May 11, 2003
OTTAWA, ONTARIO: Practice Day
Q. Are you getting used to the podium, Shaun?
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: No, I think it's going to take a lot a few more times up here, a lot more to get used to it.
Q. Daniel, how much did the lessons of the past help this team get to this point and especially get over last night blowing a 2-nothing lead?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: I don't know if you can say it's from the lessons in the past. I think obviously you learn from different experiences you go through, especially what happens during a game momentum can change pretty quickly and I think it's the way you handle those situations. Us being up 2-nothing and giving them two goals in the last ten minutes of the second; not panicking. Previous years maybe you would get a lot more nervous in between periods. We were calm and we knew we had to get better in the third and we did. I think that's when experience helps.
Q. Why didn't you panic?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Because you know the game is 60 minutes and you are not going to play perfect every shift. We made some mistakes in the second. They are a real good team that can capitalize when you do. I think we realized we had to pick it up and I thought we did.
Q. If I could get both Shaun and Daniel to comment on this. We talk about the depth so much heading into the Playoffs. There were probably not many third or fourth lines in the League that could put together the kind of passing play that led to that overtime goal last night. Comment on the importance of having the four lines and how tough it is for the Devils to focus on all of you?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: I think it's really important in a long Playoff stretch because you are going to have players that are not at their best every night and there's always one line stepping up or two lines. If you can see that one or two lines are going real good defensively the other two lines can make sure, okay, they are going, we got to make sure we play good defensively. Tighten up and let them carry the play. But I think we push each other as well. Everybody wants to be that line every night and I think that's good.
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: I think it is unfair to put all the offensively capabilities on one line and that's just too much pressure. Hockey is a team game and you need four lines to score and I think -- well, for the most part at least three -- and I think in our team, different lines seem to step up. It's been like that all year and it's continued in the Playoffs. I think that's why we have been so successful.
Q. Were you guys surprised by the flow of the hockey game and, and how many odd man rushes you had against the Devils?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Well, I think because of the start that happened we got two fairly quick goals. They got a chance and then when they scored two back we got to get back on the offense again. I think that's what you saw: Good flow to the game and there was not a lot of penalties; a lot of flow, everybody was going; all four lines. You didn't have to kill a lot of penalties or go on a lot of powerplays, so it was probably a great game to watch.
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: I think the other thing is too the speed of the guys we got on our team, it may start out as a two-on-two but you get those guys going and they can turn it into a two-on-one in a hurry and it puts a lot of pressure on their defense knowing that they have to get their feet going. You look at our right side, you got Alfie and Hossa and Martin Havlat, three of the probably better right-wingers in the League and it puts a lot of pressure on their defense.
Q. Shaun, when you play as long as you have and been in a couple of go-arounds with this team, how do you think having had that much time in your career already affects the way you enjoy a moment like last night as opposed to if you scored in your first Playoff game like that?
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: I realize I am not getting any younger and I probably don't got too many years left, so I am enjoying this run immensely. It is a great feeling. We have got an unbelievable bunch of guys in the room. You just can't wait to come to the rink and spend time with them. It is a great chemistry and I think it leads to team success.
Q. Could you guys talk about it about why you have had so much success in overtime, not just in these Playoffs so far, but particularly maybe the last two or three months of the season where you seem to win a lot in the extra period?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Luck has a lot to do with it and skill obviously. We have got a lot of good one-on-one players that can make that special play and for you to win a game. You need some good bounces and a good goalie helps too.
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: I think we are patient. We don't change our game. Like Daniel said, we have got some game breakers and we look at it. We don't really need too many chances to score with the skill that we have.
Q. Can you describe the feeling after three periods that you guys have in the room before you go out into an overtime?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: I think everybody is a little bit tired. Obviously it's been a hard fought game, haven't played in four nights, but you are confident and you know we got to make sure that we believe that we can do this. I think you got to believe. That it's not going to work every time, but you go out there. You are confident that you can win this game in overtime and it's great that we did.
Q. With the way they came back in the second half of the second period and scored two goals, was that a wakeup call of sorts that holy smokes if we're off our game a little bit they can do damage to us fast?
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: I think it's the same for both teams. If you are not playing at your best you got two good teams here, one and two in the conference, that both teams will take advantage of it. You saw in the first period that we had a little more jump and we capitalized on their chances and the same for them. You got good players. You give them chances, a lot of times they are going to find a way to score.
Q. Patrick, I was wondering if you can compare the feeling that you have right now, the way you are playing right now to last year in the Philadelphia series? Are you in a similar type groove?
PATRICK LALIME: I would say as a team I think we had a lot of fun last year, you know, first series since I was there that we won and I mean, this year has been a lot of fun as well, going through New York and Philly so far and you just -- I think we are playing with confidence and that's probably a difference from the past few years. We believe we can do it and we're just having fun out there.
Q. From a personal standpoint?
PATRICK LALIME: I would say I just take it one game at a time. I am not looking back or looking forward. I think the next game is the biggest game. You just want to win every night and give the team a chance to win.
Q. When you are up 2-nothing and Martin starts making save after save after save including one great one-on-one, are you aware at that point that he's kind of made up his mind that that's going to be all or that you know, that it's going to be a lot more difficult than it was, say, at times in the Philly series as you go through this one?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: You know it's just against a team, it's going to be hard to score goals. He's a really good goalie but we know we can score on him. He's going to make some great saves every night probably and you just got to make sure that you don't start throwing pucks at him, getting people in front of him, be there for rebounds. He definitely gave their team a chance to come back in the game and win the game. I thought we needed an unbelievable play to win it and that's a good character coming back after they tied up.
Q. Did you think subconsciously that maybe 2-0 was going to be enough because you talked about how once they came back and tied the game then you realized you had to go back to offense again; maybe subconsciously you just kind of went into a bit of a shell at 2-0?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: No, I don't think we went into a shell. I think it was a -- six minutes in the second period there where we weren't pressuring the puck as much. Earlier in the second we created some great chances and we wanted that third goal. But you know, they are a really good team. They are going to create chances with creativity as well.
Q. Is there maybe of a sense of optimism now with the new ownership that there's probably a better chance now that this group of players will be able to stay together and not, you know, that it might be a few years that had you guys are going to be Stanley Cup contenders?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: That would be great if we could keep all the players. But as of now it's not even entering our minds. We are on this run now, we are focussing on winning the Stanley Cup and that's what our focus is, whatever is going to happen in the summer with the ownership whatever, we're going to deal with that and talk about that after the season.
Q. When it's 2-0 you are trying to get that third goal and Brodeur is standing on his head the way he was playing so well; how much of it is your approach to Brodeur, how important is it, the mental approach, versus changing? Was it just a matter of staying calm and poised waiting for your chances or was it making changes, making more traffic going at it?
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: With a goalie of his caliber he's won a few Stanley Cups and got an Gold Medal. If he sees the puck he's going to stop it. He's no different than any other goalie, if he has to fight to see the puck it makes it a lot harder on him and that way, if it hits something we have got better chance for rebounds I think. So I think the key a lot of times is getting traffic in front of him.
Q. Shaun, wondering on the game-winning goal last night with Niedermayer out of the lineup they had to make some changes. Did you think there was a lot confusion on their end and do you think that factored into the game-winner at all?
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: No, I don't think so. They got 6 solid defensemen. I don't think to them it probably matters who they played with. Maybe they have better reads with another guy. But Stevens still got a piece of that first pass and you know, it was just a great play by Marty to handle it and make a nice pass just back to me. So to answer your question, I don't think -- you got All-Stars over there, you got Conn Smythe winners, I don't think it's going to affect them.
Q. You played a lot more of a crash line this year; does it lift you or give you kind of a spark to be playing with Martin Havlat?
SHAUN VAN ALLEN: Well, he's great because not only is he fast and quick, but he will bring two or three guys to him and all you have to basically do is give him the puck and try and get open and you know, all the credit that I got for scoring the goal, I think he deserves more: To have the patience and then the talent to make the sweet pass like that, anyone in that dressing room would have scored that goal. I was just lucky enough to be in that spot.
End of FastScripts...