May 11, 2001
DENVER, COLORADO: Practice Day
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Patrick, can you talk a bit about the Blues, what you've seen?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I mean, it's a team that they made a lot of change towards the end, plus all year every time seems like when we played them, they had a lot of injuries. I'm sure we're going to see a much different team tomorrow that we saw in the regular season. They played -- I saw just a couple games they play against Dallas. Seems to me they play extremely well. You know, with Tkachuk in the lineup, Milan , Drake, Stillman, I mean, that brought a lot of depth to their offense. With Pronger and MacInnis behind, they certainly going to be a good challenge for us.
Q. Adam, when you look at that team, do you see kind of a reflection of your team? They have some big, physical defensemen.
ADAM FOOTE: Yeah, they've got strong D. They play well together. You know, Pronger and MacInnis log a lot of ice. You know, like Patty said, I think the main thing they did was make some changes up front. They have a lot of depth now, they've got grit. If you look at all four lines, they've got a gritty player that's going to try to stir it up, get in your face. We just have to be aware of that and stay focused and stay on our game.
Q. Adam, how tough is it to keep a guy like Tkachuk from banging away?
ADAM FOOTE: Well, he's a bull. He's a strong powerful forward, for sure. I think you just have to maintain good body position with a guy like that. Sometimes you might be on the top of a battle with him, you might have him. Other times when he's going, have you to be smart. You can't try to out strike them at certain situations. He's strong on that puck. Just be sharp, have good containment.
Q. Joe, you said yesterday that you had no choice but to adjust, move on without Peter. Everybody in the room knows that everybody needs to contribute. You have a lot of talent in that room that hasn't scored in the playoffs.
JOE SAKIC: As a team, you know, we know we have to come together and definitely play our best series. St. Louis, they're hot right now. They've been playing real well. They're all healthy. For us, I mean, we have to be at the top of our game. Yeah, everybody has to collectively step up and play well as a team, do the things we need to do to win the games.
Q. Joe, do you feel like they're probably going to keep you now that Peter is out?
JOE SAKIC: Well, I'm sure, I mean, our line's going to be checked out there. That's a team that plays -- has a lot of backside pressure. They play real well in their defensive zone. I mean, you're going to have to fight your way and find some room out there.
Q. Joe, Drury moving into the center spot, he has a knack for producing in key situations. Can you talk about that talent level?
JOE SAKIC: Chris, he loves playing center. I mean, that's his natural position. So it's going to be a very easy adjustment for him. Yeah, he's had a tremendous, tremendous career, especially in the playoffs. You know, you'll probably see the same from him. He's really developed into a great, great player.
Q. Are you guys going to have any strategy against Turek, not going into details? Is there a certain way you're going to try to beat him?
JOE SAKIC: I think offensively, for us, we really have to go to the net hard. I mean, throughout the playoffs, goaltenders are tough to beat when they see the puck. Any goalie, you're going to have to get traffic and throw a lot of pucks at him.
Q. Patrick, what were your impressions of Roman Turek just from watching him from afar? He's faced a lot of criticism. What have you thought of him?
PATRICK ROY: I didn't see much of their games. But from what I saw, he played very well for them. He came forward. He was outstanding in that first period. I totally agree with Joe. I mean, in playoffs, if we see the shots, it's a lot easier for us. Traffic will be a big key for us.
Q. You played really well last two or three games. Do you feel you're moving well, you're playing as well as it appears you're playing?
PATRICK ROY: I felt very good. I honestly could say other than the first game of the series against LA, since then, I mean, I'm very happy the way things went for me.
Q. Can you comment on your award nominations, Joe?
JOE SAKIC: Yeah, Johnny Martineau told me this morning. It's a great honor to be up there with those guys on those awards. You know, other than that, I mean, really this time of year, those aren't things you're focusing on. It is an honor to be nominated for those.
Q. Everybody talked about you being a nominee for the heart trophy. The Lady Byng, was that, Selke, was that a surprise?
JOE SAKIC: Especially the Selke, I'm not going to lie to you about that (laughter). Like I said, it's a great honor to be up for those awards, be mentioned with those type of players.
Q. Do you expect to be able to take more face-offs tomorrow?
JOE SAKIC: We'll see. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Like I said, it's progressed. Really, it's going to come down to what the coaches and the doctors say. If you can win some.
Q. Was the shoulder feeling better in game seven? Has it been a progressive healing thing?
JOE SAKIC: Yeah, it really was. A big difference from game six, that's for sure.
Q. Pat, did you think the long layoff before the first game with LA affected your play and are you wondering if their long layoff will make them a little rusty tomorrow?
PATRICK ROY: I'm not sure. I don't like to use excuses like that. I think when we played our first game against LA, I mean, we didn't expect to see them play the way they did. But I'm sure tomorrow the Blues will be ready for us. They know where they are. Four wins to the big dance. (Coach Hartley joins press conference.)
Q. Can you talk about putting Eric on the second line?
COACH HARTLEY: You're going to see like different line combination. Nothing is set in stone on the line combination. I think we still have time. We've been very busy in the past days, like preparing the team, especially yesterday, preparing the team for St. Louis. Line combinations, I think we have some nice options ahead of us. You know, it's just a matter of performance. I think, you know, we're going to look at how we start tomorrow afternoon's game. We're going to go from there.
Q. Does it make your job easier having a guy as versatile as Chris Drury in the lineup?
COACH HARTLEY: We have lots of those guys, Stefan Reinprecht, can give us some ice time at center, on the wing. Eric Messier can play basically the three positions. Dave Reid can play the three positions. Ville Nieminen can go left or right. We have some good options out there. It's just a matter of, you know, looking at how we're going to start the game, how the game will go, then we'll make adjustments.
Q. You look at the emotions in game seven, the way your team came out. Now that you've had a couple of days, how tough is it to carry that over to start another series?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, I really like our situation. You know, I look at past fact, that we have one game played in the last five days. I think that's a good rest. We can take definitely advantage of this. You know, I look at the situation with Joe Sakic, he feels much better right now. That's very positive news for us. You know, I look at the practice time that we had, like we had good practices. Before game seven we had an excellent practice. This morning we had an excellent practice. I think that I like the situation where our team is right now.
Q. Can you comment with Patrick's play?
COACH HARTLEY: Patrick is playing right now like a Conn Smythe winner. You know, there's no other definition than this for how Patrick is playing right now. Like he's outstanding, he's focused, he's on the puck. He's giving us a chance to win every game.
Q. Do you have any idea yet who you might match up Sakic's line against?
COACH HARTLEY: You look at the St. Louis Blues lineup, they're very healthy, they're very deep. They're so deep that I wouldn't even be surprised to see like Brent Johnson get a start at net. Like here's a team with lots of nice options. You know, like basically they have no weaknesses.
Q. Would you like to see a guy like Adam Foote match-up against Tkachuk?
COACH HARTLEY: We'll have to wait and see until the puck drops tomorrow. You can't go too far ahead.
Q. This may have been overshadowed by the season that Joe has had. Can we underestimate the importance of Peter Forsberg? How good he is? Some people say he might be the best forward in the NHL.
COACH HARTLEY: We address like the Peter Forsberg issue tomorrow. The more that we talk about Peter Forsberg, you guys will write that we make Peter Forsberg like an excuse. We addressed it yesterday. For us, like we're going to talk about Peter Forsberg at training camp in Sweden next year.
Q. Can you comment on Joe Sakic's award nominations?
COACH HARTLEY: You know, I hope that he just doesn't get the nomination; I hope he gets the trophy. You know, like in my book, you know, there's Joe and the others. I don't want to take anything away from the other guys that will get nominated, like Joe Sakic carried this team all year from game 1 to game 82. So far in the playoff, you know, he's proved that, you know, he's quite a competitor to play with a shoulder injury. He came back; he was a very big part of our win in game seven.
Q. Ray Bourque was very surprised to be nominated for the Norris. Were you surprised?
COACH HARTLEY: Not at all. You know, you have to look at Ray Bourque, like, obviously from a standpoint of what he brings on the ice to us. Also like his poise, his composure, he's demeanor around, like, the young players on the team. That's so important for us. Like he's such a valued part of our hockey club and obviously our organization. I think that, you know, Ray Bourque deserves to be nominated.
Q. Can you talk about Drury's performance in the playoffs and how things might change for him now being the center?
COACH HARTLEY: He's going to have lots of responsibilities. Again, you might see Chris Drury at center, you might see him on the wing. One thing is certain, you're going to see a lot of Chris Drury. Chris is a great competitor. He feeds on competing; like he loves to compete; like he loves the challenges. You know, here's a guy that always finds a way to come up big in big games. You know, like at this time of the year, there's no small games; they're all big. Chris Drury will step up and we'll have a great round against St. Louis. Thank you very much. Have a good day.
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