Here's what Penguins coach Dan Bylsma had to say Friday morning about Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, which the Bruins lead, 3-0.
When chances are thin and odds are grim like this, players are saying, “We believe we can get back into this, when so few teams have done it.” How do you get them to believe?
Well, there's lots of different ways I think you can look at what the possibilities are. I think you look at it when you have to beat Boston Bruins four times in a row, in four elimination games to move on, that's not something you really want to put your brain around. We beat the Boston Bruins three times in games this year. We've got them one game here tonight. It's elimination for our team, and we'll move on when we do. I know the facts we're in a bracket right now, we've got one game to win to move on in that bracket. It's right here tonight.
A lot of guys in the locker room said they wouldn't mind winning the Game 1-0. Do you feel this team could get on another one of those runs if they find the puck at the net when all those chances are paydirt?
I'd love to put our players and our power play and have the puck on James Neal's stick in the slot, three times with the puck on his stick like he was last game. Malkin on a breakaway. More than two other opportunities. We'd like to see those opportunities again for our guys tonight. I feel real comfortable about our power play and our guys cashing in on those. Is that something we're going to build on? Absolutely.
You mentioned [Thursday] that you liked the early results of Bennett, Sutter and Iginla together in Game 3. What was it about that combination that you liked? What were you hoping bringing Bennett back into the lineup would add to this group?
Offensive skill guy. Play-making ability. He did both of those things in the game. Power play, driving the net. Two good chances out from the wing, one from Crosby, one where he pulled by the defenseman in overtime. He got opportunities there, used his skill, did that with his line for Jarome and Brenden. He added that. We're looking for one goal. He was all around it in the last game.
I know you like to think the game a lot. Were things going around in your head last night or did you get a little bit of rest before today and clear your head?
Before the start of the series, you kind of have a rest the night before. In series, game to game, I think you're always thinking, preparing mentally opportunities that are going to present themselves in the game for your team. Did a fair amount of that last night.
A lot of guys keep saying, if not for a bounce here or there, stay the course, things will work out. Being down 0-3, the clock is ticking. Do you believe just stay the course or have you thought about some changes in lines or something else?
We made adjustments last game to our game. In both instances you talked about, we'll make adjustments in how we play in different areas for this game as well. Especially last game, how we need to continue to do some of the things we have done, to get those opportunities, to get it to go our way. You know, every game I think you could talk about a bounce or some instance in the game. I don't think we feel like we've lost it on a bounce or a post going the wrong way. Would have meant the difference in the game for Craig Adams if his post had gone in. We feel we can play better. We can continue to play better. We can make adjustments. But we also need to make good on our opportunities that we have had.
Dan, you have so many forwards and so much skill at your disposal. You talk about staying the course. When you get to an elimination game, is there a tendency or desire at some point to ride those guys over and over, to kind of say at some point, We're not going to roll our lines, we're going to double shift guys, do whatever we can to get to a Game 5? Where is that tipping point?
I'm pretty sure Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin played 38 minutes in the last game. We've done that at times, definitely last game. When we had the opportunity here on the road to have a matchup, icing, situation we could get, a different combination, a double shift, we took that opportunity. You know, we were in a game last game where we felt we were desperate to win. We'll find ourselves in that game and situation tonight, as well.