May 16, 2002
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Game One
Q. Certainly the team did not look like a team that was going on one day's rest and has played 14 in the last 29.
COACH QUINN: Obviously, things happen with athletes. They get into grooves sometimes. Even though I'm sure probably at the end of the game they feel very fatigued, that groove takes over. It's kind of a thing that benefits them. Not all the time. There's a wall there someplace. But clearly, they mustered up some good strength.
Q. Were you planning to not have Healey on your top two lines or did the flow of the game just dictate --
COACH QUINN: With the penalties, again, as you know, our penalty killers are on those lines, so that gave them an extra burden to log a lot of ice and was a real test for them.
Q. Paul Maurice was saying they could not get through the neutral zone and you had played so sound defensively; that must be something you take a lot of satisfaction in now, looking back at this one?
COACH QUINN: We can't play -- I guess if we had a nemesis during the 82-game schedule, we get lax with our defensive position. We cruise a little bit, go to bad spots. Right, now our guys are concentrating more on -- and he saw it in Game 6 and 7 with Ottawa -- we were a lot stronger with our positioning and it carried over tonight. We were quite good through the neutral zone, and it forces a lot of things on the other team. It requires patience and sometimes you get frustrated. A lot of things can happen. So it worked well for us. Even though it was a one-goal game all night long.
Q. Were you confident in Hoglund's play?
COACH QUINN: He's been getting in my opinion stronger through the playoff series, all the games, and tonight might have been his best effort, his best outing, but he's been playing pretty good. Tonight he was around the puck and he had a solid game tonight.
Q. Alex has been your game-breaker the last two games but he's also played a nice all-around game. Can you talk about how he was so one-dimensional, or perceived as one-dimensional, five, seven, ten years ago?
COACH QUINN: There are some nights he still is. (Laughs). You know his history. He's very gifted, and he always shuns that away whenever you talk to him personally, but he knows he's a gifted athlete. He can play any kind of game that he should wish to play. He's that sort of -- he has that sort of skill level. He's been making real contribution battling through the puck, throwing body checks, the things that during 82 games you won't see too often but right now he's doing it. Probably that move from Vancouver to New Jersey was really beneficial in opening up his eyes to what he wants personally out of this game. It's not just economics. We all know that he has that, but there's more in this game. There's more to be had, and I think he shows it sometimes, especially this time of year.
Q. Does the focus now change at all, if it was coming in here to get a split, does it change now to let's maybe take a day off, rest up and come right out Sunday and see if we can get out of here with two?
COACH QUINN: There's just obvious, if you happen to win the first game, we did, then it would be a shame not to do your best to win the second game because it obviously can give you a terrific advantage going home. But, let's face it, that was a close game tonight. They had a lot of chances and we needed terrific goaltending. It was a one-goal game again. So, we happened to win this one. We'll look at Game 2 the same way. Let's see if we can be good and do the little things that will help us get a chance to win, and there's no guarantee, but if we do those things, we will have a chance.
Q. Curtis is very unorthodox at times, but he's gotten the job done.
COACH QUINN: I think he's getting the feel back. He's always been, to me, not the kind of goalie you write the textbook on. His terrific ability to me is reading the play and he gets himself in the way and he makes the stops. That, to me is his big strength. I think he's getting that feeling back, or has it back.
Q. What's the sense of relief, you have the win and now the guys can have a couple of days rest with a positive mind set?
COACH QUINN: I'm thinking about a two-hour practice. I don't want them to lose that. (Laughs). Obviously, the day should stand us in good stead as far as healing up a little bit and bow getting rest that one day doesn't allow you. I don't want it to lull us into some mental drop. The physical part, we all know at this time of year, that's probably the side that's the least important. So we sure don't want to have any drop in that alertness and sharpness around the puck and position that we need to have to advance.
Q. Do you find yourself amazed that as you continue losing bodies the team has not been affected?
COACH QUINN: I try not to let myself think about that a lot. You know, as a coach, you're one of the leaders of the team, so you can't show an emotion that indicates that we've lost some people; and therefore, what's the use. We worked hard and long to get here. And look around, let's see if we can do it with what we've got and why can't we. I think that's just an attitude that you have to have when you're in team sports.
End of FastScripts...