May 19, 2001
DENVER, COLORADO: Practice Day
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Are the defensemen moving up to join the play?
ROB BLAKE: I think the opportunity is there, we're going to. I mean, we have guys that can skate pretty well and if there was a turnover or something, I think though guys can recover quickly enough. As much as possible, we'll try to jump in the play in the right situation.
Q. Could you get burnt?
ROB BLAKE: Well, not really, because I think we get the best goaltender in the league behind us. He gives you a lot of confidence that if there is a mistake or a turnover, he's going to be there to stop it.
Q. Is fatigue a factor when you're a man down?
RAY BOURQUE: I don't think it will be more minutes. I think it will just be more minutes -- not necessarily for us. I think for somebody else, it will be more minutes. Greg de Vries, Martin Skoula, I think they're up for it.
Q. Joe, are you surprised when Turek went back into the game?
JOE SAKIC: I was a little surprised. But at this time of year, I mean, obviously they just wanted to give him a little bit of a break to regroup. They put him back in and I think we went on and Turek played pretty well for them.
Q. Rob and Ray, explain the developing relationship of playing together.
ROB BLAKE: I think they put us together in Game 7. It helps to get maybe a little more offense and get that jump going. Footer's a big, solid defensemen. He can play with anyone out there. He's going to play the same way. He's going to battle for two the first round. Any of the guys in LA is going to battle Tkachuk every night. For both of us, you get in that rotation, and you keep going. But for the most part, our defense play with pretty much everyone for the most of the night. And even when Johnny Klemm went down.
RAY BOURQUE: It would be funny to actually look at the minutes, because I don't know if I play as much with Adam than I do with Rob. But it's got to be close. You look at a team like St. Louis, and they are throwing pretty good lines at you. So the three of us are saying those two lines . It doesn't really matter if it's me or Footer or Rob and Footer together, and as long as we have the matchups that we like.
Q. How do you approach a 3-1 series?
JOE SAKIC: Well, we will be ready for this Game 5. I think that the extra day is going to help as well as the rest factor. And I think the guys -- it's fresh in our minds what happened against LA in Game 5. And we just want to make sure we come out and have a solid game, solid effort.
Q. How is John Klemm?
COACH HARTLEY: John Klemm has a sore knee. He's out indefinitely.
Q. How optimistic are you about getting him back?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, we're going to see. Our med staff will be working a lot on John in the next couple of days and no telling what the news will be. Hopefully the news will be good.
Q. You're one game away from the Western Conference finals. How much anticipation do you feel?
COACH HARTLEY: Well, I believe that our approach has to be exactly the same as what it was in the past couple of games. I really like the focus that our players are showing. I mentioned this a couple of days ago, and I like the way we compete and we can't move too far ahead. There's still lots of work to be done. We are playing a great hockey club the last two games in OT. I don't think that it gets any better than this. This team has lots of experience, lots of grit, lots of character. On our side, we have tons of respect for them. We have to really focus on Game 5 and to really make sure that we put out preparation, our physical preparation, our mental preparation on Game 5 and do our best. I really like the way that we perform right now.
Q. Do you get credit as a coach?
COACH HARTLEY: My job as a coach is to make players perform, to make this hockey club be successful. I feel that's my job. My job is not to get any votes. I'm not involved in the popularity contest. I'm in the job where I'm judged on the win-loss column. That's what's important to me.
Q. Are Blake and Bourque leaders?
COACH HARTLEY: They certainly found the right sticks lately. They are playing so well. They're fun to watch. Ray Bourque with all his experience, so many years in the league, to take charge like this, I think that it's not only a lesson for young hockey players, it's a lesson for this entire community. What a role model that Ray Bourque is. He's certainly a big leader for us in our dressing room and it also shows on the ice. Rob Blake is such a simple man. He's always happy. Never asks for anything. He just wants to play hockey, loves the game, and is certainly a great competitor. He's the guy that made the big play on the other goal last night. So Robby is giving us great minutes, very physical, as we saw yesterday on his body check on Scott Young. And I think that he forces everyone around him to keep their head up, because he can jump on the offense. We don't know about his shot and his abilities to generate offense.
End of FastScripts....