On John Muse… "I certainly think his experience will keep him calmer as we go through the process of trying to become a champion. I think that's the one position that you really need to stay calm and focused and not get rattled. It's probably the most difficult mental position to play in all of sports. I think he's been gaining a lot of experience. He feels very calm and assured of himself."
On Wisconsin… "I didn't watch last night's game – maybe bits and pieces a little bit, but I've watched them during the course of the year. They're always on that Fox sports channel that I can pick up in Boston. The strength of their team is in the defense. I don't know if I've seen a defense that deep and that talented in college hockey in the span of my career. They've really got some outstanding players there. It's not just draft picks, but even some of the players that haven't been drafted. They're big, they're very physical and they handle pucks extremely well. So that's more than key to our approach. We've got to limit their input in their offense. If they join the play, they'll have a lot of shots from the offensive points but also we have to win the cycle game that goes on – the game below the dots. And their strength is certainly a factor. We're going to have to keep pucks moving and be strong on our skates. It's a good club. They're different than the team we played in '06. That was a team that wanted to play a 1-nothing game or a 2-1-type game with a much more defensive approach to the game. Now, with (Blake) Geoffrion and (Derek) Stepan, they've got players now that can play an open game so they're a little more balanced than the Badgers were in the 2006 game. They're a pretty good club.
On setting the team apart from Wisconsin… "We see that an awful lot during the course of the year. We played teams that were very, very good, whether we were in our league or we stepped outside and played Denver or Notre Dame. It's going to be small things that determine the outcome of the game: a big save by John (Muse) or maybe a key block by one of our defensemen. There's not going to be a lot separating the two teams but those small, little details are probably what differentiates these two clubs. They're going to have good offense and good defense, but we've played teams similar to Wisconsin over the course of the year. We haven't been in a cocoon. We've played some really strong games in Hockey East and we scheduled some pretty rugged ones outside the league, too. There's not any particular team (I would compare them to), but they have a lot of strengths of other teams. Boston University certainly had some outstanding defensemen this year that would be very similar to Wisconsin's defense. I think New Hampshire's forwards are probably similar to some of the Wisconsin forwards. Their goaltender is an excellent goaltender, but we've seen (Brian) Foster with New Hampshire and we've seen Kieran (Millan) at BU. We've seen some excellent, excellent goaltenders. I think Wisconsin is the same way. They're not going into the game thinking they haven't seen a team like BC before. They play in a very strong conference. So we've both seen opponents like ourselves within our league."
On coaching tips he has learned… "I'm learning all the time. Certainly as you go through a career you tend to pick up some things. But I think keeping things simple and not getting way out of whack because all of a sudden the game's an important game. We try to maintain a good balance in our lives and our players' lives and our approach to the game. But we're not going to do anything different because it's all of a sudden on a big stage and there are bright lights. We're going to play our post-season games like we play all our games – try to stay steady. There will be periods of the game where we'll be back on our heels and we have to weather the storm. And certainly we're going to create some offense and try to capitalize on it. The game's a fairly simple game if you keep it simple. It can get awfully complicated and I think that when you do that, it gets you all out of whack. We'll get a good practice in this afternoon, we'll get the chance to have a good dinner tonight and review some of the Wisconsin tapes. We haven't talked about the Badgers at all during the week. I think that's another thing I've learned. We used to say ‘Okay, fellas, there's a possibility of two opponents.' And we've had a look at both of them throughout the week. We had a single-minded focus on Miami. Now we switch to the Badgers."
On the younger defensive players… "I'm going to start with the goaltending. I think Parker Milner really added an awful lot to our team and he's a freshman goaltender. He played extremely well and he took a little of our concerns away from John (Muse). We weren't saying ‘Hey John you've got to get back and you've got to start playing.' So we were focused on Parker's development and John could take his time in the rehab process and getting back to game condition. That really helped us. Defensively, they were kind of thrown into the fire. We didn't have the chance to spot them, they had to play right away. Pat (Wey) has been a real key player for us over his career and he's a player that won't play in this championship because of mononucleosis, but he's going to be part of our movement. He's one of those players that developed over the course of the year. We recruited smart, good players and then they got better because they played against good competition in practice. Then they played 15-20 minutes of time in games all the time. I think over the course of this season they feel more confident in their game and they're pretty good players now."
On Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves and his sons… "I'm still mad at Michael (Eaves) for not coming to Clarkson. I was at Clarkson in the 70's and he was a high-scoring forward in the Ottawa area and we recruited him pretty hard. He went to Wisconsin. It softened a little bit when I got the chance to coach Ben (Eaves) and Patrick (Eaves). They were such great players for our team and for college hockey. I've noticed that a lot of the times, coaches' sons just understand the game better. Mike did a great job raising his two boys as far as hockey players and they're good people, too. So, I have more appreciation for Mike now that I did back in the 70's. He's done some amazing things with the Badgers. They're back in the championship game and he's a difficult opponent. He's an awfully good coach."
On the difference between the 2008 team and this team… "We always start every year with a meeting in the middle of September. I don't set the goals for our club because I think that's the wrong way to do things. We ask the players, ‘What are your goals?' And it works out, to me, much better because they say they want to win the Hockey East regular season, the Lamoriello Trophy, and to win the national championship. And I say ‘That's great.' So, I put it up on the boards and I say ‘Alright, you realize how hard you have to work and how difficult that process is, but these are your goals and I accept them. It's certainly what I would like but these are your goals.' During the course of the year, we'll have those goals on a separate piece of paper. If they look like they're starting to slack a bit in practice or they aren't coming to the rink with the enthusiasm I think they need, I'll say ‘Here are your goals. These aren't my goals.' And then I'll say ‘On the 2001 team, here's how (Brian) Gionta was and in the 2008 team, here's what Mike Brennan was like.' So they set the goals, but I have a history of what it means to reach those goals. So that's something they set back in September. On all our doors we have a schedule and up at the top was Ford Field. They've reached this point, but I don't think anyone is satisfied with just being at the Frozen Four. Like I've said before, I've been to a number of Frozen Fours and they are all unbelievable experiences and there are some that capture those memories. But if you win it, then it becomes that much better of an experience."
Sophomore, Forward, Jimmy Hayes
On Boston College's upperclassmen… "They've been great throughout the year, and it's not just the stuff you see on the ice. They've been great mentors for me personally and have helped me grow up as a person, on and off the ice. I think that's carried over to all of our young guys and it's brought us all closer together, so it's a great feeling to be playing in a national championship game."
On Wisconsin… "They've scored a ton of goals, but we have too so it should be a great game. I think with the speed it's going to have an exciting fast pace so I think it will be great for our game."
On playing in Fenway Park earlier this season… "When we were playing in Fenway earlier this season there were 38,000 people there so I think some of our guys might have gotten a little caught up early in the game, but we came along real strong in the second half of that game. I think last night we were able to focus on the game and not be in awe of all the people there. So I think playing in Fenway really helped our mental preparation."
Junior, Goaltender, John Muse
On Wisconsin… "We haven't watched a lot of film on them, but (RIT goaltender) DeMichel has been playing great and they put up eight on him so that says a lot about their offense. All season their offense has been playing great and it'll be a challenge for us."
On coming back from hip surgery… "It was a long time off. I didn't skate for five months and I was on crutches for nine weeks. Through our strength coach Russell DeRosa and our trainer Bert Lenz, I worked with them all summer. They got me going and ready and I was ready to go the first game."
Senior, Forward, Matt Price
On separating themselves from a similar team like Wisconsin… "They are a great team. You don't go into a national championship and expect anything else. For us we need to stick to what we've been doing all year and focus on playing our game and the rest will take care of itself."
On taking the team's play to another level and speed… "Especially in playoff games, it's a different season and everyone has to raise their level a little bit. We've been trying to do that every game. Every period and every shift got a little better. There's a lot of good talk in the locker room. The guys are pushing each other. There's a lot of encouragement and making sure everyone is giving a little extra every time we go out there. I think you've seen that from shift to shift and game to game."
On how playing at Fenway Park helped the team focus… "From the second we got out there for warm-ups, you didn't see guys looking around and awestruck with how many people were out there and how big the stadium was. Everyone was focused on the task at hand and that's what you need in big games. You can't be distracted by the fans around you and the building, you just have to focus on the opponent. The guys did a good job of that and Fenway was huge to get that off our chest."
On not having as many distractions… "To be honest this is the closest I'll ever be in college hockey to my hometown (Milton, Ontario). So I actually had about 20 family members and friends. But throughout the year we worked on putting away the distractions whether it was in Boston or here in Detroit. Guys have been able to focus on the present and focus on the game at hand."