May 15, 2002
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Practice Day
Q. What's Sundin's condition going into tomorrow night?
COACH QUINN: He won't play tomorrow.
Q. How about some of the other guys: Lumme, Valk, guys that are close or could be close?
COACH QUINN: Those are, again, sort of day-to-day things. We have Lumme in the position of at least get to go almost to warm up and make something decisions at that time. We haven't got by that yet. We'll probably do the same thing with him tomorrow. Valk has not been cleared yet. Although, he has skated better in the last couple of days.
Q. How about Tie and Shayne?
COACH QUINN: We expect that they will be fine. We have a couple of players here extra that will be put in if we have to.
Q. If you have to do that for Game 1, is that at least benefit of having a couple extra days instead of playing like every second night between Game 1 and game would?
COACH QUINN: No. In a seven-game series, you don't want to forfeit the game. It's not what you intend to do. It's a difficult situation. You have to win four games before the other team does, and if you have to go deeper into your roster to find players to play, eventually that will probably catch up with you.
Q. From what you are have seen, how well are the Hurricanes playing right now?
COACH QUINN: We've only had the benefit of watching them on television a couple of games. They look real good. Their depth is good. Appears like they have not had any -- and I know all teams play hurt at this time of year, but nothing that's been upsetting to their chemistry and their lines. They appear confident. They beat two pretty good hockey teams, especially an experienced one in New Jersey, and to rally back, I would say, even though that 3-0 lead in the one game looked like a big thing to overcome, it looks like they have grown from that opportunity or of fortune or whatever it was.
Q. Home advantage came in handy in Game 7; will the system bother you now that you won't have home ice if that happens?
COACH QUINN: Well, the rules are the rules. That's been around for a while. You know, the league is constantly -- not constantly, they are stick with the one that they have now. It's changed a lot of times. The time that I've been around the league, I've seen a lot of different formats, and there's different feelings for different people. Some people don't get playoff spots because of certain alignments. So, this is fine. We perhaps should have won our own division; that would have changed it.
Q. Do you have to be wary or use it as a lesson, Game 1 of the Ottawa series? Do the players remember a little bit that you have to be ready coming out, even though you just got off a hard series?
COACH QUINN: I'm not sure what we could have done differently. One day's rest, you don't even rest. One day to try to recover and another one here. I think our guys played with all their heart on that particular game, and kind of game it turned out to be -- we just had more and more ice time and couldn't play your whole lineup, and we ended up with some pretty beat people, having to kill -- I don't know, we were short-handed probably 22 minutes more than the other team. That was a big burden. I don't know what we could have done different. So I don't know whether it's a lesson or what. I guess the lesson you would like to learn is win your series in four. The other teams don't always agree with that.
Q. Can you talk about the progress of Bryan McCabe from the time you brought him into the team this year to the point he's at right now, the minutes he's logging and the contributions he's making offensively, more sound defensively, just how he's blossomed as a hockey player in general?
COACH QUINN: Yes, that was certainly a good acquisition for our team. Bryan, in my watching him, you knew that there was good athletic skill there. He looked like he might be ready for things to come together because they had not come together for him in, my opinion, as a player at that point in his career. It was a bit of a risk to trade for him because you never know if some guys just never get it together. But after struggling in the first half of the year with us, the second half of the year was just -- kind of a total turnaround. And then the start of this year, we kind of seemed back where we were a year ago, but he changed more quickly. I guess that's the peaks and valleys that people have when they are starting to learn about themselves and the game and how to best use the skills that they have to bring about the best outcomes. He is getting more points than he ever did. He has a good shot. His defensive play has been better, and can be still worked on. He's logging a lot of ice now, and that is probably as much by virtue of our losses, losses of personnel, than anything else. But he'd still be playing 23 minutes probably, 24 minutes if we'd had our full complement back there. So maybe this is even going to be a bigger benefit for him, just to continue on the road to becoming a better player.
Q. Obviously, Gary Roberts is a player that you targeted a couple years ago as one of the guys that could push you over the top. Just how well has he played in your eyes in these two series? Would you be sitting here today if it were not for Gary Roberts?
COACH QUINN: It's hard to say. Probably of all the things that make him valuable to you on the ice is his stubbornness, his never-say-die. His approach to his own body; he treats it like a temple, and his influence on his teammates to look after themselves has been terrific. Teams don't get better without that happening in the dressing room, as well. He certainly has come in and provided that for us. We know how he plays. He's hell-bent for election and tries to do it the same way every night. Right now, things are happening for him. I mean, the puck is going in and he's around the puck and he's around the people that have the puck. He's making contact. It's just one of those -- he's a very good player. It's one of those times when athletes have where everything is right. It seems right. Everything seems to be in place. I know we hear that all the time, about athletes having to raise their game at playoff time. He seems to have found another gear, even though we all thought he played in high gear all the time. So it's proof that you can push yourself a little bit more, but what's good about it is he's doing it with more sense. One of the things that endears you about Roberts is that effort, but sometimes there's not a lot of before; he's just going. So that can be an Achilles thing, as well, but right now it seems like every decision he makes is a good one.
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