QUICK HITS WITH...
Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 9:00 AM ET
|Ian White (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)|
DRW: We saw you lining up with Nick Lidstrom a little bit during Game 3, is this designed to create more scoring opportunities?
IW: “Yeah, I think so. We skated together during (Monday’s) practice as well. Hopefully we’ll be able to create more offense like we did earlier in the year.”
DRW: What have you learned, now as a veteran, about playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
IW: “I think I feel a lot more comfortable this year, as opposed to my first time around last year. I have a little bit more patience and I’m making smarter decisions because I have that extra experience under my belt.”
DRW: Give us an example of how the style of play is different in the playoffs than it is during the regular season?
IW: “Sometimes during the regular season, you may skate past a situation, as opposed to finishing your check. In the playoffs, it is all about doing the little things over and over again and not taking any shortcuts. You have to do it right the first time, or else that other team might capitalize.”
DRW: Does it help that you have a game every other day in the playoffs, as opposed to back-to-back games, or a few days off between games during the regular season?
IW: “I think you stay sharp by playing so often. Sometimes if you have four or five days off during the season, your skills and instinct may get a bit rusty. It’s nice, especially after losing a game, to come back to the rink and go back to work the next day.”
DRW: What was your first playoff game at the Joe as a member of the Winged Wheel like?
IW: It was awesome. The fans were great right from the start. The atmosphere was very loud in here and Detroit, hands down, has the best hockey fans in the business. You can definitely hear the fans, they become an extra man out there.
DRW: What is the level of confidence in the locker room right now, down 2-1 in the series?
IW: “Guys here have been through this so many times. We know it is a must win game for us. When your backs are against the wall, this group knows they can come through.”
DRW: Do you feel like players need a few games to get into a playoff series? Not from getting ready to play, but in building up an animosity, or understanding how it may be called?
DM: “We were all prepared for this series beforehand, I think, with the calls, those are just adjustments you have to make as players. You don’t want to play your way into a series. You want to be ready to go from the first game and make adjustments as it goes on.”
DRW: How important is the first goal tonight?
DM: “I think the first goal is always a big deal. You want to get that momentum and hold it for as long as you can throughout the game. The first goal is a big momentum swing, so we have to try and get that. If we don’t, we’ve got to push hard to get it back.”
DRW: Do you have any Stanley Cup memories growing up in such a big hockey family?
DM: “I think it was just watching playoff hockey with my dad. I remember him telling me that the game really changes from the regular season to the playoffs. He would tell me that these guys really amp up their games to try and win the Stanley Cup.”
DRW: Do you pay much attention to what is going on in the other series across the league?
DM: “I watch the highlights in the morning and that’s about it. I watch and see who scored and what the series is at, but I don’t really watch that much, unless my brother Ryan is involved.”