MONTREAL – Yanni Gourde is so focused on the task at hand that he had only one answer to give to the Montreal press who wanted to know his feelings about the possibility of winning the Stanley Cup on the ice of the Bell Center, Monday .
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The Tampa Bay Lightning forward even apologized for repeating the same thing in a different order when answering the fourth and final question addressed to him in Molière’s language.
“I’m really excited, but (the Cup) is not on my mind,” said Gourde. I’m trying to put that aside. You can ask me 1000 different ways, I’ll get the same answer. I am focused on my first presence. This is what will dictate the pace of the game and the way I play.
« Sorry to be boring with my answers to your questions, but this is really how I feel and I am convinced this is the right approach. » «
A 3-0 lead in the Final, Gourde and the Lightning will have the opportunity to brush up on the Montreal Canadiens on Monday (8 p.m. ET; TVAS, CBC, SN). They would thus successfully defend the title they acquired barely nine months ago.
But for the Quebecker and his teammates, all that matters right now is their next presence – as well as the next – and respect for the game plan. Celebrations will come later, if necessary, because the work is not done.
“I just want to stay in the moment,” said Gourde. My family will be there, as they were there in the last game. It doesn’t change my approach, I’m focused on my first appearance. We experienced it last year, and we know we have to think about what we can control.
“If we see too far, we forget to make the right plays. Instead of attacking the challenge, we find ourselves defending and this is not ideal for our group. «
The native of Saint-Narcisse and the vast majority of his teammates know something about it. The Lightning missed their first opportunity to close the books last year when they were ahead 3-1 in the Final against the Dallas Stars.
Video: MTL @ TBL, # 1: Gourde deflects Coleman’s shot
He lost 3-2 in second overtime when Corey perry – who now aligns with the Habs – had scored his second of the meeting. Although they have had plenty of time to lose themselves in their thoughts since the last game on Friday, the players in Florida have learned from their mistakes. No question of thinking about the big trophy.
This is the advantage of a team that has gone through the same stages very recently.
“With the experience of last year, I think we are better prepared,” concluded Gourde. We were in a similar situation in Game 5. This year, we have more experience and we are not looking too far ahead. You have to stay in the present moment. «
The Quebecois’ message is clear, and it will be the same until he returns to the Stanley Cup. Whether in Montreal, or Tampa.