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June 6, 2007

Bryan Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. Going into the season, Coach, did you expect to be here?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I think you always expect the team is going to get a chance to win, not the way we started. Certainly grew a lot over the years. I think no matter what, however, when you get to the finals, we want the team to play the best. And Anaheim is a hell of a team. Played extremely well throughout. Well coached. We knew all those things. But we thought we would have competed and the series would have been longer at any rate.

Q. You spent the series trying to figure out I think if it was your team playing poorly or Anaheim just playing way better. Now the series is over, do you have a feel what happened there?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I think positionally they played better than we did. Defense in particular, that's their agenda, really, to be a real strong defensive team. But I still maintain a few guys, sounds like - anyway, we had some guys that didn't play to what they were playing in the playoffs. Certainly in the latter part of the year. And I think that's most disappointing. And what we and they have to live with through the summer. I say that in all due respect Anaheim and big and strong and real solid defensively and made it difficult to play maybe to the level that we had seen earlier on.

Q. Daniel Alfredsson answered a lot of questions the way he played in this tournament, 14 goals he had two tonight. Can you talk about what he meant to your run and what he means?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Again, seems like whatever line you put him on, he's the guy that gets points for you. Tonight, was the Fisher line, it was a line because Alfie was there, but he had lots of raps over time, I think, and that happens when you don't win championships and you don't go far in the playoffs. But this guy to me has been the ultimate captain for our hockey team. He's a hard-working guy. Driving force, and I think tonight he showed it again. Shorthanded, guys draped over him, gets to the net, and makes it a 3-2 game at that moment, gave us a chance to get back into the game after a dreadful start, and we couldn't support him well enough.

Q. Tough game, ever think about pulling him out?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I did. We were down a couple goals. The team, nothing was really happening. I was really disappointed for him, not at him, but for him because there were tips. There were funny shots. Couple things happened. I thought the Niedermayer goal was not a very good goal for the second goal. But Moen tips one, and there's a turnover in our own end. And he really had a battle to survive his own player's play. So you have to take that into consideration, no intent here to do anything other than get the guy a look for the future, and certainly, I didn't want to embarrass him after we didn't do a very good job in front of him.

Q. Again in line with that, did the Phillips faux paus cap the night?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I waited all series to call obstruction; they call two in a row on us. I guess that's what happens when you say anything. But then Chris goes around the net, gets the stick hit, and it goes into the net. And that was I guess Edmonton Oilers, Steve Smith a number of years ago, puts your team in a hole.

Q. This is a two-parter. Can you talk about the guts of the team and what they've shown the fortitude this season and in the playoffs, and also, can a coach really prepare for a moment like this where you came up a bit short?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Number 1, the first one, you can't for Florida; I've waited a long time to get a chance to be a coach in the finals. And I'm disappointed in all of us that we didn't get it done.
As far as the team is concerned as far as the way we played it, I thought I saw a lot of character on our team. I thought a lot of good people. We got here because of that as much as anything. I don't know if every case we were the most talented group, but we played hard and very disciplined throughout the Eastern Playoffs.
I'd like to make excuses for them, but there's none I can really make at the moment, other than congratulate Anaheim because they did what they had to do to win it.

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