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June 10, 2000

Ken Hitchcock


COACH HITCHCOCK: I just would like to make a quick statement, and then you folks can ask your questions. First of all, I'd like to congratulate Mr. McMullen, Lou Lamoriello, and the coaches and players of the New Jersey Devils. They played a heck of a series, and they won by the smallest of margins. They played with class and dignity, and I congratulate them. The other thing I'd like to say is about our team. I think I am probably more proud of our team this year than I even was last year. Yes, we won last year, but this team went through so much; and, at the end, was within an eye lash of bringing this thing back for Game 7. But I really feel very proud of our hockey club also.

Q. They say the Stanley Cup is the toughest trophy to win. I guess you underscore it when you try for a second time.

COACH HITCHCOCK: I think that it isn't one team that beats you when you are the defending champion. It is the cumulative effect of teams getting up for you. And I just think we answered the bell. I think for everything that we went through to answer the bell we did in the last two games, these were two just unbelievable hockey games, and you got games that without the two goaltenders at the net could have been 9-8. I mean, they are just -- both teams just put everything into it, and both teams knew the crisis situation they were in today.

Q. How bad was Sydor's leg injury and having to play without him, with different combinations all night, what did that do?

COACH HITCHCOCK: I think they lost a good player, too, Sykora. Hopefully he is all right. But they lost a good player. Sydor was a real good player towards the end of the series. He has a high ankle sprain. He would probably be out anywhere between 6 and 8 weeks, so he has got lots of rehab left now.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the play of your captain?

COACH HITCHCOCK: Well, I think that his sense of timing is unbelievable. He had such a bite in today's game. This is a man that pretty much, since the hit on Mogilny is really playing on one leg, and to play the way he did today is incredible. I think -- he's a special player, but more than anything he is a special person. His competitive level, the more he plays, the better he plays, his competitive level is unbelievable. Thanks, folks.

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