May 26, 2001
DENVER, COLORADO: Game One
Q. Joe, if you could comment; why you think you were so effective playing against
JOE SAKIC: I don't know. I think obviously they weren't at their best and we came out
ready to play. We had our legs, the line was moving and moving the puck and I think the
key is real effective in the neutral zone, when you try and make things too cute, and we
tried to use their speed wide and we had some opportunities.
Q. Joe, was there a conscious effort made to take the game to them right from the
start, get them back on their heals?
JOE SAKIC: We were excited before the game. We really prepared ourselves pretty well
this week and I mean, you have to take the play to them. They have got a great hockey
team, if you let them come to you, then they are going to do some damage. Everybody had
their legs, it was total team effort, everybody made the smart plays, Patty made some huge
saves, it was a total team effort tonight and obviously next game is a huge game. We know
we saw them probably play one of their worse games in the Playoff, we expect that they are
going to be a lot better next game.
Q. Chris, was that pass from Hinote almost Forsberg-like, the way it came to you?
CHRIS DRURY: That was a great pass. It was an all-around pretty good play, Klemm made a
great dump, Nieminen was in there, a little cycle, gives it to Hinote, he makes a great
pass. I caught a break. I think it hit someone's knee, it went in. But those two guys
really made the play.
Q. Do you kind of wish you were playing Monday two, days off, you guys are playing so
well, keep the momentum rolling?
JOE SAKIC: It is always good to have a couple of days off this time of year. A lot of
guys have bumps and bruises and the more time the better.
Q. Chris, your line played really well tonight. Do you feel you have been building up
to that over the last few games?
CHRIS DRURY: Yeah, before the series, Game 5, I thought it was our lines' best night in
that series. The more we play together, I think the better we feel together. I think we
will keep getting better and, keep doing little things good, keep it simple, we are not
too flashy and just keep things simple.
Q. You have mentioned a couple of times already that New Jersey wasn't on their game
tonight, but if you play like that, can the Avalanche be beat?
JOE SAKIC: Hopefully not. I mean, we know they are going to be better and we have to
keep doing the same things. I think the key for our team like I mentioned is neutral zone
play against that team. Like I said, they are so good at their transition, they have a lot
of speed and a lot of scorers up front that can capitalize. We watched the tapes of
Pittsburgh and I mean ,Pittsburgh turned the puck over a lot and let them skate and if we
can keep doing the simple plays and get it behind their "D" and not let them use
their transition, hopefully we will be well off.
Q. Are you surprised they didn't try and get Holik out against you more, go through, do
more to try and get him out more?
JOE SAKIC: Not really. Maybe they will now try and get him out against our line, but
obviously they are on the road. I think as any team when you are on the road you don't
want to be mixing or trying to change your lines all the time. It disrupts your flow. The
other lines that they have, I mean, all their lines can play well defensively.
Q. You scored two lovely goals tonight. Go back and review both of them.
JOE SAKIC: First one I had some good speed going down on the right side. Milan stepped
up, Blakey made a great pass to him. He just got it over to me where I was able to just
keep my speed. I just went wide. I tried to go far side and kind of missed it, but
fortunately went 5 hole and the other one I was really looking to see Alex and look for
the pass and he just went to the net and I really don't know what happened, I was going to
shoot, and I saw him go down, Stevens, I just went to the middle and just waited it out
and obviously Brodeur, he didn't see that shot.
Q. On the first goal again it almost liked like Milan, it was like a no-look pass, he
barely looked at you when he whirled around and through that pass. What kind of
understanding do you have in those situations? Did he see you?
JOE SAKIC: When you play with the guys for a couple of years you tend to know where one
another is going to be. Don't worry I was yelling for that puck, so he knew I was there.
Q. Joe, you played a terrific game in Game 1 against St. Louis, really kind of set a
tone in that series. Was it important for you as well here to do the same?
JOE SAKIC: It was important I mean for everybody to have a good game, try and get off
to a big win. We have home-ice advantage, the one thing you want to do is get off to a
good start and try and set the tone and try and get that first win, especially at home. We
did that, hopefully we can do the same thing in Game 2.
Q. Joe you mentioned you watched the Pittsburgh tapes. I assumed you watched them in
the Playoffs. Toronto hit them a lot. How much is the game plan just physically hitting
them; not letting them --
JOE SAKIC: I mean, we watched the other series and we saw what Toronto did and what
they tried to do. It was totally different from Pittsburgh. Toronto used their speed and
just tried to get in -- get a good forecheck and crash the net. That's something you
didn't see with Pittsburgh, so yeah, we definitely wanted to try and play the same way
Toronto did. I mean, it's only one game, we know they are going to be a lot better. It is
not going to get any easier, but we just want to keep trying and play the same way.
End of FastScripts