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June 13, 2002

Erik Cole

Ron Francis

Sami Kapanen


Q. Your reflection on the game.

RON FRANCIS: Obviously it's disappointing. You don't work all season long and all Playoff long to come close. It hurts when you lose.

Q. If someone told you coming into this series after five games you would have hold those guys only 14 goals would you have liked your chances?

RON FRANCIS: Yeah, I thought for the most part we played with them. We played them hard. If we had a couple of breaks early in the series, you know, may have been a different outcome. But they are a great team. They are deep. They have got a ton of skill, and a lot of Playoff experience and you just don't rattle them. That's why --

Q. Game tonight seemed like they had eight players on the ice playing defense it seemed?

RON FRANCIS: We knew how good they were defensively people talk about their offense, but I think they were tough, 3rd in the League in goals against average. Probably would have been No. 1 if they didn't have their little struggle there with guys down the stretch. Lidstrom is, head and shoulder for me, he's the best defenseman in the game, positioning is awesome, his puck moving skills. And Chelios, they have got a great defensive team with all their offensive firepower. Certainly not easy to play against them.

Q. Looking back in the series, the Hull goal at home, is that the backbreaker that turned the series around?

RON FRANCIS: The first one we won in OT, second one is 1-1. They get a questionable powerplay call and score on it. Third one we have them late, give one up and ultimately lose in triple overtime. The fourth one Hull hits the post, goes in. Mine hits the posts, stays out. It's little breaks. That's what you hope you are getting in this time of the year, and we didn't get it then. They got them, and that's why they are the champions

ERIK COLE: That's up to the powerplay guys. I don't get frustrated for what happens on the powerplay and what doesn't happen on the powerplay. Those guys are good players and they are our leaders. They will find ways to get the job done.

Q. You guys certainly have no reason to hang your heads. Been a great ride this year.

ERIK COLE: You guys all think that we should just be satisfied and you know, content with what we did accomplish. But we still felt that we could have beat Detroit, and just makes it that much tougher to accept the fact that it's over.

Q. Hasek's performance tonight, how hard was it to get the puck by him?

ERIK COLE: It's been hard all year, so shouldn't have been any different tonight

SAMI KAPANEN: Find a way over the summer and find a way to win the Cup next year, get stronger over the summer.

Q. Motivation you guys have, coming off 3 grueling series here, you played Detroit tough, take that into next year, and you saw the celebration, feeling the fire to get back here --

SAMI KAPANEN: It's going to be a long summer for sure, and just -- it's tough to get in the Final. Everybody knows how hard we had to work to get here. It's not going to be any easier next year, but hopefully it's something to build on and the force is pushing us next year. Not too many teams are able to bounce back and get back in the Finals, get another chance. But hopefully that's the case with us. We got lots of fairly young guys and hopefully we have got another chance. We talked about the start of the series, most of the times it's once in a lifetime chance and so feels pretty bad right now.

Q. Again, you guys had your chances against Hasek tonight. A couple of breaks going here or there. This series could have been a different story.

SAMI KAPANEN: Well, there were a lot of close games, but bottom line is you have got to find a way to win the games, and that's why Detroit was a better team night after night, they were turning those games, four wins -- they are a team that's patient. They play a solid defense and they manage to have offense that helped them win the game. Doesn't matter if you win the four games -- I mean if you lose the four games in overtime and it's close games, but the thing is you have got to get the four wins and get the Cup, and we couldn't do it.

Q. In hindsight, was not winning the three overtime games, was that, do you think the, turning point?

SAMI KAPANEN: I don't know if that was the turning point. Obviously it was a big win for them, and we still had other games, a chance to win the games. And we just couldn't bounce back and tie the series after that and get a chance to win the Cup.

End of FastScripts...

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