June 9, 1999
DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day
MIKE MODANO: We are known for kind of letting it come to us and be a little more aware of what we are doing with the puck and patient in our positions. First two were great periods.
Q. How frustrated are you guys?
MIKE MODANO: Tough last night. It was a tough outing. A tough way to start the first game of the series, but we all know we can play better. That is the good part. We all recognize it. What we have to do to score, get great opportunities and we always seem to bounce back. They are just as patient a group as we are. That is the part that we are going to have to understand. They are not going to take too many chances and they are not going to look to make it a wide open game. They are just going to play real smart hockey and they are hoping for us to make a bad play here and there and capitalize on it. If we play a mistake-free game and play real solid with the puck and play well along the boards in front of both of our nets, in front of theirs, and ours.
Q. Buffalo had hoped to work out a split in Dallas. Now the tables have changed?
JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, tomorrow night is an important game obviously, but it is a long series and we are regrouping today and we will go back at them tomorrow.
Q. How much are you concerned about the (inaudible)--
JOE NIEUWENDYK: It is a concern, but I think maybe it gets us a little bit out of our rhythm 5 on 5. We like to play 5 on 5 but obviously our powerplay is going to have to score a few more goals if we get that many opportunities. First two periods we controlled the play, but this isn't anything different than what they have done in other series to where they hang around. They hang around and then they bite you when you least expect it. We let up in the third and they came back at us, so I think we realize that we can't have any let-ups against this team. I thought we came out with some good energy, got some chances; it would have been a lot better if we got that second goal and got a -- they battled back hard and we can't let up at all.
JERE LEHTINEN: He is a good goalie but I still think it is more our team, like I think it is more our team and our forwards like we have to do a better job there. And not so much what he does there.
Q. What was the focus of the meeting, more technical or more let's get it together?
JERE LEHTINEN: Like both things. Like we went over a little bit yesterday's game and what we have to do next game and technical, still it was a pretty good meeting.
Q. Would you say that the tone of the team is pretty positive because you have been in this situation before?
JERE LEHTINEN: Of course, it is not a big deal. It is only one game that we have played, so, it is good one game and the next game, new game and we have to play harder.
Q. Can you talk about some of the specific adjustments that this team talked about?
JERE LEHTINEN: Of course there is a lot of like this year like we have played like seen so many games and stick together and of course all the coaches bring a lot of experience. I think we saw earlier rounds that we stick together.
DAVE REID: We feel we have to pick up little parts of our game and pick up our intensity and we felt after two periods last night that we probably even though we were shooting and everything, we were up 1-0, we felt if we had increased our intensity and increased the way we were playing. We could have had the game in hand. We let it slip away and allowed them back into it at that point and then once we get to overtime, you know, we got lucky with a lucky break at the end; Peca breaks his stick and Mike throws it and it kind of catches him off guard there. But overtime it is anybody's game. But we just felt that we got to pick up our game, got to play better and things will go our way.
Q. How good was Hasek last night?
DAVE REID: Well, he stopped everything he saw, really. I don't think there was -- I don't remember real spectacular saves. He made one on Brett Hull's, glove save late in the game that he kind of through the puck to him, kind of gave it away to Brett off the side and Brett hit a rolling puck. I think that was the only one that I can remember where he actually came across to make the big save. Otherwise, you know, he just played -- he played a good game, but I don't really think he saw everything. We have to try to get in front of him and have some screens instead of having so many shots from the outside.
Q. You guys practice yesterday. Would you guys try to go high--
DAVE REID: He has a butterfly style, the hopes are high. Covers the bottom of the ground and, you know, you see him roll and flop, stuff like that. So he definitely gives you the top part of the net which most goalies I think nowadays do, they play that style. But second and third opportunities you get, like he is going to stop -- like most goalies, he is going to stop everything he sees. We have to work on getting more second, third opportunities which I don't think -- everybody -- I don't think we did a lot of that. I don't think either team really did a lot of that. Their second goal came off a second opportunity on the rebound, that is the way you are going to score goals at this time of the year is on the rebound and I don't think by -- we didn't do too much of that. We have been playing I think most teams throughout the Playoff if you can keep it under three; the goals against is around two, so you keep it under three, you know, you are going to have pretty good chance of winning. You don't score three goals and the goals against is averaging one and a half to two, so you don't have much chance to winning if you don't score more than two goals. We haven't discussed it yet. Talking about that tomorrow. But I'd expect to change a few things. Every game we change a little bit here or there, going over the tapes and stuff but I am not the powerplay specialist so I am really not at liberty to say. You would have to talk to the coaches about that. But I just pretty much do what they tell me.
Q. Did you guys talk about as a group maybe sitting back a little bit in the third period not -- Buffalo people talking about how they really picked it up, found their legs to get their game going that they might have taken it to you a little bit more, that is why (inaudible) --
DAVE REID: I would agree with that. But we also, you know, we also weren't skating and I don't think we were playing our game either. We had two months's gap in our game between our "D" and our forwards, we are caught stationary a lot, trying to make plays standing still and that is not the game you have got to play. I agree they definitely took it to us in the third. I think had we turned it around and we had started moving the puck and skating; then it would have changed the outlook of the game when we are standing there and they are skating, is a big difference. Whereas, if we pick it up and start skating, then it is going to be a completely different game.
Q. Conditioning and age factor last night?
DAVE REID: No, not at all.
Q. They are trying to intimate that a little bit.
DAVE REID: This has been going on all Playoffs. I think our best period has always been our third for us old guys. No, I don't think that was a factor. I mean, I don't think those two periods were anything great either. I think they were standing around. We were only up by one and to play a team really like they say they didn't do too much in the first two periods and we were only up 1-0. If we were on top of our game we probably could have buried two more.
MIKE KEANE: I think we are probably saying the same thing we would say now long way from over. We are not happy with the way we played. And the way we came out, we still have chances too in the game. Most important thing, we are not doing the things that makes us a -- we are not happy with the way we played. Disappointed in the way we came out, but we still had a chance to win the game. I think the most important thing, we are not doing the things that makes us a good hockey team and once you do that, you stay away from your game and things break down, so tomorrow hopefully we will come out with a harder solid effort.
Q. How did you look back at last night differences between first and second period what happened after?
MIKE KEANE: Well, like I said we had some great chances, 11, 12 powerplays, two in overtime, so once you get those chances you have to get more traffic, Hasek is -- obviously Hasek is playing very well, have to treat him like Patrick Roy, give him lots of traffic and lots of deflections, we had chances in the game we have to capitalize on. We just have to find a way to beat him that is all.
Q. Last night he said after the game that there was a passion that is unacceptable (inaudible) --
MIKE KEANE: I think so, I think we were in control I think for two periods then we kind of dropped back. We didn't forecheck, didn't get lots of shots. If this team wants to win we have to playing 60, 57 minutes, however long it takes. Once you sit back, that is when bad things happen. It proved it last night. We just didn't play perfect. At this stage of the game everyone knows how important games are and knows how important the big prize is. To come out with that effort was disappointing. Today is a new day.
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