Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog both admitted they were very nervous ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay.
- Hey, Gabriel, first of all, congratulations on the victory. I just wanted to get your thoughts on your first Stanley Cup Final. And you got the very first goal. What went through your mind when that happened when, you know, the crowd went ecstatic?
GABRIEL LANDESKOG: Yeah, I-- just kind of driving the net. Nico did a good job of getting some inside position and the shot was able to squeeze through Keselowski. And I almost missed it. But, obviously, a good feeling. And I hope I'm not alone. But I was pretty nervous all day. And coming up for warm-ups, the fans were amazing. And it just-- you know, you're trying to enjoy the moment as much as you can, but, you know, you're human, and the nerves are there. And I think that that's OK. You just got to deal with it. And I thought, as a team, we did a good job of that tonight.
- On the right side in the back. Go ahead.
- Question for Andre. As a guy who's been through a cup run before, you have a ring, does that kind of experience help you in a game like this, in a moment like this, when you come up big with the OT winner?
ANDRE BURAKOVSKY: Yeah, I think maybe a little bit. I mean, I kind of-- like you said, I've been through it and I kind of know what to expect, and the pace, and what's on stakes here. I mean, I'm following up on Gabe there. I mean, I was kind of nervous, too. And I had a little bit of problems sleeping last night. And I woke up at 6:00 in the morning and couldn't wait to play a game. So, I mean, yeah, definitely I feel-- like I said, I feel like I've been there and I kind of know the situation and what's on stake. And yeah.
GABRIEL LANDESKOG: Just wait until you have kids. You'll be up at 6:00 every day.
- Gabe, over here in front of you. Gabe, your coach says he breaks the game down in 5-minute segments for you guys. How does that help you guys through a game, any kind of game like tonight?
GABRIEL LANDESKOG: I mean, it's huge. And I think it-- you know, that's-- I don't think that's uncommon, but, you know, you got to narrow your focus down. And if you just go out there and say, we're going to try to win this game, I mean, that's a lot easier said than done.
And staying in the present, staying in the moment, focusing on your next shift. I mean, that's super important. You have to be able to-- you have to be able to manage your emotions. And, sometimes, you have a bad 5-minute segment and you've got to be able to reset. And, sometimes, just that-- seeing that clock ticking down to the next [INAUDIBLE] timeout, being able to reset and go back at it, I think that's important.
- Left side, second row. Go ahead.
- Yeah, Andre, what did you just-- can you walk me through the play of what you saw on the overtime winner?
ANDRE BURAKOVSKY: I just saw Compher got a-- he got the puck in the neutral zone there. And me and Val was inside, and we were just trying to get out as quick as possible. And then obviously Val got the puck back, and it made a great play to me. And it was just for me to shoot it and lucky it went in.
- What'd you think when it went in?
ANDRE BURAKOVSKY: I wasn't thinking too much. It was kind of a crazy feeling. And, I mean, just to be able to be here in this Final and help the team win a game. I mean, it's-- it was a nice feeling for sure.
- Back right.
- Gabe, the even-keeled mindset has been a subtle weapon for you guys all season long. But heading into overtime, Stanley Cup Final, how do you guys keep that even-keel mindset? What was it like in the dressing room there?
GABRIEL LANDESKOG: Yeah, I thought it was good. I thought our third period was definitely better than our second. So we were just trying to feed-- feeding off of that. And we talked about, we've been good in overtime here in the playoffs.
And there's no reason for us not to feel confident. With the crowd behind us, it was-- that definitely was helping. And they're a good team. They don't make it easy on you.
You have to earn everything you get. And, obviously, you get a bounce where Comph knocks it down, and you get a short, a lot of 3 on 2. And great play by Val and Burky puts it in the back of the net so, yeah, a resilient win.
- Front row on the left.
- Gabe, a lot of talk going into this series is the Nazem Kadri injury. And you guys have this second line made up of three guys that, when Kadri was healthy, were all playing on different lines. And then they come out, and they scored the game-winner. Could you just talk about that next man up mentality and specifically for Andre, who's been kind of in and out of the line-up?
GABRIEL LANDESKOG: Yeah, I mean, that's to be expected at this point in the season. And there's nothing new for our group. It's just always been-- dealt with a lot of injuries this season, and it's been the mindset all along. Whoever's up, whatever the line-up looks like, you go out there and you do your job.
And I think it's important for guys not to try to do anything extra but just do what you can to help the team win and contribute with whatever your role is. And, obviously, it's a big moment, and guys step up. And that's what Comph, Val, and Burky did tonight, and they have a history of doing that. Burky scored some big goals for us, and I'm not surprised to see him put that one in. That was awesome.
- We'll take two more questions in English, on the back right.
- Gabe, there were questions about the layoff and how this team would handle this stage. How big a win is tonight based on the fact that you had such a great start, dealt with adversity, lost the lead, and then were able to get it done in overtime?
GABRIEL LANDESKOG: Yeah, I mean, people are going to question the rest versus rust all along, and that's nothing new to us. We believe that rest is important, and it's going to be important in this series. And long-term, it'll be good for us. And we knew it wasn't going to be an issue to get up for this one and come out with a lot of energy.
It's game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals at home. So we were just feeding off of that energy. And the whole city's been buzzing all week, and it's great to see. And it's a big, big win, obviously, game 1, but we've got to reset and get back to work and get some rest and back at it on Saturday.