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June 3, 2002

Dominik Hasek


Q. You came here for one reason, now you are four wins away from it. Is this the most pressure you have felt in your career?

DOMINIK HASEK: Yeah, probably. I mean, every Playoff was huge pressure, but now we're where we want to be, but still I would say -- even though we're in the Finals, still we are far from the finish of our business. Our goal is to win four more games. That's why I came to Detroit.

Q. Do you know what it is like to be an underdog? What is the toughest thing to defending against a guy who really nobody gives any chance to?

DOMINIK HASEK: I mean, we were constant underdogs when I played in Buffalo a couple of years ago, and we were very close to win and beat Dallas at that time. But, you know, Carolina is maybe underdog, but the way they maybe -- I watched maybe three or four of their games against Toronto. You can be lucky if you win one, maybe two rounds, but you can't be lucky to win three rounds and get to the Finals. I think they have a different team than Colorado, for example, or St. Louis, they sort of don't depend as much on their biggest stars, but they are a better all-around team. They have very good three lines, and anybody from these three lines can score goals. I think this is a completely different team than we faced the last, I mean, in the second round.

Q. You only played against them once in the regular season. Does it make it more difficult being not familiar with them?

DOMINIK HASEK: I don't think it makes it more difficult. I know them from the past, most of the players, not all of them, because I played in other division, I mean other conference, I played it for nine years, so I know many of those players. However, I think they are a team which played very well the system and very stingy defense. It is not easy to go through their defense because, like I said, they played system, their offense ,they helped their defense a lot. This is the reason why they won maybe games like 2-1, 1-0, that's what we can expect in the Finals.

Q. When you played against Arturs in the Soviet Union, did you ever say to yourself one day we will be in North America and we will be playing the Stanley Cup?

DOMINIK HASEK: No, we never thought about it. I mean, it was a long time ago. It is more than ten years ago, and I think we faced each other I think in 1990, and they won the Championship at that time, so it is a -- I know him very good and very experienced goalie, I think especially this year in the Playoffs I think he plays even smarter. He used to make some mistakes with playing the puck, but it seems like this year he's playing very conservative and very well. However, you talk only about our tour. You never know, it's in the first round, and second round they change them a couple of times, and so I won't be surprised if they do something similar to what he's done against New Jersey, because both goalies played very well.

Q. Talk about the emotions in the Playoffs.

DOMINIK HASEK: Emotions are very high ,but you sort of have to control them. If you win the game it is great, exciting, but you sort of have to forget it, get ready for the next game. If you lose you cannot be too down like it happened to us against Colorado. We were down 3-2, but we still believed we can do it. So I expect very tight series, and whatever happens, we have to stay focused and be ready for the next game. It won't be easy because their team is very stingy.

Q. How good do you feel you shutout Colorado last two games?

DOMINIK HASEK: I feel good in a way, a couple of good practices. However, what I want, I don't think about it anymore. It is over. My focus is only on the next game. I feel physically I feel okay, and this is most important for me before the Final series.

Q. Do you know where you could help Mr. Irbe find some new equipment?

DOMINIK HASEK: I know Arturs, he likes his old pads and his glove. I heard he played with the same pads like four or five years, maybe even longer. It is not my style. I like to switch pads at least once every year maybe. But this year, I played with the same pads from the training camp until Playoffs. So you know, as a goalie if you like something you don't want to switch it. Goalies, especially the gloves and pads if you like them you don't want to switch them.

Q. Kenny Holland was saying when he made the trade -- you had said you are here for one year and we'll see after the season what my future is. Do you still look at that after this is all over --

DOMINIK HASEK: Exactly. I don't even want to think about what is going to happen after everything is over because I still have 10, maybe, two weeks, ten days to two weeks of hockey. That's my focus, and after everything is over, we'll sit with Ken and talk about it. But right now, all I need all we need is to win four more games and that's my focus now.

Q. Did the series against Dallas being here once before, did that help you in any way just to know what to expect away from the rink, media stuff as well?

DOMINIK HASEK: I think it is good for me. I was there once, even we lost, I know how it is to be in the Final. I don't think it is very important, but I am glad I have some of this experience. So it cannot surprise me.

Q. You have accomplished a lot in your career. What would a Stanley Cup mean to add --

DOMINIK HASEK: I have said many times it is something that's still missing in your -- a couple of individual trophies, I won Olympics which I am very, very proud of but one trophy which is still missing, that's why I asked to be trade.

Q. Was this the team that you felt had the best chance to win one?

DOMINIK HASEK: Yeah, I felt like there were two reasons, first of all, I believe and actually proved it during the season this is a very good team. Another thing was I wanted to go somewhere where the people like hockey and no doubt hock town is a very special place to play.

End of FastScripts...

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