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May 21, 2003

Jacques Martin


Q. Jacques, it was a very exciting and very entertaining game. How did you feel about it and I guess, the Senators really deserved to win?

COACH MARTIN: Yeah, I thought that we had a good game. I think we took the lead on one of our powerplays and we had some good chances and they tied it on their powerplay, but I thought that we played hard, and we were consistent with our play and used our entire bench. I thought we got great performance from our goalie and got some people that stepped it up.

Q. Could you comment a minute on Chris Phillips? I know you have said several times during these Playoffs that the goal he got in Game 3 in Long Island was one that really turned that series. Obviously he gets a big one tonight. Talk about his ability?

COACH MARTIN: I think Chris, no doubt in my mind, has played the best hockey since he's joined our organization and I think it's just to show that sometimes it takes a while for players to reach a certain level, especially when you are looking at defensemen. I really think that he has been playing very consistent all through these Playoffs and has played very strong. I think tonight I think you've got to mention a guy like Marian Hossa. I think he was a factor out there. He made the play on the winning goal really. It was a great team effort but Chris, I think, has really stepped it up.

Q. You talked a little bit about Hossa. Is this the Hossa that you expected to see all along and what has hold him back?

COACH MARTIN: I think sometimes it's really a team game and he has been one of our leaders this year. He's played extremely well. But really, the strength of our hockey club all season has been our depth, the ability of different people to step it up, and I think tonight that line really stepped it up for us.

Q. When teams check this well, do you need someone to make a one-on-one play to decide a game like that?

COACH MARTIN: Well, yes and no from the standpoint of it depends how you go about it that one-on-one play. This is the strength of their hockey club. Jersey, they want you to play it because it's not really a one-on-one it's a one on three. They got people back -- he made a great play, but there was good execution there from the standpoint that Varada went to the net and won some battles, got a shot and Brodeur made the save. I think it was the second rebound when Phillips joined the rush and put it in.

Q. Was this the kind of performance that would put Patrick Lalime right in there now with the really good Playoff goaltenders?

COACH MARTIN: Well, there's never been a doubt in my mind where Patrick Lalime stands. I think we talked about that before the start of the series from the standpoint that individuals who have won the Cup always get the benefit of the doubt, that it really helps them establish themselves. But I think you are seeing, this year in the Playoffs, you know, a new -- not a new era, but a new phase of goaltenders that are really stepping it up. And Patrick is one of them.

Q. Jacques, you talked before several times about the different things that you have seen in your team, the resolve and the character especially coming down the stretch. Was what you saw tonight something different, something more?

COACH MARTIN: Well, I think it's always growing, it's always getting better. When you have a team you have a chemistry on a hockey club and the organization I think has tremendous faith in our people. I think that we showed that tonight and we know that we're going to have even a tougher battle on Friday. So that's what we got to get ready for.

Q. You mentioned Friday. The fact that you have won two straight this last one being an emotional overtime game getting ready for Friday do you think your team has the edge with two straight wins?

COACH MARTIN: Well, I don't know if it has the edge at this time of the season, you know, we knew going into tonight's game we would have to be better than Game 5 and I thought we were. The bottom line is Game 7 we're going to have to be better.

Q. How did you feel when you saw your team hitting the post three times, were you getting concerned, nervous?

COACH MARTIN: Well, you just -- you don't control those things. I think that what you like as a coach is how the game is going, how each player are executing and it was really exciting overtime. I think like the fans were really treated to some great hockey, some great opportunities and Patrick, both goaltenders were outstanding. Patrick really made some big saves to give us that chance to win it.

End of FastScripts...

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