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May 9, 2003

Jacques Martin

John Muckler


Q. Jacques, just about everybody seems to be listing to you guys as the favorite, Vegas betting has you winning four straight. How do you feel about being in this particular position at this time?

COACH JACQUES MARTIN: Well, I think it's probably a result of when you look at our regular season and our play, we know that the Devils are a good opposition, when you look at and you analyze all the stats and analyze the points during regular season and how they have performed in the Playoffs, I think both teams matched very well. We know it's going to be a tremendous series.

Q. You said they match well; the fact is overwhelmingly people are saying you guys are the favorites. How do you feel about being the favorites?

COACH JACQUES MARTIN: Well, I like being the favorite. That doesn't make any difference. You got to go out and win the series.

Q. About the selection of the trade deadline acquisitions of getting Varada and Smolinski, are they more important than you could have imagined when you picked them up?

COACH JACQUES MARTIN: I think from a coaching standpoint both those acquisitions were really important to our hockey club. I think that those trades were made at trading deadline but I think it's something that John worked a good part of the season trying to identify and bring some dimension that we felt that would help our hockey club and when you look at an individual like Varada I think he's an individual that has got lots of Playoff experience, brings a physical dimension, is solid in both ends of the ice, goes to the net and it was a dimension that we felt that would really help our club to compliment our skilled players. Bryan was another addition as a player that again had had good Playoff performance, especially with L.A. when they played the year they beat Detroit and lost in 7 to the Avalanche. When you look at his stats in the Playoffs he has been a good performer. He gave us some more depth at center position, really gave us another individual that had experience and was good at both ends of the ice, and really allowed us to make a move with a player like Fisher to move to another line and bring us that physical dimension that we were looking for.

Q. John, any added significance in your mind to the fact that you guys are the last remaining Canadian team in the Playoffs and -- is that significant to you at all and would you like to establish something for Canada here?

JOHN MUCKLER: Well, it would be nice if a Canadian team could get to the Stanley Cup Finals, no question about that. It's something that hasn't happened for a while; had the opportunity with Edmonton going to the Stanley Cup Finals six times, Canadian city, and it was a lot of fun and it was great for the country and Canada is a very -- they are very proud about their hockey here, it is a religion in this country, so it is nice to be a part of all that, yes.

Q. John, you have coached against and managed against New Jersey; do you think there has been much variation in the kind of game that they have played over the last several years or is this kind of setting the tone for what happens regardless of who is coaching the hockey club?

JOHN MUCKLER: Well, I think they have been the same for a long time. I know when I was in Buffalo we faced Jersey and we went to the 7th game and lost 2-1. Every game was a tough game. Great goal-keeping, good defensive hockey, and I think Jersey can play some offense too. I don't think they get enough credit for the way they can play. They wait for turnovers. When they do get the opportunity to capitalize on a turnover, they are pretty aggressive on the offensive end and especially when you get the puck in deep and get control down in deep, they do a very good job. But I don't think their play has changed from coach to coach, it pretty much has always been the same type hockey.

Q. Do you think Lou sets that tone?

JOHN MUCKLER: I think so. I think so. Lou has always been that way. I have known Lou for a long time. Lou was the coach of the Providence College team when I was general manager and coach of the Providence Reds and I attended a lot of his practices and stuff. He has always been that way. Always been defense first and offense secondly, and so I would say that he has a great deal of input there, yeah. I imagine that -- the coaches that he hired over the years have always been strong in that area.

Q. As you know the Devils are coming in with nine days between games. You guys have a few days as well of rest. How do you see that factoring in if at all in the series? Will it help the longer it goes?

COACH JACQUES MARTIN: I think both teams have had plenty of rest time. I don't think that's a factor. I think we finished the Flyers on Monday night, so that's five, six days of rest. So I think both teams when you look at the number of games we have played 11 games. I think they have played ten, so I think both teams are fresh that way and both teams I think are really eager to start at this time of year, you want to play the games.

Q. Can you comment on the bottle of the goalies you are a former goalie, compare the styles of Brodeur and your guy?

COACH JACQUES MARTIN: Well, they are very similar as far as style. The one difference, I think Brodeur is an excellent puck handler and likes to come out a lot and play the puck. That's an area that probably Patrick doesn't do as much. But both of them are very similar in style and character. I think Marty has been established while Patrick is coming on. I think he's probably the same as our hockey club. I think he's coming into his own and really establish himself this year as a premier goaltender.

Q. Jacques, just following up on the goaltending, how much does it mean to Patrick at this point to have -- to have had some success now? He hasn't approached Martin's status yet, I guess you have to win the Cup to do that.

COACH JACQUES MARTIN: Well I think he has built over the years some success. When you look at his performance last year in the Playoff, you know, you look at his average, you look at his goals against, he was outstanding for our hockey club and he's continued that. He has been very consistent the last three years, and I think it's a matter of maturity and experience and a matter of getting that opportunity to gain some authority, to gain some respect and recognition with the longer you play.

End of FastScripts...

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