May 16, 2001
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: Practice Day
Q. Do you feel yourself getting better, getting stronger, do you think?
JAROMIR JAGR: A little bit. Not the shots. That's a weakness. I've got to go through the pain, because it is not going to get better, you know.
Q. You seem like you are you are stick handling a lot more in game situations --
JAROMIR JAGR: Oh, it's getting better, but the power in my hands is not there. The quick release, you know, it's not there. And it looked like a lot of shots, I'm getting blocked by the defense or whoever.
Q. But you did last night a lot of the little things. You seemed to be back in your groove playing along the boards?
JAROMIR JAGR: Well, I'm trying to. I'm trying to -- unless my shoulder would bother me, I can use my -- power, you know. I have to be scared to go to the boards, if something happened to me. Last game, I tried to do it.
Q. Did you like that line combination last night?
JAROMIR JAGR: I think it works, yeah. I think we were lucky. Some goals we score is kind of lucky goals, but we won the game, that's the bottom line. We prove that we can play with them. It's not going to be that easy for them.
Q. A team like New Jersey, when you play the way you did in the first period and then you are down 2-0, did you think you could come back?
JAROMIR JAGR: I thought we could come back. We did some things wrong, and I think we fixed it. Since then, we played a lot better.
Q. How important is it to have more balanced lines against this team?
JAROMIR JAGR: Well, it's very important. They have got four lines. It's new to some players -- to me, same thing. I'm not used to play the other way. You have to play different game. Before, I knew I going to play 24, 25 minutes a game. Now I learn how to rest during the -- even when I was on the ice, because you have to. I just play with patience, and when I have a chance to go, go. When you play four lines, you don't get much tired and you have to kind of change your game, you have to get used to it. Like Kovalev last night, he played 13 minutes; before, he played 26, 25.
Q. What actually happened to you?
JOHAN HEDBERG: Well, he just run into me and hit my head a little bit so I cracked my neck, just go back for half a second. I didn't know where the puck was, so I figured I'd better stay down. It wasn't really bad.
Q. Feeling okay now?
JOHAN HEDBERG: Oh, yeah. It's no problem at all.
Q. After the game, the Devils, their comments, they really don't give you guys a whole lot of credit for coming back and winning the hockey game. They said, "Hey, we made more mistakes than anything else." Does it bother you that you didn't get the respect for coming back and winning this hockey game?
JOHAN HEDBERG: Well, I'm sure they got the respect anyway. They got an attitude and they are defending champions. I guess they are pretty confident. But, for us, it's something that sticks in our minds and going to bring with us tomorrow.
Q. What is the difference in your play, after that second goal, your focus completely changed and you became much more aggressive and made big stops when you had to?
JOHAN HEBERG: Well, like I said earlier, I just tried to play my game, and no matter what happens, if you let one in, one or two, I still could play my game. I remember we -- recall the game the first game I played, we were down 2-0 in the first period and we came back and won 4-2 and I had that in mind. If we could do this then, we could do it again and it worked.
. ALEKSEY MOROZOV: Still need to work hard, do my right thing for the team to win some games. And it doesn't matter, it's always fun to play when you play a lot with the puck. If you have a couple good scoring chances in the game, it's good.
Q. Are you hoping to stay with that line for the rest of the series?
ALEKSEY MOROZOV: I have to see if Coach thinks it works. I hope it will stay.
Q. How do you explain your success against the Devils?
ALEKSEY MOROZOV: I cannot answer this question. I don't know, it's just the luck. Hockey luck against this team.
Q. In addition to the fact that you are a highly-skilled offensive player, but yourself, you've turned into a good defensive player, obviously. Could you talk about the transformation about how you developed into a better defensive player?
ALEKSEY MOROZOV: I learned a lot from guys who play like defensive players today, and I know play a lot in the third line in the regular season and third line is always like defensive line and you need to start work for defense more. Usually you play in offensive line. And I learn a lot and try and do my best right now
MARTIN STRAKA: That's the bottom line. Whoever you play, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is if you won the game.
Q. Do you think reading their comments after the game and seeing that they thought they gave you guys the game, do you think they are taking you as seriously as they should?
MARTIN STRAKA: I don't read the paper. So I don't know what they said and I don't really care. I just want to focus on my game, on the team and do the best you can. That's what we want to do. Just play hard and be focused.
Q. Do you feel like if you keep pressure up on their defensemen that they can make turnovers, those guys?
MARTIN STRAKA: Yeah, they choke up a little bit yesterday and they -- give a few pucks to Mario and make some great plays so hopefully they are going to choke up and give us some pucks. But they are an unbelievable team and they play great. We got lucky last night and so -- but hopefully we learn from it. Kovy played in the game last night, he got a huge goal, tying it 2-2. He made a great play on Lang's goal and Kovy had a great game last night.
Q. With the line changes, how important are the adjustments to this team?
MARTIN STRAKA: Huge. After first period, you're down 2-0 against Jersey, so that's kind of tough. We got to talking in the locker room and guys recognize we've got to play -- do a better job on the ice and that's what we did. Keep a little pressure more and we got some lucky bounces. When we got them; we scored some goals.
KEVIN STEVENS: He's (Kasparaitis) a tough guy to lose, because he's a guy that brings a lot to the table, and he's -- he's a presence out there. When he's playing, everybody knows he's on the ice. You know, he goes out and he hits, he bangs and he hits hard. He's a guy, when he's on the ice you've got to be aware that he's out there and it's a big loss. It's tough. It's tough when you lose guys, but that's why you've got other guys here that have to step in and do the job. That's what makes these things fun.
Q. Were you injured? Is that why your minutes were low?
KEVIN STEVENS: I was hurt yesterday. I feel better today. It was weird yesterday, Kovy played 12 minutes, a lot of guys didn't play much yesterday just because a lot of guys got penalties towards the end of the game. I feel pretty good today.
Q. Are you confident they are going to going to make it through as long as you guys go with this thing?
KEVIN STEVENS: I think so. I just continue one day at a time and hopefully it will be better. Sometimes it is worse than other days, but today it feels good. So hopefully tomorrow it will feel good, too. It's tough when you can't skate the way you want to skate. It's frustrating. Once I get going, it feels pretty good. But the game last night it, was okay, but it's like a flap there that moves you around. Something that if you get stuck in one spot you can't move it, so it's kind of just sits there. But it feels pretty good today.
Q. What's your best source of treatment? What do you do?
KEVIN STEVENS: Just ride the bike. Try and ride the bike. Skating sometimes is not the best thing for it. But ride the bike and hopefully feel -- keep you in some kind of condition. That's the hardest thing. It's not skating. I hate going out there and not being able to practice and stuff.
Q. Did you ride the bike today?
KEVIN STEVENS: Yeah.
Q. For how long?
KEVIN STEVENS: For 30 minutes or so. You don't need a lot ice, but still, it's nice to get out there once in a while. But, you know wait and see what happens it feels pretty good right now.
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