June 5, 2001
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Practice Day
Q. Coach, what adjustments do you plan to make for Game 6?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, first I think that we just have to come back to our own game. Like there's obviously little adjustments that can always be made during the course of a hockey game, but I think looking at the past two games, we didn't give ourselves a chance to win, like I think that we have to come back to our game and that would definitely give us a better chance to win some big games.
Q. What's the mood of the team having been so close to the three game to one lead and now trailing 3-2 heading back to New Jersey?
COACH HARTLEY: We have to remain very upbeat. We've just -- in this Playoff, we've lost two games in a row and we came back to win three, so I think that we've faced adversity many times and this is a good challenge for us.
Q. How much of a factor in everyone's minds could it be that this could be Ray Bourque's last game?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, Ray Bourque is certainly a big part of this hockey club and we're certainly all pulling with Ray. We're pulling for Ray, but pulling with Ray. We're confident that we can go to Jersey and win that game. Like I said, it's just a matter of coming back to basics, coming back to being strong in our own zone, like avoiding odd-man rushes and I like our chances. I think we're a tight group. We proved it in the past and it's just up to us to answer the bell one more time.
Q. Do you want your defensemen to concentrate more on defense and not be so aggressive in the offensive zone?
COACH HARTLEY: There is always a fine line between like pinching or being aggressive. You want everyone to be aggressive in the Playoffs, but certainly it's a matter of reading and reacting. You need to support. Sometimes you need to take some chances, but like everything has to be calculated. All year we played a system where any of our defensemen, they have the green light. If they want to move in, they feel that it's a logical choice, they can go, and last night we got burned a couple of times because I felt we were over anxious.
Q. The Devils' home record is far from impressive really considering how far they've gotten in the Playoffs. Is there any intimidation at all at playing there?
COACH HARTLEY: Like I just said, I think we have to focus on our game. We proved that when we play our game, that when our focus is at the right place, we have a chance to beat anyone in this league. Game 6 won't be any different. We just have to do the little details of our game that will allow us to move out of Jersey with a big win.
Q. You're probably sick of being asked this. You say there is no chance Peter will play, and he says there is a 1 percent chance. Who do we believe?
COACH HARTLEY: You can believe who you want, but I thought I was pretty clear last night. You can't blame Peter Forsberg. He's a competitor. You can imagine like being Peter Forsberg sitting in the stands watching your teammates play and you want to be part of that group. Like we all know Peter. Peter is a warrior. Peter loves his teammates and there is nothing more that Peter Forsberg would love than to be in the line-up. But common sense has to come as a factor and Peter Forsberg will not play.
Q. Your big three defensemen has played three or four minutes less on average in this series than the last series. What are the reasons?
COACH HARTLEY: I think just the scores. I think you just have to look at the score. Like in a 4-1 loss or in a 5-0 win, there's no sense like abusing your players. I think -- ice time is always a matter of common sense. You have to make sure that you use the right people at the right time and if you feel that, like there's no sense in putting like any of your players out there that will have like a direct affect on the game. Or if you feel that there's no more chance of coming back in the game, I think that you know you have to give some ice time to some other players. At the same time you rest your best players for the upcoming game.
Q. Do you think the Devils have been able to wear down your big three defensemen?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, I think that it's a combination of pressure. I think that if we can make adjustments in getting our pressure you know much better in their zone, like obviously we're going to spend less time in our own zone. It's a combination of working I think a little bit better between our forwards and our defensemen, but it's all a matter of momentum. We're a team that plays so well with a lead, and the New Jersey Devils are such a great team at protecting a lead, so I think there is a fine line and I think the plan for us in Jersey will be to score the first goal and build on it.
Q. You tinkered with your lines at the end of Game 5. Will you consider permanently altering for Thursday night or making any changes?
COACH HARTLEY: We'll see. I don't really think that we'll see some line-up changes, but like we might see some changes in the lines. We're still looking at different possibilities, but let's face it, you know, our lines have been pretty well set all year and we had success. I want to make sure we remain very consistent with our plan because we believe in our plan.
Q. Bob, the schedule is the schedule, but based on the scenario, are you glad for the extra day to rest and prepare, or would you just assume play Game 6?
COACH HARTLEY: It's a chance for us today to refocus, to rest, to refuel, and I think that the boys will certainly enjoy today off. No one will be skating. And tomorrow we're going to have a short practice, take the plane to Jersey. And at this time of the year, if you go on the ice to learn something, I think we're in the wrong business. It's a matter of making sure the focus is in the right place; everyone feels good that we understand and recognize what's ahead of us.
End of FastScripts....