June 4, 2001
DENVER, COLORADO: Game Five
Q. What does momentum mean? And I ask that because a lot people thought after the way they won the last goal all of a sudden the defense come in here flying. Are you not concerned because they keep shifting back and forth?
COACH HARTLEY: When two great hockey clubs are going at it, you are going to get like switches of momentum, like quite frequently. It is all a matter of execution. It is all a matter of pressure. Turnovers are big part of our game and especially in the Stanley Cup Finals, like they can be very vital. So I think that you are going to see like how you get momentum, like with pressure, with a big body check, with a big penalty kill, with a big goal, with a TV time-out. There are so many ways to switch momentum around that you can't -- you can't worry about this, like you have to basically focus on your game and make sure that you have the right approach.
Q. After watching Hejduk skate the last couple of days is there any question that he might not be 100% for tonight?
COACH HARTLEY: He looks very good to me. Like we feel very fortunate that he is ready to go. Yesterday he was on the ice, felt fine, did all practice and like he has absolutely nothing going against him. He is fine. He is looking forward to tonight's game and like he was just -- he got caught with his head down luckily for him and for us, just like got two minor cuts.
Q. On the nights that you have won, your team has clearly dominated vice versa with the Devils. Is it possible for these two teams to bring their A games on the same night or does one style dictate that the other can't play as well?
COACH HARTLEY: There's only one puck on the ice so like it seemed the team that can control the puck the better has the better chance to win. Just like I said a couple of minutes ago, it is two great hockey clubs and there is not much room and when you get a chance you better take advantage of it. That's where we are at right now. There is such a fine line between winning and losing. It is two good hockey clubs and that is why we are deadlocked at two games. It is a great Final. I think it is very exciting for our fans. It is great for the game because that's the best way to promote it.
Q. You keep saying, Bob, the two great teams and a great Final and true, top two teams in the NHL. Do the players realize the drama of the moment the fact that it is down to a best of 3 now? Do they get extra nervous for these games?
COACH HARTLEY: We are working accordingly with our plan. Nothing is different than the plan that we established at the end of training camp. We followed the plan everyday and now we are still in the situation where we can take home-ice advantage. We worked all year to be here. We worked all year to get home-ice advantage. We used it against L.A. in the Game 7. We used it against St. Louis by winning some big games over here. And tonight is not different. It is just another game. Obviously we have to recognize the importance of the game, but we can't change our approach. I think that we would be going the wrong way.
Q. You have mentioned a couple of times during the Playoffs that this beats working in a windshield factory. Does that feel like a long time ago or a world away from you or do you still feel connected to that?
COACH HARTLEY: I think it gave my a clear vision. (LAUGHTER) I am getting lots of phone calls, lots of faxes from people in my hometown because let's face it like it is only 10,000 population, so everyone is a big Avalanche fan and I know that they are pushing like on our side, but I think that I have said it before, like the experience that I got out of working in a factory with four, 500 partners is certainly helping me out like in dealing with people in this business.
Q. With a kid like Alex Tanguay, first trip here, he is feeling like he is not contributing as much offensively. The other night he has a couple of defensive plays that don't go very well. What is your message to him what do you say to him?
COACH HARTLEY: We are just trying to work with his focus and it is not different than any of our young players like it is a first time to the Stanley Cup Finals and like there is pressure, there is challenge and I think that we want to make sure that they look at it in a positive way. No. 1, they have to enjoy being part of this because like there are some fine young hockey players in this hockey League that didn't make the Playoffs or got him real quick in the first round and like those guys have to use this as a good experience. They are vital parts of our hockey club. You look at the Hejduk, the Hinotes, the Nieminen, those guys contributed all way to the success of our hockey club and we want to keep them going. I think it is our job to make them feel good; to make them understand like the opportunity that those fine young men have and they just have to take advantage of it.
Q. If you can -- you guys had a pretty decent powerplay all the way through the regular season. What do you guys have to do to turn it up and take advantage that it has been given you all the way through the Finals?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, I feel that both teams, like their penalty killing units has been dominant since the start. That's defense. You look at in any sport like lots of time in a tight round like defense will take over offense. We have a great powerplay. It gave us some big goals. Gave us the winning goal in Game 3 and it is not because we didn't score in Game 4 that suddenly we are going to change everything over. We have to remain very consistent. We have to keep trusting our athletes. We have a wonderful bunch of guys that are very talented and they are very simple people. It came true for us all along like the Playoffs against Vancouver we were great. Against L.A. we had our tough times at moments, but in Game 7, gave us like that big first goal and then we moved onto round 3. Against St. Louis our powerplay was very instrumental in bringing us to the Finals. Again like I said like Ray Bourque gave us a big goal in Game 3. You won't score 3, 4 times a game in Stanley Cup Finals especially not against a talented penalty killing unit like the Devils.
Q. You didn't get a very good game out of a couple of your fourth liners, Reinprecht and Reid do you change your philosophy at all in this game, maybe use a shorter bench or no?
COACH HARTLEY: Hey, like I said, I don't see why we would change our approach in any areas. We have to be consistent. We have a plan and we have faith in our plan. That's where we have to be. We trusted those athletes all year long and that's -- they are the reason why we are here today. So there's possibilities of two games; maybe three, and the hockey season is over. Hey, we have to keep pushing those guys making them feel real good about themselves because, hey, let's face it, we worked all year to be here and now it is up to us to enjoy it. Have a good day everyone.
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