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May 24, 2012

Peter DeBoer


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach DeBoer.

Q.テつ You guys won six in a row at the end of the regular season.テつ I'm curious, was it around that point, before that point, or did it take to the Florida series to realize you were good enough to get to this point, one win from the Stanley Cup Final?
COACH DeBOER:テつ That's a good question.テつ I really liked how we responded down the stretch heading into the playoffs.テつ With about ten games left we had been spinning our wheels, hadn't been playing very well, and we kind of challenged the team to really try to get on a roll heading into the playoffs.テつ It was important.
History had shown that it was important that teams were playing well heading into the playoffs.テつ The way we responded with those six wins in a row, that was kind of the first signal to me that that team was engaged and wanted to do something special.
Having said that, the Florida series was everything we could handle plus some.テつ I don't think anyone watching us there predicted we'd be here.

Q.テつ As hungry as your team has looked and as well as it has executed, can you conceive of letting this get away?
COACH DeBOER:テつ Sorry.テつ I lost you there.テつ Can you repeat the question?

Q.テつ Yeah, as hungry as your team has looked and as well as it has played and taking care of business, can you possibly conceive of your team not getting this done with two chances?
COACH DeBOER:テつ Well, you don't take anything for granted this time of the year.テつ We're playing the best team in the regular season in the Eastern Conference.テつ We've got a lot of respect for our opponent.テつ They've been in this situation before and come back, so we're not taking anything for granted.
I believe we'll play our best game of the series in Game 6 and hopefully that's good enough to close them out.

Q.テつ What was keeping you from getting the forecheck established yesterday in the middle part of the game in the third?テつ Was it the way they were playing?テつ Were you not as sharp coming into your zone?テつ Was it a combination of those things?
COACH DeBOER:テつ I don't think there is one answer to that.テつ I think it's a combination of things.テつ I think when you have a 3‑0 lead, I think we played a little bit in between. テつEspecially that early in the game you don't have that desperation that you have in a one‑goal game, and you change the way you're going to play.
On the other side, the other team had been there before, and you loosen the strings.テつ Your defensemen are up the ice.テつ You're playing a little bit reckless.テつ A lot of times that puts the other team on their heels.
So I think it was a combination of how the game started and how it evolved.テつ The good news is I like how we responded in the third period.

Q.テつ You talked about how you responded in the third period.テつ You had 12 goals, but eight have been in the third period.テつ How concerning is that to you moving forward?
COACH DeBOER:テつ That we've given up eight goals in the third period?

Q.テつ Yeah, you've allowed 12 in the series to the Rangers, but eight of them have been in the third period.
COACH DeBOER:テつ Oh, yeah.テつ Well, we're winning the series 3‑2.テつ I don't care when we give up the goals as long as we win the games.テつ I guess what that tells me is we've been leading some games into the third period, and they found a way to open some up.テつ I know a couple of them have been empty netters, but I'm not concerned about our third periods.

Q.テつ As everybody else you knew Martin Brodeur before as a goaltender, and now you know him more as a person.テつ Are you impressed by the fact of how calm he is?テつ Do you feel a redemption for the '94 Conference Finals?テつ Again, the Rangers may be a special motivation for him.
COACH DeBOER:テつ I don't even think about '94.テつ In '94 I still had hair.テつ It was that long ago.テつ That plays no part in what we're doing.
Part of it is he's very impressive.テつ He's an impressive guy.テつ He's calm.テつ He's been there before, and he's a calming influence on our team and in our dressing room.テつ That's why he's the best of all time.

Q.テつ I'd like to know for the next 12 hours how big will the veterans like Brodeur and Elias influence the younger guys on that team?
COACH DeBOER:テつ Yeah, they've been invaluable.テつ We've got a nice mix of veterans and youth, and just how they carry themselves every day, how they approach their business on a daily basis, and I would include the Zubruses, the Sykoras, and the Parises and the Zajacs in that group too, even though the Zajacs and Parises are still relatively young guys.テつ That's what good organizations do.テつ The group ahead teaches the group coming in what the expectations are, and that gets carried through.テつ Those guys do a great job of that.

Q.テつ Why was Kovalchuk out with the fourth line?テつ Why at that particular time did you have him on that shift when he's got the winning goal there?
COACH DeBOER:テつ You know what?テつ I believe it was a line change situation.テつ I believe that's what led to it, but I can't even be sure on that.テつ We double them up sometimes with the fourth line.テつ I think it was a line change situation where two of the guys came, and he just hadn't come yet.

Q.テつ You talked about Zubrus and Sykora and Elias helping those younger guys.テつ What does Larry Robinson do for you?テつ He's been there.
COACH DeBOER:テつ Yeah, I've had the luxury of a staff with a wealth of experience.テつ NHL games as players, Stanley Cups as coaches.テつ You've got a couple of Hall of Famers there, one Hall of Famer, one potential Hall of Famer.テつ So I'm surrounded by great people.テつ That starts with Lou with a wealth of experience at this and in these situations.テつ So it's a great luxury for me.

Q.テつ What is a coach's general feeling about hockey history as it pertains to his team?テつ As it pertains to your team?
COACH DeBOER:テつ I guess I don't‑‑ where are you going with this?

Q.テつ Is hockey history important to a coach and his team or is it a pain in the neck?
COACH DeBOER:テつ Oh, I think tradition in an organization is very important.テつ When you walk in our dressing room and see the pictures of the previous Stanley Cup champions and where you want to get to, and the tradition of winning that's been carried through in the organization, I think that's very important.

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