June 9, 2003
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Game Seven
Q. The obvious question is, did you have any words with Bylsma, going through the line shaking hands?
SCOTT STEVENS: No, nothing at all, just congratulating them, playing great. I give them a lot of credit. They never quit and they made it very difficult for us.
Q. Can you sort of characterize your emotions, you've been through this before, what it means to you, and also, can you talk a bit about Pat Burns, he said that people had given up on him and he was a coach from a different era and his time had come and gone. Can you talk about what this says about him?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, he's an old-style coach. He demands a lot from us and kept us on an even keel here. At the start of the year we were not sure what we had after we lost some players. Pat came in and made sure we were ready for every game. We never got too high or too low and we never had any bad losing streaks. He deserves a lot of credit. He kept us going. He pushed us. He hates to lose, loves to win, and you know what, that's what you need these days. He's been a great coach.
Q. And the emotions of this, are you at the top of the hockey world?
SCOTT STEVENS: This is so hard to win, and I never would have thought this would have happened again, but we started at the year and we built and worked hard as a team and we've got a lot of character and guys worked hard together. All year we found a way to win. It was never easy for us to win all the games we won; we had 108 points, but all of those were close games and hard-fought games. Once again, we found a way to win and we found a way to win this last game of the year.
Q. When you got the Cup, it looked like you said, "where's Niedermayer" and you did end up giving it to him; is that what you were doing?
SCOTT STEVENS: There's so many guys I would have liked to have given it to first. During the game it was just about Scott, the ice time he logged and I thought he was key in this win and he's played well in the whole series. I wanted him to have the Cup. I wanted Kenny to have it but he got it third. I really wanted Scott Niedermayer to have that Cup next.
Q. Talk about Mike Rupp's play and getting the game winner?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, he's a big guy. He's got great hands in front of the net. That's where he gets a lot of his goals with his reach and his strength and his size. It was not easy for him to come in here and do what he had to do. He had not played for a long time but he gave us a good boost when we needed it, especially with Joe Nieuwendyk out.
Q. The memory of 2001 lingers for a lot of guys who were there at the time; does it still linger for you going into this game?
SCOTT STEVENS: I think it lingered more for the guys that had never won a Cup. Not that it's easy to lose a game like that, but I guess I had won a Cup, but I felt for guys like Turner Stevenson, that wanted the Cup bad. It was tough for everybody but even tougher for them. This really puts that in the past now, obviously.
Q. Can you talk about the role John Madden plays in this hockey team, replaced Bobby Holik at the start of the year, he gets a defensive label, but he's good on offense, too?
SCOTT STEVENS: Yeah, he's great offense. He can play any position, he can probably play powerplay for half the teams in this league and kill penalties. He's a smart player, tenacious player, comes to work and really developed into a big leader for this hockey club. When he came at the start, he came in; he was a bit cocky and this and that, but he came into this club and he's been a big leader for us.
Q. Talk about Jeff Friesen's effort in the playoffs and did you ever envision that he could be the type of big-game player that he's been so far this year?
SCOTT STEVENS: You know it's a learning process for Jeff, but he's come in here and played very well for us all year. He's played the system and bought into the system. I think he came from a wide-open conference and he came in here and it's a little different in the East. He might have sacrificed some points, but you get championships and win games and he scored a lot of goals for us in the playoffs.
Q. Can you talk about Brodeur, you've played with him your whole career, you've seen him now win three Stanley Cups. Talk about his poise in big games and ability to make saves at the right times?
SCOTT STEVENS: That's it, his poise, and nothing bothers him. If we have a bad game as a team or things don't go well for him, you know as a team that he'll be back in the next game. It's not something to worry about as a team. People were saying in the last two games that he has to be better and I knew Marty was going to be better tonight. He's a guy that you know will bounce back from anything that goes bad. He can get his mind back on focus and get the job done. But a lot of goalies, it will be difficult for them to get out of that funk if they have a bad stretch or whatnot. He's been a big part for us, in the playoffs and all of the Cups we've won.
Q. Getting a Cup under a third coach, how has it been different with Pat Burns, both through the season and this Cup run?
SCOTT STEVENS: He's a character. He's an old-style coach. He hates to lose and I'm much the same way, so I like his style. He has his ideas and his beliefs and we basically -- everything was routine. We just did the same -- everything was the same thing. We never changed our style, just tried to get people to buy into the system and throughout the season and get better at it and that's all it is. It's great to see him finally get a win, win the Stanley Cup because he's done a great job for this hockey club.
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