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May 18, 2004

Ken Hitchcock


Q. Which in your mind was more significant, the fact that your penalty kill couldn't stop them or the fact that your powerplay has been shut down since the middle of the Toronto series.
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, they have scored four powerplay goals last two games, so that's obviously a concern and we haven't. They won the special -- the difference in the hockey game was that they won the special teams games then we couldn't finish on all the point blank chances we had in the second and third period.
Q. You said yesterday that you expected the team to come out and play well because they had in the later stages of the Toronto and the New Jersey series. In the first period you would have imagined fall behind 1-nothing then early in the second...
KEN HITCHCOCK: You don't want to get down 3-nothing on the road but even when we were down 1-nothing, we had one line that had five unbelievable chances. They had their skilled players on the ice for two of the goals there and Richards' goal was a great shot. But from our standpoint we -- you are not going to come into another team's building this late and outplay them. We just -- we have to finish on the opportunities we have, far too many.
Q. With the injuries on defense, how much energy has that cost your forwards and has it come to a point where it has become a negative?
KEN HITCHCOCK: I don't think it's -- it's just the nature of the beast right now. It's not so much the injuries on defense. It's not being able to afford to use a guy like Kapanen up front. For what has been missing from our lineup we have done pretty good job. They have done yeoman service and but you are going to miss those guys, but that's not an excuse right now. There's other teams that went through the Playoffs and won championships that had injuries too.
Q. After Game 3 you talked about this being a special group. You are about to find out how special they are now. You haven't been in this situation yet. Do you think you guys can come back and finish this series out?
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, I think we can come back and bring it to a Game 7, that's what I am hoping. But this group from my standpoint, they don't have to do anything more than they have done already this year to prove to me they are special. They don't have to go any further. This is really up to us now how far we want to go. We will play very well in Game 6, I know that. But as far as -- I said that a month ago, that for what this group has gone through and still remain competitive it's a special group. That's not -- my mind isn't going to change after one hockey game, not at all.
Q. So much had been made about the extra day's rest in some of these games. Given your special teams play, were there any attempts to tinker or didn't you see it as a big problem on either side, the kill or the powerplay?
KEN HITCHCOCK: We have been tinkering the whole Playoffs, we are quite frankly not finishing on the powerplay. We are getting the opportunity but we're not finishing. We have had a lot of no-brainers and they haven't gone in. We had two or three in the last game. One or two this game again.
Q. What do you attribute it to?
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, you go through those things in the Playoffs.
Q. But you said before the Playoffs that you can't win a Stanley Cup if you don't have --
KEN HITCHCOCK: That's correct. That's correct.
Q. Do you have any idea why that goal was called off there? I asked Clarke, he said he had no idea?
Q. 6:26 of the second there.
KEN HITCHCOCK: I am not really sure. I'd have to take a look at it. I haven't seen it yet.
Q. Will you start tinkering on the penalty-kill now? Did you see enough things tonight to make you want to worry about that?
KEN HITCHCOCK: Well, we have got a problem because our best penalty killer is a defenseman right now. So we have got a problem. We're going to have to find a way around it.
Q. Would you consider making that change for Game 6?
KEN HITCHCOCK: We got to look at Game 6 as obviously sudden death for us and we are -- we have lost Somik now with a hand injury.
We are going to have to look at number of opportunities for ourselves to see what is the best lineup we can put on the ice, we are not sure where Pitkanen is at. We will have to review it and go from there.

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