June 10, 2002
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Game Four
Q. Brett, can you at this point laugh about one of the big questions going into the season, the age of this team you look at what you and Igor have done and other guys. You guys didn't worry about it all year. I am sure you are not now. Is it comical?
BRETT HULL: No, it's not comical at all. Age in today's game has zero to do with anything. You'd almost rather have a team with at least, you know, a solid mixture of veteran players because it's the way teams played now, don't have to be, you know, swift a foot or super skilled anymore. All you have to do is be very knowledgeable. I think we proved that. We got people that do the right things with the puck. We go to the right places we get into positions where you score goals or sacrifice, you know, your other abilities for the good of the hole. That's the game today. It's not a great big skilled game.
Q. Brendan that goal must have felt very good not only because of its importance but also because things obviously have not been bouncing for you very well?
BRENDAN SHANAHAN: Seems that's the way it's gone and each of the series for me, I have a couple of games where just you know, it is a game of bounces and a game of inches, seems I have got to get teased by hitting some posts or missing some empty nets before I can put one in. But guys on the team are great. They just -- we just kept working and doing our thing and certainly wasn't going to take any short cuts to get a goal. The most important thing for me is that you do whatever you can do on the ice, whatever those other jobs maybe in order to get the win. That's the most important thing to all the these on this team. But certainly I was happy to contribute offensively and I felt I had been playing well through the series, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, so just kept doing the things that I do and drove the net and Sergei laid one in there for me let me skate into it.
Q. The significance of 100 goals considering the era you played in and the teams you played for.
BRETT HULL: Well, I don't know, it's more the people that I guess, that I have joined up there. It's quite a group and I am very proud to be a part of it. I guess there was a time when there was talk that you could never win in the Playoffs with Brett Hull and all of a sudden you win a Cup.
BRENDAN SHANAHAN: Did you just refer to yourself in the third person? (LAUGHTER). That's cool.
BRETT HULL: I am trying to give myself a pat on the back.
BRENDAN SHANAHAN: 100 Playoff goals you can do that.
BRETT HULL: (Laughs) All of a sudden now you have got 100 goals. You look at the people you -- I think it makes people look and maybe think a little bit differently about that, but you know, it doesn't matter, you know, we got one game to win four and that is what we're looking for. If I don't get one or if I got 5 it doesn't matter as long as we win. That's what is the great thing about this team. Like Brendan said, we look for him for more than just goals and the things he gives us are more than goals and more than offense and that's why we're a great team, and will be for longer than one short period of time.
Q. As experienced as you guys are, how big are the next couple of days going to be, how challenging are they going to be with one game from winning the Stanley Cup?
BRENDAN SHANAHAN: Well, I think this is where experience does come to play. I mean, I think the best thing for us to do is find a way to relax and rest the body and rest the mind and then you know, we'll just start preparing for the game. When you are within one game, I think that certainly the excitement is there but you have to bury it and really get focused and you can't think too far ahead. You have to think about all the little jobs that you have done to get there and all the little jobs that are still left to do. I think that that's really where the experience of this team will come into play for the next few days. Because certainly throughout the Playoffs we haven't gotten too high with victories of the we haven't gotten too low with defeats either. We'll keep it pretty level for the next few days.
Q. Brendan, how is this team different with Brett and with Dominik and Luc, the guys you added in the offseason, now that you have got to this point does it feel like a different team?
BRENDAN SHANAHAN: I just think it's added -- it's taken the pressure off, I mean the pressure isn't on any one guy. We really -- I don't think we have a number one line. I think we have got you know, people might say the grind line, that's our mucking line but on many nights they have been our No. 1 line. Our No. 1 line changes from game to game to game. And they have given us that. It's not -- it's not as easy for a team to focus on one line or shut down -- they may shut down one line or shut down a couple of players, but when you can come back at them with a 600-goal scorer on the next line and a 600-goal scorer on the line after that, eventually what's happened in the Playoffs so far is we have worn teams out and we have gotten to them. That's how they have helped. They have really helped our depth and they are good guys.
BRETT HULL: Thanks a lot.
Q. Your physical shape, where are you right now compared to where you were two years ago almost to the day in Buffalo?
BRETT HULL: Oh, 100%. I had no groin or knee -- like I told Scotty Bowman the other day I couldn't have played Game 7 if Buffalo would have beat us in that overtime game. I don't think a couple of other guys could have either. So we're -- personally it's, you know, obviously got bangs and bruises and soreness, but certainly nothing where you are not able to play.
Q. You talked a moment ago about saying you thought you couldn't win, with Brett Hull, win a championship, before the series, in a scrum you talked about how it was quite frankly a struggle for you just to get a free agency contract last summer. Detroit is getting their monies worth right now. Are you surprised in hindsight that it took so long to find the right match?
BRETT HULL: I don't know. I think it's just -- it was a bad circumstance. It took -- I honestly thought I was going to re-sign with Dallas the whole time; then all of a sudden they waited so long to make their decision that they weren't most of the other guys and most of the other teams had already made their decisions on players, and you know, it was basically a money issue or a budgetary issue with the teams that they just either weren't willing or didn't get the okay from ownership to come and talk to us and finally I kept begging Mike to phone Detroit because I had talked to Chelios and Shanny and I just -- it would have been such a great fix or fit and it turned out to be. I feel very fortunate, like more than you could ever imagine, to be in this situation right now and be with that group of guys, when literally in August, I had nowhere to play.
End of FastScripts...