May 11, 2003
OTTAWA, ONTARIO: Practice Day
Q. Was Game 1 as physical as you thought it would be and will Game 2 be more physical?
SCOTT STEVENS: I thought it was physical and clean like Pat said and it's important at the right time, but when you are playing a skilled team and good skating team it is also very important to play well positionally. If the hits aren't there and you go looking for them you are going to create more space and more room for a team that moves the puck very well so you have to be smart at the same time .
Q. What about the Ottawa speed and how the Devils coped with it and with a view to Game 2 any changes in the way you are going to handle them?
SCOTT STEVENS: No. I thought we did a pretty good job. I thought we did pretty well in the one-on-one confrontations with the speed. Played it pretty well. And I thought we got better after the first period. We moved the puck pretty well of our own zone, we saw how they forechecked. I thought overall we did pretty good job.
Q. They had quite a few odd man rushes which we didn't see much, especially in the Tampa series. Was it them doing it or mistakes you guys were making or a combination of the two?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, a little bit of both. We just have to cut down on it. I think we have to make good decisions in the neutral zone. We talked about that and sometimes getting the puck out of their own zone a little cleaner, I thought at times we did very well. The biggest surprise I think was there was a lot of odd-man rushes both ways which is kind of uncharacteristic for both these teams; I think that's probably both teams want to shore up and try to get away from it a bit. Obviously we don't want to be exchanging chances up and down the ice, odd-man rushes. If we can do a better job in that area that should help us out in the game.
Q. Scott Niedermayer, how is your head?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I feel pretty good, I think I was fortunate that the shot went off the back of my helmet, the thickest part of my helmet. I feel pretty good today. Felt pretty good when I got home. Slept well. I feel good this morning.
Q. Scott, Ottawa is 5-and-0 when they got the first goal of the game. You guys are 5-and-0 (inaudible) do you think that as an accurate stat: Whoever scores first has the advantage?
SCOTT STEVENS: It's always nice but I don't think it was a factor last night because the game was 2-2 and basically went into overtime and in overtime the next goal wins, so I think we could have been the team that came out on top also and would have changed things. I think that was just more of a pattern last night, if they would have won the Game 2-0 in regulation then maybe there's something there, but we came back and basically tied the game and from there it was overtime which comes down to one goal.
Q. How much does your team's experience and depth in the Playoffs help you going into Game 2 being down 1-0 in the series?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: Well, I think there's still a long way for both teams to go. I am sure both teams say the same thing, but you got to try and win four games. They have got the first one and it's an important game for us going into Game 2. We realize that. I think we can be a little better in certain areas. I am sure that's how everybody feels. It was the first period probably wasn't our best, we had a lot of time off and it took a little bit maybe to get into the flow of the game, pretty high-paced game. I expect them all to be that way. We adjusted pretty quickly and got things going in the second a bit better.
Q. What is the books on Lalime; what is his weakness and what do you have to do in Game 2 to beat this guy?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, I mean, he doesn't have a lot of weaknesses, he's a good goalie. Obviously I think any good goalie you want to get traffic and try and get second chances and stuff laying around the front of net. He really swallows up that first shot, you know, and doesn't give a lot of rebounds, so I think good quick shots are the best way, if you take the big wind-ups he can get set and get in place, if you catch him part way down with a wrist shot, whatnot, you might have a better chance. Overall I think when you are playing against a top goalie you want to get traffic and see if he's going to have trouble stopping it. That's what we want to do.
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I think, like Scotty said, get the first shot, get guys going to the net. We have been scoring some goals that way in the Playoffs by getting rebounds and having guys in front of the net, that's the way you want to do it. Everybody says the same thing but when you are playing a good goalie like Scotty said, that's one of the easier ways to beat him on the second shots, once he's committed to the first one you get guys in there banging away at the puck.
SCOTT STEVENS: I think last night we missed a lot of -- just missed the net on a lot of opportunities which you just can't do that. You got to make him stop the puck. I think we shot a lot of pucks wide and missed on a couple of 2-on-1s and we need to do a better job in that area. I don't know if it was from the layoff but we can try to be better in that area and in the next game, make sure we get the shots on net and we got some point-blankers that we missed the net by a margin.
Q. Scott, there was a little scrum you had with Havlat last night. Did you send any little message in that?
SCOTT STEVENS: It was just more the time of the game than the score that that thing started out basically. Just trying to get things going a little bit and get him off his game end of the period, that's all that was. Obviously he's a good player and when you can play physical on him you want to play physical. But like I said before, I think hitting is important, but you know, I think you can make some really good plays by playing good positionally and intercept passes because they really look to move the puck around and that's important. When the hit is there, it's there. With a good hockey club you just can't open up more ice for them. We have to do it at right time and be smart.
Q. Scott Niedermayer, were the goaltenders left alone more than normal, less bumping there than normal?
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I don't know. I guess they are a team that likes to control the puck, so maybe that's a little different approach than maybe some teams we have played in the last couple of rounds, but you know, I don't know. I think we want to get traffic. I don't know what their game plan is. I am sure they will say similar things, everybody does, but we want to get guys in front of the net and that doesn't mean necessarily bumping into the goalie but being right in front of him so he can't see the puck or maybe get out on an angle to stop it.
Q. How you guys are spending this day back in Jersey working out at all and for both players, what is good about going home for these two days rather than staying here, or is it good?
SCOTT STEVENS: I think it will be a long couple of days, I think you keep yourself busy you keep your mind off certain distractions, it's definitely nice to be home, and sleep in your own bed and get back at it tomorrow. So I think this will definitely help us and it's all worked out very well.
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: I would agree with that, it is nice to be home. Who wouldn't want to be home.
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