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May 31, 2000

Scott Stevens


Q. Scott, after such a dominating performance in Game 1, how satisfied are you guys with your play?

SCOTT STEVENS: Well, obviously we had a good game, but I think Dallas was a little flat, and obviously we think we made a few mistakes, and hopefully we are going to learn from our mistakes and be even better, because I expect Dallas to do better the next game.

Q. Eddie Belfour said the only reason you scored on him last night is because he was on drugs. How does that make you feel?

SCOTT STEVENS: That is all right. That is all right. I hope it was something, because it wasn't that hard a shot, but -- that is fine. I mean, you never know when you put the puck in the net that is bottom line, so.....

Q. Do you take a little bit of pride in the fact that this team was able to generate that much offense, because I think the sort of stereotypical view of the Devils that they are this choking defensive hockey team, and yet you do have guys who can generate the offense. There must be some pride there.

SCOTT STEVENS: People are just finding that out now, I guess. But that line has been doing it all year. Even the previous year they have been pretty dominant and scoring a lot of goals and making a lot of beautiful plays. A lot of the goals they score are highlight goals, so it doesn't surprise me. But I am a little surprised people don't see. That we are a pretty good skating team, and we are not a stationary team. We move, and I think we are puck-pressure team, and we try to create turnovers and do a good job in the forecheck.

Q. Probably got asked the question about the physical nature a thousand times and about all the hits. Last night you had more goals than hits. What was that all about?

SCOTT STEVENS: Every game is different; every team is different, and you got to play smart. And Modano and Hull and those guys, they know they have their heads up all the time watching. You have got to be careful knocking yourself out of position. Every game is different and, you know, bottom line is winning and try to keep them off the board. But every line is different, and you got to be smart and got to play within yourself. That game was more positional game. There wasn't a lot of hits for -- I don't think there was a lot of hits either way. It was more of a skating game and checking game.

Q. Every time that they have had a bad game, they have come back the next game significantly more physical. Are you braced for that as a team?

SCOTT STEVENS: Oh, yeah, I expect a lot more from them next game, and that should make us that much better and more prepared also, because we have to come out hard and go right after them and put them back on their heels. It is a very important game for our team.

Q. Last night your ice time was limited significantly. Niedermayer, for instance, had ten minutes more than you did. Does that affect your game at all? It appeared you were assigned to one guy to watch, Modano, and just skate when he skated.

SCOTT STEVENS: No. They played a fair bit early, and then their ice time was cut back a lot. I am not sure why. Then for the last 6 minutes I was just -- I just I didn't go on the ice. That is basically the reason why. But hopefully that is going to help me for the next game. And if I am called upon to play 26 or 30 minutes the next game, then I will be more beneficial to me then.

Q. They are going to have to change something whether it is just the intensity or whatever, obviously. Is this team going to change anything? Do you expect to change anything?

SCOTT STEVENS: We haven't had a meeting yet but I am sure we can see a few things that we need to work on and just tweak things a little bit. But overall we want to obviously try to do the same thing. But we realize it is not going to be that easy. We are going to have to have a better game also and bottom line is coming out hard on the first period establishing our game right from the start again.

Q. Again along the lines of offense, but a couple of the people on the Dallas team were saying they think you are probably the best transition team in the NHL League; someone that is greatly underrated. Can you talk about why it worked so well last night?

SCOTT STEVENS: Transition, I guess, obviously forces the other team to make turnovers in certain areas; whether it is at our blue line or at theirs. Then the team countering from there trying to get the odd-man rush. That is where you get the transition game. Then we have people that are pretty creative from the blue line in and I think that is what they are talking about, that is the style, but I mean, also we are smart at times. We don't have an odd-man rush or we don't have the play, we want to get the puck in deep and go from there. You got to take whatever they give you. If it's odd-man rush, you take it. If nothing, then go in deep from there.

Q. I know you don't want man-to-man a lot, but who do you think of more when you are out there, Modano or Hull?

SCOTT STEVENS: Seemed like Modano came down the other side more last night and Hull was on my side more. But actually I am trying to be aware of both of them because they look to each other obviously to generate scoring chances and they look to each other for the passing lanes. So it seemed like last night, though, Modano was taking every shot he had and Hull was just driving to the net. That may change. They may start passing; looking for each other a little bit more. No question, they look for each other, I am definitely aware of both of them just as much.

Q. The way you guys beat them last night pretty easily, do you expect tomorrow to be their most desperate and aggressive effort of the Playoffs? If so, how do you prepare for them just coming out and most likely what they are going to do is really attack the net?

SCOTT STEVENS: I think we got to answer back the same way come out hard and establish our game and put them back on their heels and initiate, I think. We don't want to be standing around watching them seeing what they want to do. I think we have to keep going the same way and, like I say, get on top of them early and get the puck in deep and go after them and match their intensity.

Q. Scott, given that hitting is such a part of the game, it seems that every series coaches try to single you out perhaps to bring you to the attention of the referees. Do you respond to that? Do you think that that is an unfair tactic?

SCOTT STEVENS: They are all poised at this time of year, that is the bottom line. If you are in every locker room before a game, whether it is regular season or Playoffs, one of the things that is going on on the board, finishing checks and hitting key people. That is Playoff hockey. Every team has those players and they want to get all 26 of them doing that. That definitely wins hockey games.

End of FastScripts….

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