May 31, 2000
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Practice Day
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
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