May 20, 2001
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Practice Day
Q. Mario said that except for working out and trying out, there's really no solution to beat the traps. Do you agree with that?
COACH HLINKA: You know, I think no one can say we didn't work. You know, but I think last two games, they were too good for us, and nothing was -- nothing was working for us. We got some -- some possibilities, some chances, but it was not too much, and it was the games like that.
Q. But is there a way to beat the trap? Is there a solution to beat the trap?
COACH HLINKA: You know, first thing is you have to -- you have to -- you have to move very well. You have to move the puck. You have to move the puck from the one side to the other side because they are over on the one side and then you have to move the puck to the other side. That was working not for us last night.
Q. I think a great defenseman, could it make a difference, a kind of superstar on defense that could move the puck?
COACH HLINKA: I think move the puck, to move the puck on the right time and to the right guy, that's the most important thing in the hockey, you know, and that's what we have to do. We have to do more.
Q. You guys have been shutout last two games and the players say you have to concentrate more on defense than trying to find ways to score --
COACH HLINKA: You know, important thing is to score the first goal against those guys. But they score first two goals and after that, we start to try something, like to put them on pressure. And you play in own building, but nothing was working for us, and then usually you make some mistake -- mistakes on the blue line and then they got such a great -- good skaters there, after that, they got a couple of two-on-ones, three-on-twos, and we need to find a way to do on the road, just be more patient, don't make the mistakes and wait and wait and wait.
Q. Is Jaromir anywhere near full strength in his shoulder?
CRAIG PATRICK: I don't know the answer to that. I don't know what he said. Did you ask him that question?
CRAIG PATRICK: I don't know the answer to it, either.
Q. Have you seen him operating at this low of a level offensively in a long time?
CRAIG PATRICK: Well, we are struggling offensively. The whole team is. They have played a dominant game so far, New Jersey has, and we have got to find a way to get our level up to their level, and like Ivan says, we've got to get the first goal.
Q. Are there any personnel moves you could make at this point that might give a boost for a game or two?
CRAIG PATRICK: In terms of changing lines? No, we can't bring anybody up unless we have an emergency situation.
Q. Can you think of a way -- do you want to put a line on the Arnott line just for the specific assignment of shutting them down, something like that, for as much as they have scored against you?
COACH HLINKA: We have to do probably something with the Arnott line, but I don't have the answer right now. I don't know the situation with the line and there are a couple other guys that we have to make some decision about our lineups tomorrow after the practice.
Q. If Lang is healthy, is that -- you're happy, satisfied with that match up, Lang and Kovalev against that line?
COACH HLINKA: I don't got the answer right now for that.
COACH HLINKA: For sure, we have to play the more simple game in offensive zone. Sometimes we are looking for a great play and the great play is not there then you have to start the play more simple, just put the puck in front of the net and go there and work hard over there.
Q. Do you believe Mario is playing at the level now that he was before when he first came out, or does he look any more worn down to you?
CRAIG PATRICK: He actually looks in better shape now than when he first came back. I think he's skating better than he has all year. Again, New Jersey has made us look pretty -- normal. We are not playing at -- they are not allowing us to play at the level that we've been able to play at up until this series. So we've got to find a way to find that level that we can compete with them at the same level that they are playing at.
Q. Jaromir said that that was the most embarrassed he has ever been after a game.
CRAIG PATRICK: I can believe that's true. I know how I feel, so I'm sure it is pretty similar.
End of FastScripts....