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May 12, 2003

Jacques Lemaire


Q. Jacques, what is the latest on Dwayne and the possibility of playing tonight?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: There is a possibility. Maybe yes. No, he looks good. Every movement, he doesn't feel nothing. He's fine, ready to play.

Q. With Giguere, I guess a bad game -- maybe the only bad game he had was the one against Dallas where they went really after him. Is that something you feel you need to do or want to do to try to get some pucks past him?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: If we tell you that we're going at the net, then they'll tell the referees and the referees will be looking for us, so I might as well not tell you what we're going to do. That's how it works. I don't have much to tell you. We're going to have 20 guys dressed, two goalies, and we should be ready to play.

Q. What's it like in this series? You know, in Vancouver, you had a history with that team. The first couple of games were really physical. It doesn't look like there is going to be any sort of villain or bad blood between these two teams. How does that, sort of, affect your mind-set, if at all -- I know you don't play a rough game anyway, but to shift gears like that.

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I don't think it will affect at all. Shifting gears, you know, our game, we have smaller players up-front that has speed, and they have that, too, so that's why it's not a muscle series, you know, that some of the teams could do. We -- you know, when we played Vancouver, then we dressed -- you know, we tried to dress all the bigger guys every game so the little guys could play. But in this series, it's different. You know, there is hits, but everything is cleaner, and the game is a lot faster. It is a faster game. Puck movement is good. Maybe Don Cherry doesn't like it, but it's good hockey.

Q. You didn't get a chance to play Matt Johnson as much as in the second half in the game the other day. Do you anticipate going with smaller player, trying to get maybe Bouchard in?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I'm thinking about it. It's still under process.

Q. Jacques, would you talk a little bit about Richard Park and what he has done this season. I know he's had some good games, flashes of speed. This is a kid who had been in the minors and almost seemed to be going in the opposite direction, and seems to have saved his career.

JACQUES LEMAIRE: The first year, I remember the first year he came here at the camp, the first year of the expansion, he came here, and I thought, with his experience, and, you know, his speed, that he could play on this team, and he came not in shape, didn't look good at camp, and, you know, we sent him back, and the following year, he came in really good shape, but we had the guys from last year, and I wanted to start with these guys. I told him that I was impressed, you know, the shape he came at camp, and I told him that he will get a chance. And I felt that when he will, he will stay here if he keeps working in the minors, and then at the time we had injuries, we had to call him up. He came in and stayed, and since that day, he's been in great shape, skating, checking, playing against -- he could play against the top lines, kills penalties, plays that time on the powerplay. There is no doubt that we will love him to get more goals, but when you're scheduled for 10 or 15, you don't get 50, and he's scheduled for 10, 15 goals. He would be totally a different player if he would get 25, 30 goals, but a guy that gets a lot of minutes, and you can count on in any situation. You put him on, you know he's going to do the job there.

Q. Jacques, at the beginning of the year when they were talking about a crackdown on obstruction interferences, there is a lot of talk that smaller players would get an opportunity to play. Do you think the success of your team in using some smaller, faster guys will influence some other teams in the similar direction?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I don't know if it will influence. Maybe a couple teams. I think, you know, all the management they have their ideas from years and years, how to ^build ^ billed a winning team, and it's hard to change them. You look at Boston probably made the most change. They used to have a very aggressive team. They still play pretty aggressive there, but they slack that at times. It was not their top game being aggressive. They came in with -- they tried to get a little more speed and a little more finesse, because they won cups with that, and they wanted to get that back, but you look Chicago, it's an aggressive team, this is what they want, get on the puck quick, quick, quick, and it's the philosophy of the teams that stays there for a long time. As soon as you print one, it stays. But, I agree that other teams might be looking for this, you know, get smaller guys that really play well, and you get more in the league now, more and more, young guys coming in and they're smaller, they're good, and they can play.

Q. You played 4 on 4 in overtime yesterday in the World Championships at the gold medal game. Would you like to see that in NHL playoffs, overtime?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Not in the playoffs. Not in the playoffs. It would be exciting, but you would get probably more chances. You know, the way we played the overtime, you can't get more than that there. It was back and forth. I'm telling you, I had a hard time to keep up. I was trying to find somebody that wasn't breathing that hard on the bench to send him on the ice, I had a hard time to find one. Everyone was -- you know, they could -- I could see they were getting tired, because the shift was coming quick and just the line changes, I didn't have time to watch the game, see if everyone was in position or things like that. That's how quick it was. They had no commercials, so, just, one faceoff after the other and the period went pretty fast.

Q. So what I'm saying with that is pretty close to 4 on 4, Jacques, who would you consider their top offensive threat?


Q. Right now?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Yeah. He's -- you know, they have two good lines. That's a two lines you really have to check, because they have a lot of speed, and the other guys are bigger. The other two lines, except Krog, but he's quick. He's a little guy that plays well. He's good with the puck, and he's got energy, but the two top lines there at any time, you know, they could score. These guys, that's why I want to make sure I get the right people against them, you know, it will be tough to play our fourth line, as an example, against Kariya or Sykora.

Q. Is it a little like the Colorado series where you had two really solid lines to deal with? Have you had to work harder to match them up?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Yeah, but they had the two top guys that were playing every two shifts. So, then maybe that's why they got tired at the end.

End of FastScripts...

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