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June 4, 2000

Patrik Elias

Petr Sykora

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. If you could, just talk about playing Larry's system even when things aren't going well, like last night down 1-nothing, 5-on-3, Dallas had the momentum, yet you are still able to do what Larry wants you to do and you come out with the win?

PATRIK ELIAS: You have to do that. And we had a few games through the Playoffs that we got away from it, and it was even tougher to get back to the game. And I think we realized that and we knew that we have to be on the same page, every one of us, and through the whole game, and so that we can be successful. We have done a good job last game.

PETR SYKORA: I think we have to stay patient, especially our line. And if we are going to stick with our system, you will have scoring chances. I thought the first shot at net we got late in the first, we just play our system, made sure we didn't give them any scoring chances. We knew if we are going to keep playing that we are going to get our scoring chances. I think it is working. And if you want to be successful, we have to stick with the system.

Q. Did you guys feel like you were trying not to make mistakes at the beginning of last night's game, or a little tentative?

PATRIK ELIAS: Yeah, that is what we did, exactly, tried to put the puck deep every time; because, you know, I made one mistake, and Game 2 -- or two mistakes. It cost us the game. And I don't want to hear about it on TV and from you guys anymore. We just did a good job. We realized that this is a game of mistakes, and less mistakes we make, we will have a better chance to win. We knew that it felt like -- (inaudible) -- that we can get our scoring chances and we can score some because --

Q. Can you play like that -- I mean, playing trying not to make mistakes as opposed to --

PATRIK ELIAS: We proved it last night. And I think our whole line realized that if that is going to lead us to win the Stanley Cup and win hockey games, then we got to sacrifice, and we got to do this.

Q. Patrik, do you think that Dallas underestimated both your talent on your team and your determination?

PATRIK ELIAS: I don't think it is just the Dallas team. I think there is a lot of people that really don't give us the credit for the way we play. This is teamwork, and we are getting the job done as a team. We got to pick it up if we want to win, and we stick to our game. Sometimes some of the games we realized that we got to change our game a little bit. And right now we are feeling confident and we are playing real patient hockey, and we got to stick to it 'til we win the Cup.

Q. Your line clearly has a chemistry. It's got that indefineable things. But you look at it, both you guys are from Czech. You got a kid from Ontario. Why does it work for you guys when you come from such separate backgrounds?

PETR SYKORA: Well, I think every single guy is putting some special stuff to the line. I think I can start with Arnie -- he has got a really big body. He can really go in and he can make those big checks for us, and he has got a really good shot. I think because everybody has something special -- Patty, he can score goals, he is in my books, Patty is -- he is going to be scoring goals in this League for a long time, and he is playing a little tougher than he played before. He is getting some checks; he is going through the traffic. I think that is what Patty changed from last year. He is not afraid to go to the net. He is battling against those biggest guys on our teams, and that is why he has success this year. I think I am there just to create those scoring chances, try to make those passes, try to use my shot. And I think when everybody is doing the job, I think that is why the line is going. If one guy is not playing well, the whole line is not playing well. So I think to be successful, all three guys must be going.

PATRIK ELIAS: Like Petr said, this is not about individuals, and the whole line has got to be clicking. We got good communication. When we felt like one of us is not doing the job, we are not afraid to tell each other that. We always take it the right way and just trying to make ourselves better, play better, even in practices. I think we have been playing a lot better defensively this year and through the whole Playoffs with exception of one of the games. Maybe the team that -- some of the teams that don't give us enough credit that we can be really an offensive threat. But like I said, we realize that we have got to play good defense to be successful.

Q. Claude Lemieux built a reputation as a Playoff player. Daneyko just called Arnott as being the go-to-guy; do you see him replacing Lemieux in that role?

PATRIK ELIAS: I don't think you can talk about replacement. Claude does all the dirty work and he's a great player to have on the team, especially at this time of the season. He is getting the job done great and he is a good guy to have in the locker room, in the Playoffs he really knows how to approach it and he is really good example for the young guys like us and Jason, he feels it is time for him to step up and be the leader; he is doing a good job at it.

Q. I know you guys are tired of answering these questions, but - at this point do you think there is too much emphasis being put on your performance and maybe not enough on the rest of the lines?

PATRIK ELIAS: You know, we got high expectations from ourselves too and like I said, this is a game of mistakes and we made -- we didn't play smart at that game, but I don't think it is the right approach to just blame individuals for a loss because this is like I said, this is a team -- you know, this game plays the whole team, not just individuals, and when we win, we win as a team and when we lose, we lose as a team.

Q. Following up on a question he mentioned two check wingers and Canadian center. I see you guys talking all the time during timeouts sometimes by the bench. Do you usually communicate with each other in English and have you taught Jason Czech?

PATRIK ELIAS: No, we don't really let him in on our conversations (laughs). When he talks to us we -- then we speak English, but when we have to say something to each other we will say it in Czech, but when we -- like I said, we got a good communication between all three of us and there is a lot of English words going through.

End of FastScripts...

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