Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Marc Bergevin interview #2, on RDS' "Hockey 360"

Since it was the first Canadiens game in Chicago since former Blackhawk Assistant General Manager Marc Bergevin took over as GM in Montréal, Pierre Houde invited the Canadiens' boss for an interview before the game.  No great insight was revealed, but it was interesting if only to hear him reinforce some of the points he made during his recent interview on l'Antichambre.

Here is a loose translation of the interview:

Pierre Houde began by asking how he felt upon returning to Chicago, where he lived and worked for so long.
It's the first time since I've gotten to Montréal that I've come to Chicago (note: meaning, coming to Chicago with the team, since he has been there on personal business regularly, his family still living there), but so far I'm not nervous at all.  Maybe when the game will start, but so far I'm okay.
Pierre asks if he feels any pride at the work he did in Chicago, with the 'Hawks a powerhouse in the league.
Yes, definitely, we did it with players we drafted, that we were patient with, like Bickell and Crawford.  Certainly, players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, those were easy decisions to take, but with the kids, we were patient, they spent a lot of time in the AHL, but they became frontline players.  I think that's important.
Pierre points out that after the Stanley Cups, due to the salary cap, good players had to be let go, but they're still successful.
After the Cup in 2010, players like Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd had to go, replaced eventually with players like Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw, who were drafted.  Saad didn't go through the AHL, Shaw did, but it's important to build through the draft, the best example is here in Chicago.
Pierre congratulates him on the Canadiens' season thus far, and asks which aspect makes him most proud.
The teamwork.  The coaches have done excellent work, we had difficult periods but the players worked through it.  Like I always say, you don't play 80 games without going through some rough patches.  So we were able to get through it as a team, and now we're stronger and have more character.
Pierre asks if he was a little scared to find out what his team really was like, with a full season ahead instead of last season's shortened one.
No, afraid is not the right word, I was excited more than anything to see the team over 82 games.  For sure last season with 48 games, we had an idea, but a little bit different... we were excited to see the results over a full schedule, and up to now we're proud.  But we know that in the playoffs the level rises,  it's a completely different game, and we're eager for the first round.
Pierre asks what is the key element in the playoffs.
Injuries, they're very important.  You can't hope to get far in the playoffs if you have many injuries.  So you have to be lucky.  We talk about goalies a lot, but a strength of a team which goes far in the playoffs is goaltending and defensive play.  With Carey we're in a good position, but we're going to take it a game at a time, a series at a time.  It seems that Tampa Bay will be our opponent, so we need to be ready because it won't be easy.

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