Shocker — Pittsburgh Penguins forward Maxime Talbot had nothing funny to say Friday at practice, the second off day between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup final.
But it still seemed like a late-night comedy club inside Mellon Arena, courtesy of coaches Mike Babcock and Michel Therrien:
Q. Will you give us your understanding of Holmstrom's injury and his chances of playing tomorrow?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: What are the rules? Do we have to talk about the injury or just what part of the body or what do we have to do? (Babcock turns to Frank Brown, VP of NHL media relations.)
Q: The type. (Brown responds)
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I do a lot of stuff with kids cancer, and there's a thing called HIPAA compliance where you can never reveal anything about the person, (Babcock speeds up here) how come we have to do it in the League? (Laughter.)
Oh, anyway, Holmer's just got — Holmer's got the back of his leg, the hamstring. He's got a little problem there. We think he'll be fine. He's a tough guy.
Q. You mentioned before the nervousness of 19 and 20 year olds in the Stanley Cup Final. Do you think your team maybe gets more of a boost by the crowd here than maybe Detroit does at home?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: It's tough to say. It's tough to say. It seems like we skate well. The last game, before the game I was complaining about the obstruction. And for good reason. For good reason.
I can't sit here and say there's no obstruction. I'm not going to lie. If there's obstruction, there's obstruction. If there's no obstruction, there's no obstruction.
When I see this about 13, 14 clips that I've seen that I could tell there should be a penalty regarding the book, I'm expecting I know how it is. I'm not expecting they're going to call 14.
The last game was a little bit better. But there's still places to improve. But that's the truth. It's not something that I'm preaching. It's something that we base our team with speed. And if we can allow us to use our speed, we're going to get effect. And that's normal.
I'm expecting next game the obstruction call, they're going to call it. I still believe there's some space to improve again. Because I saw when you break down the game, I know it's a fast game. When you break down the game, you'll see that there's a few times that they should have been called. And calls are important. You need those calls.
If you don't get those calls at the right time, it could change the momentum of the game. And you could send a power play at the right time. If the right call is made and you could get that big goal, get some momentum to your team. When you don't have it, it could be tough. And that's why it's crucial. You need breaks to win hockey games. Obviously you need effort and all those types of things. But in the meantime, you need to get the right calls.
Q. I appreciate that answer. I was asking more about do you think your team, being as young as they are, get a boost from the crowd here at Mellon arena as opposed to maybe Detroit feeding off that at home?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: I understand your question, but I want to say my point, too. (Laughter. Huge smile from Therrien.)
We like our crowd. (Laughter.)
Okay, so it's really better seeing it on video. Regardless, it's been amazing to watch Mike Babcock's press conference transformation in these playoffs. Every series he's gotten more refreshingly honest, relaxed and confident. Experience, right?
It was also great seeing Therrien have a little fun out there. He looked dazed and confused in his post-game pressers in Detroit, but he was a gem today.
Hopefully Talbot is back to his old self tomorrow, too...