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June 4, 2003

Martin Brodeur

Joe Nieuwendyk


Q. Joe, give us an update how you feel and the projection for tomorrow's game?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, it's the first time I have been on skates in quite some time. I was pleased with the progress. I just don't think I'm where I need to be right now. I would say my status for tomorrow would be doubtful. They indicated to me at the beginning of this it would be a week-to-week thing. I think we're kind of treating it as an hour-to-hour thing.

Q. If not tomorrow, how about California?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, again, we're hour-to-hour, so we'll take it that way. Like I said, though, the progress is being made. It's much better than it was in Ottawa 12 days ago.

Q. Joe, you tried to go out and do it today. Did you come off on your own or after talking with Bill? What was it you couldn't do?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: There was no reason to push it today. I think we wanted to get a barometer where I was. It's been some time since I have been skating. The trainer kind of indicated to me he felt I should come off. It is just frustrating, but it's something that I have to deal with. And maybe in the next couple of days, I'll get even better.

Q. What couldn't you do?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: I wasn't out there that long. I think certain parts of my game that I have to be effective in, whether it be faceoffs or anything, if I don't feel that I can do those things the way I can, then I don't want to be a liability out there as well.

Q. Joe, are you concerned you may not be able to play at all in this series?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, the days are getting shorter. That's for sure. I'm not too concerned about what's ahead. I just try to take it one day at a time for myself, personally, and try to be there for my teammates.

Q. If this was an elimination game, would you change your opinion about whether you could play tomorrow?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, again, as I indicated to Stan, it's an hour-to-hour thing. If we were faced with that scenario tomorrow, who knows come game time what my status would be. Right now I would say I'm doubtful.

Q. Joe, the fact that this is the Stanley Cup Finals, Game 5, 2-2, is this the most frustrating moment in your career?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: I would have to say it probably is. The one year I got knocked out in the very first round, the whole Marchment incident, that was tough. But this is way above that. It looks exciting from where I'm watching it from, and I would certainly like to be a part of it. But I think I can still be effective for my teammates in the locker room and show my support and help out that way.

Q. Marty, a bit off topic, but I'm curious to know, as someone who is a premier player in your sport, what reaction do you have when you hear the story like Sammy Sosa getting caught essentially cheating, the cork in his boot incident, what goes through your mind?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, I kind of look at my equipment to make sure everything is legal now. It's amazing the impact of this incident through the sport and through his career. I think he's definitely in a tough situation. Whatever the reason is, you get caught, you get caught. It's definitely an unfortunate situation for major league baseball, and for them.

Q. You don't have a cork in your stick, do you?


Q. Joe, do you have an injury that you could measure this against?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: Not really. I would say this is different. This is different than a knee or something like that.

Q. Marty, I know you don't like to look at your numbers that much, but are you even a little surprised, looking at your record in OT? Is it something that just makes you shake your head a little bit?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Yeah. Whenever people will bring it up , it's normal at this time of the year, but there is not much you can do about it, try to win the next one. Definitely when you have tomorrow, it's always bright. When you get to the end of losing the series, it's easy to look back to it. It's one shot, one bounce. I think luck is not really on my side for that. You make your own luck sometimes. And I started real well this year with 2-0 and it dropped 4 in a row. Hopefully I'll try to get one. I've got great experiences in overtime, and some tough ones also. That's part of the game. I think we've, as a team, played almost all of them in New Jersey. So, it's not just the goalie's fault all the time, but definitely you're the one getting the record for it. That's fine. We got a lot more wins in regular games.

Q. Joe, if you don't play, Michael Rupp might be in your spot. What have you seen in what he did in the last game and your thoughts how he might fit the bill?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: I thought he was terrific. He came out with a lot of fire, energy, was using his size and banged some bodies around. I thought he was a real good spark for us. I suspect he will be that way again tomorrow. It's something the Ducks probably aren't used to, a big man like that.

Q. Marty, their owner has planned the parade already in Anaheim, said they thought they would win in six, their fans are better than your fans. Any thoughts on that?

MARTIN BRODEUR: I don't know. I don't even know how to answer it. I don't know. Like I said, I never really heard it. I don't want to comment on it too much. It's always an exciting time for fans and owners and the playoffs and getting close to the Stanley Cup Finals, and sometimes you react in different ways and in the way that the series goes. When it was 2-0 for us, I'm sure he wasn't thinking that way. It's not really a concern of ours, what they're planning. We're planning on being a better hockey team in the next game. That's it.

Q. Joe, did you skate full speed at all?

JOE NIEUWENDYK: I won't say so. Again, it was just trying to get a barometer of what felt comfortable and what didn't. Again, it is -- I didn't push it to its limit. I'll save that for another day.

Q. Marty, you hardly ever take a day off. How was your rest today?

MARTIN BRODEUR: It was just a long day yesterday traveling, and I felt tired. I want to rest. I think it's important at this time. I don't think going out there would change much in my game. We'll have ice time tomorrow to skate tomorrow. I just want to make sure I'll get plenty of rest. That's the only reason that I didn't go out today.

Q. You're 100 percent healthy?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Yeah, I'm a little pale, but everywhere we go, it's raining, so...

End of FastScripts...

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