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June 7, 2001

Bob Hartley


Q. Obviously you guys are facing elimination. The team looked very loose and relaxed in practice; can you talk about the mood of the team

COACH BOB HARTLEY: Well, we believe in ourselves. We worked all year to get to the Stanley Cup Finals, part of our plan. Obviously we know what situation here facing tonight. But also we feel very good looking at our road record throughout the regular season, throughout the Playoffs. I think that it is going to be a great hockey game and if we can keep it as tight as we want, I think that we have a good chance of leaving this building with this series all tied up.

Q. A lot of the Devils are saying that the hardest part about winning is just learning how to do it. What makes that Final step so difficult?

COACH BOB HARTLEY: Little details, like little details become so important in a big game because the difference between winning and losing is so small. There's a real fine line between being No. 1 and No. 2, that you really have to focus on the little stuff of the game, like stopping at the net; not losing your man; like it sounds very simple, but there they are details but they become so vital in tight situations.

Q. The number of breakdowns in the last game, in retrospect looking at tapes, were they bad decisions from the outset or were they good decisions and being aggressive and getting the wrong outcome?

COACH BOB HARTLEY: The way that I can analyze this for you is that I feel that coming back from Game 4 over here where we only had 12 shots and knowing like the guys that we have on our hockey club we wanted to generate offense. Good people always have good intentions. We pressed. We forced. We came up with the wrong decision at the wrong time. Against a team like the Devils, it was the wrong thing to do. But hey, we learned from it. We moved on. Tonight is a chance for us to make sure that it doesn't happen again. And to force a Game 7.

Q. A lot of the guys in the locker room are saying we obviously know we have to be relaxed and aware of what is at stake tonight but not worry about. How does a coach get a team not to worry and think about all that is at stake?

COACH BOB HARTLEY: I believe it is the work that we did all year. We faced adversity at numerous times this year. As an athlete or as a coach you have to learn in tight situations it is another opportunity for you, for your group to find out more about yourself and the team. I think that we grew a lot together this year and I love tonight's challenge. I think that I really like our players' approach. We are loose, like we know what a win could mean. We know what a loss could mean and we are going to face the situation like we can.

Q. I know the team doesn't need a pep-talk right now, but when you look and your room, at the character of the guys and some of the veterans who have been in big games before how important is that for the younger guys?

COACH BOB HARTLEY: Leadership and experience at this time of the year is very vital - the Ray Bourques, the Patrick Roys, Sakic, Foote, Blake, those guys have been so good for us. They make the young players like feel real good. Obviously, the experienced players like they take charge in the locker room, like in between periods they are the one leading the charge. That's the reason why we are here today in the Stanley Cup Finals.

End of FastScripts....

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