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June 4, 2000

Ken Daneyko

Scott Stevens

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. Scott, before the series started, a lot of people assumed that whichever team came out of the West would be the dominant team and it would take a real upset by the Devils to win this series. Why has it been the opposite? Did you ever think that?

SCOTT STEVENS: Well, no, but I mean, we don't see a lot of the West, and that could be the reason why. They don't see a lot of us. I think we are both good hockey teams and we are both similar, and that is why we are in the Finals.

Q. Both Scott and Kenny, based on last night's game, what do you anticipate in terms of the next game, and how do you want to play the Stars to win it?

KEN DANEYKO: Well, obviously they are going to come out very strong like they did in Game 2 in Jersey, and we are hoping to play more of the same; play a good smart game, not try to do too much. At times, after winning a game, we get away from what made us successful, and we are going to focus on doing the little things, everybody doing what they are capable of, and not doing more. Sometimes when you try to do too much, it can hurt your team. The old saying "Less is more" at times. Hopefully we just continue to work hard. That is why we won yesterday. We worked real hard.

SCOTT STEVENS: Obviously, we know they rebound well, and we want to make sure that we rebound with the same type of effort we had in Game 3, because it works, and we know it works. We just got to make sure we are consistent and do that the next game, keep it simple, play a team game, get the puck in deep, and play a good, smart, patient game.

Q. How have you guys effectively -- it seems too many people have reduced Dallas to a one-line team.

SCOTT STEVENS: Well, I don't see them as that myself. But they have some dangerous people. They have obviously the one line stacked pretty good. Then you have got Nieuwendyk. He is a pure shooter. He's a guy you have to be aware of: Good speed and can score goals. You got to play close to the vest with him, because he's a player that can, like I said, can score goals. We know what he did last year in the Playoffs. So I don't see them as a one-line team. And they have a lot of people that can score goals, and they have some pretty good -- their third and fourth line do a good job checking or pitching in here and there.

Q. What was the mindset coming into the series in terms of trying to stop Modano/Hull line or really cut down on the other lines? How have you guys done that, and what was mindset on your approach?

KEN DANEYKO: Obviously, with Hull and Modano, you know they are going to get their opportunities and probably get some of their goals. And you just try to limit their chances to as minimal as possible, because we know they are two of the best hockey players in the League. But they have a lot of experienced guys that have been in the Stanley Cups before; have won Stanley Cups: Mike Keane, Carbonneau, Kirk Muller, all these guys chipped in and produced throughout their careers. We are not underestimating any line. I mean, whoever we go out against, it is similar for us. Obviously, you got Scotty and -- matched up against the top line, a lot of the time, and they are doing a good job, but they are going to get their chances. But the other guys, if you forget to do your job, you will find yourself losing hockey games. We know how good they are. Especially Stanley Cup Champs. You don't underestimate any line at all.

Q. Can you share with me something -- we kind of haven't heard about Larry Robinson and what the job he has done so far in this postseason. Maybe an anecdote or a thought, just because it just -- he seems, looking from afar that is, all the buttons he pushes seems to be working.

SCOTT STEVENS: Well, it just seems everything Larry says is bang on, and everything he says, you think: Gee, he is right on. And when you see that and believe what he says, and you want to go out there and do it, I think that is the biggest reason. Like I said, he knows the game, and he is a very good talker. Usually seems to be quiet guy, but I have never had him as head coach. I never realized he spoke that well and spoke from the heart, and just basically let's us know how he feels and what he feels will make us win hockey games.

KEN DANEYKO: I mean, he is obviously very well respected in our locker room, and not just because of his credentials in Stanley Cups and that. But he speaks from the heart. He just doesn't speak to hear himself talk. Going through experience sometimes, I have been through a lot of coaches, and sometimes coaches rant, rave, or talk too. And it goes in one ear or out the other, unfortunately, for players. But when Larry speaks, we listen and respect what he has to say. Even if it's not the kindest words to us, we understand it is because he wants to win and he's trying to teach us the appropriate way to go about it, because he has won so many times.

Q. Has Dallas' age and lack of speed, compared to this team, been the biggest factor so far in this series?

SCOTT STEVENS: I don't think so. It is only two games to one, and every game has been tight except for the first game. I mean, they have a lot of speed, I believe, especially with, like, you got Modano and Lehtinen are fast. Nieuwendyk has got speed. Then you got the Sloans and the Sims -- Hull is no slouch. Maybe a lot of their speed is more on one or two lines. It is not really spread out over the team, and that is all I can see. But I still feel they are a fast team.

KEN DANEYKO: Everybody is fast to me because people been telling me for five years I am slow, so I think they are plenty fast, but just doing the best job I can. (laughs)

Q. Before the series, there was a lot of talk with regard to Dallas and their feeling that they really didn't get the national acclaim for winning the Championship. Kind of a lack of respect. With that said, do you guys feel that you never really got your due coming into the Final for what you had accomplished and your closeness to being ready to win?

KEN DANEYKO: Any time you come to a Stanley Cup Final, your team should be respected. But, you know, that is not really our focus with this hockey club. It is about winning, about our team, and the guys in the locker room. We are not too concerned with who respect us or who doesn't. We just worry about the end result, and trying to come out with the Stanley Cup. We know how difficult it is. And in due time, if you do the right things and work hard together, you are going to get it. But it is out of our hands to worry about what people think or say. The West, rightfully so, has probably been the favorite for the most part this year and all the other years because they have won the Cup the last -- how many years in a row? Four, five. The East maybe takes a little bit of a back seat to them right now, and we are trying to change that, I guess.

Q. Do either of you believe that through three games in this series you have seen the best of the Dallas Stars, or do you still think that that is to come in this series?

SCOTT STEVENS: That is a good question, but I think you got to expect better every game from your opposition, and that will make you better. I don't really know. They played pretty well in the second game. And I thought we still had a chance to win, but I thought that was their better game of the three. I expect them to come out harder in Game 4 and play even better.

KEN DANEYKO: I think as a team we always have to expect, no matter who you are playing, and obviously the defending champs, that they are going to be at their best each night. We prepare our team for the way we play. And if we stick to close-to-the-vest kind of hockey game we play, we feel we have a shot of winning and not worrying too much how the other team plays. We are always expecting them to be at their best. We know they have gone through it before, and we have to be mentally prepared every night or we are not going to win.

Q. Ken, wondering if you could talk to the emergence of Jason Arnott in this series? Talk about his evolution over the last two years to what is clearly a high-level player in the NHL?

KEN DANEYKO: Jason's been unbelievable for us obviously throughout the Playoffs, especially late in the season. I mean, came in with Edmonton, had a great rookie season. And for some reason, I grew up in Edmonton and I heard from my brothers and family as well that he fell out of favor there somehow with the fans. Sometimes it is just the pressure of being such a high pick and trying to carry the load. I think maybe -- (inaudible). When he came to New Jersey, we knew what they were getting: A big, strong power forward. And even took him some time to adjust with our hockey club. But mostly, what mostly impressed me about him, he's really started to take on a leadership role in the locker room, and especially the last two months he's wanted to be the go-to-guy. And I think to be an elite hockey player in this League, you have to have that cocky attitude in a good way. And Jason has finally come to the forefront. He is such a big, strong, powerful man and starting to use it along with his ability.

Q. You talk about the system you guys play, sticking with it, making it happen. Can you talk about making the system stick even when things aren't going your way, like early last night when you were behind the eight ball, powerplay was against you; five on three, yet you guys maintained it throughout the whole game. Eventually, as the plan should go, you guys came out on top.

SCOTT STEVENS: There is no question that it is important to follow your game plan right through and not get frustrated or discouraged. That is a big part of the Playoffs, and winning in the Playoffs is being able to stick to your game plan and not alter it because of what the other team is doing or if you are getting behind the eight ball with penalties, stuff like that. Bottom line is you have got to go back to your same game, keep playing it throughout, and hopefully the end result there will be there by sticking it through your system and sticking it for 60 minutes.

KEN DANEYKO: We are trying to play the type of game that Larry wants us to play. And if the end result is a win, that is fantastic. Sometimes it is not going to work out your way. But as long as we play the way he wants us to play, and we certainly don't want to flirt with danger like we did yesterday, going down 1-0 and having to kill off a 5-on-3. Obviously, we got the job done. And that was the turning point. But if we fall down 2-nothing, the game is going to be pretty tough to come back from. Hopefully, we won't get into that situation too often.

End of FastScripts...

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