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June 11, 1999

Michael Peca


Q. Will the ice be better here, make a difference, favor your team or --

MIKE PECA: No, I think both teams are pretty good skating teams. The ice though in Dallas actually held up a lot better that we expected. I think Game 1 was not as good as Game 2 but Game 2 the ice was, I thought, in pretty good condition throughout the whole game. But certainly the ice in Buffalo is going to be a little better. I think it is easier to keep the rink a little cooler here than it was there even though it is almost as warm outside. I don't think -- obviously our team speed, we would like to think it will help us, but they got some guys on their side that can move too.

Q. Modano not playing, what does that do -- (inaudible) --

MIKE PECA: We will have to wait and see. If Lindy feels that the Nieuwendyk lineup should watched, then that is what we will do. I think for the most part the important thing is if Modano isn't playing, we want to make sure there is no let-down by our guys. We want to make sure we continue to go after them, and not think that it is going to get easier because Modano is out of the line-up. They have shown some resilience in the series throughout the Playoffs having guys step in and fill holes, so, we just want to make sure that we are going out with the same focus as if he was in the lineup.

Q. What about Brett Hull two goals, two games, anything different definitely statistically that you might want to limit -- (inaudible) --

MIKE PECA: You always try and find things to kind of close the gap on him. But he is so good at finding the open ice, that there is times when you are getting in a defensive coverage and you are going to your guy and guys are, you know, one second you turn your head he kind of slides into a little hole and finds a shooting area. The guys have done a great job of getting him the puck so it is a tough task but one certainly that we are going to have to pay more attention to.

Q. You obviously tried to hit them more yesterday and wear them down. Yet they still bounced back to get the win in the third period. Did it surprise you they still had as much resilience as they did in the third period?

MIKE PECA: No, it didn't. You don't win first place in the League and get to the Stanley Cup Final if you don't battle through a lot of adversity. They are a team that plays physical and their series against Colorado is a perfect example where it was a very physical series and came out on top. They are a team that loves that style of playing, are able to battle through it. But we are keeping in mind that we want to continue to keep going at them even harder.

Q. How far have they gone in terms of hitting Dominik (inaudible) and will there be any recourse --

MIKE PECA: There is not going to be any recourse, like Jay touched on, you want to keep everything reasonably fair, I think we want to crash the net hard and go to the net hard for the sole purpose of finding rebounds and creating traffic and helping ourselves score goals. But what they do with Dominik, you know, I don't think a lot of people consider it very classy with what is going on, but it does happen and you have got to live with it. You have got to find ways to combat it. What we want to do is continue to drive the net and get ourselves in front, but not doing anything foolish.

Q. You guys haven't spent too much energy killing off penalties; has that hurted you 5-on-5?

MIKE PECA: I don't think the energy part of it is what is hurting us 5-on-5. I just think not being able to roll four lines is what is hurting us 5-on-5. When we get the roll going each line feeds off one another, Wayne Primeau's line goes out and has a great shift and the next guys want to go out and follow-up on that, but when we are in penalty trouble and we are not able to get four lines going then we get guys sitting on the bench and aren't able to get going, so it is more disruptive to the flow of our game than anything endurance-wise.

Q. (inaudible) are you a bit skeptical of the Modano injury if he isn't back --

MIKE PECA: I don't know. I think the only way we want to look at it, we want to prepare as though he is going to be playing. I know all the reports are saying that he is done; whether it is one game or the remainder of the Playoffs, but we want to prepare as though Dallas is going to have their best lineup; that is all we can do. Obviously if he is not there, there is going to be other things that we need to focus on that are very important. But if he is in the lineup then obviously we are going to make a point to make sure we are very physical with him and making it miserable for him.

Q. There are a couple of reasons why this team has played so well through the Playoffs (inaudible) --

MIKE PECA: Guys have felt very comfortable at home. Obviously playing in front of your home crowd, as great as they have been, it makes it a lot more enjoyable. One thing we have been doing all Playoffs is making sure we are always having fun in front of our crowd; the noise they have been making and the way they have been backing us, it is a lot easier to have fun at home than it is on the road sometimes. Guys get very excited playing at home. We are looking forward to tomorrow night.

Q. Is there a (inaudible) target other guy's injuries, susceptible area, would you go after it --

MIKE PECA: I think you would be foolish not to. I don't think if a guy's got a broken wrist that you are -- that you are going to want to wind up and take a two-hander but you want to make sure you are physical with him. Any time he is in traffic try and get in his way and bump him as much as you can. Certainly if there is a weakness you want to try and exploit that weakness.

Q. Do you remember a year in which a team's overall defense was as offensively proficient as yours has been throughout this entire Playoffs. Do you ever remember recalling seeing a team unit play as well offensively as your defensive six have played?

MIKE PECA: I don't know, my long-term memories aren't as good as my short-term memory. I just think the defense is obviously a part of the game that we pride ourselves on, but we have got a lot of guys that are great offensive players; Geoff Sanderson who had 40-goal years and Stu Barnes who came off a 30-goal year last year so we have a lot of guys that are able to put points up and when you get into a defensive system, sometimes that is unable to break out, but I think when we get on a bit of a roll sometimes you can see those guys step in the forefront and creating chances for themselves; that is when it is good to have both ways.

End of FastScripts....

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