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June 3, 2001

Bob Hartley


Q. Coming in listening to the radio some people have commented that Patrick Roy deserved the goat horns. Looking at his entire game last night your reaction to his performance?

COACH HARTLEY: Well, first I think that instead of looking at one player, I'd rather look at the entire game. To be up like 2 to 1 with 11, 12 minutes left in the game and especially the way that we were playing, like it's amazing that we had a chance to win. It is really amazing that we could leave like that rink last night with a win and that we all know that we didn't play our best game. We didn't come up with our best performance so obviously all the focus from many people will be on that one play. But I think that we have a situation here that we can use last night's game to really grow as a team. We didn't play a very good game and with 11 minutes left in the third period like we still had a chance to pull a big win. That's something I think that we can learn from.

Q. How is Milan Hejduk today and his status for Game 5?

COACH HARTLEY: He is ready to go. He had a chin laceration and a couple of stitches I believe above the eye so he is fine to go.

Q. The way you played last night did it have more to do with your approach or was it what the Devils were doing to you?

COACH HARTLEY: It is all about our skating game. We are such a good hockey club when we move our feet. When we are skating we are applying like pressure on any team's defenseman, we generate lots of good things. I feel that our forwards like simply did not pressure enough. We had like nine forwards out of 12 without a shot on net. So it makes it real tough to win a hockey game. But like I said, hey, halfway point in the third period like we have the lead, so it is not something that makes us feel good because, hey, we didn't win, but it certainly something that we can learn from.

Q. Did you think Holik's hit on Hejduk was clean or dirty?

COACH HARTLEY: No, it was a very clean hit. I checked the video and Milan never saw Holik come from the side. No, Milan had no chance to defend himself. But Holik caught him with the shoulder and that's hockey.

Q. After Game 3, Robinson questioned his team's work ethic and he said some of his players didn't work hard enough. Considering getting out shot last night the way the game went, do you feel the same way about your players?

COACH HARTLEY: Sometimes it is not a matter of working. It's a matter of how well you are working. Last night like I just said our pressure was definitely not good enough. We know what we did wrong. And now today like our focus has to be on tomorrow night's game. We are at 2-2. If someone would have told me before Game 1 after four games you guys will still have home-ice advantage and you are going to start a best out of 3, I think that everyone would have taken this. They won one in our building. We won one in their building. Even last night, we had like no business in that game and we could have still pulled a win. Hey, we feel good. We recognize the importance of tomorrow night's game, but like we are proud of our organization. I trusted my players all year long and tomorrow night won't be any different.

Q. Patrick personality... (Inaudible)

COACH HARTLEY: Patrick will be stronger. This is stuff that happens. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. That's human nature. Here's a situation where we can be better as a team and we want to take advantage of the situation. Game 5 tomorrow night will probably be the loudest the Pepsi Center will ever see and we know that we can count on our fans and we certainly want to take every possible angle to give us a chance to win tomorrow night's game.

Q. What was the mood after the game last night of your team? Disappointment? Anger? How would you characterize it?

COACH HARTLEY: It's never a good mood when you don't win, let's face it. Like we are battling for the most prestigious trophy in pro sports and we worked hard during the training camp, during 82 regular season games. We went through like 3 tough rounds. So hey, here we are like battling with a great hockey club, like 40 unbelievable athletes and I think I guess that our feelings after a loss is basically the same thing that is in the Devils' locker room after a loss. You look at both organizations. They are kind of built the same way and like there's lots of pride on both sides. Like when someone steps on your toes and you don't come on top it is never a good feeling.

Q. In Game 1 and Game 3 you played the way you really wanted Game 2 and Game 4 not. Are you concerned about the see-saw effect games 1 through 4?

COACH HARTLEY: If we look at that trend we are looking for good things for Game 5. Hey, it is just to show you that both teams -- like there's such a fine line between analyzing like both teams. There is so many intangibles that you can't control that you basically can't predict what is going to happen. So what you have to do is work on things that you can control and that's basically our game plan; the way that our players prepare to play and once the puck is going to drop. Hey, we have to put full trust on our 20 athletes out there and hopefully they will get the job done.

Q. You talk about a fine line which could indicate a seven-game series. After four games, can you analyze the pluses and minuses of your team and the pluses and minuses of New Jersey?

COACH HARTLEY: This is tough because you look at some games, our powerplay was real good. In some other games, our penalty killing was real good. I feel that goaltending has been exceptional on both sides and it's tough because like there's no room out there. Like certainly you look at like both teams like the big lines. Those guys -- both teams are working real hard, but I think that defense right now is the key point of both teams. It is tough to get quality shots. Once you get a quality shot it is tough to get a rebound. I think that that speaks volumes for the people on both blue lines. Both teams are doing an exceptional job and it is tough. So basically, it could come down to the last shot will win.

Q. In the first three games they had Arnott against Sakic. Last night Holik. Any difference you saw with Holik on Sakic as opposed to Arnott?

COACH HARTLEY: Well, I think that from a forward's standpoint like it is always kind of overrated. I'd rather give the credit to guys like Ray Bourque, like Adam Foote, Stevens, Rafalski, like those are the guys that are kind of protecting because like Holik is a great two-way player. Lots of time he is on the offense and we can get a good first pass and beat Holik like right in our zone. So hey, Holik is a tremendous competitor. He is a guy that can generate a lot on the offensive side. He is a real strong player that works very well in the defensive zone. So like he is a complete hockey player. So whenever those guys are on the ice you know one thing is that he is going to be real strong in the three zones. That's why he is one of the top players in this League.

Q. Can a series turn a bounce behind the net like it did on that or is that just an isolated incident?

COACH HARTLEY: Well, like I said, like intangibles are something that you can't control. We have seen so many examples since the start of the Playoffs. Against L.A. they got a breakaway, Patrick Roy gives us a big save, the puck is going in. Ray Bourque bats it out like right on the goal line, we go up ice and we score. Those are the intangibles that can work on both sides. Like last night it worked against us. But like I said, you have to give yourselves a chance as a team to win some hockey games and last night like we didn't. Talking to many of our players this morning, like they recognize that we missed our assignment last night, but like we could have still came out with a win and I think that's the positive that we have to get out from last night, turn the page and put our focus on tomorrow night's game.

End of FastScripts....

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