Stanley Cup Finals: Toews & Saad 6/20/13
Q. Jonathan, you talked about Brent last night and some of the
things that he said to you, and we remember back in Detroit how he helped
you out in the penalty box. Does he have maybe more of a leadership, vocal
quality with you guys that maybe we don't see so much from our vantage
JONATHAN TOEWS: Of course, of course. He always has. Probably one
of the louder guys before the game in the locker room, in between periods.
He's always getting the guys going. I think that's part of his ritual to
get himself going, that he wants to be vocally involved and just get that
positive feeling, that excited feeling going for the boys.
Obviously he's tried to do the same for me. It was a big night for
the two of us last night.
Q. Jonathan, Chara was on the ice for five of your goals last night.
Did that feel like a bit of a breakthrough given all the attention he gets
back there, and what did you do against him? And Brandon, if you could
talk about seemed like you were really trying to push him wide, make him
turn, that kind of thing?
BRANDON SAAD: Well, yeah, he's a big guy. That's one of the main
goals is to get him to move his feet and try to sustain that pressure.
He's a great defenseman but to keep that pressure and have the success that
we did, that's always a positive thing.
JONATHAN TOEWS: I agree. I think I said last night that he does a
lot of good things, and he uses his size and his reach to his advantage,
and I think maybe at times in the first couple games we were giving him a
little bit too much respect by trying to keep the puck away from him.
He's not a guy that we should be afraid of. We should go at him,
protect the puck from him, make plays around him and through him. We use
You saw the goal that Marcus Krüger scored, Fro (Michael Frolik)
never stopped moving his feet and got around him -- great play by those two
guys to finish off that play. It's a small example of the way we can
They've got a handful of solid players that we want to key on every
single night, and he's one of those guys, so we'll try and keep that going.
Q. Jon, Nick (Leddy) obviously had his minutes reduced a little bit.
As a captain and even with a young guy, do you try to make sure his head is
straight going forward and that he stays encouraged?
JONATHAN TOEWS: Yeah, absolutely. It's not easy to keep your
confidence and then go out there and be prepared for the next shift or to
go and do your job when maybe you haven't been on the ice for quite a
while. There's some guys that maybe get their minutes or their
opportunities reduced here and there, guys like Stally (Viktor Stalberg)
and Ledds. You try to talk to those guys just to stay with it because you
know when they're out there, they can really make a difference for us.
That's a huge sacrifice that guys like that have to make for our
team, and we know mentally they're going to be ready, and those sacrifices
aren't going unnoticed by their teammates.
Q. Jonathan, I don't know if you guys hear all the noise or hear all
the talk or panic in the streets or anything like that, but do you have a
sense that through your years here as a captain that you have a pretty good
sense when it's time to find that extra gear even though you may have put
yourself in a bad situation, both from a team standpoint and you personally
JONATHAN TOEWS: I think absolutely we have a really good gauge on
that, and we showed it in the series against Detroit. That's something we
always go to and compare this series to. We said that Detroit and Boston
are two very similar teams with the experience and the lineup that they
But for us personally, you know you don't get this far, you don't win
a Stanley Cup without being pushed up against the wall and being in a few
tight spots. That's where we were last night, and for us it was a
must-win. We put it all out there, and we treated it as a Game 7. We got
the result we wanted.
I think there's still some things we can do better, but for the guys
in that locker room, we all understood how critical that game was last
night. We showed up to play for each other. I don't think the importance
of the next one is any smaller than Game 4.
Q. This is for both you guys. Was that the pace of play that you
guys would like to play the rest of the series or was that even more
free-wheeling than you guys want to go?
BRANDON SAAD: I think the first game we played really well. After
Game 3, we didn't have our best game and didn't play with that speed and
pace that we have success with. I think going into Game 4, we all wanted
to bear down and play the way we need to, and we had success doing it.
JONATHAN TOEWS: I don't think there was anything free-wheeling about
our game last night. Evidently we made a few mistakes and kept giving up
goals right after we scored, and when we got the momentum, they found a way
to get right back. That's something we want to change if we can do so in
the next game.
But as far as our speed and our puck control, I think we were very
responsible with it. It's something we want to keep going forward with,
and I think we can even build on in the next game. The better you play and
the more you have the puck, and when you score a big goal especially in our
own building come Saturday night, it's going to give us even more energy.
So that's something we're looking for in the next one.
Q. Jonathan, a two-part question: First of all, I'm wondering what
it is about Brent and how he communicates with you that seems to be able to
get the message through, and the second part of it, when he talked earlier
today he said that he was tired of hearing about all the good things that
you're doing right, and sort of intimating that it was time for you to get
a goal, and I'm wondering if you felt the same way.
JONATHAN TOEWS: Yeah, I definitely did. You know, you play hard,
you try and do the little things right, but at a certain point it's not
enough. You're considered an offensive player, key player on your team,
you've got to find a way to do something.
He wasn't trying to get on me, I don't think; he was definitely just
trying to spark me a little bit. I don't know if it's something that goes
with the relationship and the friendship we've had over the years, rooming
with him my rookie year here in Chicago. Goes a way back already. But
he's always kind of looked after me that way.
It's good. He cares about his teammates and he wants guys to have
success, and just as much or more than anybody, he wants to win this thing.
He did what he had to do.
Obviously with the success that he's had in the overtime periods in
some of these big games, he's the guy you want to get the puck to this time
Q. Jonathan, you touched on it a little bit but when that puck
trickles off your stick, what was the feeling?
JONATHAN TOEWS: 'Finally.'
Just wanted a lucky one, and that was it. I think it doesn't make much
sense when you say that, a puck going off your stick from the point, and
you seeing it going in, can liberate you as a player and help you play the
rest of the game with less pressure. And just go out there and make plays
and let things happen instead of trying to force every single little thing,
but it does.
That's the difference it makes for you, and I think anyone will tell
you the same thing.
You know, it's not time to just dwell on that one goal. I have to
use that confidence and go find a way to score more.
Q. Tuukka Rask last night talked about second chances offensively,
which I think was a change between Games 3 and 4. What contributed to
getting more second chances against him?
BRANDON SAAD: I think just the commitment we had. In Game 3 we had
a lot of time on the perimeter and getting shots. And when he can see (the
shots), at this level he's a great goaltender, he's going to make the save.
Going into Game 4, we had the commitment of getting to the net and
taking away his eyes and banging in those rebounds. We had a lot of
success doing it, and it's something we've got to stay committed to do in
the rest of the series.
JONATHAN TOEWS: Yeah, you can look at Kaner's goal as an example
where we have traffic and we have a second guy coming in ready for any sort
of rebound. It's like two guys screening the goaltender, and eventually
someone's going to find the loose puck. Bicks gets that second chance and
throws it on net. Kaner comes in for the next rebound. That's the way we
want to score goals and create chances.
We talked all series about getting a lot of shots and getting that
traffic, but we didn't quite do it well enough until last night, and
obviously we want to keep improving.
Q. Jon, back to the Seabrook thing and maybe scoring, is the message
also if you're going to concentrate more on scoring that you might have to
cheat a little bit, cheat the game a little bit and give up something in
JONATHAN TOEWS: No, I don't think so. It just comes down to having
that killer instinct when you're around the net, to take the puck there or
hang onto it that extra second instead of just making a safe play and
cycling it behind their net. Where half the time, if you're on that side
of the rink, Chara is going to get his stick on it and next thing you know,
you might be back checking against their forward.
It's just something, that confidence that: Hey, you can go out there,
you've got the puck, don't be afraid, take a chance and throw it on net or
take it to the net.
But I don't think it means to cheat or to get away from your
defensive game because that's not something you want to do, especially when
you're up against Krejci or Bergeron's line.
Q. We talked a lot this year about how Corey Crawford has been able
to bounce back from an occasional bad goal here or there. What makes you
think it'll be the same after Saturday after a very rare bad game or off
game for him?
JONATHAN TOEWS: Well, I don't see why it would be different. He's
had that maturity and that character all year that he's been able to bounce
But to be honest with you, I don't really see anything terribly wrong
with the way he played last night. Maybe some of the shots from far out
that went in overshadowed some of the stops that he did make, and for the
most part I think as forwards we can maybe be a little more responsible and
getting in shooting lanes the way they would against us and some of the
shots that we take that maybe don't go through that they ended up scoring
on. So we can help him a little bit more in that regard, and sometimes he
doesn't see pucks or -- I think there's something to be said about blocking
shots and maybe helping our goaltender out a little bit more. I'm not too
worried about how he's going to play in the next game.
Q. Jonathan, I know it's been four years since that last time you
guys were here 2-2 in the Cup final, but can you talk about how big that
game was, that Game 5 against Philly and how much of a lift that gave you
guys toward winning the Cup, and will you use that maybe to talk to the
guys who weren't there?
JONATHAN TOEWS: It was huge. I mean, a little bit different, I
think, because we lost two games straight on the road. I think we played
good hockey, we just didn't find a way to win in that hostile environment.
But I think now we have momentum coming off a huge road win in Boston.
It's something we really need to use. We can't wait for the next one. We
need to go out there and have a great start and just the excitement and the
feeling that we had in the room and on the plane coming home last night,
I'm sure it was tough for all the guys to sleep after winning a game like
That's something we need to carry into this next one and not waste a
minute of it because once you get the momentum, like we said in the last
game, we need to hang onto it a little bit better than we did in that game.
I'd say that's the biggest difference.
Q. Hockey players tend to have and use the most nicknames out of
pretty much any group of professional athletes. Why do you think that is,
and how do you guys feel about them?
JONATHAN TOEWS: I'll let the man-child answer that one.
BRANDON SAAD: I'm not really sure to be honest. I guess growing up
you always get nicknames with whatever team you're on. There's always
someone or a few guys that want to call you different things. I've had a
lot growing up, and I guess it's just part of the camaraderie of the sport
and the guys being close. So I'm not really sure of the exact science.
But we have fun doing it.
JONATHAN TOEWS: Yeah, I just have to say it's a team thing, and it's
just a bunch of guys probably acting a little bit younger than they should
and goofing around. I always feel I get the worst nicknames, but I guess
that's the way it goes. It's all about having fun and enjoying our time
together as a team, and I think that chemistry always carries on to how you
play on the ice together.
Q. Jonathan, I'm wondering at what point last night did you realize
that this was probably going to be a different game than the previous
JONATHAN TOEWS: Well, I didn't think it was going to be a 6-5 game.
I thought when we went up 4-2, maybe that's when things would slow down
offensively a little bit, but they just kept coming back, and we kept
finding a way to go up a goal, as well. I think it was finally 5-4, if I'm
right, I don't even remember to be honest with you, but I thought when
Sharpy scored that goal that was it. I thought maybe eight minutes left or
something like that, and we were going to find a way to defend and hold
them off for the rest of the period.
Sure enough, they came back right back and scored again. I guess a
series like this can take some unexpected turns sometimes, and you saw that
last night. I'm not going to make any predictions for what happens in the
next game, but obviously there's a lot of things we want to carry into this
game, Game 5, here.
Q. Jon, I don't know the tone that Seabrook talked to you with, but
since you've established yourself as the captain and the leader of this
team, has anybody spoken to you like that in the past where he basically
says I'm sick of what you're doing right, you need to start scoring more
JONATHAN TOEWS: That was not the tone he used at all. Let's set it
straight here. It was -- not a joke, but he'd be sitting in the lounge or
whatever at the hotel, and he just looked at me and I answered it wrong one
time because he just asked me, "What are you thinking about," and I was
like, "Nothing; what are you thinking about?" And he looked at me again
and I realized what he wanted me to say, and I snapped back and said,
"scoring goals." There you go. That was all it was. I don't think he
said anything about that unless that was to someone else and I didn't hear
it. I'm glad I didn't until now.