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May 16, 2003

Jacques Lemaire


Q. Jacques, watching your team yesterday at practice, they seemed like they were the team that was up 3-0 as opposed to down 3-0. Can you talk about the general attitude going into tonight?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Our attitude is good. We know that and all the players know that they played hard. They had no breaks up to now, and they can't do much about it if the puck doesn't go in. You're hitting a goaltender that is at the top of his game, and he's proven that in the past that, you know, he's good. He beat two pretty good teams there, and for us, you know, there is no use to be down and out. The only thing, you know, we've got to try to stay as high as possible, and, you know, work as hard as we can and try to look for that goal that might spark us.

Q. You obviously want to get to 3-1. Once you get to 3-1, it will be familiar territory for your team. What has made this team so resilient?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I think it's the character of the guy we have. They don't quit. They had the chance to play in the NHL. They're there, and they're there, because they have been working hard, and, they don't want to give it away, because if they do, they might not stay there, so, hopefully they will.

Q. Jacques, this is something you may or may not know, or may or may not have even thought about. The other night you became the first person to ever play or coach 100 playoffs games. Does that mean anything to you?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: That's news. You guys are looking for news. You got it.

Q. Did you ever think you would have longevity as a coach?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I never thought I would coach. I couldn't imagine coaching 100 games. No, I never thought about that. That's a surprise to me. Nobody talked about it. I didn't know this. Let them write about it.

Q. What kind of line-up are you going to put in tonight. Are you thinking of something differently in terms of who you want to put in and who deserves to be in in a sort of situation like this?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: We will go -- half will be who deserve to be in; the other half will be, because of the type of game we need to play, to, you know, get goals.

Q. It will be your most offensive line-up you can get in?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: No, not the most offensive line-up, because we haven't scored a goal with it yet, so it will be a mix of offense and grinders.

Q. Jacques, I just wondered how, well do you know Francois Allaire from your days at Montreal? I guess he's sort of becoming a bit of a star during this series. Did you see him as being the kind of guy that helped Patrick Roy, for example, to get the level he got to?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Is him or Giguere the star? Francois, I worked with him. Good person, a guy that works well. I learned -- I learned mostly everything I know about goalies because I worked with him. I always supported what he was doing. I thought it was intelligent, was bright, the way he works with the goalies, and now more and more people are working the way he's working, but when he first started, he was pretty much the only one, and I remember at a time, I said you shouldn't do the drills in front of the other teams, because one day they will all do the same drills and that's what they're doing today. That's why we've got to hide things from you guys. We're trying, but sometimes we can't.

Q. Jacques, you seem very loose -- I'm not sure if I can say relaxed -- but --

JACQUES LEMAIRE: You should see my toes and my legs. I'm not sure how relaxed they are.

Q. Is your club feeling the way the coach is right now, or what's your sense going into it? You guys have been so great with elimination games, but what's your sense of how your club is feeling going into tonight?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I don't know. I haven't seen them yet. I only saw a couple guys. It's hard to say in the morning. They seem okay, but I think tonight will be important, how they feel, how they go on the ice, which attitude they will go on the ice.

Q. Did you have to say anything to them yesterday or will you say anything different to them tonight. I'm harking back, sort of, to Denver or anything related to being down 3-0?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: No, we've got to focus on certain things. That's it. We want to play as tight as possible defensively and try to be as aggressive as possible offensively.

Q. ^ Jacques, I know it's a general manager's question, but there is a story out that when this goalie was on Calgary's list before the entry draft, you fellows would have been interested had he stayed there, and not been traded, Giguere?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Well, it's a GM question. It's a question for the GM.

Q. Jacques, how critical is getting on the board first tonight, do you think, for you guys?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Even though they would get the first goal, it's critical to get a goal quick. It would be great to get the first goal, and early, so we can build up a little confidence, and, you know, start to play a little looser in the offensive zone. And if they do get a goal, we've got to come back quick to stay in the game, not of time to start to think that we can't score. We can't think like that. I know it's hard for players. You play, and sometimes when they don't go in, you know, you're pushing it, pushing it, and you're still getting worse instead of getting closer to a goal, and it seems that that's what we're doing right now. You know, in the playoffs, it won't change, teams -- a lot of teams have won because of their goaltender. When a guy stays hot, he's hot. This is why teams win. We were great in the past two series with the goalies, which gave us a chance to get a goal when we need it. Them, they've done it. Now they do it in the third series. That's why they're there. That's why they're leading, but, you know, when I look at the series up to now, at this series, up to now, I don't see them controlling the game like we have been controlling in the past, you know, it's even chances, or some games we're ahead of them, we're there -- the difference is very simple, we don't get that goal that we need to get going, so we can't change, you know. We're playing well. We've just got to try to be a little looser offensively, maybe try to push it at the right time physically, get there, get in the crease, look for that rebound, be a little more determined to get that puck. So, if we do this, maybe we'll get a puck on the stick.

Q. I thought Matt Johnson did that reasonably well.

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Exactly, he was going in front, and a lot of times he did get that puck there. The puck has to go there. Matt played good. He gave us a chance. They got two or three penalties on him, and, you know, he did what he had to do. He's not the greatest guy with the puck, but he works, he hits, he gets in front. We just wish that, you know, he would maybe work a little better in front of the net so he can get these goals, but we'll try something tonight.

End of FastScripts...

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