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May 28, 2002

Pat Quinn


Q. Talk about the character your team showed, right through the playoffs, leading up tonight and right into overtime.

COACH QUINN: I've kind of tried to address this before. For there's a lot of character in there. A lot of those boys just kept coming back. I think sometimes that's that double-edged sword, what we admire sometimes other people don't admire so much, and I think we paid a price for it. We had in all of the series, but we just could not overcome it in this one. But it does not change the things you like and the way you approach the game and they tried to keep coming back. Unfortunately, we ran out of time.

Q. How do you feel right now?

COACH QUINN: Lousy. Physically, fine. I never figured out a way to deal with losing yet. So, that doesn't sit too well.

Q. Can you comment on Carolina's effort?

COACH QUINN: Yeah, they did what they had to do to win the series. Mind you, I think we helped them with the checking, but they checked very well. We just did not find room for ourselves into a lot of the games. But, I know a few of those young men on the other side fairly well, and I didn't expect anything different. They were terrific. Their whole team, the approach they took was team-oriented and that is why they are moving on.

Q. We all know injuries happen in hockey, you especially in the playoffs, but have you ever seen anything like what happened to your team?

COACH QUINN: Not as serious as that. All teams get hurt no, question about it. You know, you sit here now and you say, what difference does it make. All it does is mean the guys that stepped up and did it did a terrific job. When you loose, you lament. You think of the what ifs, and it doesn't really matter then. Not too long down the road we will be thinking what we talked about on day one of our training camp, and saying that at that stage, we thought we had a good enough team to be standing in the final series, but there's probably eight or nine other teams on our side that could say the same thing. It's one of those years that you'll regret a little mistake or regret the injury or whatever it is because you're not going on. There are times when you should not expect to go on and there are times when you should. This year, we had the expectation. Yes, there was some disappointment with injuries and things of that nature, but we still that had expectation we were going on, and we didn't make it happen.

Q. Can you comment on Curtis's game and what's the timetable between now and July 1?

COACH QUINN: You think about Curtis probably daily as far as the coaches are concerned. Management-wise, our goal has not changed from when we first talked about it last year. We would like to have him stay with us, and it's very important to me personally and the organization to have him stay with us. I thought he was terrific. There's no question when we got the four-on-three, he was the key to getting past that four-on-three without being scored on. If not for him, maybe we would not say, "oh, gosh we lost in overtime," but he made those saves to allow us. We did the mental rope-a-dope after killing penalties in Game 5 in Carolina where instead of getting a lift from the goaltending and saves, we kind of fell back in it. It took us until the end of the game to be able to tie it up. We should have had better lift. We should have had something out of that. We should have felt like we could carry the game to the end but we didn't do it. We didn't do it the other night, except we ended up winning the other night. That's the strange thing in this business, and probably something you'll never figure out.

Q. You talked earlier about not creating enough room for yourself, and only scoring six goals in the series, is that more of a comment on the style of hockey in the playoffs, or do you look at it and say, not enough skill?

COACH QUINN: I think a lot of it has to do -- you know what, you can beat any style, if you get your guys sticking with it. One of our problems is when you get to the playoffs and you want to change to beat a style, you don't have the practice time. Your guys are so hurt you can't get on the ice. So you can't change things. You might talk on the chalkboard, but this game is one of the games that it takes time to get used to a change, like a golf swing or whatever it is. When you're changing your system, it's not just drawing on the board, you have to have guys practice through it so it becomes second nature so they are not standing out there thinking what am I supposed to do now, where am I supposed to do, what did the coach say this morning. That's the worst part before about the playoffs. That's why you try to change things through the season so your team might have that adaptability I think when it's necessary to have it. All these guys did, very much the same as we played in the other series, they were less aggressive to put pressure on us, but we didn't handle it as well as we did the other two series. So, a lot of it was us. It was frustrating, and as I said, half of their job of checking us was done by us; and in that, we often stood up where we were easily checkable, we were stand-still especially on the wings, a stand-still hockey club. And that's what that style they use forces you to do, stand still. It's the trap, or the 1-2-2 is a stand-still style of play. It still works. Obviously it works. It beat us. Jersey has won two Cups using it. Dallas who will bore to you death has won a Cup. It's good stuff. We try to use it, except we have not got the discipline to stick with it sometimes. But, there's ways to break it. We just could not seem to stick with it. We had periods of it. Start of our game tonight was good. Start of the overtime was good. We got a lot of room then, but we had to create it. We got back and used it, the defense. Your defense, you really have to skate, that's really a key. So, it's not just talent. I've always felt our team is a pretty skilled team. You guys don't need a course on hockey. There's reason to celebrate someplace, but not for me.

End of FastScripts...

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