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May 26, 2002

Bob Hartley


Q. Have you ever been a part of a series where there is more talent on the ice than this one and played as closely together as possible?

COACH HARTLEY: Like we said before the start of this round, it's simply unbelievable the amount of skills, the quality of the leadership on both teams. And that's why this round is even at 2-2. And that's why there is so many Hall of Famers on both sides.

Q. How is Mike Keane?

COACH HARTLEY: Mike Keane is doing good. We're going to reevaluate him tomorrow, and it will probably be a game-time decision.

Q. Bob, you guys have started great in all the games, but yesterday was the first time you actually finished a game in the series. Is it important to play off that? Do you feel that was the push that will get you over the top in the next three games?

COACH HARTLEY: After Joe's goal early in the third period we showed lots of killer instinct out there. We were skating and pressuring the Wings. That's the entire key in order to be successful against the Wings.

Q. Even though the series is tied 2-2, do you feel like your team has put together a full game's effort that you can be proud of?

COACH HARTLEY: The most important thing and the only thing that really matters at the playoffs is the score at the final buzzer. Sometimes it's not pretty, but you have to learn to survive. And talking about survival, we should maybe write a book. We find some ways, and that's a sign of good people. And again, tomorrow night it all starts in our dressing room. I know that it's an old song, but the experience, the leadership, the talent, those guys have to, one more time, face the music and get the job done. Tomorrow should be a great game.

Q. Bob, a lot of your players are talking about building off the third period yesterday for tomorrow night. In a series like this, do you really think a game carries over to another?

COACH HARTLEY: Momentum has switched so many times, it's unbelievable. I really think both teams will be looking for a good start tomorrow. They'll try to get some energy in this building. We'll try to get a good start, hopefully get the first goal to develop solid momentum on our side. I really like in these rounds that the focus is on the players. Like the first question, there is so many great hockey players. That's why this round there is so much attention around it. It's imply unbelievable. Great goalie matchup, defensemen, and great forwards. Plus, you have guys that have proven that not only are they all stars in this league, but players you should sell our game around. I think you guys have done a good job with it, and the players deserve lots of credit.

Q. Bob, if Detroit comes after you pretty hard early on, will you hesitate to juggle up the lines like you did in Game 4?

COACH HARTLEY: I brought a barrel and it will sit behind the bench and I'll pull five out at a time, and we'll try to get something going.

Q. You have had some trouble in the playoffs winning back to back. Is there anything you're doing mentally to get two in a row here?

COACH HARTLEY: Winning in the playoffs, especially in Conference is something that's been pretty tough all year long. It doesn't change in the playoffs. I love the focus we're showing. I love our discipline. As we know, tomorrow night is a big game for both teams. Both teams will be ready to play. We should see a great hockey team.

End of FastScripts...

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