On Corey Perry’s penalty shot miss, followed by Mike Richards’ goal:
It’s two-nothing at that point. I think it’s a pretty big momentum swing. Quickie makes a big save, but it’s that, coupled with coming right back and scoring a big goal right after that.
On whether wins in six straight elimination games comes down to character:
I mean, that’s part of it. Again, it’s more about the group of guys and the trust that we have in each other. I think it’s cliché, but you look at a lot of the teams that have made it very successful in the playoffs the last four or five years, they have a core group of players that have gone through climbing a hill, so to speak, together, and that, I think, goes longer than anything else, just that trust that you build up in those situations.
On the team’s comfort in elimination games:
Yeah, I thought we came out right after it, and that’s a result of getting the trust that I just spoke of. It’s a lot easier when you know that you have guys on each side of you that are all pulling the same way. You don’t have to question anybody in this room because everybody has a job, and everyone knows their job, and everyone accepts their job.
On reducing the pressure by scoring three goals in the first period:
Yeah, I mean the first period was a good start for us, and obviously coming right back, and Kopi’s goal in the grand scheme of things, I think breaks their will at the end of the day because maybe if they make it 3-1 early in the second, it changes the dynamic of the game. But we go up 4-0. Again, I think that was a backbreaker for them.
On facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final again:
It’s one of those things, it’s just the way it works out. They obviously had our number this year, but I don’t think we played them in the second half of the season. They’re the defending Stanley Cup champs, and kind of have done what we’ve done. It’s pretty hard to get back there, to the Western Conference [Final]. It’s an opportunity, I think, that the two best teams in the west are getting back together again. It’ll be fun.
On whether he ever considered during the regular season how difficult it would be to come out of the Pacific Division:
I think we understand as a group of players the way we’re kind of put together as a group and the way we play is very suited for this time of year. Sometimes in an 82-game schedule it’s hard to maintain that type of intensity and what we need this time of year that you can find because of playoff time. At the end of the day, we’re built for playoffs, and when push comes to shove, I think we have a lot of guys that show up this time of year. But in saying that, obviously coming out of the Pacific Division with the teams that we would’ve had to play, we understood that it was one of those difficult challenges each and every round.