May 22, 2001
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY: Game Five
Q. Jason, do you consider yourselves the best line in the League?
JASON ARNOTT: I think that's too-- that's taking too much of the League. We got a lot of great players around the League and we are just trying to do what we can do on the ice. I don't think we can call ourselves the best line. We are just try to go out and play for each other.
Q. Jason, were you at all surprised that you were able to knock this off in five games?
JASON ARNOTT: Yeah, I was. I don't know how the other guys felt today but I was a little nervous. I knew it was going to be tough. They fought right to the bitter end and it was a tough game. It was an emotional game and we had a little letdown in the first period where, we kind of fell asleep a bit, maybe, took it for granted and came up with a second stronger.
Q. Even after the two wins in Pittsburgh you felt nervous?
JASON ARNOTT: A little bit. Any time you get up 3-1 it's a lot of pressure. They didn't have too much pressure on them. They knew this was the last game or they were playing again. It is tough to put a team out especially now with their lineup, so many offensive players, but we did it and it was a great game.
Q. All three forwards; guys in the Colorado series they said the key is our best offensive players out-played St. Louis offensive players. That was the key in that series. You guys know that you had to outplay the best offensive players in Pittsburgh and do you think it could be this decisive of advantage to do that 3-3 ?
PETR SYKORA: I think we always go for that challenge. I don't think we went to this one against Pittsburgh to try to out-score their line. I think we wanted to play good offensively and make sure that we were going to play even plus hockey. We know if we are getting goals against, we are not going to get on the ice and we know if we are going to play good offensive we have our chances. I don't think that is going to be the case. Sure it is going to be challenge but there are 3 other lines who has a lot of offense. We need goals from those lines too. If they are going to play defensive line against us we are going to take that pressure off those other three lines, we are going to need Alex and Bobby scoring goals. We are going to be up to the challenge playing against Sakic.
Q. Patrik, talk about what it was like-- (inaudible)?
PATRIK ELIAS: It was tension between all three of us, we were quite mad. I am just kidding. We were happy to have him back obviously, and we knew that me and Petr had to help him out at the beginning to get back in the game and kind of get that same feeling that we had last year through the whole season and it took us a little while, but obviously, he helps our game and we help his game so we kind of-- when we work together we can be the best line in hockey no question, that's it.
Q. Is it at all encouraging that you guys played well against Colorado during the season?
PETR SYKORA: Yeah, I think so because they are one of the best teams in the League. They have great offensive players and good defense good goaltender. So, you have got to be on the top of your game. It is not going to be different in the Finals, but I think all three of us and the whole team-- we love the challenge and we always rise to the occasion, so, I believe that it's not going to be any different in the Finals.
Q. Do you think the reason for the turnaround in your game from earlier to where it is now is because you are feeling healthier because of that meeting or what do you think it is?
JASON ARNOTT: I think early on we just (inaudible) we knew that we were looked up to go out and score the goals on the team and sometimes it gets a little frustrating but there was no excuses whether injuries or whatnot we just weren't there, and we tried to play good defensively because we knew the offense wasn't coming and that's when the rest of the guys stepped in. You got to hand it to them. They picked us up and scored some big goals for us and we just sat down and kind of just regrouped as a line and went out and had fun at it again and just accepted the challenge.
Q. Would you guys be where you are right now if you guys hadn't turned it around?
JASON ARNOTT: It would have been tough. I think we are looked upon to go out and definitely score some big goals and bring this team to where we are right now. That's not to say if we didn't do it who knows what would have happened.
Q. What does it mean to to be so dominant on the offensive end against a team that is as good offensively as Pittsburgh is?
PATRIK ELIAS: Well, we were getting the chances because of us playing good defensive hockey. I think the whole time we played great for pretty much the whole series except one period at home it cost us the game. We knew we could not play down against these guys. Obviously we got in a groove and we were feeling like we can go out there any time and get some offensive going but we did get it going because of us playing good position in hockey.
Q. Scott, would you guys be where you are right now had the Arnott line not turned it around?
SCOTT STEVENS: Probably not. I mean, they are a big part of our offense obviously and at the start obviously we had other guys scoring but finally they got it going, there is no question, we need them to get to where we are now. They are playing great hockey and they have been a big part of our offense and us winning all year.
Q. Scott as the series went on did you sense Jagr and those guys couldn't get -- did they get frustrated; were you able to sense that?
SCOTT STEVENS: I think a little bit they didn't get so much going offensively and didn't get a lot of pressure on us, I am sure that's a little frustrating for those quality hockey players not to get the chances that they are used to getting. We did a good job, all 5 guys on the ice to keep them from getting their confidence and scoring some goals.
Q. Could you have done a better job against that kind of caliber players than you could have even dreamed could have been the case?
SCOTT STEVENS: Yeah, you don't expect -- expect them to get something because they are so good. In their sleep they can get a few points, but we did a good job of keeping them off the board. Obviously they are a big part of the team, Mario and Jagr and these guys scoring some goals and we pretty much shut them down.
Q. Did you watch the Colorado/St. Louis series; surprised what they did (inaudible)?
SCOTT STEVENS: They have a lot of depth. I think there is no question they definitely missed a player like that (inaudible) sometimes that brings a team closer together make them rally and play even better.
Q. You guys, when your line is really in sync is it like one set of eyes, one mind and everything is just, you know, focused in that way?
JASON ARNOTT: Well, I think when you start getting the bounces and confidence and pucks start going in, there is no question I think any player plays better. But we kind of strive on working off of each other .When all three of us are going like Patty said we can be the best line in the NHL. But it takes all three of us, and we turned it around and we all paid the price and got in there and made some things happen. And we goaltender a few bounces here and there but good positioning and hard work.
Q. Scotty, is there a difference in the feeling between going to the Finals as defending champion now and going to the Finals last year after three or four years of not being there (inaudible)?
SCOTT STEVENS: Last year was pretty exciting, you kind of almost expected to be in it. This year that's the way we felt this year as a team, expecting to get back there but it is still exciting but not as exciting when you get there finally after 4, 5 years. It's a thrill and an honor looking forward to the challenge but no question we were supposed to get back to this point. We had that pressure on us, but we battled through it and we were finally back where we want to be.
End of FastScripts....