June 1, 1997
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Practice Day
Q. How disappointing to come out flat last night, first game Stanley Cup Finals. Got to be disappointing?
DALE HAWERCHUK: I don't know if it come out so much flat. I mean, we made a couple of mistakes that turned into big mistakes and really hurt us and got us behind the eight ball early, but I don't think that would be the right time. I think we came out maybe a little bit nervous, but we regrouped and we had the opportunity to win that game.
Q. Either of you guys, Shjon, why do you think you weren't able to get the fore-check going as you guys had envisioned?
SHJON PODEIN: I think we were a little bit tentative in our game getting the fore-check going. I think what we need to do is know that when we get into the neutral zone they play a very well defensive game. They always got three, four guys back in the breakout. We have got to start getting back to our strengths, which is our size and working the body and the boards and now we got to get it down low, and I don't think we did as well as we could have; something we got to improve on come Game 2.
Q. Now, there is talk about a goaltending switch again which is something you heard earlier in the Playoffs. Is it disconcerting to the team to not know who is back there --
DALE HAWERCHUK: I don't think anybody on our team has a problem with either goaltender. We are comfortable with both and both have done a great job for us all year, so it doesn't bother the players one way or the other. I think we have the utmost confidence in both of them.
SHJON PODEIN: Yeah, same thing. (Laughter)
Q. This is first time you guys have lost a Game 1 throughout the Playoffs. Are you kind of on the defensive now? It is a bit of a different feeling?
DALE HAWERCHUK: Only thing we can compare it to is in the Rangers series they took Game 2 in here and we are going back to their barn and all of a sudden they had home ice. So, it is a similar thing, only it is a little earlier in the series, it is Game 1, and the key for us is how we rebound.
Q. Eric, does the outlook of a game improve overnight or does it --
ERIC LINDROS: After the game I think everybody was frustrated and upset. But, come back to work the next day and regroup. That is all we can do. And, we had a good practice today. Went through a couple of things that we wanted to work on and emphasize in our game. We will have another good one tomorrow.
Q. Eric, how closely did you watch the Detroit/Avalanche series? Did you see much of the game?
ERIC LINDROS: I saw maybe eight periods of it.
Q. Do you see yourself doing anything that the Avalanche may have done in some of their games?
ERIC LINDROS: I think last night we weren't getting the puck in deep, which is, you know, could have been a problem that the Avalanche had. I think it is a problem that we had last night as far as just keeping things basic and getting the puck in deep. If we stay to our simple game with just getting to our fore-check, I think we can accomplish some things. But I do draw a line with the way that we played last night in the neutral zone and some of the Colorado series, the periods that I saw, yeah.
Q. Eric, were they tougher there, the neutral zone, than you thought they would be, or you guys just weren't skating as well as you should have?
ERIC LINDROS: They are a good team. We know what they were going to do. It is one thing to know what someone is going -- you can anticipate all you want, but if you don't execute with your little game, you are not going to get by it. We didn't help our own cause last night.
Q. Eric, some of the other guys have mentioned nervous, jittery, tentative, even in awe of the situation last night. Now, coming up with Game 2 you have to remedy all that?
ERIC LINDROS: From series to series, just because this is the Final, we are still playing hockey. We are still sticking to our system. Trying to. It is the same guys in the room. Nothing has changed except our opponent has improved every series, every round, and this is the last round. But all the hype and all the emotion, you know, it is good to have, but at the same time, this it is still hockey. It is still the same thing that we did against the Rangers that we had to do against Buffalo and Pittsburgh. We just have to do it against Detroit.
Q. Could all three of the players discuss the sense of urgency they feel being down one game at home?
ERIC LINDROS: I think we know where we stand. But as Dale made reference to there -- we pull out the second game, we are back to square one, and we are in the same situation we were against New York. But we have to come out and win Game 2.
DALE HAWERCHUK: I think it is just like Eric says. I mean, it is all in how we rebound off this. We have done it before and we have got to do it again.
Q. During the course of the year, is there a team in the Eastern Conference that plays a similar style that you can go back and look at videotapes or in your mind reflect on how you played against this style or is this a unique style in the League?
ERIC LINDROS: It is not only a little bit unique. It is same thing. A lot of teams play the trap, but very few play it as well as New Jersey. So there are -- I think Buffalo plays somewhat of a similar style, but they don't play it as well as Detroit. And they are obviously not as good of a hockey team as Detroit. But, yeah, you can draw comparisons and I think we just have to -- we have to have a little simple game plan, simple little things we have to do. I wouldn't call it pattern hockey, but it is just filling lines and if we can accomplish that, I think that we can get to our fore-check and from there we can do some good things.
Q. The game plan that you say you couldn't follow, how much did that affect on what came back at Ron Hextall or maybe what Ron Hextall gave up, did that affect you?
ERIC LINDROS: Steve Yzerman's goal was a big goal for them. I was a bad line change. And, it was through a screen. I lost the puck in the neutral zone on their first goal on the power play. We made some mistakes, but you can make mistakes and you are going to make mistakes, but you have to give them credit for putting the puck in the net. Everybody is going to at times. You know, their game plan is going to fall apart a little bit. You are going to have mistakes, and Ron played well for us. I wouldn't say that Ron was by any stretch of the imagination the biggest -- the reason why we lost. He wasn't as sharp as he has been, but who was? I certainly wasn't. I know Johnny wasn't. We would all come there and say the exact same thing. So, if we can all pick it up together I think we stand a good chance.
Q. What did they specifically do to slow you down and also were you surprised some of the guys they matched up with you?
ERIC LINDROS: I wasn't really surprised at some of the matchups. We have last changes. Maybe we are thinking too much as far as who we want all these matchups against. Just playing hockey might be the way to do it. We do a great job on the road. We always we seem to always have a good road record. A lot of it has to do with just going out and playing hockey, not worrying about some of the little things, that really shouldn't become involved in the game plan. But, we weren't skating last night. I wasn't skating last night. It was at times tough to get through the neutral zone. You are obviously not going to beat players without speed. So, we will find a way to get some speed.
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