On winning games late:
We’ve won games different ways. We’re in such a capsule – we’ve only played nine games – but if we said we could’ve been 6-3, we’d have taken 6-3 and go from there. You have to win in different ways, meaning you still have to have a really good foundation. If you look at it, it has still got to do with goals against and goals for and how that’s sorted out between the two, so you need the foundation of that and understanding that. When you score the first goal it makes a difference, but you also have to know that you can play really well and not score the first goal and be able to work around that. I think that when you say ‘poise’ or whatever that is, that’s important for all of us. That’s got to come from the coaches to the players and the players to each other. That’s what’s important.
On any commonality stringing together the 3-0-0 road record:
I would say it would be against three totally different types of teams. The best road game that we played was clearly in Winnipeg, clearly, of the three. It’s a challenge for us on the road because of the way the match-ups are. We’re not as experienced in areas that require winning match-ups. I guess if you’re looking for something that’s common in those three games, I would say against Thornton’s line in San Jose we did a really good job. I’d say in Edmonton we did a really good job against Nugent-Hokpins’ line, and in Winnipeg we did a really good job against Little’s line. So with three top things, and there are a lot of top offensive players that are better at home than they are on the road, so if you can saw off those guys or outscore those guys, then you probably have a better opportunity. [Reporter: Not to look back or get too romantic, but that was a terrific hockey game. From what we’re watching upstairs, and we’re not always watching personnel – the Winnipeg game.] The Central Division is a step up. You look ahead, there are pretty dominant [teams], if you look at the profile of coaches first. Five of them have won at least one Stanley Cup, I believe, and that has a huge impact. Chicago’s the defending champion. Teams try to play like Chicago more and more.
On whether the team’s 48.3% faceoff percentage is a “blip”:
It’s hit and miss. You want to break it down by games against who, and if you look at guys like Andy and Shoresy, they can both rate off the charts both ways, and they have to be better off it. It’s part of that position … it’s important. [Reporter: Does that affect what you do in games, too? It seems like you were moving guys around, on the road?] Absolutely. Carts and Kopi are on the ice lots now. I guess you can see that if something’s right away where somebody’s beating somebody all the time, we’ve got two out of the lot. Quite honest, your guys that are in those slots, your third and fourth slots, have got to win faceoffs, or they’re going to lose two or three more minutes a game, especially at home. They’re not going to be out there if they can’t. There should be more ties, and it’s a 50-percent rule. … if you’re over 50, you go, ‘he had a good game.’ If you’re under 50, ‘he was not very good.’ So when you think about it, you should get more ties, when you think about it. If you lose it clean for scoring chances, then it’s hard for me to put those guys out there. We have two lefties, two righties, which is what we had before. It didn’t matter. We had two lefties, two righties. If you go back to our four centermen, that first championship here, were Kopi, Mike, Stolly and Fras. They were the four guys. Carts wasn’t in that. And then I think it was still Stolly, Kopi, Jeff, Mike. They were the four guys who took faceoffs. Now you look at it. Now you’re just into Kopi, Jeff. It’s a big difference.