Saturday, April 3, 2010

Around the UC:


-Niemi will start in the net tomorrow.
-If Philly beats the Wings or the Hawks get a point against the Flames, they win the Division title! It will be the first time since '93. 


Toews: "We know there is a lot of pressure on us and it's growing every single day. Obviously it's much different than last year, but to us nothing has changed. It's always about how we play and what we can control in this locker room. If we can keep going forward with that attitude we're going to be fine."

Kane: "With our team, we have so many skilled players and so many good players that have been in the Olympics, won Olympics and been in the Cup Finals and won Cups. People expect us to get there and obviously we expect that, too."

Seabrook: "I just think now we know what to expect as opposed to going into the playoffs and not really knowing what to expect and how big the games were going to be. The media, the whole thing, it was pretty overwhelming for a young team. I think we did a great job doing our part and just worrying about hockey, but this year we know what to expect."

Toews: "It's up to us to think about what we could do differently to be better. Obviously it's been a long year and we feel we're a much better team and we have grown in many ways, but again, when that opportunity arises, when it gets tough for us, we have to know that we're going to be ready and really take advantage of the opportunity."

Kane: "We're excited. After the Olympics everyone was looking forward to the playoffs, but I think we had 20 games left and these 20 games have been going pretty slow. Now it's starting to come to an end and guys are getting ready. We're starting to get excited. Guys are playing well and ready to go."

Jesse Rogers on Niemi: Living his dream

"As he drove a Zamboni to help make ends meet in his native country of Finland a few years ago, Antti Niemi's dream of playing in the NHL must have seemed like a distant fantasy."

Niemi: "It wasn't like it was two minutes before we would practice, but yeah, at the beginning and end of the day I would do it. It wasn't too hard."

Bowman: "He was having a very good year in Finland, so it was hard not to realize he had ability. The one concern you have with some of the European guys who are good players is, do they want to come to North America? They have it pretty good there, and some don't want to come and play a year in the minors. He was gung ho to do that."

Sharp: "He'll stay after practice for 45 minutes taking breakaways. He'll take breakaway after breakaway. I've never seen that out of any goalie, so I think that's the reason he's one of the best at it."

Sharp: "The language thing is an issue, but he finds a way to be funny through it. He's a big part of this locker room. He's pretty quiet, but then someone will whisper a joke into his ear, and he'll leave the room and come back and announce it to the whole team right before the game. He doesn't speak a whole lot in the locker room, but when he does he gets a good laugh."

Madden: "Even when he has some jokes, he may not deliver them exactly the way it's supposed to be delivered, but we get the gist. It actually makes it funnier for us, if you know what I mean."

Hilarious story!:
Kane: "We did a Chinese grab bag. You know, that's where everyone brings a gift, and then one by one each person picks one but can exchange it for another gift. I don't know why, but it's called a Chinese grab bag. So Antti shows up with a Chinese sword. He thought he had to buy something Chinese. We had a pretty good laugh about that. I guess he didn't know what it was. He can be funny."

Kane: "It seems that it's going that way that it's going to be Niemi."

Toews: "We understand that the guys that are going are the guys that are going to be playing. We have everyone we need in this locker room and we're going to stick together and get the job done."

Seabrook: "I think having a set guy maybe doesn't make you wonder who is going to play before the game, but we have confidence in both of our goalies and we're going to play hard for both of them. We know they can both do the job."

Coach Q: "We found that he can play on defense and play big minutes and have an impact on both the back end and up front. Even the other day, we used him up front one shift and then put him at the back on another. We like that flexibility. We like the size and the presence he creates in front of the net and we like his size in the back end as well. He gives us a lot more options and he's useful in a lot of ways."

Buff: "Defense. It's where I'm more comfortable. I've always been in that position; that's where I spent most of my time. Forward is good, but I'd prefer defense because I can see the game a lot better."

Buff: "When you're a forward, it's like being in a sprint but, on defense, it's not quite like that. You have to focus and not chase. You have to relax and not be so high-tempo. You have to wait and pick your spots. It's two totally different positions. I don't focus on one or try to change the way I play too much because I never know if I'm going to end up playing forward (or defense) during the game. I just kind of play the hand I'm dealt and I'm fine with that."

Buff: "With all the hype and everything, I didn't think I changed too much. Everyone was just going out and playing hockey and having fun. That's something you could definitely feed off and take into the playoffs this season. I have even greater expectations for myself this time around."

-Kane's interview on The Point after:
(If videos don't show up, go here)

From the cutting room floor:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

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