes both ways, the communication. Just knowing what he expects from us. He can be hard, he can be both ways. But we know what he expects and what he needs us to bring. We also know that amongst the group and amongst teammates and friends and best friends. We trust each other a lot. We’ve been through a lot. We’ve said that before. A lot of teams have. A lot of teams with their core group of guys that have been together for a while. But when you’ve won together and been through huge games together, I think that elevates a little bit more and you can lean on guys. You know what to expect from guys. I know what to expect from all my teammates tomorrow night. I’m sure they know what to expect from me. It’s a good thing to have.
Mike Richards, on Darryl Sutter having the team feeling like they’re underdogs:
I don’t know if we’re going to catch anybody by surprise and be an underdog. Obviously stat-wise, they were the better team – 16 points ahead of us and eight wins. I guess on paper we could be the underdog, but I don’t know if Anaheim is looking at us like that. They have just as much pressure on this game as we do.
Darryl Sutter, on why road teams have had success in Game 7s this year:
I don’t think it has any bearing as you go along in a series. The reason you play six and seven is usually because the teams are so evenly matched. So it just comes down to maybe a specific moment in the game or one play or one mistake or one call, one bad bounce. Actually, if you go through some of those Game 6 and 7s, that’s what it does come down to. [Reporter: Do you think there is more pressure on the home team in a Game 7?] No. And, even more so, this series has shown home ice has not had a dramatic effect on the home team at all in terms of we think we played just as well in Anaheim as we have in L.A. You just don’t get the results you always want. I’ve said this a lot in the last few years with all the new building because there’s not there’s a big change in glass or boards or ice like in the old days when there were different sized surfaces, different type of boards, all those things – spare benches. Now it’s so generic that other than the crowds, it pretty much doesn’t matter where you play or who the home team is.