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May 24, 2002

Bob Hartley


Q. Stephane Yelle, his status?

COACH HARTLEY: Ready to roll. Everything is good. Had a good practice. He's going to be in the lineup.

Q. Bob, you have had some time to look at the tape and talk to your guys. What are some of the things you saw on that tape and things you need to work on?

COACH HARTLEY: Well, it's a new day, and there is no sense going back to that Game 3. We know what we have to do in Game 4. I know it's an old answer, but it's all going back to our dressing room, our leaders, our experience, our talent. We have been there many times, and I always like the way we responded. Once again, we're turning ourselves to our dressing room. I know they'll be ready.

Q. Will you make a little more effort in Game 4 to get the Forsberg line back with the Chelios pairing?

COACH HARTLEY: The new wave in hockey and probably the easiest thing in matchup is when you're on the road and you want certain defensemen against certain lines. Like I remember when I started to coach, it was your checking line against the other team's best line and the other team was responding the same way. Very rarely these days you'll see a team try to put a line against another line. If you get involved in those matchups, if he puts Lidstrom or Chelios and I don't like it and I pull Forsberg back on the bench, one thing is sure, is that Forsberg won't score from the bench. So it's easy to look at this. And the easiest thing in hockey is to change your defensemen on the fly. Every team is doing the same thing, so it's nothing new.

Q. Bob, could you talk about how immediately Mike Keane fit right in with the group, as if he never left, and also what characteristic he had that you felt was so important to add?

COACH HARTLEY: The biggest thing with Mike is he's already been in our dressing room and won a Cup. As soon as he came, he knew lots of veterans. And what he did for our young players is simply unbelievable. He's a great leader. He's a simple man and a great communicator. He's helping us a lot. He's another role model that we have, another great leader we have in our locker room, and we added lots of leadership.

Q. If Larionov returns to their lineup, how does that change the complexion on the Red Wings?

COACH HARTLEY: You'll have to ask Scotty. There will probably be a draw in his room tonight. I don't know who he'll pull out of his lineup.

Q. Bob, the players that constantly stay in front of the net, do they have to be a little bit nuts to do that?

COACH HARTLEY: I don't know if it's nuts, but it's certainly the price to pay in order to be successful. It has been a big part of our success in the playoffs so far, and we need to keep doing it. We know that Hasek doesn't like traffic in front of him, and we need to keep pressuring their defensemen.

Q. Bob, you guys did a great job of blocking shots. Can you talk about that fine line between being aggressive and overaggressive in that area?

COACH HARTLEY: You're right; there is a fine line. If you miss your block, it might be in the net. But if you don't block it might still be in the net. It's a decision of a fraction of a second and we have lots of guys that are ready to sacrifice their bodies to block some shots. All year it worked very well for us. Unfortunately it didn't work in Game 3, but that's part of the game.

Q. I think you had 16 shots through regulation in the last game. What do you have to do to generate more shots?

COACH HARTLEY: We need to skate better, like we addressed this after the game, and we know that we're a great skating hockey club. And when we're freewheeling, that's where we're going to generate a lot of offense. We need to come back to our game, and like I said, I have lots of confidence our guys will be ready.

Q. Everyone thought this was going to be a goaltending-dominated series. After the last game, are we starting to see that?

COACH HARTLEY: We saw a great goaltender on one side. On the other side they didn't even bring the Zamboni in that zone. I think we gave Hasek a real easy game. Patrick was on top of his game, and once again he proved he was the best goalie in the league.

Q. Bob, you guys talked a lot about how you have been able to come back in the series. Within this series alone, you guys have given up leads. Is that only a small part of that?

COACH HARTLEY: We were talking about the fine line in shot blocking. There is a fine line in protecting the lead. Sometimes you have to go and get the extra goal. In some instances we have been able to do this, and in some others we were not able to do this. And I always like to go back to the regular season because I don't know if we'll ever see another season like this one, where teams were battling until the end for a playoff spot. You lose a game and might drop two spots in the standings. I feel we're seeing the results of the regular season in the playoffs. We had to fight for our Game 7 in LA and San Jose. And that's the thing, there is so many one-goal games and teams are so even, sometimes it's tough to protect your one-goal lead.

End of FastScripts...

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