May 29, 2000
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Practice Day
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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