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May 25, 2001

Jacques Cloutier

Bob Hartley

Bryan Trottier


Q. Bryan, the Devils are trying to repeat this year. Do you believe it is tougher to repeat in this era than it was 20 years ago and what are the difficulties in trying to repeat?

BRYAN TROTTIER: I am not sure if it's as difficult to repeat, but I would just use the last several years probably the example and you have Jersey and Dallas and our looking at teams, that they are having somewhat a tough time and we obviously want to make it real tough for New Jersey here in Colorado.

Q. Bob, how do you figure out ice time for your big 3 defensemen; how do you work that?

BOB HARTLEY: First, we always try to use them in situations where they can be very valuable to this organization. I think that in the first three rounds we were very successful at doing this, like they were healthy. They played great. The three of them gave us like real good contributions, whether it is on the offensive side or the defensive side, so like-- and I know that those guys are getting lots of credit but let's not forget the work that guys like Greg de Vries, John Klemm and Martin Skoula have done for us. I think those three guys allow us to use the Rob Blake, Adam Foote and the Ray Bourque where we feel that they can be a very valuable part of this hockey club.

Q. Bob, obvious the sentiment is very strong, "let's win one for Ray," but how does it compare to the way it was last year?

BOB HARTLEY: It is the same, I think that obviously we learned in the past two years and that's what you call experience. I believe that experience is a combination of positive things that happen to you and negative things that happen to you. I think that you can take some from both sides and really learn from them. So I think that as a group we matured a lot. We added some people that are really helping this hockey club, so I thought that we played very well in the three previous rounds and our experience should help us.

Q. Bob, when you learned that Forsberg was going down and you were not going to have him, what went through your mind and what did you convey to your players strategically and psychologically to compensate?

BOB HARTLEY: That's an excellent point. It is never easy to look at one of your best players going down. Like there is very few Peter Forsbergs in this League and that was a huge loss for us. But life has to go on. I think that we responded very well. The credit has to go to our players. We had a short meeting in the morning that it happened -- like we advised some players of what happened because like it was still unknown to a couple of our players and obviously that was a big shock. But I felt that we responded very well. We turned the page like we unfortunately had to do, but like we are talking about professional sports here and being in the middle of the Playoffs like you cannot look for excuses. You have to look for solutions and I feel that everyone in this hockey club has really stepped up very well and gave us chances to win and gave us a chance to replace Peter.

Q. Bob, have you been impressed with how Joe Sakic, as a captain, how he has maintained his composure and led this team with the free agency issue hanging over him at the end of the season?

BOB HARTLEY: Joe carried this club basically all year. Certainly the most consistent hockey player in this League for all the season. Joe is a down to earth person, like a very simple guy to live around and he loves to play. He loves this city and he was on a mission all year, so I think that you look at his stats, you look at the way that he played in the three zones, and this guy comes up always big or us. Obviously one of the best all-around players in this League, if not the best.

Q. Bob, what do you consider your options for Jersey's fires line? What have you thought about doing? How will you approach it?

BOB HARTLEY: Coming from the Eastern Conference like obviously we watched lots of tape, we played the Devils only twice this year, so like is it going to be interesting to see how is it going to unfold. I think that tomorrow's first period could be like you know, a good situation where both teams will try to get a feel for each other and then I am sure that we are going to see adjustments on both sides. But they have a great hockey club. You look at their four lines, lots of depth, lots of speed, lots of skills, and we have our plan, but it is always nice to see what is going to happen during a game and what will be the line matchups.

Q. Talk about what you are expecting from Holik versus Joe Sakic?

BOB HARTLEY: Certainly Bob Holik has done a great job in the past rounds, the job his line did against like Mario Lemieux and Jagr I think that that is something that many people recognized. We know that is the matchup that they are looking for. So it is going to be interesting to see how is it going to go. Obviously home-ice advantage will be a key factor in this matchup, but like I said before, like we have our own plan and we will try to beat them on the ice.

Q. Talk a little bit about the play of Patrick Roy.

JACQUES CLOUTIER: One thing when the Playoffs start and I think Patty had -- I know the Game 1 was not his best night but after that he has been playing great for us. He is focused, he is challenging the shooter. He sees the puck and he is really reading the play well and I think it a combination of great goaltending and people in front of him are playing well. It is a good combination when you have those two defense and goaltending playing well. He has been great.

Q. What would it mean for hockey for Ray Bourque to win a Stanley Cup?

BRYAN TROTTIER: Well, as any player who has played in the National Hockey League, it is the ultimate goal and for Ray to achieve that I think would be the icing on the cake for him. I think to share that with the players in that room I think is an added bonus because all the players in there are his teammates, they sacrifice together; they accomplish the goal together and they will all remember that. So for Ray it is a tremendous individual accomplishment, but to share it with the group of players that are -- that he is playing with right now, I think is a great bonus as well.

Q. Could you compare the Elias, Arnott, Sykora line with the Trottier, Bossy, Gillies line and the 80, 81 Islanders to this Devils team?

BRYAN TROTTIER: Well you have Arnott in the middle, I don't know if you can say he is Trottier and Trotter is him -- I think Arnott has got a great shot. He is a terrific one-timer. He is a big strong centerman, he can play aggressive. He is tough to move in front of the net. You have Elias and Sykora, both skilled players, good speed, Clarke Gillies on the left side, they don't have the winger that is the power forward there, maybe Arnott handles that role and you have the sniper, the ultimate sniper in a Mike Bossy, Sykora and Elias, great hands in front of the net, so you are going to see a lot of similarities. The Jersey Devils they have four quality lines, they have experienced defense, they have great goaltender, so to compare it to the New York Islanders, yeah, there is some great similarities again on defense and goaltending we had great confidence in Billy Smith, so you -- to look at the New Jersey Devils or the Colorado Avalanche and the New York Islanders, they are all have those characteristics that make for great championship teams.

Q. You have often said it is a marathon to get here. Obviously it's a tremendous physical grind for the players. What is it like for the coaches and also how much satisfaction do you get getting so far up to this point?

BOB HARTLEY: Dealing with the group of athletes that we are dealing right now, like I have said it before, like they make our job a lot easier. Our job is to prepare like the game plan, to prepare the team in order to give everyone a chance to perform at a high level, but looking at those guys the way this they always show up to work whether it is a practice or a game, like they certainly help us a lot and the experience that we have in this organization certainly a tool that we don't hesitate as coaches to use, like when you are dealing with a Ray Bourque or a Patrick Roy or Joe Sakic or any of our leaders, I think that those guys have some very valid points. They are the performers. They are the guys that are on the ice and I think that their experience speak volumes, so I think that we use them very well to get some feedback from them. To get some ideas and after this we turn around and after watching videos we prepare the game plan. Like those guys have responded to us very well. They deserve the credit.

Q. Is it a grind for you guys?

BOB HARTLEY: Like there is lots of travelling and everything, but sure beats working in a windshield plant.

Q. Getting back to the Devils top line, what makes them so tough to defend?

BOB HARTLEY: Hey, I think that they have great combination of great goaltending, speed and size. They have tough -- very disciplined. They don't take many undisciplined penalties. I think that's a key point for them. They pressure very well as we know in neutral zone zone and there is not too much room out there. So I think that our puck movement will certainly be a key factor in this series.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the goalie matchup between Brodeur and Roy and also keep your top line with theirs as well?

BOB HARTLEY: Goaltending, I don't think that gets much better than this. Like Patrik and Martin have already a great career and you look at their accomplishment, look at the way that they try to perfect the art of goaltending. These two guys are really looking always for ways to get better, like they don't sit on their performances and they don't get the satisfied very easily. I coached against Martin Brodeur in junior, now I have a chance to meet him in the Stanley Cup Finals and you look at this guy's career has been like phenomenal. You look at Patrik's achievement, I think that for the young goalies throughout North America like this Finals should be a delight for them because you get two goalies with different style, but like they have one thing in common the red light doesn't always go on. Like they make like key saves. Like top two lines, I think that there is lots of similarities. Like they have great skills, guys have great hockey sense and not only they are great offensive players, but I think that the top lines on both teams are very good defensively also some I think that we are going to see some good up and down action and it should be very interesting.

End of FastScripts....

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