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May 29, 2000

Jason Arnott

Martin Brodeur

Randy McKay

Larry Robinson

Scott Stevens


Q. Everybody has said the Colorado/Dallas series already won the Cup. Your thoughts about Game 1?

RANDY McKAY: (inaudible) we have got some young players on our team that have yet to make maybe a countrywide name for themselves, but I think we grew a lot last series the way we came back and I look forward to getting it all underway.

JASON ARNOTT: I think it is going to be a hard-fought series. I think both teams have a lot to offer. Dallas has been there before. A few of our players have been there. It is going to be exciting. I am looking forward to it. I think we grew as a team in the last series. I think we just got to keep going from there.

Q. (inaudible)

JASON ARNOTT: Game 1 I think it is going to be a little nerve-wracking for us, haven't been there in a while at all but I think the first period it is going to be -- it is going to be high-tempo, hard-hitting and exciting hockey that is what we look forward too.

COACH ROBINSON: I think especially the first game it is usually a feeling-out period. We have only played them a couple of times, haven't seen them in a while. I think that you are looking at Dallas who is very disciplined, they play a certain system. They stick to their system. Both physical teams. I think we are both built along the same lines believing that the game should be played a certain way. So I think it should be a close series. We both have, I think, really good goaltending and solid lines, so I think that the first game I don't think is going to be indicative of how the series is going to be, but certainly it should be an exciting series and I hope for hockey's sake that it is a very exciting series. It should be two teams very closely matched and basically it should come down to probably specialty teams.

MARTIN BRODEUR: I think Game 1 is going to be tough on everybody. I think these guys have been there lately, probably going to be a little easier for them. For us with the youth that we have it will be tough; the first period just getting going, getting the butterflies out of the way. I think a lot of the pressure will come off when that puck is going to be dropped. It is going to be fun. It is a great thing for us and for the hockey club to be a part of this. I think everybody is real excited. Game 1 is Game 1. I think it is a big game. It is going to -- should be good. Overall I think this series, two teams that have played really well the whole season and throughout the Playoffs, we have both came out of a tough series and I think everybody is really relieved to be in this position right now and I think it should be great hockey.

Q. Having been through this before over here, do you have a different approach being older, wiser and having a Cup under your belt, less nerves or no?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Probably more nerves because you realize it more when you are young, you go out, things fall into place for you, just play the game. When you get a little older, get a little more responsibilities, people expect a little more from you and it gets a little tougher, but I like the feeling so far. I think it has been a great run and we just want to keep it going.

Q. Coach, talk about the influence that Montreal appears to have had on this series, these two teams and maybe specifically the influence that Bob Gainey has had on you and the relationship with you in your career?

COACH ROBINSON: I am older than Bob so maybe I had a little influence on Bob's career. I showed him where to go after the games (Laughter.) -- I think a lot has been made about the Montreal influence. I think it is more coincidental than anything else. Just happen to have a lot of ex-players that are still in hockey and are still involved. I think that basically this is a new era and hockey has changed considerably since the times that both Bob and I have played, but certainly we do think that the game is played a certain way and a lot of our philosophies are in the teams that he has chosen and in the way that I coach, but you still don't want to take away anything from these guy's abilities. I think everybody has grown with and been born with different talents and I don't think that it is so much that a coach has to change those talents. He has to get the best use out of those talents and I think that is where the similarities lie. I think a lot of the philosophies that the old Canadians had and the new Canadians have is very similar to the way the game is played today.

Q. Larry, a lot of people are writing that -- you said you hope it is an exciting series... A lot of people who write will say that these two teams won't provide exciting hockey, excitement (inaudible) defined that in terms of fighting for inches all over the place, in terms of goal-scoring opportunities. What obligation is there on your part to sort of respond to that?

COACH ROBINSON: Well, our obligation is to each other and I think the bottom line is that I think that the philosophy is that when you play a certain style that is boring, everything else, but I think the bottom line is - our job is to win hockey games. In the end, I don't care, they can call us whatever they want. If you are standing there with the Stanley Cup you don't care what kind of hockey you played, exciting or not. But I still think that the hockey that we play right now and I think Dallas plays is still exciting. You can say what you want. The Colorado-Dallas series was very, very exciting; so was our series against Philadelphia, good, tight hockey; good positional hockey; scoring when the chances are there. I think the great goaltending that we have gotten from all of the goaltenders this Final series is the reason that the scoring is down; not necessarily chances. A lot of the chances were there. We have got guys that are playing good position, guys -- goaltenders are playing terrific hockey so the chances are there and I think the games have been exciting.

Q. Just a quick word on your penalty-killing, only given up 3 powerplay goals against in 3 series and the chances, 51 chances, extremely low, especially compared to Dallas. Talk about the discipline and actually how you go about killing penalties, why you are so successful?

COACH ROBINSON: I won't explain exactly how we do it because I will tell Bob on the side and tell him how we do it. No, I think a lot of it is attributed to the fact that we said all along that discipline is something that you have to have. You look at all the teams that have been successful and we know that we were successful in 1994-95 because we didn't take a lot of penalties. When you are going against a team such as Dallas who has a great powerplay, I think you are playing into their hands if you are taking a lot of penalties. Our penalty killing has been really good, No. 1, and some of the main reasons are the two guys to go my left. Scotty has been a tower of strength and Marty has played terrific in there and our penalty killers have done a very, very good job of being in good position and not allowing the other teams to get good chances. And, the good chances that they have had, Marty has stood tall on them.

Q. Do you think the experience of the Dallas team is an advantage over you guys.

SCOTT STEVENS: I am not sure about that. Experience is important, but I mean, I think you need a little bit of everything to win and we have a lot of good young hockey players who give us a lot of emotion. We have some good veteran players that have been here and I think a good chemistry is important, but I think to a certain extent, yeah, experience means something, but I don't think it is the whole story.

COACH ROBINSON: I think sometimes your strongest advantages can be your biggest downfall too. When you think you know everything about this game, you always fined something new that comes up and they have got a lot of veterans here and they have been here before and it is definitely an advantage, but I still think once you get here you still got to play the games on the ice and sometimes it's better not knowing what to expect.

Q. Scott, I am sorry to bring this up. What kind of reaction have you received since Game 7 concerning the hit with Lindros?

SCOTT STEVENS: I don't understand what you are asking.

Q. Have you received positive reaction? Have you received support from fellow players, other people in the League, about it being a legit hit?

SCOTT STEVENS: I haven't talked to -- I have been away from the rink just enjoying my family for now getting ready for the next series.

Q. Can you talk about the role that Scott has had getting this far in the series? He is pretty much the same player as he was in 1995 or has his game changed?

COACH ROBINSON: I think his game has changed. I think he is even more mature now than he was then. He has really taken a leadership role with this club and I would say that he is one of the many reasons that we are where we are today. When our team has needed a lift he has provided great leadership both on and off the ice. But yes, I think he is a more complete hockey player now than he was in 1994/95. Maturity and age does those kinds of things to you.

Q. Coach and Scott, No. 1, how important is it to set the tone physically in this series much like you guys did in the three previous Playoff series? Also, how do you slow down their three big guns?

SCOTT STEVENS: I think good positional hockey is important when you are playing against quality players like obviously the Modano line. Obviously you want to finish checks and it is important for the whole team to do that, I don't think you want to be going around looking for checks because you open up the ice for the talented players. You have to play physical when it is there but when it is not there, you better be in good position and play from there. But we always want to finish our checks and get in peoples' way and makes things tougher. Like I said, it is more important to be in good position.

COACH ROBINSON: (inaudible) I think both our teams play similar style so I mean, we are a physical team - I don't think that just because we are playing a different team that our style is going to change. I think that it is better that we play our style and hope to make them adjust to us as opposed to us adjusting to how they play.

Q. You played briefly one season with Brett Hull when he scored 86 goals and he has been in the other conference obviously for the last nine years. Do you see his game being different than it was then and what do you have to do to stop him?

SCOTT STEVENS: Well, yeah, he seems to be doing a lot more out there than just scoring. I saw him the other day trying to block a shot; which I have never seen him do before. He is playing more of a team game and I think probably being in Dallas a lot has rubbed off him and he has probably become more of a complete player. But obviously he is still very good at scoring and he is having his best Playoffs yet. I have never seen a guy shoot the puck so well on the one-timer on the move and he is a very dangerous player; have to keep a close eye on him.

Q. Larry, last year you kind of questioned whether you had what it takes to be a head coach in an article -- (inaudible). What does this mean to you to be in this situation this year; have a chance to win the Stanley Cup as a coach?

COACH ROBINSON: Well, I feel very fortunate that I have been given the opportunity to coach an exceptional team, guys that are devoted to play. I don't know the article that you read. Unfortunately, it was taken out of context because the whole part wasn't there. I think that in this interview I had mentioned that everybody always questions their abilities and I think that is what makes us better, if you stand pat and say, well, I am doing the best that I can, then you aren't trying to improve yourself. Basically that was what the comment was about, was that I am constantly trying to improve myself. But I never doubted my abilities. I sometimes questioned whether I shouldn't have been maybe a little bit harder in different situations but this is always a learning experience and you are learning everyday.

Q. Having been part of multiple Cup winners in Montreal, Ken was talking before about the status of winning two in a row. Is there really something to that as opposed to being one-time Champion?

COACH ROBINSON: I think the difference is when you win the first one everybody is -- they are all up kind of up and nobody really knows that much about you but once you won once, it is always difficult and I have a lot of respect for multiple winners because having gone through it I know how tough it is the second time because -- everybody wants to beat the winner and we are no different right now. We want to beat the winner. It is nice to be able to say after you are finished that you beat the X champion, so, it is not an easy position to be in certainly.

Q. Three months ago I don't think a lot of people thought New Jersey Devils would be in this position. What was the turning point that turned the season around for you guys that got you to here?

RANDY McKAY: That is a good question, three months ago I think we were playing pretty good. That was before we went in a bit of a skid. I think like Larry was just talking, got to question yourself when you go through downtime like we did, and it lasted a lot longer than anyone ever expect it to. It ended up turning into a coaching change. Since Larry came in took a little bit of time to -- took a few games, took -- he implemented a lot of discipline. We started to do it slowly since the Playoffs have come in, as each game has gone and each series has gone I think we have gotten stronger as a team and we have gotten closer together. So maybe, you know, we have learned from our mistakes that we were doing.

Q. I was reading about the speech that you gave after Game 4 here. It sounded an awful lot like some of the speeches you gave in L.A.. Was this fresh? The guys hadn't seen this from you before? How much of an impact did it have in turning that season around and Scott, also, if you could just talk about what Larry has brought since he took over as coach?

COACH ROBINSON: Well, a lot has been said about the so-called speech. I don't know if I would call it a speech or a tongue lashing. It was just something I felt had to be done. I felt that our team was much better than they were showing and I didn't want it to turn into something where we were thinking about it after it was too far to come back and say, well, we should have done this and should have done that. So it was more just -- I thought it was the right place and the right time to do it and no, I wouldn't say it was like what we did in L.A.. I think there was a lot more at stake right here and I thought it was a different situation. It was something that I don't normally do but I felt it was the right place and the right time and that is basically all it really was.

SCOTT STEVENS: I think what Larry brought, the biggest thing is discipline and I think he got everyone playing as a team; not as individuals. I think that is the biggest thing. I think our forwards have really changed and they are really helping the defensemen and goaltenders a lot. Before I think we were maybe a little up-and-down team, and a team that would play the river hockey, you know, trade chance for chance and I think that is where we have really improved and we are just much more disciplined and also Larry has had a really calming effect behind the bench; doesn't get excited; doesn't yell. I think that carries on to players. That is one reason why we have been so disciplined in the Playoffs and haven't taken many penalties. I think if you have somebody yelling and screaming, you start doing the same thing; you lose your focus. That is one of Larry's biggest assets.

Q. Is there a belief among NHL'ers that it is bad to make an appearance with the Stanley Cup or drink from it or something along that line if you haven't actually won it. Do you feel that way yourself?

COACH ROBINSON: First time I heard that. Any chance and I have never won it before, I'd grab it and drink out of it. I don't understand what you are getting at as far as the question, but I don't see -- I mean, the Cup is there and I think the NHL is very proud of the Stanley Cup and what it entails. I think it's travelled around and anybody that has a chance to see it and hold it, raise it, (inaudible) I think it is a great opportunity, a great thing for the NHL to see this and to have a chance to be part of it.

Q. Much has been made about the play of the rookies on this team. Is it surprising to you at all that the number of rookies have made such significant contributions on such a successful team?

COACH ROBINSON: No. No, we are all a team here and everybody has contributed, so I am not surprised that we have had some great contributions from all of our rookies. We have had the kids like Steve Kelly and Steve Brule and had have some in key situations that have provided some great hockey for us. That is how you win championships. It is the contribution from everybody.

Q. Playing against Dallas, obviously it is Modano and Hull, Joe Nieuwendyk obviously is a tremendous player on the second line. Do you think you will see a lot of Joe Nieuwendyk out there?

SCOTT STEVENS: We really haven't talked about that with Larry. I am just assuming that myself and Brian Rafalski playing against the Modano line. We have other good defensemen on this team. We have guys capable of playing. We are not going to worry about the matchups too much, but I think I will be playing against them, but I don't know for sure. We will find out tomorrow. But like I said, we have a lot of good defensemen on this hockey theme that can play the game.

End of FastScripts…

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