May 15, 2002
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Practice Day
Q. Mats, what's your situation now for tomorrow?
MATS SUNDIN: I don't know. I guess we are going to have a look at it again tomorrow morning. I have not talked to the doctors, but, yeah, I'm feeling better every day that's gone by.
Q. If you had to rate percentage-wise tomorrow night, 50 percent or 80 percent?
MATS SUNDIN: I don't know, we'll have to see tomorrow morning.
Q. There must be a sense of optimism, knowing there were a few guys that were injured during the regular season, as well?
MATS SUNDIN: You look at the way the team has been playing these two series, it's been amazing to watch the effort and the type of hockey we have been playing and the adversity we have gone through. It's been a great job by all of the players that have been playing so far, and the injured guys obviously wants to be a part of what's going on and you want to be out there playing. So the guys that are hurt are obviously doing their best to get healthy.
Q. Travis, what do you guys know about this Hurricane team?
TRAVIS GREEN: Well, I think whenever we've had days off, we've watched their games. Obviously, a real hard-working team, and looks like they have got four lines that are playing really good. Obviously, the BBC line is really rolling, and I think they play a lot like us. They try to work hard for 60 minutes and limit your chances.
Q. Curtis, a lot of people are amazed that you guys have gotten through this round with the injuries you've had. When you sit back there on goal and see some of the guys on ice that are contributing, are you amazed?
CURTIS JOSEPH: Well, it seems like we have gone through a lot of adversity, no question. We've been able to come through with guys coming in and playing real solid and trying to play mistake-free hockey. The other night, we got some big goals from Alex, and that's just been the way it's been going. Just every time it looks like we are down, we come up with a big game.
Q. Anything learned by what happened in Game 1 versus the Senators?
CURTIS JOSEPH: I think you are always learning, always learning about your team. I think we did learn a few things, and for sure, we came off a tough series in the first round. Maybe we were not quite ready for the first game against Ottawa. So, yeah, a lesson learned, hopefully.
Q. Can you talk a little about how Bryan McCabe has blossomed as a defenseman in front of you, not just from the defensive side, but offensively, too? It seems since he came to Toronto last year he has made great strides in his game.
CURTIS JOSEPH: No question. He has all the tools to be as good as he wants to be, defensively and offensively. Big, strong guy who can skate, and shoot the puck, and he's been great. Loves to play and very passionate about the game. Not too many faults in his game. Sometimes he tries too hard like the rest of us, but that's a good thing.
Q. With all of the guys out of the lineup, even with a lot of new defensemen, Game 6, third period only four shots allowed; last night one shot in the second period, these guys defensively have really tightened up as the series went on?
CURTIS JOSEPH: No question. We are really battling for the puck and the centermen are really coming down and battling for the puck on our end. Attention to detail, I think, and battling along the boards. The guys who have stepped in defensively have really played well and really battled hard and really want to play.
Q. Where does the faceoff game rank in all of this grand scheme of things? How important is that in this series?
TRAVIS GREEN: Well, it's a small part, a little thing, but all of the little things amount up to big things. Obviously, they have got a couple of guys that are very strong on the draws, and two of the best are Brind'Amour and Francis. So it will definitely be a challenge.
Q. Just looking back to your Islander days, playing with Bryan McCabe, can you just talk about the changes you noticed in his game?
TRAVIS GREEN: Well, I think even when he came into the league, you saw that he was going to be a great player. He was young, made some mistakes. Like Curtis said, has always tried maybe a little too hard even then and tried to do things he shouldn't do. Now, I mean he's really a complete package for a defenseman. He can play in about every situation. He's a workhorse. He can play as many minutes as you need, and he's matured a lot as a person, too. He brings a lot of stuff off the ice, too, that's very valuable to the team.
Q. What kind of things are those?
TRAVIS GREEN: He's a real leader now in the room. He works as hard as anyone off the ice. You know, he's very passionate about the game and it rubs off on everyone.
Q. How do you prevent as a team what happened in Game 1 of the last series?
TRAVIS GREEN: Well, you learn. Probably shouldn't take 12 penalties. Just learn, learn every series. You've got to learn from your mistakes and we definitely didn't have a very good game. So we'd better be better tomorrow or we won't have a very good result.
Q. Would you be sitting here today if it was not for Gary Roberts' play?
CURTIS JOSEPH: Gary, yeah, he's really played extremely well. He has seemed to get big goals when we needed them and be very physical. I think that play has been contagious for our whole team.
Q. Pat Quinn said last night that in '99 when you made the Final Four, there was a feeling of just happy to be here; and now you've had that experience and jump into this one, maybe there is more of a killer instinct in that regard --
CURTIS JOSEPH: I think like Travis touched upon, we've had some adversity that we have learned from. I think that's been good for our hockey club. We haven't played great all the time, which might be a blessing in some respect, and it's built character through our team. We know that each round gets even more difficult. So we're going to need some bodies back and contributions from everybody .
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