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June 5, 2000

Ken Hitchcock


Q. Jamie playing tonight?

COACH HITCHCOCK: Game-time decision.

Q. What could he add to this game?

COACH HITCHCOCK: Everybody says he adds goal scoring. He has got one, hopefully he can add to that. He's a gritty guy. This is a gritty series. Hopefully, he can bring back some chemistry and some continuity. That was a very good line when it is played together. Unfortunately, we have had some injured people on it, but it has always given us a big boost. If he is able to go, it could really help us.

Q. Your game-time decision or his game-time decision?

COACH HITCHCOCK: Combination, but unless he is flapping on one wing, he is a go-er. So we will see how he goes.

Q. (inaudible)

COACH HITCHCOCK: I don't know that it is conservative. I just think that everybody talks about Joe's ability and not to score goals and everybody focuses on his goal scoring. That wasn't the reason that he won the Conn Smythe. He was an emotional leader for us. He played out of character for two months. He was physical. He fought. He was a gritty guy in the real critical areas. That is why, for me, he won the Conn Smythe. That is the player we need. The goals will take care of themselves. He will be able to score. And they usually come in bunches when he does it. But all the other stuff needs to be consistent and that is throughout our line, but in particular, that is guys like Joe, Mike, Brett Hull - we have had some solid performances in that area, but we are at a stage right now where we need it from everybody. If Nieuwendyk wades in, plays out of character again, then we have got ourselves a great player.

Q. (inaudible)

COACH HITCHCOCK: Probably 'til they are sick of it. I think that in a lot of ways coaching a team is a little bit like parts of an army or parts of a regimen or a troop, or whatever, and you go through a lot of peaks and valleys. There is a lot of things that -- there is a lot of emotional issues. And you treat these type of series as sometimes they start as just two teams playing each other. But they get very personal as the series moves on. Whereas, this one is at that stage now where it really could get personal. I think that that is what going to battle is with your team. I think that we have had great success when we take things personally. Last I looked at it, we are the last name on the Stanley Cup, and we are just not prepared to give it easily up to a team like New Jersey. I think that there does boil down at sometime during the series to pride over skill and combativeness and character over a lot of other, the technical side of things. That is where we feel we have got to put this series at if we are going to win it. We aim to put it there tonight.

Q. (inaudible)

COACH HITCHCOCK: It really started in Philadelphia. It was during the All-Star break there when the All-Star Game was in Philadelphia. One of the fellows that was working there was a Four-, Five-Star General that had been involved in the military and he took me on a tour with one of his buddies there. I found it fascinating. It was -- it is -- it was just -- it was such a brutal, brutal war because it was fought with 20th century weaponry in 19th century tactics. That is why there were so many casualties. It was such a brutal war, but to me what fascinated me was the leadership and followship. That is the thing that fascinated me, the soldiers would go anywhere for their leaders and they would do anything for the cause, both sides, towards the end and that is the stuff that fascinated me. How that chain of command works and how fearless some of the Generals were and the leaders and how they had to continue to keep the camaraderie high and keep the energy in their groups and everything so that they could do the stuff they had to do. It was just an awful, awful brutal campaign.

Q. (inaudible)

COACH HITCHCOCK: Well, I think what puts it into perspective, and everybody talks about it, was the book Killer Angels. I think when you read that book it just brings to light how close things were to changing the other way and it also brings into light just how hard the life was and how difficult and nobody complained and everybody -- I mean, I can't get my players to walk across the ice without shoes on and these people marched for days without shoes. I mean, it is just amazing what people would go through.

End of FastScripts…

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