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May 9, 2003

Jacques Lemaire


Q. (Inaudible.)

JACQUES LEMAIRE: You know, this team, since Babcock got there, they started to play as a team. Everyone, you know, chipped in for their success. It's a team that defense is important as well as offense. They've got their top players to play as well defensively as they do offensively, play great positioning hockey, and that's where they are, and they have got some talent.

Q. Who do you think is the favorite, and what do you think about having home ice advantage?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I don't think it means a lot. You know, we watch and play, but we never studied their game. We never thought we would play them, but I guess we'll have to now. The thing about favorite, you said a minute ago that two teams during the season were pretty much equal, and I have to tell you that some of the guys -- some of their guys were not at their best during this season, and they are right now. Some of their guys are playing very, very well, that, you know, they were playing okay during the season.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JACQUES LEMAIRE: We're fortunate to have a guy that has a lot of courage, you know. There is a lot of guys that have courage, but he's banged up everywhere. You know, he's got ice -- I think you've just got to soak him in ice. It would be okay, because it looks like he's sore everywhere. He's still going, and that won't stop him. It won't stop him. He will just keep playing as hurt as he can.

Q. You seem to be surprised, as many other people are, to see your team in this position. Is there a single game that you think was the most impressive of all, the most shocking to you during this run of your team?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Shocking? Every win. Every win starting with the first one in the first series. Maybe less shocking towards after the 3-2, the 3-3, less shocking, because the guys were confident, you know, to win another game, but all the other rest, you know, surprised.

Q. Including last night?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Including last night.

Q. What do you think will be the goalies' key to their game?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I don't really know that. I think it's a question for -- that they can answer only. What I see, I see in practices, the way they work, that's all I can comment on. Manny is a little different than Rollie. Manny, you know, doesn't work as hard in practice, but he has such a great talent. And Rollie works really hard to be what he is today.

Q. Do you have a rotation plan of any sort, any plan?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: I don't have a plan.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Well, pretty much.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Give him a rest. You know, he sees a lot of pucks, plays under a lot of pressure, so I don't think he can be on the ice every day and keep going this way.

Q. Can you shed some light on maybe their perspective on a scratch one game and them come back really strong?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Well, to me, every player feels that they're working hard, okay, and sometimes they can give a little more, but they don't find the will to give it, and being pulled out at different times, because the coach sees that maybe he's tired, maybe a one-game rest will be good for him, maybe seeing the game will be good for him, then he gets excited to come back, and that little edge that he needed, he's got it, and he becomes a good player. He becomes one of the best players on the ice. That's what they have been doing. Pascal was different. Pascal had a little injury, so I preferred to not play him one night, so I said, well, if we ever go in 7, you will be perfect, so that was a decision that I had to take there.

Q. Did you have a long pep talk or a cautionary tale?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: It's kind of hard for us to play all these games in such a short time, and the emotion is really important in this game at this time, and all the guys were really, really excited after last night, and then, you know, there is a let down. There is no doubt there is a let down today. I can see it when they came on the ice, but, you know, you've got to work at that, so you get back and have excitement and you can go on and think, well, we've done our share, we're not supposed to be here now. Everything is done. We've got to put in our mind that we still want to play as well as we can. If we get beat, we'll get beat by a better team. So just I want the guys to get back into the groove and get ready.

Q. The fact that no other team has ever come back twice, 3 to 1, does that have any impact in helping the team in the next ^2serious ^ series?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: No, no. Not at all. All the players are really happy with what they achieved, but all that now, I'm sure nobody thinks about this. They might during the summer when somebody will talk to them, or they're listening to people talking about it, but besides that, they won't think about it.

Q. How key was the powerplays in that game?

JACQUES LEMAIRE: Well, the powerplays, it's important. You know, special teams are so important in playoffs. That is the reason why we're here. You know, not taking penalties or the few possible is a great -- to me, it's a great advantage on a team. The only thing you get from this is you don't have to kill a lot of penalties. You might get a few powerplays, get a chance to score there, and you're team has got to be good 5 on 5, which it's easier to be good 5 on 5 than 4 on 5.

End of FastScripts...

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