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November 12, 2002 - Talking with ... Kris Draper, Red Wings Forward
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Talking with ... Kris Draper, Red Wings Forward

By Ted Kulfan / The Detroit News


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   Q.The team is over .500, but this probably isn't the type of start you expected.
   A.There are some guys struggling a little bit. Guys are squeezing the stick too hard. We just need to relax and eventually things will turn around. When things aren't going well, you get a little frustrated and we have to keep working through this thing. We have a great bunch of guys here, and we'll get through this. But it won't be just handed to us. We have to earn it. We have to play with a little more discipline.
   Q.At many times this season, the penalties have really hurt you guys. Playing shorthanded like that has to have an effect.
   A.We're not rolling four lines the way we'd like to. But the onus is on us. We have to figure out ways to get out of the (penalty) box. When we're effective, we have four lines going hard and playing good, solid hockey. When we get into penalty trouble, Lewie (Coach Dave Lewis) can't do that and it stops the style we want to use.
   Q.Lewis mentioned the other day that frustration might be setting in with some guys. Do you sense that?
   A.That's what happens when things don't go well, and you get a little frustrated. But we have keep working through this. It's going to turn around. Speaking for myself, like the other night (against Chicago), taking two stupid penalties, especially late in the game. It's a 1-0 game (at that point) and it's things like that that makes you angry when you're the guy that does it. That's not the way to come out of this frustration. Sooner or later, with the power in this dressing room, we'll come out of this thing.
   Q.With some guys slumping, does that make those guys try to do too much, more than they're capable?
   A.When we got off to a good start, it was because of four lines chipping in with goals, and that's when we're at our best. But right now, it's not happening. It's not one guy who'll get us out of this thing, it's all the guys. As a team we kind of got ourselves in to this thing, and now we have to get ourselves out as a team.