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June 2, 2000

Martin Brodeur

Scott Stevens

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. The war stories about the ice in the Dallas heat and all that. Any feelings?

SCOTT STEVENS: Yeah, I have heard that. But I heard they tried to improve things. Hopefully it will be better than it has been.

Q. I know it is hot here. How about the general feeling?

SCOTT STEVENS: It is the time of year. It is going to be hot wherever you are. Obviously, Dallas is one of the hotter places, so I mean, just I can hopefully -- we have a lot of depth, and hopefully it won't be a factor for us.

Q. Both you guys were here in 1995. When they acquired Claude this year, were you thinking a special magic was coming back?

MARTIN BRODEUR: I think Holik was a needed thing for us. He was a guy that really performs well under pressure, and he's the reason why they let of go Brian Rolston for him. He was good young talent for us. But definitely we were really excited to see him back in New Jersey. We made it to the Stanley Cup Finals as well. It paid off so far.

Q. How do you feel?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, we feel pretty good. It is unfortunate to have lost a game that we played last night, but this is the Playoffs, and it is going to get harder and harder. But definitely adversity was there for the last two series, and we responded real well. And hopefully we will be able to do it again. We are going in a building that is not easy to win, if you look at their records and stuff. It is going to get hard, but nobody says it is going to be easy to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Q. Either one of you, looking at that game last night, now that you have had a night to sleep on it, does it seem like a lost opportunity to you, or you can't afford to -- seemed like you were in pretty good shape going into (inaudible)--

SCOTT STEVENS: I guess any time you lose a game at this point of the year, it is a lost opportunity. But yet going to the next, you can't get too high or too low. We just have to come back, correct our mistakes, and be better for it.

Q. What do you think of the idea, sort of different -- top line playing against top line, top defensemen top line against top defense. It is unusual, isn't it?

SCOTT STEVENS: Yeah. But you think it would be the other way around, but we had success the first game. But I think the first game we, as a team, we did a much better job of getting the puck in. And I thought we didn't go through the neutral zone very well. I believe Dallas is a transitional team, and they have some big defensemen that like to stand up. And I think we realized where we went wrong, and we talked about it, what we have to start doing consistently again.

Q. You like the idea (inaudible) do you like checking the lines --

SCOTT STEVENS: It is just a matter of whoever is out there has to be very aware, and they are a good rush team. But when we get the puck in deep, they are not as strong. A lot of times they get pulled off the ice if you see a faceoff deep in their zone. But it is just a matter of doing a good job in the neutral zone and trying to keep them in their zone. But like the bottom line, as I said, you can't give a good line a talented line transition game, and you give them room in that area, they can score.

Q. You mentioned how difficult (inaudible) -- how much a factor is the ice there? They play there all the time. How much of an advantage could that be?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, we rely on our speed. So I am sure it is going to affect us a little bit. But we are at a time of the season where we really don't really care if we play on the street or on the ice. We are really excited to be part of it. It is just a matter of getting used to it and knowing what to expect from it. I am sure it will be decent enough. I think other teams played there before. These guys had a lot of success, so we don't see any reason why we can't have success on ice like that.

Q. There have been portions of the Playoffs games where you do get (inaudible) -- is there an explanation? Is there a common thread that you can see frustration that starts or guys think it might be easy --

SCOTT STEVENS: It tends to come after we seem to dominate one game, it seems to come after that. You wonder why, because we should think about why we played so well that game and the things we did. But we tend to maybe not want to do as much of the dirty work. Sometimes it is dirty work, getting the puck in, cycling, it is wearing them down. It has been successful for us. It seems, like I said before, after a big game, a big win where we kind of dominate and do all of the little things right, that we tend to revert back and don't -- we talk about it. We talk about it until we are blue in the face; the next game that we have to keep doing the same things: Get the puck in, this and that, and finish our checks. It is funny, it is hard to figure out why that happens. It is not that it is not neglected, not talked about.

Q. Your Playoff success on the road, is there any method to that (inaudible) --

SCOTT STEVENS: It is fun to win on the road. I think we go in there and we play relaxed on the road and don't put a show on and do all the little things right. If it means icing the puck here or there to slow the game down or any of those things, whatever it takes to win, and that seems to be how we have been playing on the road. We have always been a good road team, whether it is regular season or Playoffs. So we just have to keep that going for us, because that has been a big plus for us, this Playoffs.

MARTIN BRODEUR: Same thing, what Scotty said. It is just important.

Q. First goal, did you think it was going over the top of the net?

MARTIN BRODEUR: Just beat me. He took the shot, and it was -- I was real surprised at the speed. I was trying more to block it than catch it, because where he was and in the net, and next thing you know, just kept rising. He shot it real, real hard, and it started low, and it kept rising on me. I was surprised that he hit the net. I know it was there, but I didn't think -- I thought my glove was high enough to get a piece of it, but I guess not enough.

Q. (inaudible) it was said last night that there was a lack of determination on your guys' part. Do you think that is accurate? Do you think that is a little unduly harsh?

SCOTT STEVENS: I don't know if that -- everyone sees it different. I definitely think we are in the game, had a chance to win the hockey game. But it wasn't our best game. I still think we had the chances and we had the opportunities. Maybe there were some spots, maybe sometimes we didn't win the little battles. Maybe he's talking about on the boards which is so important. So that could be a possibility that we weren't as dominant in the one-on-one battles as we were in the first game.

Q. You talked about how sometimes you guys follow a successful effort with a bit of a lapse. You also showed in the Playoffs that you can follow a lapse by regrouping (inaudible) -- what about this team makes you so good being able to do that?

SCOTT STEVENS: I think we come down to earth pretty quick after a big win and realize what got us there. That has been the difference. We have to do that quickly again and get back to our game and do all those little things and keep it simple. We have enough talent that when we get our chances or our odd-man rushes, we will do a good job. But it is doing the little things that build up to those things that are very important.

Q. You guys always have said all year that you play better when you are scared. After beating them badly in the first game and playing a close one in the second, do they still scare you, or what is the feeling?

MARTIN BRODEUR: There is no doubt they have the momentum going into their building now. We have to be afraid of their record and the way they showed character in Game 2. It is not going to take away from what we feel and what the guys are really happy about being in a situation like that. We need to win one game to get back our own ice advantage, and it will be a lot easier for us. The respect is there. I think it is important to respect your opponent. And if we play well, I mean, we will be okay.

Q. The tempo in the first game you used it to your advantage. Talk about the importance of establishing pace.

SCOTT STEVENS: Well, they did a better job in the neutral zone, but I think pace is putting the puck where we can skate and make them turn and make our speed an advantage. We kind of played into their hands and didn't go through the traffic well, and like I said before, I keep going back to it about getting the puck in. That has been our forte this Playoffs, getting the puck in deep on other types and wearing them down. I think we really did a good job in the first game against Dallas in doing that, but I think we sort of played into their hands the second game. And that took away from our speed when they turned the pucks over. And they have three guys across the blue line. You turn it over, your speed isn't very much there because you have to make the stop, make the turn. It nullifies it. We went through stages like that against the Flyers where we did it very well at times and not very well at other times. We had to get back to being very consistent in hurrying in that area.

End of FastScripts….

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