June 8, 2001
DENVER, COLORADO: Practice Day
Q. How much of a boost does last night's win mean in terms of Game 7?
COACH HARTLEY: The only thing that Game 6 gave us is the right to play in Game 7. I think that you look at both teams, you look at the way that this series has gone so far, like it's pretty tough to predict the outcome of tomorrow night's game. But one thing is very certain, it's two great hockey clubs and I am very sure that both teams will be ready.
Q. At the beginning of the series there was so much talk about the top lines. It seems as it always does in Playoffs it's come down to goaltending. Once again Patrick weathered the storm and you fed off that. What is your thoughts on that?
COACH HARTLEY: We count on Patrick once again, like, Patrick has been outstanding. You just have to look at his career, his accomplishments, they speak volumes. Patrick becomes like even better, like, under tough challenges. He loves it. He feels that he wants to step up. He feeds off those challenge and we certainly count on him tomorrow night to repeat like another big performance.
Q. Are you nervous?
COACH HARTLEY: No. Not at all. I am having fun. This is about having fun. I invested 14 years of my life to get a shot at this so I am not going in with any fear of it. We are a fearless organization. We love adversity. We love challenges, and I am the spoke mentor this organization. I am the one addressing you guys everyday and I think that I have to lead the way and make sure that I give the right messages to my players because they are the ones that are performing.
Q. You have talked a lot about the leaders that you have on your team and how you count on them. But none of them have played in a Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final. Do you still lean on them to lead the guys or do you see yourself taking an even bigger role in the dressing room?
COACH HARTLEY: More than ever I have full trust in my players. Look at the great, look at the experience, look at the quality of our individuals and there's no reason to have any doubts. We are very proud organization. We pride ourselves like from the draft to the development of our young players, to our product that we deliver in NHL buildings. We are very proud also have our community. We are representing a very positive and growing community and we know that we have the support of the entire city, of our fans, of the entire state, and we understand and recognize the importance of tomorrow night's game.
Q. Just two quick ones. The Devils are a completely different team on the road than at home. Their record is dramatically different. Is that something you adjust to or is that something that is completely separate for them?
COACH HARTLEY: Like I said, we are a very proud organization and we feel that we always have to make adjustments. But like big changes, we don't want to make big changes. If there's changes to be made we want the opponents to make those changes. We want to set the pace. We want to be like the lead runner. We want to be those guys that right at the start of the marathon like we take the lead and we move on. Hey, like I said, it is two great hockey clubs, two great organizations like built-in very similar ways. I think that you look at the way that Pierre and Lou built their teams, there's lots of ways that it's the same. I think that like both teams put lots of pride in their draft picks. Like their farm teams, that is the result you get. You get consistency and rebuilding is never part of our vocabulary.
Q. When you were a kid I am thinking most Canadian kids always dream of Game 7. Going back to your childhood, is this something -- having the opportunity to be at Game 7 with you all the electricity around?
COACH HARTLEY: I won many Stanley Cup games in the streets like many Game 7s. Like growing up watching the Dryden and the Lafleur and the Robinson and the Savard and those guys it is pretty ironic that tomorrow night is going to be a Game 7 against Larry Robinson. This is why you work for it. You start training camp and there's 30 teams that want a shot at this and we worked all year, like our captain like said early in the season like just before the start of the season that we wanted to have a great season in order to take advantage of Game 7s. We did against L.A. , i feel that that is a big turning point in our Playoffs, that Game 7 against L.A. gave us the confidence that maybe we were flirting with, but that we couldn't really grasp, and I think that that Game 7 against L.A. gave us new live. Not that we didn't have any live before, but it gave us something extra. It gave us the belief that we could do it starting with Patrick and then all their veterans like we felt that we could make it happen. Right now just like the Devils, we are 60 minutes away.
Q. Does that Game 7 against L.A. make you think that you can do it again here, but also do you have in the back of your mind how home ice has been so tough for teams in the Playoffs this year is that play into your thoughts at all?
COACH HARTLEY: Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I don't live in the past, but I am a big historian. You look at the last two teams that won Game 7s in their building, Edmonton and the Rangers and you look even deeper than this, both of those teams like hosted the All-Star Game that year. I will let you make your own conclusions.
Q. A lot of players you got and a lot of ice team, two days off the last game now one, is there any mandatory rest thing here? Have you basically said everybody shuts down? What have you done since you leave the game? Since you are a historian, if you look at history through goaltenders anybody else that you have on goal than you have right now?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, like first like no one will be skating today. We took lots of pride and lots of special attention throughout the season to really rest our athletes on non game days. Whether with optional skates or totally shutting down like the dressing room. Today they are only allowed to go in the gym, do their own little personal stuff, and we will have like a short team meeting and we will let them go and enjoy the rest of the day. I grew up as a Montreal fan, watching Patrick Roy come up with big performances, and there's no better other guy than Patrick Roy for those big games. Patrick is like as big as a wall right now. He gives us confidence. Like I said last night, he is giving us reasons to believe and definitely right now like his performances like are transpiring lots of courage, lots of positive, lots of confidence throughout like everyone in our locker room.
Q. You talked about Roy. How much do you see Marty Brodeur crumbling based on last night?
COACH HARTLEY: I have coached against Marty Brodeur in junior hockey. I saw him play some great games against the Devils and I felt that last night, he was beaten by excellent shots. I felt that you look at every goal like inside post, at this point pins by his own guys, like right in front of him like Martin Brodeur like basically didn't have any chances on any of the goals. I felt that we were very opportunistic and we scored the big goals at the right time.
Q. You said that this Game 7 will be fun and so that puts the pressure issue in context. You are not an old guy, but in terms of your personal life outside of hockey, has there been any pressure situations that you would find that have been more onerous and more difficult than something like this?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, geez, I don't know. That's a good question. I had like a pretty good life. I was always surrounded by good people, by very positive people and I didn't get fired in 14 years of coaching so I guess I am pretty fortunate. I got fired in the papers lots, but by my boss not very on. So I will leave it at this and hey, like I said, this is a good challenge. There's always days in your life that are tougher than others, but I think that if you can take the positive and really build on it and maybe learn from the negative and put them away, I think that you become a better man. Obviously being surrounded by the people that I have been surrounded like whether it was my minor hockey coaches, my teachers in school, and then like growing up as a coach, I look at the four bosses that I had, like Mr. Andre Tranchemontagne, Hawkesbury, the Morrisette family in Laval, Pierre Page and Lacroix with the Nordiques and the Avalanche organizations, they are people that always believed in me. They gave me tools to be successful and they always gave me like great teams that I could depend on. I consider myself as a man that maybe I was born under a lucky star.
Q. Does it help having the Game 7 win against L.A. to draw from instead of going into tomorrow night thinking about the Dallas Game 7 last year?
COACH HARTLEY: Like I just said, you learn from tough experiences, plus you learn from positive ones. I think that as a team our best example is the L.A. series because this is the team that we went in Game 7 against L.A. we made it. We changed a couple of of players over the years. I think this team this year was built on solid offense, solid defense, and solid goaltending. Right now, like that Game 7 against L.A. we really brought like those three aspects of our game together and that's where I felt that our confidence really grew as a group.
Q. As positive as you are and as good as things look for the Avs, have you thought maybe last night, tomorrow night at all about how to handle yourself if you lose and what that would mean to the franchise?
COACH HARTLEY: Hey, like losing is part of the game just like winning. I felt that so far we have like a great season going for us; we answered the bell every time like part of our plan from training camp we did every step of the way. Right now the only thing missing is the ultimate, so like I just said, we are 60 minutes away, so is the Devils. It is two great hockey clubs. We won't give it to them. They won't give it to us. Let the puck drop and may the best team win.
Q. You said you dream about winning Stanley Cup as a kid. Who were you when you were on the street, which player were you?
COACH HARTLEY: Ken Dryden many time. I had a mask exactly like him. When I was a forward I was scoring goals like Guy LaFleur inside posts all the time coming off the wing and we had -- like even like I remember we had a Tape-recorder and we had that CBC song at the start, like da-da-da-da-da, we had this before every game and that really pumped us up. So it was great and we had some great games.
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