What do you attribute Anahiem's current success to, compared to years past?
Bryan Murray stepped in as GM, we have a new coach and new system. Bringing in these guys certainly helped. Everybody's gelling as a team.
Hi Kurt, is Paul really going on everybodys nerves with his Star Trek phobia?
No, I don't know anything about that.
How do the older players like Adam Oates or Steve Thomas help you during the playoffs?
Obviously they've been through this before so basically they've been keeping me from nerves. Before the Detroit series, they told me what to expect and to just go out and play hockey.
What is the feeling like in your first NHL season to have already made the Stanley Cup Finals?
Overwhelmed. I haven't really let it set in yet.
How does it feel to be playing with the best goaltender in the NHL right now?
It adds a lot of confidence for the five guys in front of him. When you know he's back there, he's going to stop the first shot. You don't have to be so aggresive and worry about the shooter too much.
Of the teams you've beaten in the playoffs so far, which was the most gratifying?
For me, it would be Detroit. It was my first experience in the playoffs and to get that first series win under my belt was definitely nice.
Who was your hockey idol growing up?
Actually, I didn't have an idol. I watched a lot of guys. Usually one of the team's top defenseman. Derian Hatcher of the Stars, I watched a lot of him. I always picked out the same style of play as me. Chris Pronger too.
What kind of music gets you hyped up before a game?
Lately, I haven't been listening to any music. The team has the CD that they run and we've been listening to that for the last 80-90 games.
How did it feel to score your first playoff goal?
It was nice because it was in front of family and it was in Minnesota, my home state, plus we got the win, so it made it even sweeter.
For your "day with the Cup" what will you do?
That's a far ways off, but I'd bring it back to Minnesota.
Kurt, do you think that this long break will help or hurt you in Game 1?
Rest is always nice, especially in the playoffs. Never hurts to have rest on your side, certainly 100 games into the season.
At what point in the playoffs did you as a team believe you could get to the point you are now??
Actually it was during the second half of the regular season, especially when we started making trades for guys.
Is there any advice you can give to anyone with dreams of the NHL?
Basically work hard in practice. It's a big mental game once you make the step up to the NHL. When you're chasing a dream you gotta give it all you have.
Who are your favourite players to hang out with on your team?
With our team, I don't have one favorite. We go out as a group. You could hang out with anybody you want and have a good time.
Is it different playing for Babcock now, compared to your time with him in Spokane?
It's a different level for sure. The way you handle situations is much different. He treats certain things differently, much like I do. The biggest difference is when you're a professional you come to play and when you're a junior the coach has to get you ready.
Who is the biggest motivator in the Ducks' locker room?
At different parts of the game different people step up. Before the game I'd say Dan Bylsma.
I really love frala. That was insanity! :)