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May 15, 2004

Ken Hitchcock


Q. What is the status of both Roenick and Pitkanen?
KEN HITCHCOCK: They both have upper body injuries. We'll tell the truth in September. (Laughter) and both are expected to play in Game 5. And we'll let you know, if there's a further update on the negative side, we'll let you know, but both guys are expected to play in Game 5.
Q. Could you talk about surviving those three penalties in the first period and all of the sudden the game turning with those couple of goals there?
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, we had such a great start to the game, I think the shots were 6-1 or 7-1 or something. Then, you know, again they were able to put their best players on the ice for those four-minute power plays, and that was tough. Especially when we had such a good start and then we -- to score right out of the box was I think a huge difference in the hockey game. We were able to wrestle the lead back from them again, and we did a great job. From that point on in the end of the first period to the end of the second period, we played really, really well.
Q. How does it feel when the team got that second and third effort, even to clear the zone, Handzus was down on his belly, just swinging to get out in the zone?
KEN HITCHCOCK: I think both teams, this was probably as both teams have played. There was tremendous amount of effort on both sides. I've said this before: I'm not surprised by the way we come back. I told you, this is a special group of athletes, whether we are good enough to win or not, who knows, but it's a special group. They know how to dig deep and they have done it all year.
Q. Did you talk to the officials about the --
KEN HITCHCOCK: No. That's up the chain there. We'll get some type of review or evaluation on it. I'm not sure. Our people are saying he left his feet but I haven't seen it that closely yet.
Q. I know it's no surprise that Keith Primeau has come up big time and time again but can you talk about what a presence he has been in this series and in this game?
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, he's our captain, and he knows how important this is for everybody, so there are certain stages in your season and certain stages in a critical playoff series where captains have to step up, and he stepped up again. It's not surprising. You know, we've got more games to play in this series yet, and he'll even get it to another level, I hope.
Q. You had mentioned that this could be a new challenge for Robert Esche playing from behind in a series this deep in the post-season. Your impressions of him overall, and was there ever any inkling of a doubt in your mind that he would rise to the occasion?
KEN HITCHCOCK: No, no doubt. But I knew he was going to play well, especially when he whacked the guy in front of the net. We were in good shape and we would get a good performance from him. He was really into it today. He was really excited by the opportunity to redeem himself; he did. And both goalies have done that. Both goalies have really responded really well.
Q. Knowing the status of your defense, were you unsurprised that they would put some pressure on Pitkanen and others?
KEN HITCHCOCK: You mean the physical play? Yeah, I mean, that doesn't surprise me. But we've got lots more. So Phamtoms are out, unfortunately, but we've got guys like Seidenberg and Jones who will come in and play if they have to.
We're expecting Joni. Joni got really better as the game went on. That was what was disappointing. He was really doing some dynamic things in the offensive zone, so we kind of miss that, especially in the third period on a power play.
Q. Can you explain, if you can, how come Primeau is not on the Canadian team?
KEN HITCHCOCK: I don't know. I wasn't in on the call yesterday, so I'm not sure. You know, there's so many good players, and I think the call -- I think some of the players, it's an early call for some guys. I'm sure he'll be looked at. Usually the players that are named, I think -- what, was there 15 forwards named today? I'm sure there's going to be some injuries or no-shows and Keith is going to get a strong demonstration.
Q. Can you talk about the way Malakhov played on that one play on Lecavalier where he came back, and overall, what he's brought, especially with some injuries?
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, you know, I don't know what it is. He's like Zubov, he's a very unique personality. He's a guy that the more you play him, the better he plays. He doesn't seem to get tired. His recovery is unbelievable. And the bigger the game, the better he plays. He was unbelievable today, offensively and defensively, and that's not surprising. He just -- you know, this is his time of year. The way he's playing now through the playoffs is the way we saw him play in 2000 for jersey.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...
K. Hitchcock - 5.15.04
...when all is said, we're done(
FastScripts ( by ASAP Sports
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