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June 9, 1999

Dominik Hasek

Lindy Ruff

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. How much was the discrepancy in penalties, your guys being undisciplined? How much was poor officiating?

LINDY RUFF: We did take some undisciplined penalties, there is no doubt. I think maybe 70/30, something like that.

Q. That is what Peca said exactly?

LINDY RUFF: Perfect.

Q. You understand (inaudible) --

LINDY RUFF: We have gone through the scenario before, the first game in Ottawa we had nine powerplays against us. We turned it around after that. We realized we are going to have to be a lot more disciplined to the point where maybe we can't stress hitting as much as we did. Obviously we tried to set the tone and hit throughout the game. A couple of times we got a little bit too carried away.

Q. Guys having trouble getting both the forechecking established down low and a lot of the wide passing that you have done so successfully through the Playoffs. How much was that things Dallas did to you or you guys finding a feel for the game (inaudible)....

LINDY RUFF: I found it really hard to forecheck. We only had four guys out there and the rink wide passes were tough to when there are four guys. We tried a lot of those passes. We just shot it from below our goal line down to the other end and started again. I said all along, Dallas is one of the best teams through the neutral zone. On the ice, that you have got there, if you try to make the little plays up the wall, they shut you down. You try to stick handle a little bit; one mistake, they are going the other way. They did a good job against us. I thought in the third period we finally started to come through and made sure we got it deep and it made a difference.

Q. Dominik, you said last night you were so tired you couldn't even go down the ice and celebrate with your teammates. Are you rested now? Did you get some good sleep? Looking back how do you assess the first game?

DOMINIK HASEK: I never played before in such a hot building so I was very tired. I tried to drink as much as water as I could, but I remember in the overtime right before we scored the goalie tried to get up, after I made save from Verbeek, I got a cramp a couple of seconds later, I don't know what, minute later we scored the winning goal. So I was so tired. I tried to get to the other side of the ice, but I make a couple of steps. I said no more and I fell on the ice. I left the ice. I was -- I don't remember I have ever been so tired during the game.

Q. Is your groin okay, everything is fine?

DOMINIK HASEK: My groin didn't bother me the whole game. I didn't feel any differences. I feel good.

Q. Some of the Stars yesterday said you are just a goalie -- seems to think that -- nothing special. Do you think you got into their heads a little bit with your performance last night?

DOMINIK HASEK: I have done my job. My job is, in the Playoffs, there is nothing about shutouts or goals against; it is only about a win. My goal is to win the game, to give up less goals than the other goalie and I have done my job. That is all I can say.

Q. Were you watching him a little bit in the overtime? There were a couple of times it looked like he was getting up slowly. Now he says it was a cramp. Do you worry and do you watch him carefully?

LINDY RUFF: I think Dominik has mentioned the building was very hot. For the first two periods we spent a lot of time in our zone. There was a lot of scrambles, a lot of situations where Dominik was up and down making saves. A lot of those flurries are the things that really tire you out. I thought at least in the third period we took some pressure off; spent some time in the other end and gave him a little bit of a break. But then again, in overtime we had to kill two penalties. We spent some time in our end. I think you are concerned -- we were concerned with dehydration with a lot of players and obviously the goaltender wearing all the equipment he has got on is probably the worst case scenario.

Q. You have said many times before a series starts you'd just be happy with a split on the road. Is that still the case?

LINDY RUFF: No, not happy with the split anymore. Obviously when you win Game 1 we have got the luxury of really trying to go after Game 2, but we have to go about it in a more disciplined sense. We realize, as a team, that we can't afford to take the penalties we took and I think 5 on 5, we can play with them.

Q. Last two years I think you have started all but one series on the road, hoping for a split. Do you almost prefer to start on the road. Does the team seem to respond well to it?

LINDY RUFF: You'd like to say they wouldn't be as nervous. I thought our team was pretty nervous coming out in the first five, ten minutes. That has a lot to do with youth and inexperience. I think that is why we took a few penalties. We were caught kind of standing around a little bit. I think as the game went on we got stronger. We got in our groove, we started skating. I thought it was a great hitting game for our hockey team. You go on the road hoping for a split, but if you win the first game, you'd like to steal two. I think anything is possible when you win that first one.

Q. Less pressure to start on the road?

LINDY RUFF: I don't know if there is any less pressure in any game. Bud there is pressure with every game. There is pressure in Game 2. We realize we have got opportunity. I don't think that changes.

Q. When you guys have been in this situation - Game 2, done a very good job of just going out playing the game and not worrying about a lot of the technical things that you stress. You just kind of let it all hang out.

LINDY RUFF: Well, I think at this time of year technically every player knows their position. They know where they are supposed to be. They know the system we are playing. I think you got to be loose. I think when you win your first game you have got the luxury of playing a little bit more loose. We also stressed with our goaltender we can take a few more chances; create some problems with the other team by having the "D" joined; by having the "D" pinch and we have gone that way a few times and it has worked out good for us.

Q. What did you see in Woolley that you really liked when you brought him to Buffalo?

LINDY RUFF: Well, Jason was down in Florida was -- I basically ran the defense; changed the defense. Jason was our powerplay Guy. I think the thing people didn't realize is that Jason is a good player defensively as well as offensively. I think he has slowly earned that respect over last two or three years. What some people don't realize he is a very strong kid. He is not one of those offensive/defenseman that is slight of frame. He is -- strength-wise he is one of the top guys that test out on our team. I knew he could play 5 on 5. I knew he would be a good guy for our powerplay. When I got the job I knew that the one thing we needed was help on the powerplay and even throughout the year, this year we have proved again we weren't a very good team on the powerplay, but in the Playoffs, it seems like we have become a lot better team.

Q. This year your teammates have blocked a lot of shots for you. Is that tough for you to get used to because you are not always going to see the puck when they are jumping in front blocking, difficult for you to get used to?

DOMINIK HASEK: Playoffs is a little bit different than during the season. All the players they try to do it even more and I am glad if my defense, anybody tries to block the shots, I appreciate it, and of course it is sometimes could happen, the player tries to block the shot and he can deflect the shot. But I like when my teammates are aggressive in the defensive zone, I like them to be aggressive and jump into the shots, but I always tell them just be careful, be sure that if you go there, you block the shot or at least the player shots, you know, if he -- if there is some skilled player like for example, Zubov, you have to be careful. You don't just go down, try to block the shots because you know he can make a move and pass.

Q. Anything different with the heat dehydration plan? Different kind of drink? Anything different?

DOMINIK HASEK: I didn't plan anything else. I don't know if I can do anything else what I have done before the last game. I was drinking a lot before the game and during the game. But there is only a certain amount you can drink. If your stomach starts to feel upset after you drink two bottles of water you can't drink anymore. I don't plan to do anything differently.

Q. What did you think of the head butt on Varada. Did you see that?

LINDY RUFF: I looked at that today. It was definitely a head butt. I think Varada should have maybe went down like he was dead (laughter). I mean, I saw that. He should have laid there like he was dead because it was a head butt. There is a certain amount of acting going on during the game and V's a tough kid. He is not going to dive too often, but I was disappointed. It was definitely a call that it should have been a major penalty. He head butted him. Maybe doesn't warrant a suspension at this time of the year but it is a major penalty.

Q. You were obviously very busy the first half; primarily last night's game. I didn't sense that they had quite the number of high percentage scoring chances commensurate with the number of the shots. Did you feel the same way -- you didn't seem to be flipping and flopping all over the ice?

DOMINIK HASEK: They had a couple of good chances in the first two periods, but like Lindy says, most of them, they came out the powerplay. We were glad, especially after first period we were down only 1-0 and it was the key point to go to that period and we were down only by one goal and I don't know how many big chances; how many small chances they had. I never count it. Like I say, I tried to do my job and stop the puck and win the game. I think they had a couple of good chances especially in the first and second period. But after the second period we started to skate better and I think we were a better team in the third and we were maybe lucky in the overtime.

Q. What happened to Grosek and what is the status?

LINDY RUFF: Just banged in the boards in the first shift and I guess bruised his back. His status is questionable for Game 2.

Q. I was reminded this week about the death of your brother last 10, 15 years ago. I just wondered about how this affected your thinking, your philosophy dealing with hockey. Have you talked about that?

LINDY RUFF: Well, hockey is secondary, obviously. I think the one thing that you stress is family comes first in life, really; that the people around you are the most important people, the sport we participate in - this is a game. It is a high stakes game, but it is still a game. We have to work extremely hard at it as coaches and the players have to work extremely hard at it as players. But second to that, you have got to have a lot of fun and you have got to enjoy because there is a lot of situations where there is no guarantees. It is a game you play for today and I have told the players to get to this point for myself it has been twice in 20 years. For Don Lever, another coach, it has been once in 25 years. I think there is a lot of examples. So we are here to enjoy this next couple of weeks, have fun with it, we want to be the hardest working team on the ice in the same sense.

Q. Considering some of the things that were said before the series do you think Dallas looks at your team maybe with a little more respect or a different light considering the game you gave them last night?

LINDY RUFF: I think Dallas respected our team going into Game 1. I think there were things said that maybe got blown out of proportion, but I know that Ken Hitchcock wouldn't underestimate our hockey club from watching it. There is a certain amount of detail you put in watching films. There was not a chance to say boy this is going to be an easy series.

Q. Talk about Sanderson, just his play throughout the post season. Do you see him to be really getting lot of great chances, just talk about his play?

LINDY RUFF: Well, throughout the Playoffs he has been one of our best skating forwards. You have mentioned creating chances, he has created chances for us. He had a chance to put the game away for us late in the third period on a breakaway but didn't score. Things that stand out now, how hard he for checks, he is on top of the puck all the time, and he is working both ends of the ice. Six weeks ago he said he wanted to be a grinder. I think Ken has asked all his players to play defense. He has asked Brett Hull to play defense. We have asked all our guys in the same sense got to be able to play both ends of the rink. Geoff has accepted that and I think he has learned to play in both ends and now offensively he has skated really well; got some confidence; he scored some goals. He has been a very important part of this Playoff run.

Q. Your teammates seemed to be a little nervous last night. Were you nervous or were you able to rely on your experiences from the Olympics and other major tournaments and other situations you have been in like that before?

DOMINIK HASEK: Maybe lots of experiences from this situation, but it really doesn't matter if you come -- if it comes to a Stanley Cup Final, I was nervous before the game, even during the game, but I always say it is nothing bad about it. It is good to be nervous. It keeps you more focused, more concentrated, and you know, the pressure I believe what helps me to play better. It is nothing bad about it. That is the way I felt. I was very nervous, but I played pretty well.

Q. You guys took four penalties in the first period. Did you say anything to them between periods and then wonder if they were listening when they took three more in the second?

LINDY RUFF: You know, we talked a little bit about the penalties in the first and there was a time in the second period on the bench one of the TV timeouts where we said enough is enough. We took I think the Ward penalty where he punched somebody in the head was totally an undisciplined penalty. That is when I just said: No more, we can't take anymore of these. We wanted to hit. We wanted to go out of our way to hit last night. We have got some good hitting forwards. We knew we would take a couple of penalties, but it got to a point where enough was enough.

End of FastScripts…

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