May 25, 2001
DENVER, COLORADO: Practice Day
Q. Martin, can you talk about playing against your childhood idol? You probably dreamed about this day for quite a long time and put it into perspective, I guess.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I don't know -- that is not question I was waiting for... It is going to be fun. Not just because it is a guy that I look up to, but he is one of the best goalies that played the game and really a clutch player, so definitely the challenge of playing against him for me and my teammates are-- it is a great challenge to try to beat him.
Q. I can see that you are already smiling. You must be dying inside, so excited?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Yeah, it's exciting. This is what we play hockey for. To come here and be part of the Finals. It is definitely a great time of the year and definitely just because we flew four hours I am a little tired, maybe the smile comes easier like that.
Q. Can you just recall the first time that you met Patrick and was that a thing where you were in awe and was there another guy that you met that you were more in awe of when you met him?
MARTIN BRODEUR: I met him when I was 16 years old. My father was taking pictures of him or something and I was able to go with my dad -- probably my last job I had before playing hockey we just met. It was not something that I was in awe of or anything. I was really intrigued just to meet him, see how he is. As a hockey player everybody knows how he is. Meeting him in person was fun.
Q. Scotty, is this the ideal matchup because there are so many similarities between both teams?
SCOTT STEVENS: I guess yeah. It seems that way with -- I guess right through the whole roster goaltending defense, forwards, and there is no question I think it's the two best teams, so it is exciting and I definitely think we are similar in player personnel.
Q. Scott, sometimes the Devils are overlooked but if you were to win another Cup, I think everybody would take note, would that make this team a dynasty or on the verge of it?
SCOTT STEVENS: It would be a great accomplishment. I mean, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves but there is no question it would be a great to achieve that, I think it is going to be very hard for a team to ever win back-to-back Stanley Cups in this era. So I think -- I guess Detroit has done it, but Pittsburgh did it a while ago so I think it is very difficult. Once you do that, I think it is a great honor if you can pull that off. So we will see what happens.
Q. Randy, talk about the home-ice advantage myth or what has happened? What is the significance or insignificance of home ice anymore?
RANDY MCKAY: As far as our team is concerned, we've got to forget about whether we are at home or --we just have got to focus on our jobs and do it. Only difference if we are trying to match a line could be a little difficult if the other team is trying to get away from it. You slow up, you put the fans, put everything behind, you just keep your focus. Doesn't matter where we are going to play.
Q. Jason, how do things change for you guys this series compared to last year -- series when you are going against defensemen like Bourque and Blake and Foote, how much more physical will it be? Difficult to get anything accomplished?
JASON ARNOTT: Well, I think it is going to be tough. ^it is ^ is it going to be a challenge. Watching them throughout the Playoffs they played extremely well, and they are going to be tough to beat. We will just have to rise to that challenge. I think for us forwards, anybody that plays against them, just has to go out and battle, and we have been doing it throughout this Playoffs, every forward on our team has gone out and battled with the opposite "D", so I think we just got to treat them like another defensemen and go out and just keep working on it.
Q. Marty how dangerous is this team without Peter Forsberg?
MARTIN BRODEUR: They have a lot of talent, a lot of players that -- they showed against St. Louis the depth that they have, their system and the way that they activate their D. On offense I think it makes it a great challenge for us. Peter Forsberg is definitely a world class player and they will miss him, but they have other guys to pick up the slack and sometimes when you miss a guy like that it gives you the opportunity of other guys to step up and play, and sometimes probably didn't have that opportunity if he was there. So they will make the best out of it I am sure.
Q. Scott can you comment on the challenge that you faced going against their top line?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, there is -- they are very skilled, very fast and they all can score so it is going to be a great challenge to keep them off the Board. There's 3 guys that can really do it all. Obviously Sakic has great shot and good speed and the Playoff player he is. So we definitely -- we have to definitely be sharp and be ready and be focused.
Q. I believe you have been quoted as saying this years defendant teams is even better than last and that the Devils are really better than the Avs. Is that a fair quote?
SCOTT STEVENS: No, it -- that wasn't what was said and I was a little embarrassed to read that. I commented on this team - I was asked if this team was better than last year. I said I thought it was.
Q. Scott is the best indicator of your career how many Stanley Cup rings you have won?
SCOTT STEVENS: Oh, I don't know that's a good question. If you look at Ray Bourque I don't think so. What he has done and accomplished. Doesn't change in my eyes what he has done as a player and how good he is and how long he has been around. Obviously it's a great honor and it is special to win Stanley Cups and it would be very tough to go out for myself or I am sure any player without that, after working so hard all your life to try to win the Stanley Cup, but I don't think so.
Q. Beating the Avs soundly in the two regular season games I know you say that doesn't matter much when you get to the Playoffs. But what went right for the team in those games and why did you get by Colorado so easy during the regular season?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, I think we really respected the Avalanche. They are a great hockey club and it was good challenge for our team. I really think this team rises to the occasion when there is a challenge and when there is pressure. I think we played very well because we were actually a little afraid and respected the Avalanche. I think that is why we had a couple of very good games against them.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about how well your line is playing? Do you feel that you have to rise to the challenge to meet what their top line is going to do and difference and similarities between the two?
JASON ARNOTT: Absolutely. We have to rise to the challenge. I think we have to put last series behind us and move onto the present. We can say we had a great series last time, but this is a new series, new team, it's going to be a challenge. They got great defensemen over there, that's tough, that's going to be tough to beat. Patrick Roy is playing extremely well. So I think we just got to go out ,stay to our game, stick to our game plan and not get off and lose our focus. We have got to just go out and play for each other and have fun at it. This is a fun time of the year.
Q. Scott, could you compare Colorado now to Dallas last year at this time?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, I think Colorado has more depth. There is no question missing Forsberg and being able to do what they did to St. Louis, I know they were without Adam Foote for a chunk of the year and even when we played them he wasn't in the lineup. I think that's their biggest asset and that's why they had the year they had.
Q. Is it just that Patrick was the goaltender with the Canadiens or something more that drew you to him?
MARTIN BRODEUR: The success at a young age that he had I think made it really special. I think as a goalie he is a great goalie, accomplished a lot. But he came at a time that there is not much (inaudible) at the present time when he came in and did so well, I think really blew everybody's mind. I think he took that fame a long way.
Q. Enter your mind at all the possibility of Forsberg make- -- pulling a Willis Reed if the series should go long and give the Avs a little extra boost?
RANDY MCKAY: That is just something at this point we can't worry about. We have got to focus on the team we will be playing first of all, tomorrow night and go from there. I mean that's just stuff the media can think about and worry about, but we can't have that in our mind.
Q. Scott, the Avs have three big named defensemen, get a lot of attention. Compare the two defense core on the two teams and is one of them better?
SCOTT STEVENS: Well, I think they have a lot -- they have more experience maybe than ours to a certain extent. But I think both teams are comparable in that area. But I mean they have -- you go Blake, Foote, and Bourque, they got a lot of ice team and no question they are key players. But I think both teams have gotten here on good defense and good team defense and goaltending and I don't think they are any different than us.
Q. Randy, sometimes in the New York area we overlook the Devils and we shouldn't. But do you think the hockey community at large recognizes what this team has accomplished in the last few years?
RANDY MCKAY: Yeah, I think so. I mean you get that indication when you go to visiting teams buildings and you see a lot of jerseys around and whether you go to Florida, end up going to Dallas go wherever, you tend to see that. So I think we get respect across the country. And which is really nice to see.
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