February 2, 2002
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
MODERATOR: Scott Bowman is at the podium. Questions, please.
Q. What are your impressions of the line with Mario Lemieux and Sakic and Kariya, possible line for Salt Lake?
SCOTTY BOWMAN: I thought it was a good thing to showcase. You know, every chance you have to play players together, I'm sure things will change. But they kept a lot of their -- I think we tried to do the same thing, not to help any special country, but just to make sure that -- I'm sure they played together before. Obviously, Mario looked pretty good to me. You know, he was skating well. I know he's had some pain, but he's obviously such a key player. We put the Russians together only once, I think - twice, actually, counting the empty net. But, you know, it's hard when you have three sets of defensemen. But I thought both teams tried to put players that might play together from their countries, US players, Czech players. We had Mats Sundin with Markus Naslund.
Q. Could you talk a bit about Khabibulin, what your thoughts are about their chances in Salt Lake, the Russians?
SCOTTY BOWMAN: Goaltending is such a key issue with all the teams. I thought the goaltenders today -- I wasn't at last year's game, I know it was 14-12, the one in Toronto was 9-4 or 5. But it's an offensive show. The way the goalies made some saves, when you look at all six of them, you could say they made a save that obviously could have been a goal as easy. Yeah, Khabibulin, we haven't played them this year, but I know what that team has done. They've been in the Top three or four. So we said we're going to have a Russian six, plus we put Sergei -- I told Brian, maybe move Zhamnov, have a Russian six. "What do you mean?" "The goalie is Russian, too."
Q. Did something happen on the bench in the last five or six minutes? Those guys decided they wanted to go for the game?
SCOTTY BOWMAN: I think both teams felt -- it's a tough game, as anybody knows, it's real tough to get that much involved. Especially this year, I think -- I know there's 138 players of the NHL going to play in the Olympics. But obviously there's so many in this group that's going to play in the Olympics. Yeah, I think probably when they got the fourth goal. Brian Sutter, his first game in the All-Star Game, I've been here before, and I know -- the first games were very competitive when I started. I was in the West Division. The first two games that we played in '69 and '70 were very competitive. The West Division wanted to show that they were for real, they were deserving of playing in the NHL. Second period, Brian said he gave them some instructions about skating. I don't know if some of them looked at him and said, "What do you mean, it's an All-Star Game?" He did something. I think he's probably more competitive than most people.
Q. Question for Pat Quinn. Pat, obviously Mario playing with Kariya and Sakic, Olympics in mind or a coincidence?
PAT QUINN: I wanted to have a look at it, see how it might work out. You're never sure when you're putting groups together whether it's got a chance or not. Certainly they're three smart players. I don't know whether it will be the same units when we go there or not. But they looked pretty good out there.
Q. When you put those three together, Pat, are you thinking lots of speed on Mario's wings? Can you talk about the chemistry of what you would see with that line?
PAT QUINN: Well, the speed probably would come from Paul and Joe a little more than Mario. Mario wouldn't be a center. He'd be playing on the side. But I think some quickness, but some intelligence to use the open spaces on the ice. I think that's kind of what you're looking for. We're going to have to play a different sort of game with no red line -- not only how to attack well using the open ice, but how to defend it, as well.
Q. Will Mario be a left winger like he was today?
PAT QUINN: I don't think that you ever make anybody exclusive one thing or another. We're going to use Mario hopefully the best way we can. It may be at center sometimes. With this particular unit, it's not at center. We'll have him playing high. Joe will do the down low work. Mario and Paul would be up high. You know, they all adjust well to the game as it's being played. Each of them can take on responsibility depending on who has the puck and where they are. To say that Mario is exclusively a winger; he uses all the ice, and that's really what we like to see happen.
Q. Can both coaches tell us who they had on their shootout list?
PAT QUINN: We could, but we won't (smiling).
Q. Any Americans on yours?
SCOTTY BOWMAN: I can give you one. Teemu (Selanne). Hoping maybe he'd get a hat trick and win a car.
PAT QUINN: I did the same thing with young Daze.
MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen.
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