May 30, 2001
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Practice Day
COACH HARTLEY: Good morning, everyone.
Q. Bring us up-to-date on Adam Foote, please.
COACH HARTLEY: He is fine. He is going to be in the lineup tomorrow. Obviously everyone was scared because we saw the fall, but luckily for us like when he went into the boards he got dazed a little bit, but he is fine to go.
Q. At the start of the series Bourque thought special teams would truly define the champion at the end of the series. Talk about your powerplay over the last two games.
COACH HARTLEY: Oh, powerplay I felt that we had a good start yesterday and then like I thought we could have reacted a little bit better, you know, on the Devils' pressure. Our passing was simply not good enough, like last night like our powerplay has given us some big goals. Our powerplay is one of the major reasons why we are in the Stanley Cup Finals right now. Against St. Louis really performed very well in Game 7 against L.A.; gave us some good life. So hey, special teams are very important. Like last night I felt that we did a great job in penalty killing, powerplay gave us a first goal and if we could have generated another goal in the first period, like that could have been the difference, but like I said before, like it comes by waves and it seemed that we kind of lost our focus, but hey we are going to refocus and tomorrow I am sure we are going to come up with a better performance.
Q. Talk about this team's poise on the road, regular season and Playoffs.
COACH HARTLEY: Well, we had a good record like throughout the regular season and so far in the Playoffs because felt the primary reason why we were successful is that we are disciplined. We don't take those retaliation penalties. We stick to the game plan and we don't panic. That's to our players' credit. Those guys, they accept to play the way we want them to play. Never a time that we were forced in a big game -- (inaudible) it seemed that everyone like really stepped up. We are going for Game 3 and Game 4 in Jersey. I like our situation. We always answered very well when we were facing adversity. We faced adversity at numerous times during the last season. So I think that we are in a good challenge. Obviously we are against a great hockey club, but I think that we learned some things from the Devils in the first two games and hopefully we can use this to our advantage in Game 3 and Game 4.
Q. Did you think the game swung yesterday on Corkum's goal and why?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, it was a quick change of momentum. First period there was lots of penalties, so obviously the top players on both teams played a lot. Definitely to get like a breakaway goal always gives you life. It was right after one of our powerplays and then we killed a 5 on 3 and they scored like one second after. Obviously -- they took advantage of the numerous calls and we didn't. It was like a one-goal game at that time. I just -- just to move on like to Game 3 or Game 4 just to recap like yesterday's game, I don't think that we played well enough. I don't think that we expect -- we can't expect like our hockey club to win a Stanley Cup Finals game like the way we played last night. We didn't play well enough.
Q. Did they force their style on you? Some of them were saying that they played their game and forced their style on you?
COACH HARTLEY: Their pressure was much better. We were expecting this. I thought that on our side like we could have played better as a team and like I said before in our powerplay, our passing game was not as good. It's partly a result of the Devils' pressure, but also maybe that we had lost focus throughout the game. Like I felt that we kept our composure very well, but our focus was not where it should have been.
Q. Your team has played great without Forsberg to this point. But was last night a night where you truly missed him?
COACH HARTLEY: Hey, like I addressed this before, like we are missing him every game. It is not like when it goes bad suddenly we are missing Forsberg. We are professional athletes. We are a very proud organization. We turned the page on Forsberg. There is no sense coming back to Forsberg when things go bad. We proved that we can win some hockey games without him. And that's the way that we have to go. We can't use Forsberg as a crutch when things don't go our way. We are better than this. We have to find ways and we have to use days like today to not only refuel, but refocus, look at what we did good and what we could have done better because let's face it, we did lots of good things but not enough to give us a chance to win.
Q. I think you only got off 20 shots. What can you do to create the space that you had in Game 1? Seemed like you had you the whole ice to yourselves Game 1 and Game 2 they didn't give you any.
COACH HARTLEY: Well, there is always adjustments that you can do. But you look at last night's game, shots were even, like on both sides, and with all those powerplays. Like I think that speaks volume when you come to analyze both hockey clubs. Both hockey clubs have great defense, like and I am not only talking about like either goalies or blue line, I think that as two hockey clubs like we can play great defense and that's certainly limits like skating room or open ice for both teams. You really have to support well. You really have to take advantage of your scoring chances, hey, 5-on-5, like I know that they got two goals 5 on 5 but they were basically a second after either a penalty kill or a powerplay. That was basically it. There was not many scoring chances on both sides and that's a result of pressure. Lots of time we tend to look at negatives, like the passing could have been better, or certain big guns could have been better, but also like both teams, you know, there is no room out there. There is no time. There is no room, so it is pretty tough to make like a good play.
Q. Is the key going to be in this series to play with the lead like you did throughout the St. Louis series?
COACH HARTLEY: It certainly would be nice. That's an excellent point. Teams in the Playoffs like seem that when you play with the lead or you have momentum, like you can generate more, but as we saw last night, momentum can swing very quickly and in a playoff game. So I think that mental mistakes like discipline will certainly be a big key factor like throughout the rest of this round.
Q. Do you think they played a lot differently once they got the lead?
COACH HARTLEY: No, I don't think so. Like the first period is a totally different scenario than period 2 and 3 because in period 1 everything was called and basically it was a special team period compared to period 2 and 3 like it was like lots of 5-on-5s, and that's where like both teams can really establish their systems.
Q. Any concern about the high sticks and not being called?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, there was two high sticks involved, one on our side and one on their side. The game is so quick that, you know, obviously when one of your guys get cut like you want it to be called, but in both incidents like you can see that the sticks came up in a fraction of a second and the referees like simply missed it. It's easy to always like second guess or to go back to tapes after game, but the referees, they don't have access to that material. They have to make like their decision in a fraction of a second. On both sides it wasn't called because, they didn't see it. It is plain and simple.
Q. Don't you think the odds say that eventually, sooner or later you are going to win a game in New Jersey?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, the Rockies won in San Francisco this week, so we will try to repeat this. (LAUGHTER) Hey, it's a totally new setup. I like to go back for a second and look at our season in Vancouver; in L.A., and like the way that we played there in the Playoffs I thought that we answered the bell. That's all about like being part of Playoffs. Playoffs is totally different. The minds set is different. The mental preparation is different. Hey, like we are going there very positive and it is a good challenge for us. Have a good morning everyone.
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