May 18, 2001
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: Practice Day
Q. Obviously, tomorrow is as close to a must win, without an elimination game?
MARIO LEMIEUX: Yeah, obviously tomorrow is a key game in the series. Certainly don't want to go down 3-1 against the Devils. They are too good of a team to be able to come back. Yeah, tomorrow is a huge game for both clubs.
Q. How do you go about attacking them now, is it getting speed through the zone, getting break-outs?
MARIO LEMIEUX: I think it's a combination of just moving your legs a little bit better and making better decisions with the puck and be a little more patient. I think if we do that and get the puck deep a few times, we'll be okay.
Q. Do you need to change the way that you dump in a little bit to keep it away from Brodeur?
MARIO LEMIEUX: That's always a key. He's so good at handling the puck that you have to try to keep it away.
Q. Were you satisfied with the way you played, yourself, last night?
MARIO LEMIEUX: You know, it was not obviously a good indication. They played a great game defensively. You know, you've got to work with what you've got.
Q. Are you getting the puck enough?
MARIO LEMIEUX: You know, it seems at times that they are cheating a little bit and not giving us the opportunity for me to get the puck, so they are playing it very well.
Q. The experience of the last five months, is it hard to think that tomorrow might be the last game --
MARIO LEMIEUX: Yeah, it's always tough. In the playoffs, it's always a grind, and very difficult emotionally from game to game. But, you know if we win the next game then we are back in the series. That's how we have to look at it at this point.
Q. Do you expect to be on the same line as Jagr tomorrow?
MARIO LEMIEUX: Yeah.
Q. Is there any reason in particular for that? Is it something about the way you guys work together that is more effective against them?
MARIO LEMIEUX: We played the whole season together.
Q. Would you like to see five forwards back on the power play or some adjustment on the power play to get it going?
MARIO LEMIEUX: We didn't get many power plays, so it's hard to judge. You know, we can throw a different combination, depending on what the score is, and then go from there.
Q. How critical is that first goal, especially?
MARIO LEMIEUX: It's very important. You saw last night, they get two goals and they shut it down pretty good. Just got to get the lead against these guys and try to hold it up.
Q. How is your energy level?
MARIO LEMIEUX: Good.
Q. No aches and pains?
MARIO LEMIEUX: No, like everybody else.
Q. Do you sense the mood of the team in terms of offense, wavering at all?
MARIO LEMIEUX: Not really. You still have to be confident. We knew the playoffs are going to be difficult. You're going to go through some good times and some bad times when you lose games, but you've got to forget about last night and get some rest today and be ready to play tomorrow.
Q. What can you do to help get Jaromir going?
MARIO LEMIEUX: I think it's more of a team -- a team effort, try to help him out a little bit. But if you look at the Devils, they always have four guys in the middle and they give us the outside, which is not where we want to shoot the puck from. Against that team, you've just got to take your chances on turnovers and hopefully get a few breaks here and there.
Q. Moving Jaromir to center, is that (inaudible) --?
MARIO LEMIEUX: No. We're just trying to create some offense. We've been pretty successful this year together, so hopefully we can find it again.
Q. When the season is over, are you going to stay in the player mode and take the summer off, or do you figure you'll go right back to work as an owner and --
MARIO LEMIEUX: I'll be across the street.
Q. And will the next step then be working on the arena?
MARIO LEMIEUX: I've got the playoffs to think about. I'm not thinking about the arena right now. But yeah, that's in the future for us.
Q. Both series are similar in terms of the goal matchup, with the veteran guy who is really established himself and then the guy who is trying to move up to the next level a little bit. How would you look at Martin?
JOHAN HEDBERG: He's a guy that I really like to watch. I watched him a lot during the year and I like the way he plays. He's great playing the puck, and he's quick -- yeah, I like his style of play. For me, it's a great challenge to see him on the other side there, and you really want to put your best effort on the ice and see what you can do.
Q. How have you changed your technique style, anything, since you've come over, anything that you can point to?
JOHAN HEDBERG: I don't know. It's been a process for a lot of years to figure out what kind of style. I have tried everything. When I first came over, I really started working on my butterfly. I was pure stand-up before and couldn't really butterfly, so that's something I started with when I first came over. Then last year I worked with Lawrence (ph) down in San Jose and it's been unbelievable for me. He's the guy that got me here.
BOB BOUGHNER: Obviously, looking at his numbers, he's unbelievable. He's given us a chance to win every game he's played. You know, you can't even count on a couple fingers how many bad rolls he's given up every game. He comes up huge and makes some game saves, breakaways, anything, and he's done more of what we expected he was going to do. He's been probably the most important player on this team in the playoffs.
Q. Three months ago, did you even know who he was?
BOB BOUGHNER: Honestly, no, I didn't know who he was. Obviously, our scouts and management did, and you've got to tip your hat to those guys and going out and finding a guy like that, and having the confidence to bring him in as a starter in the playoffs. It's pretty magnificent the way it all happened.
Q. The game last night, when and how does discouragement dispel ?
BOB BOUGHNER: Obviously, today we're talking about it now because that's what we have to do. Obviously, today when we practice, we are already thinking about tomorrow. You know, you come out with a good effort tomorrow and win a game, and this game is long gone and past in history. So it's an easy thing to fix if you come out and play hard tomorrow and get the win.
Q. Odd-man breaks, was that just the result of turnovers or did you do anything special?
BOB BOUGHNER: We had a couple bad changes where they got some breakaways. That was a part of it. I think them just -- their transition game really was on last night. They had their A -Game and we got caught maybe looking around a little bit. Something we keyed on today, talked about today and got to get better at tomorrow.
Q. What are some of the keys, just more patience?
BOB BOUGHNER: Yeah, more patience and not trying to force it up the middle, because every time you do force it up the middle, they are going to knock it down and go the other way, and chances are, they are going to catch up. Just playing better hockey. We just didn't play good last night at all. We were just off our game. They had their A -Game and we didn't. We were -- probably our worst game of the playoffs. Just a matter of bringing the intensity early and not standing around watching.
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