May 23, 1997
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game Four
Q. What happened on that play? Your coach mentioned a lot of players were trying to get to the forehand waited too long. You kind of used a backhander there. Looked like Richter was on the other side.
ERIC LINDROS: The puck came rolling over and I just fired at the net. In those situations, you don't really -- you don't really get too fine, you just try and put something in the net and we were fortunate enough for it to go into the net. Even still, Richter made it cross from the other side of the post to stop it, partially deflect it, but the bottom line is, we can't play the way we did tonight game in, game out. We were very lucky tonight. I think everybody in our dressing room knew we were lucky tonight. We left Hexy out to dry on a number of occasions. We gave up numerous 2 on ones, 3 on twos. We weren't in sync at times, but, you know, we got the win which is the most important part, but we know we have to play better. They are a real strong hockey club and they had -- if it wasn't for Hexy, we wouldn't be heading home on the bus with a win.
Q. Did Richter see you sitting there, do you think, on the winning goal?
ERIC LINDROS: I don't know. I don't know.
Q. Talk about nailing down the fourth win, you said you have to play better on Sunday and of course, they are wounded now. What do you expect on Sunday?
ERIC LINDROS: Well, every wounded animal comes and gives their best. And they have got a great hockey club over there. Leetch is playing like his injury is subsided some. They have got so many weapons over there. We have to be ready for it. We have to play a lot better than we did tonight.
Q. Have you been hit as often as you were tonight in a playoff game?
ERIC LINDROS: Oh, yeah, oh yeah.
Q. More than tonight?
ERIC LINDROS: Yeah.
Q. What did you think of tonight?
ERIC LINDROS: Tonight a lot of it had to do with our not supporting some of our defensemen, leaving the zone too quickly and they were getting passes from behind as opposed to lateral passes where we can get our heads up and make plays to the neutral zone, but we weren't coming back and supporting our defensemen and leaving them with no option but to fire the puck from behind us up to our sticks and that allows other teams to take away our time and space in the neutral zone. That is when the contact begins.
Q. How much confidence does this team have the way you won game 3 and 4? It was bizarre on Tuesday night equally bizarre, more bizarre even tonight. How much confidence do you get out of that going into --
ERIC LINDROS: I don't think we took a whole lot of confidence out of tonight's game. We got the win. If anything, we got -- we are just building our confidence in our goaltending. I thought Ron played a tremendous game. He made huge saves when we needed it. I thought he was extremely solid. He was very calm back there. He handled the puck well. And, as far as I am concerned, that is one of the only positives -- one of the few positives I can take out of this game other than the fact that we did win.
Q. The specialty teams really dominated. You also did things right.
ERIC LINDROS: Yeah, we gave up a shorthanded goal and what we scored, 2 powerplay goals? We had some big kills. We had that situation where it was 4 on 3 for an extended period of time. The penalty killers did a great job there. They have been doing a solid job throughout the Playoffs. That has got to improve, but we have to, as a team overall, we have to really bear down.
Q. Any poetic justice in Beukeboom going to the box?
ERIC LINDROS: I don't think so. I wouldn't look into it that much. John's nose obviously was cut really bad. That is the call to make.
Q. Do you respect him for the type of game they played, him and Samuelsson?
ERIC LINDROS: They played hard. Their whole team played hard. We got the last break.
Q. Eric, the Playoff loss in '59 and '96, have they prepared you for this in '97 now?
ERIC LINDROS: I don't think -- you are sure going through some of the situations, yeah, maybe you can take a little here and there from it. But you don't take a whole lot when you lose. I think right now as we have said, as I have said, all Playoffs that our team, as a whole, has really improved. Our bench is solid. We have got two really good goaltenders and we are getting -- scoring from a lot of different players which is the key.
Q. I know you have -- you guys don't like the game you played tonight and the fourth game is the hardest to get. But, can you taste your first trip to the final and what that is right there now?
ERIC LINDROS: Well, I wouldn't say you taste it. Certainly, we are looking forward to Sunday and having a much stronger outing. And, if we do so then and things happen our way, then, you know, obviously we will go on. But we can't overlook Sunday. That is a huge game and it is going to take a lot of hockey, a lot of great hockey to win that. It is going to be a true challenge for our hockey club.
Q. You just mentioned the balance scoring up and down on your lineup here. Do you think that is the bottom line right now that New York is only getting handful of contributions from certain players?
ERIC LINDROS: I don't know what is going on on their team. We have been getting some breaks, and you are right, you know, when we say that we are getting a lot of scoring from a lot of different people, I mean, I can't really go through their lineup and talk about, you know, what they have had in terms of scoring. But, with that said, I -- obviously, we are pleased with the situation we are in.
Q. You talk about that being sort of a lucky shot. You just put it in, put it on the net. How many times out of 10 could you put it in from there?
ERIC LINDROS: I don't know. I don't want to try (LAUGHS).
Q. That is a tough shot.
ERIC LINDROS: Well, yeah, you get lucky every once in a while. I had a lot of chances throughout the game. Already we had some real solid chances earlier in the same shift. You know, I lost my stick in the slot and sure enough the puck rolls right out to me and I haven't got a stick, and, you know, sitting there useless, without a stick. We had some chances at the end and finally one went in. It happened to be the one that was the lowest percentage, maybe (LAUGHS).
Q. How do you think Beukeboom played against you man-to-man?
ERIC LINDROS: I thought he did a great job, sure.
Q. Did you expect Johnny Leclair to make passes like that?
ERIC LINDROS: Oh, yeah, Johnny is a tremendous hockey player, and -- yeah, he can make passes like that. That is for sure.
End of FastScripts...