Q: The Blackhawks return to the Staples Center, where they lost Games 3 and 4. How do they get a road victory and force a Game 7 at the United Center?
A: It's only a matter of doing what they know they can do. You can give your best effort sometimes and not win. (Wednesday) night (Game 5 at the United Center), I thought the Blackhawks gave their best effort in a lot of ways for the majority of the game. It was that close.
It's going to be a highly contested game (tonight). L.A. is very confident that they just need to go home and take care of business. It's one win or one loss, and you move on. You don't even worry about what happened in Game 3 and Game 4 because you know you didn't play your best. You come out and you control what you can out there on the ice.
Q: The Kings have scored a hefty 19 goals in the last four games of the series and, going back to the third period of Game 2, they have tallied 18 goals in the last 10 periods. How do the Blackhawks slow down the Kings' attack?
A: Whatever you got to do in whatever situation, you got to find a way to score one more goal than the opposition. Sometimes games pan out a little bit differently.
L.A.'s got a good hockey team. They're an underrated hockey team, especially with the depth that they have up front as far as their ability to score. When you add a dynamic player like Marian Gaborik to the lineup, it puts everybody else in a different pecking order. He's a very dangerous player. He allows the L.A. Kings to move certain players around and put them in different matchups.
The Kings are a big, strong physical team. They like to get to the net, and they have a great transition game. I think the one thing the Blackhawks need to do in Game 6 and -- if that's the way it goes, Game 7 -- is limit mistakes and turnovers. L.A. is too good.
If you turn the puck over against the Blackhawks, the Blackhawks will make you pay because they've got that skill. The L.A. Kings have that ability too. To limit damage in hockey games you have to be smart and manage the puck in all the critical areas of the ice and really have the mental focus to do so for 60 minutes, 80 minutes, whatever it takes to win a hockey game.
Q: Before Game 5, some Blackhawks players were saying the pressure to win was on L.A. since the Kings wouldn't want to be a team that squandered a 3-1 series advantage. Does that logic make sense to you, and which squad is the pressure on?
A: The pressure's on both teams. The L.A. Kings don't want to come back and play a Game 7 (at the United Center). The Blackhawks know they're in another elimination game so there's pressure on them to do well.
To say that there's no pressure on either team would be crazy. You're looking at the opportunity in the next 1-2 games to go to the Stanley Cup Final, and that's pressure in itself. All of these players have excelled on the big stages. Most of these players have been involved in a Stanley Cup Final.
So I don't think you're going to see players buckle under pressure. But some players need to respond the right way. Both teams understand what's at stake.