Below is the post-game transcript of Bears’ coach, Mark French following Hershey’s 4-3 overtime win over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins Wednesday night.
Q: How do you explain the magic of some guys like Potulny who’ve done this time and time again?
A: “It seems to follow certain guys around, he’s definitely an offensive player. I think the one constant in players that I’ve seen been able to rise to the occasion in overtimes is the competiveness; you want your best players to be your best players’ at the most important times. He seems to be able to rise to those occasions as a lot of good players can.”
Q: What did you guys talk about in the overtime intermission? You were close to winning in regulation.
A: “There wasn’t much said in our room from that, we talked about the change because you change ends in overtime and that’s a long change for us. We needed to mark smart decisions late in shifts, we wanted to make sure the referee knew it was 6-3 power plays to penalty kills and we just wanted to make sure he didn’t put away the whistle. We weren’t disputing the calls that he made, we just wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to put away the whistle in overtime and continue to ref the game like he did. We figured we would get a power play at some point in time.”
Q: Did you feel you had the discipline and intensity tonight that maybe you didn’t have in the first two games?
A: “Yeah, I thought the penalties we took were aggressive in nature, not selfish in nature. I didn’t want to see retaliatory type penalties; I wanted to see good aggressive physical penalties. I thought for the most part that’s what they were. I thought we did a better job defensively; we seemed to have a little more urgency to block shots and to do things of that nature.”
Q: How big was the start to get a two goal lead?
A: “I thought we were terrible off the start to be honest with you; we couldn’t get the puck out of our end for a while until we scored and then we seemed to gain a little bit of confidence from that.”
Q: What did D.J.’s goal mean to you guys?
A: “I think it was all confidence, we may be talked about it and too much but it was necessary. The start was what had lost us the first two games of the series. Obviously you talk about and we couldn’t win a faceoff in the defensive zone, couldn’t get out of our zone. I thought it was the biggest thing that could happen tonight, for us to score first and to try and gain some confidence off of that.”
Q: Could you talk about the fourth line?
A: “Yeah, we really changed the lines up tonight. Graham it looks like he’s going down to the fourth line, D.J. is a good solid veteran player who plays a very intelligent game. Andrew Carroll is unsung, and he plays hard. I thought they would be a good physical line to match up against the Sill-Craig and Defazio line and it turned out they did a tremendous job against them.”
Q: During the timeout in overtime, was it strictly for scheme purposes or were you seeing something the Penguins were doing?
A: “No, it wasn’t scheme at all. I had thought that Ryan and that power play unit in general, I had a feeling they looked sharp and I wanted them to play the full two minutes. So to call a timeout with about a minute to go in the power play ensured that they could probably field the full two minutes.”
Q: How much does tonight change the landscape of the series?
A: “I don’t know. I think momentums game to game; I don’t think we carry any momentum into the next game. I think we just gotta be ready to play, hopefully we can gain a little bit of confidence off a win tonight, but we’ve got to be able to show up and play with the same type of urgency that we did in spots tonight.”
Q: Discussing a possible Capitals’ loss and the possibility of gaining more depth on the roster.
A: “I hope they win. Yeah, that would be something that if it turns out in Boston that we will deal with.”