May 7, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett and members of the team celebrate after beating the Nashville Predators 2-1 to win game five of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Transcript of NHL Interview With Phoenix Coyotes: Tip, GMDM, Shane, Smitty, Yandle

The NHL has provided the transcript of an interview conducted with the Coyotes players and management listed above. It is provided for your enjoyment thanks to Frank Rekas of the Fansided Network and The Rat Trick.
 
An interview with:COACH DAVE TIPPETT
DON MALONEY
SHANE DOAN
MIKE SMITH
KEITH YANDLE

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.   Shane,  just  a  quick question.  There you are in the cafeteria
after   15  years,  you’re  in  the  finals,  taking  all  this  in.   Your
impressions.
SHANE  DOAN:  It’s been pretty cool.  We’ve enjoyed the run.  When it
hasn’t worked, you’ve been told that it can’t.  It’s nice to be able to say
that it can.
We’re pretty excited as a group – very excited.

Q.  Mike, I was looking your name up on Wikipedia.
MIKE SMITH:  How many came up (laughter)?

Q.   It said you’re the only goalie in history to get a shoutout, get
in a fight, and score a goal in the same game.
MIKE SMITH:  No, false information.  I scored.  I got a shutout and a
win, but I never got in a fight.  The Gordie Howe hat trick is out.

Q.  East Coast?
MIKE  SMITH:   Yeah,  first  year  as  pro.   I  don’t  like to fight
(laughter).

Q.   Shane,  the  break  between  games.   Do  you  want  to ride the
coattails of momentum off the last series?
SHANE  DOAN:   I  think  a little bit.  You’d like to.  We definitely
enjoyed  a  little bit of a break.  The last series started fairly quickly.
We went six games and I think we started three days later.
At  the same time it’s nice having the break.  It’s not like anyone’s
really  complaining  too much.  They’re on as big a roll as anyone ever has
been  on  I  think  in  the playoffs.  It would be nice to be playing maybe
yesterday, but having till Sunday, it’s okay.

Q.   Keith,  could  you  talk  about  the goaltending matchup in this
series,  two  hottest  goalies  in  the league.  The fact that you have the
ability  to  get  a few past Pekka Rinne, a pretty good goalie, in the last
round?
KEITH  YANDLE:   Yeah, we faced two good goalies so far with Crawford
and Rinne.  We’ve been able to solve them.  We know Quick is a good goalie,
great  goalie, playing well.  We got more confidence in our net minder than
theirs.
SHANE DOAN:  And he’s friends with Quick.

Q.   Shane,  could  you  talk  about  the value of having another guy
that’s been around this league for a long time, Ray Whitney.
SHANE DOAN:  He’s a lot older (laughter).

Q.   Just the value of him, and also the value that he’s been through
already.
SHANE  DOAN:   You  know what, it’s funny.  Everybody on our team for
the most part hadn’t been past the second round, I mean, other than Ray and
Raffi  in the past, Vermette.  Those guys are the only three that have been
passed.
It’s been nice to talk to him.  At the same time we got a pretty good
veteran group of guys that are pretty comfortable.  But Ray offensively has
been  our  best  player  probably  throughout  the  whole  year.  He’s been
unbelievable  in  the playoffs, getting huge goals, just keeping it kind of
like a businesslike approach.  We all make sure we follow along.

Q.   Mike, you have yet to lose on the road.  Coming in tomorrow, how
do you keep home ice as an advantage?
MIKE  SMITH:  Yeah, no, they’ve been an outstanding team on the road.
It’s  obviously  going  to be huge for us to not think about that too much,
worry about what we have to do.
The  first  5,  10  minutes  is  obviously going to be a huge part of
momentum swings in the series.  When you start off on the right note with a
good first 10 minutes, good start, go from there.

Q.  Everybody is saying how similar these two teams are.  They appear
to  be.   When  two  teams  are  alike, what can make the difference in the
series?
MIKE  SMITH:  They said that about us and Nashville, too.  I think in
playoffs,  every  team  is  going  to have some similarities.  Everybody is
going to be working hard, blocking shots.  Everybody has a good goaltender.
I  think  in  that  aspect,  teams  are similar.  But we have our own
identity.  We’re not trying to worry too much about them, just kind of play
our game.

Q.  Mike, what has Barb said to you?
MIKE SMITH:  Barbs (LaBarbera) is such an easy guy to get along with.
I  think  everybody  knows he doesn’t say too many bad things about anyone.
It’s  been  a  very easy transition coming here and working with a guy like
him.   He works super hard in practice, very easy to get along with off the
ice.
Obviously  that  relationship  is  huge.   I’ve  been  with guys that
haven’t had the same kind of relationship as I have with Barb, so it’s been
everything I can ask for.

Q.  He came up with that handshake?
MIKE SMITH:  He did.  I can’t take credit for that.

Q.  Along those lines, timeouts, seems like you’re talking to him.
MIKE SMITH:  We’re talking about golfing (laughter).
No,  like  I said, he’s an easy guy to be around.  He’s calming to be
around.   When  I get a chance to get a few words in with him, kind of calm
myself down by being able to talk to someone like that.
When  you’re in the heat of the moment of the game, you’re nerves are
working  against  you.   When  you get a timeout to go to the bench, get to
chat with a guy like that, it’s a calming influence.

Q.  (No microphone.)
MIKE  SMITH:  Probably not this long of one.  I’ve played well in the
past, but never been able to find that consistency I have this year.
You  know,  goalies go in and out of hot streaks.  Obviously you have
some  games where you don’t play your best.  But this year I found a way to
play  well  when  I  haven’t  felt  my  best and tried to get out of slumps
quicker than I have in the past.
I think that’s been a big part of my success this season.

Q.   Shane, coach joked after Game 2 of Nashville that he’s happy for
you to do your own thing in Phoenix, nobody has to notice.  Can’t fly under
the radar anymore.  What is it like to get more recognition now nationally?
SHANE  DOAN:  I’m pretty sure everyone is probably picking against us
anyways again.  It’s where we want to stay, pretty low-key.
Here in the valley, it’s been great.  We’ve enjoyed the way that it’s
kind of worked out for us the last couple years here.  We’ve had success as
a team.  It will be fun to experience.
Again,  I  think  that’s  where we’ll go back to a guy like Ray, guys
that  have  experienced  it.   Coming  in  here  and talking to you guys, I
haven’t done that before, it’s kind of nice.

Q.   Mike,  your  goal in the HCHL, the reason I would want you to go
back  into  your  memory bank, to get your thoughts on it, because Jonathan
Quick, when he got his first win in the HCHL, he also scored a goal.
MIKE SMITH:  Really?  I didn’t know that.

Q.  You both have that in common.  Do you remember it?
MIKE  SMITH:  Oh, yeah.  Tough to forget.  The bad thing is, once you
score once, you want more, so…
That  feeling  of  obviously scoring when you’re a goaltender is like
nothing  else.   But  also can work against you, too.  You’re only thinking
about  it  when their goalie’s out.  The number one job is to keep the puck
out of my end.  If it does go in the other end, that’s great, too.

Q.   Mike,  can  you give us a sense of the way you are before games.
Are  nerves  something you need to battle?  Are you pretty easygoing before
games?  And, Shane, what is your sense of him?
MIKE  SMITH:   I  want  Shane to leave me alone anytime.  He’s a pest
anytime I’m around him (laughter).
No,  I’m  pretty  easygoing.  I get nerves obviously this time of the
season.   I think everyone gets nervous before games.  I don’t think I show
it.  I think I just try and do my thing and enjoy the moment, enjoy playing
this  game  that  we  all  grew  up  playing and dreamt of being in the NHL
playoffs, just trying to take advantage of the situation.
It’s been fun so far.
SHANE  DOAN:   Yeah,  he’s as competitive off the ice as he is on the
ice.   We  all  play  in  a two-touch game that is pretty intense at times.
Usually we’re arguing with him whether or not he’s out or not.
MIKE SMITH:  Because Shane is always right (laughter).
SHANE DOAN:  It doesn’t matter, every game, doesn’t matter if he’s on
a  roll,  it’s  the  exact same thing.  That’s one of the great things.  It
doesn’t  matter  how everything is going, he’s going to make sure everybody
around  him,  it’s  still  the same.  It’s nice when you have your starting
goalie to be like that.  We enjoy it.  We have fun with him.
KEITH  YANDLE:   Yeah, I agree.  I think Smitty is a guy, he sees the
game  well.   He’s  a  goalie,  but  he  sees  the  game well, as if he’s a
defenseman or a player back there.
You know, you can talk to him about hockey or anything before, during
or after the game.  It’s fun to have a guy like him around.

Q.   You  guys are obviously keeping it lighthearted here.  What role
does  humor  and  being  able  to  jab  at  each  other relieve some of the
tenseness  of  the  game  coming up?  Second part is, who provides the best
humor in the locker room?
SHANE DOAN:  I’d say Jelly (Yandle) does.  He’s usually got something
going on.  When things are going on, he keeps it pretty lighthearted.
We got a great group of guys that really enjoy each other.  No one is
afraid  to give it to anybody.  I think it makes it fun.  We all enjoy it a
lot.
MIKE  SMITH:   Especially  this  time  of  season,  it can get pretty
nerve-wracking.   To  have  the group we have, to keep it light, especially
before  big  games.  It takes a lot of energy out if you’re serious all the
time.
It’s  been  a  fun  year.  It’s been a very easy transition for me to
come into this group.  Obviously we have great leadership.  Everyone in the
locker  room  gets  along.   That’s  a huge part of why we are where we are
right away.

Q.   Divisional  rival  for the first time.  The style of this series
going to be any different than Chicago or Nashville or closer to one or the
other in the way it’s played?
SHANE  DOAN:  I think we’re pretty familiar with each other.  I mean,
we’ve  had  some pretty intense, physical games already.  I’m assuming that
it’s  just  going  to  kind  of  go  up  even more than that.  We’re pretty
comfortable playing each other.  I don’t think there’s going to be too many
surprises.   They  got  Carter  late.   That’s  about the only thing that’s
changed  since  the last time we played them, three or four times when they
didn’t have him.
It  will  be a fun, intense playoff hockey.  I think the third round,
as  a  fan,  I  think the intensity goes up so much after the second round,
because  the  second  round, you’re happy to get into the second round, get
out of the first round.  Sometimes there’s a little bit of a lull.
Third  round, you recognize how close you are to achieving your goal.
From  watching it way too many times, that intensity is fun to see and will
be fun to be part of.

Q.  Keith, could you address, out of the All-Star break you went on a
great  run,  That  kind of turned the whole season around for you.  Can you
point  to  any  particular  reason  why  that  time  of the season was when
everything started to click and why?
KEITH  YANDLE:  I don’t know if there’s something you can really just
pinpoint.   We  came together.  I remember having some meeting, Tip telling
us  how  much the next 15, 20 games mean to our team.  It was a rush to get
into  the  playoffs.   It  was so tight in the west, we knew we had to play
well to get into the playoffs, get the highest seed we could get.
I think it was the coaching staff getting us together and pinpointing
that  we  really  needed to step up our game.  I thought we did a real good
job of doing that.

Q.   The  All-Star  break preceded that.  This is your longest break.
Is there something to be said to be able to use that time to rest?  Can you
see any connection between what you were able to do, All-Star break, taking
that time, to now kind of refocusing again?
KEITH  YANDLE:   Leading up to the All-Star break, I think we had one
of the toughest schedules I know I’ve ever been a part of.  That break came
at a perfect time in the season.  This break can work to our advantage.
We  also  have to recognize that we’ve had time off.  We have to come
the  first 5 minutes, 10 minutes, like I said, and get onboard and get back
into  the  playoff adrenaline and energy out there, because both teams have
had big layoffs now.  It’s probably going to be a little bit of feeling out
the  first 5, 10 minutes.  But after that, we’re going to have to really up
our tempo.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.
Questions for Coach Tippett and Don Maloney.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the adjustments you make when you see a
guy  like  Daymond  adjust  to a fourth line?  How do you tweak things into
what you’ve done so far in this post-season?
COACH  TIPPETT:   What  we  try to do is put positions where they can
help us win and they feel like they’re a part of what we’re doing here.
We  rely  on everybody to do their job.  We talked a little bit about
this  yesterday  as  a staff.  We feel like this is as deep a team as we’ve
ever  had.   When you have a player of Langkow’s quality of stabilizing our
fourth  line,  we don’t call it a fourth line, we call it Langk’s line.  He
gives  us  quality  minutes, a role in the game, good penalty killer.  That
line has chipped in some important goals for us.
What  we  try to do is make sure players know their responsibilities,
know  what  they  have  to  do to help us win.  It’s our job to put them in
those  positions  to let them be successful at it.  We’ve had a lot of guys
that have kind of bought into that and it’s gone well.

Q.  Don, might have been a few people that raised an eyebrow when you
gave three years to Ray Whitney given his age.  What were your expectations
and thoughts?
DON  MALONEY:   I  wish  it  was  three,  because  it  was  only two.
Unfortunately he’s up at the end of this year.
When  we  looked  at  Ray,  we had two players at that period that we
thought could play in a top-six role.  Ray was one of them.  I think at the
time people were questioning whether one year, two years.  Usually when you
get  to  36, 37, 38, there’s a little hesitation on extending, just the way
the CBA is, beyond a year.
Just  studying  Ray,  looking at his game, we watched a lot of video,
how he played, who he played with, the ability to protect pucks, make plays
at a competitive level, I didn’t see the risk.  Even the level of contract,
it  was  something  we felt we could swing.  He’s been terrific year.  He’s
had  a terrific year.  He’s invaluable from a skill base.  Radim Vrbata and
certainly  Marty  Hanzal  formed  our top offensive line and we’re going to
need them to be good this series.

Q.   To  follow  up on that.  The value of a Ray Whitney right now as
you  head  into the third round.  Not many guys on this team have been this
far.  He’s the only guy that’s won a Cup.  Touch on the value of what he is
now to this team other than what he can give you on the ice.
COACH  TIPPETT:  The one thing that Ray does for us is he’s obviously
one  of  our  top  players,  top  offensive  players,  and  he  takes  that
responsibility  very  serious.   The experiences he’s been through, you can
hear  him  every day.  He’s relating something, whether it be to teammates,
whether  just  a  situation that arises, down to little things like a break
between a round, how you deal with it.
His  experience  in  those  areas,  his preparation, how he deals, he
prepares  himself,  rubs  off  on other people.  But he’s also very open in
sharing his experiences to make sure everybody else can get through those.
His contribution goes farther – much farther – than on the ice.
DON  MALONEY:   We  do have older players on this team, but not older
players that played into the semifinals.  He relates well.  He always has a
story.  Very personable person.
Again,  without  having  a lot of guys that have won a Cup, he’s very
important to us.

Q.  After tomorrow night’s game, it will be unfamiliar territory with
neither  team  having fallen behind in a series.  Are you interested to see
what the response will be from either side?
COACH  TIPPETT:  Well, I’m not going to worry about after Game 1 till
that  one’s done and we’ll see how that one goes.  Series, you have to make
adjustments,  momentum-wise,  tactical-wise,  you kind of read and react to
what’s happening.
If  you  looked  at  the  last  series,  after Game 1, we won, but we
weren’t  very  happy.   We went to Game 2 and knew we had to be better.  So
every series is different, every game is different.
I think with both teams having a bit of a layoff here, both teams are
going  to be anxious to get going.  I think Game 1, there’s always a little
bit of a feeling-out process.  I think everybody will be glad to get Game 1
going and get through it, then we’ll read and react from there.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH  TIPPETT:  For me, it’s all about winning.  I mean, every day I
go  to  the rink and I figure out how we’re going to win or talk about with
the staff, with the players, how we’re going to win.
Ultimately  I have a saying all the time:  Winning trumps everything.
Team  and  winning  trumps everything.  It can be top players, goaltenders,
winning trumps everything.
I’ve  been fortunate a couple years in the minors, I had unbelievable
offensive  teams  that  were  the  highest-scoring teams in the league.  In
Dallas,  I  had a couple teams that were high-scoring.  I believe you can’t
win unless you play a strong team defense.
I  would  be  interested to see if anybody could name a team that won
the  Stanley  Cup  that  didn’t know how to defend.  There’s some very good
offensive  teams.   You look at Vancouver, a very good offensive team.  But
they’re also a very good defending team.
Detroit,  when  they  won their Cups, everybody thinks that they’re a
puck  possession,  great  offensive team, they’re one of the best defending
teams in the league.
You  can’t  win  unless you know how to defend.  That goes back for a
long  time.   You go back to my first years in the league with the Edmonton
Oilers,  they  didn’t start winning until they figured out how to win a 1-0
as  well as an 8-7 game.  The only way you’re going to have a chance to win
is defend well.
We  look  at  our  team,  reality  is,  we’re not going to go out and
outscore  people  on  a  nightly basis.  We have to work people out, defend
people.  If we give easy goals away, we’re not going to have much chance to
win, so…
Our  players  have recognized that.  It comes down to how we’re going
to  win.   They recognize how we have to play.  They have to do their part.
If we do it, we have a chance to win.

Q.   Can  you  maybe  speak to the goaltending matchup, in particular
with Quick, how much work you put into analyzing this guy.
COACH TIPPETT:  We’re a team that we really rely on what we’re doing.
Believe  me, we think we’ve got a great goaltender.  We recognize they have
a great goaltender.
Some of the goaltending, they play a good defending game.  They allow
their  goaltender  to  have  some success.  We feel like we can do the same
thing.
We’re a lot more geared to what we do.  Obviously there’s some things
from  a  goaltender’s perspective that we’ll run by our guys, areas that we
think  might  be vulnerable.  That’s no different than any other team.  The
two  goalies  in  this series are going to be critiqued very hard because a
lot  of  it  is  they’ve played very well and they play a different kind of
style.
We’ll talk about that.  But other than that, we’ll let the games play
out.

Q.   When  you came off the ice today, you were like, Okay, enough of
that.  At what point this week did it go from this rest is going to help us
to, Okay, let’s play the game?
COACH  TIPPETT:  I think as you get closer, you get a little anxious.
We  had a couple good days off.  We had a hard practice day where you could
tell  the  guys  after that were, Okay, let’s play now, enough of that hard
practice stuff.
We try to wrap it up every day.  Today we basically used it as almost
like  a  pregame  skate.   Tomorrow with a 5:00 game, we won’t skate in the
morning.   We  did  our  final preparations today.  Let’s go home, get some
good  rest, show up tomorrow and get ready for Game 1.  Guys are anxious to
go.

Q.  Where do you see Aucoin at?
COACH  TIPPETT:   He  won’t  play  tomorrow.  He certainly won’t be a
player in Game 1.  He skated a little bit today.  I think we’ll monitor his
situation, but he won’t be a player in Game 1.

Q.   You  said  both teams don’t change their style at home or on the
road.  Why do you think that approach has been successful for both teams?
COACH  TIPPETT:   It’s  who you are, your identity, how you play.  It
goes  back to how are you going to win.  If you change how you play at home
or on the road, one of them is not going to work.
Both  teams  stay  true  to  who  they  are and play the same whether
they’re home or away.

Q.  (Question regarding the break.)
COACH  TIPPETT:   Our  guys are pretty good.  When we go into a break
like  this,  very similar to the All-Star break, coming out of it, we had a
plan  in place at the start of the week.  We went through the plan with the
players.   They  know exactly what to expect each day coming, how we expect
to wrap it up, the elements of this series that we think are important that
we  have to make sure we put in place in practice, their preparation, their
workload versus rest, all those things.
What  you  try  to do is create a week where every day they feel like
they’re trying to get better to accomplish and get themselves ready for the
start of the series.
Different  than last season.  When we had that last break, we were in
survival  mode for about six weeks and then we just needed rest.  This week
is  a little more preparation and I think our guys are anxious to get ready
to play.

Q.   This is kind of an unusual matchup.  Two teams that have not had
a whole lot of playoff success.  Obviously you’re wrapped up in winning and
what  you have to do.  Can you on a successful level appreciate the stories
and  journeys  that  your  team and the Kings had to go to get through this
far?
DON MALONEY:  You’re on a roll (laughter).
COACH  TIPPETT:   I  appreciate both sides, because I’ve been in both
organizations obviously.
I think it’s great for the cities, the exposure, when you get to this
point  in  the  playoffs.  I know the exposure in the Phoenix area has been
very good for our organization, hopefully very good long-term.
You  recognize the work that a lot of organizations put in behind the
scenes.   Everybody’s  working  for  the  same goal.  When you haven’t been
there  before  and you finally get to these levels, it’s very rewarding for
not just the city, but the people involved in the organizations.
I  can say that speaking from both organizations because I know a lot
of the people well.
DON  MALONEY:   It’s  an  interesting  time.   You can feel it in our
marketplace  anyway,  beating  Nashville,  getting to this stage.  Just the
city,  the valley, the attention that we’re getting, the media, newspapers,
certainly  radio and television, it’s second to none.  It’s what we need to
survive  here.  We feel we’ve been in survival mode for three years, really
since Dave showed up.
This  is  great  for  us  and  our  franchise.   We’re  certainly not
satisfied  to  just  sit  here today.  We certainly expect to move further.
Same  with  L.A.   We  respect them.  If you go back to the pre-season, you
look  at the teams, a lot of people looking at the L.A. Kings say, that’s a
team that can come out of the west.  We know they’re a formidable opponent,
even  though some years they struggled like we did.  Both teams, my belief,
belong here.

Q.   A  question  about  how  you  put  this team together.  It’s and
under-the-radar group, without the star power of a lot of teams.  You’ll go
into  tomorrow’s game with at least twice as many first-round draft choices
as  the  Kings.   Were  you  big  on  pedigree?  Why have they been able to
succeed here, guys like Pyatt, Chipchura, Brule?
DON  MALONEY:   I  think  you  hit  the nail on the hit.  Brule was a
top-five, top-six pick.  At the time he was picked, he was expected to be a
30- to 40-goal scorer in the league.  By the time he gets to us four, five,
six  years  later,  he’s  figured  out that, you know what, I can be a good
player.   But  maybe  it’s  in  a  role,  coming off the bench, riding some
secondary offense.
Kyle  Chipchura,  a very good player for us, important player for us.
Brings a lot of energy to our game.  I think it’s a little bit by necessity
here.   We’ve  had to really search for the right players that fit into our
system.
Taylor  Pyatt  is  a  prime  example.   Taylor Pyatt, you know, for a
number  of  years  in  Vancouver was a very good player.  Had some personal
tragedy  in  his life, was able to refind his game here.  He’s an important
player, and will be in this series.  A big, strong, power player for us.
It’s  like  anything,  we have X-amount to work with.  We do the best
with  what  the league has been able to provide us.  Fortunately we’ve been
able to come up with some nice stories.

Q.  Why have these guys been able to find roles here that they didn’t
have elsewhere?
COACH  TIPPETT:   I think once you get through that first or, in some
cases,  second  team,  expectations  in  the player’s mind seem to go down.
They’re just looking for an opportunity to refind their game.
Talking  to  young  Brule this morning after practice, he’s got a big
smile  on  his  face.  This  is the most fun I’ve had in hockey in my whole
life.   It’s probably the least role he’s played on a team, but he’s having
more fun.
The  expectations,  some  of those guys was certainly probably higher
than  they  were  able  to  produce  at  the  time.   Once  they get to us,
expectations  have  come down a little bit.  We try to really create a team
atmosphere  where  everybody  has to chip in.  Sometimes players like that,
they feel like they had to do way more than everybody else.  Here they just
have to do the same.
They  get  comfortable  in  a  role.  They’re able to succeed in that
role, whether it’s a little bigger or a little smaller role, they have some
success, they get confident and they can play.

Q.   Don,  could  you bring us back to your initial conversation with
Dave  when  you  were  thinking  of  hiring  him.   Part of the sales pitch
probably wasn’t, We just declared bankruptcy.
DON  MALONEY:  It was interesting at the time.  You really have to go
back.   I  had  initial  conversation with Wayne Gretzky late May.  At that
point  I  felt  I  didn’t think he’d come back regardless as the coach.  He
never  said  it.   In our initial conversation, he asked me if I didn’t, do
you  have  a  guy, because I’ve got a guy.  We both had the same guy.  He’s
sitting to my left.  He had just been let go from Dallas.
The first time I called Dave, I met him out in Minnesota.  Again, had
to  be  quite  covert,  quite frankly.  The last thing you want me to do is
running around looking for coaches, have the world look at that.  There was
one other coach I talked to.
For all those reasons, it’s well-published.  He knew the division, he
knew  the  conference, he had great success in Dallas, he’s won everywhere.
Been  a  coach  in  the  minor leagues, won in the minor leagues.  It was a
great fit.
Really,  of  all  the  years  since  the  bankruptcy, the only little
push-back  I  had  with  the  NHL  at the time when I was signing him was a
little bit on the term of the contract.  If you look back at the time, they
wanted  a  short-term  deal.  I said, A short-term deal isn’t going to work
here.  It was just one short conversation.
I  have to give him credit.  Looking at our situation, I’m not sure I
would  have  come  into this mess at the time.  I think he looked at it and
saw  that  this  is  the  chance  to  build  something  from the ground up.
Fortunately we’ve been relatively successful to date.

Q.  Any Ranger blood left in you tonight?
DON  MALONEY:  I do.  Obviously you have to be somewhat impartial.  I
played with George McPhee.  I hope the Rangers win tonight.  I got a lot of
good  friends.   Glen  Sather was very, very good to me.  And not only Glen
Sather,  but  the  whole  organization was very, very good to me.  I’ve got
nothing bad to say about them and I’d love to play them in the finals.
My  brother  Dave,  he scares viewers away on occasion.  A young Stan
Fischler  there.   I  don’t really quite get that, but talk to him a little
bit after.  There’s the family.
COACH TIPPETT:  Thank you, guys.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Phoenix Coyotes Practice Quotes
May 12, 2012

Forward Radim Vrbata

On the time off he and his teammates have had this week: “It was nice to
close that series early and have a couple of days off, but on the other
hand it would be nice to be playing again. I think we had some rest, we had
some good practices and now we’re ready to go, we’re looking forward to
it.”

On the challenge of maintaining a good balance in practice: “You want to
keep it loose and you want to have fun, but on the other hand you want to
stay focus and do the drills right and prepare for what we start tomorrow.
So, I think there’s a good balance; there’s fun but there’s some
seriousness to it, too, I think.”

On the amount of fun he’s having: “It’s fun. When you realize there’s only
four teams left, it’s something. When you think about it in the bigger
picture, that’s an accomplishment. But as we said after that second round,
it’s not over yet. We want to win this round and then we want to win the
next. So, that’s what’s fun, because you’re getting closer and closer. At
the first part of the season there’s 30 teams that have a chance to win,
now there’s only four. So, the odds are getting better.”

Forward Ray Whitney

On whether he’s ready to start playing: “Yeah, it’s been a long time off. I
think both teams probably feel the same way; that it’s enough practicing,
it’s time to get out there. At this time off year you don’t like practicing
that much anyways; you’ve had enough of those throughout the season. So,
we’re excited to get back to playing and I’m sure they are as well.”

On the time off both teams have had: “We’ve both had plenty of time to
prepare and heal and I would assume everybody is healthy on both sides of
it. So, everybody is starting fresh, which should be no excuses in that
department.”

On LA: “They’re playing great right now… They haven’t been beaten on the
road, they’re playing really good hockey right now. So, I don’t think it
matters right now of what we think is going to happen, it’s going to be a
matter of competing to the level they’ve competed at in the first two
rounds. They’ve been very exciting to watch, they’ve been very impressive
to watch and we’re going to have our hands full.”

On the amount of shots Phoenix has given up in the playoffs: “There was
times in the Chicago series where it got out of hand, and the first game
against Nashville. Really, aside from that, the shots weren’t that bad.Actually, we were pretty good in the games 2, 3 and 4. Obviously, in Game 5
they put everything they had into it, they got a few shots, but no, I don’t
think we’re concerned with the amount of shots we give up or don’t give up.
I don’t think that has much of an affect at all.”

On the amount of time off he and his teammates have had this week: “It’s
actually been pretty calm in here for most of the time. We had a good, hard
practice the other day. It felt a little bit like training camp, the
practice that we had. The last couple of days have been shorter and a
little higher tempo. I think being at the rink and practicing keeps you
into it. We’re excited to get going, but I think the first two series
caused some injuries or some bruising and I think the guys have used that
time to relax and get healthy again.”

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