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NHL STADIUM SERIES: DEVILS v RANGERS


January 25, 2014


Peter DeBoer


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Practice Day

Q.テつ What was your thinking on deciding Marty as a starter tomorrow?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ It really is an easy decision from a right thing to do perspective.テつ I mean, you know, his career, 20 years with the Devils, what he's done, and also he's played some excellent hockey for us this year.
He was outstanding last week in Montreal.テつ The tough part is that Cory is on a roll right now, and he's been almost unbeatable for the last five or six games.テつ So that threw a little bit of a wrench in the thinking, but at the end of the day, this is the right thing to do.テつ And both guys have handled it professionally and Cory understands that.

Q.テつ You've been cycling through different left wingers on the Zajac/Jagr line.テつ How important is it to find someone other than Zubrus to bid on that line?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ It's critical for us.テつ We really like their chemistry on three of the four lines right now, and I like Zajac and Jagr together.テつ We've got to find a piece with them.テつ We've tried some different guys.テつ Josefson will get a chance tomorrow.テつ And we'll keep trying.テつ The good news is those two guys work well together, and just because we rotate a winger with those two doesn't mean they're not having success.テつ I mean Jagr had two points last night.テつ So everyone talks about the chemistry on that line didn't work, but they still had an impact on the game.

Q.テつ You're such creatures of habit, when you take them out of this element put them in this atmosphere how do you go about game day planning and today's practice for instance?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ There's a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes that we don't see.テつ Our support staff, our trainers, logistics of Lou and the business staff and public relations.
So I think there's a ton of man‑hours that have gone in to get us to the point where we just hop on a bus and show up here and put our gear on and practice and enjoy it.
So I think the guys appreciate that.テつ Lou's always been big on eliminating distractions, and I think we've done that.テつ We've kept our focus on the job at hand.テつ This week was just beating St. Louis and beating Washington, and we enjoyed today.テつ And tonight we'll get ready to take care of business tomorrow.

Q. テつCory's save percentage this year is 928, Marty 905.テつ That's about their three‑year average in that category.テつ At some point do you have to ride the guy who is going to make more saves for you than the other guy?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ Well, I'm not a big statistics guy.テつ I mean, I think those are a little misleading.テつ I think despite the fact that Marty's save percentage is a little lower.テつ Marty has played some excellent hockey for us.テつ At the same time I think we've ridden the guy who has been hotter for us.テつ When Marty was hotter than Cory earlier in the year we rode Marty for a while and he got the majority of the games.
And I think we're doing the opposite now.テつ So I think we are doing that.テつ I think we'd be foolish to toss one of them to the side, though.テつ The schedule's too condensed.テつ You've got the Olympics.テつ You've got back to backs.テつ I think we're at a huge advantage having two guys who are capable of playing.

Q.テつ Coach, you want to get out there and get worked on, but it's a fun environment to be on.テつ I know guys were working with the (indiscernible) and somebody had a baseball on the ice.テつ Was this better than the average practice, just more fun for everybody, yourself included?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ Yeah, want to keep the fun element.テつ At the same time this is a huge game tomorrow.テつ It's a four‑point game.テつ Two teams that are this close in the standings.テつ And the reality of this, the way things look, one of us might be in the Playoffs.テつ One of us might be on the outside looking in.
So the message to our group today was enjoy the day, let's have fun, enjoy your families here today.テつ And when we get to the hotel tonight, it's all business, because the game's too important tomorrow.

Q.テつ You've had your fair share of memorable moments in the Devils/Rangers rivalry in this, your third year.テつ Playoffs series, a bunch of regular season memorable moments.テつ How do you feel about this as a new wrinkle maybe to this rivalry from your perspective?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ Well, I think it's fantastic.テつ The excitement, Rangers/Devils game that generates on its own is big.テつ To add Yankee Stadium and outdoor game to that I think is it's a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity.テつ I think that's how we're approaching it.
You try and take everything in, enjoy it.テつ We're using the Yankees dressing room.テつ They've got pictures of Babe Ruth on the training table in there and Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle; it's an amazing place.テつ I can tell you, the athletes today are in much better shape than they were back then.

Q.テつ Was Cory as humble with you as he was with the media last night when we were talking about the possible starter for today, and he actually said that he would like to see Marty as a starter considering what he's done for this franchise?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ Yeah, I mean amazing professionalism.テつ And genuine.テつ He was exactly the same way.テつ I think he recognized that there was a decision to be made.
And he went out on his own and pretty much helped make the decision easy.テつ And you can't say enough about that.テつ Not many teammates would do that.テつ We probably would have made that decision anyway.テつ But it was comforting as a coach to have him come out and do that.テつ And it's genuine, when you talk to him, about his feelings about it.

Q.テつ Anything specific in playing the game tomorrow that is just going to be different because you're outdoors, change strategy‑wise or preparation‑wise, is the game going to be any different once the puck is dropped?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ I think when you talk to people who have participated in these games before, I think a lot of times less is more.テつ I think the natural reaction is to go on and try and put on a show.テつ You've got instead of 20,000 people, 60,000 people in here.
And I think that's the natural reaction, and that's the reaction you have to fight, because it's counterproductive in these type of games.
So looks like the ice is going to be good.テつ I don't think we're going to have to manage that.テつ And just show up and play our game.

Q.テつ Kind of a follow‑up to that last question, do you want to keep shifts shorter tomorrow because of the weather conditions, or do they stay the same?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ Depends if we're going with the wind or against it.テつ I mean, we're a four‑line team.テつ We want to keep shifts at a fairly short amount anyway.テつ We want to keep our energy high.テつ We're a forecheck team that relies on putting people over the boards with energy.
So short shifts are something that we've always promoted and I don't think that changes tomorrow.

Q.テつ A lot of people who normally don't watch hockey always enjoy the marginal fan enjoys watching the outdoor game, do you see this as important for your industry to bring in new customers and maybe they should have more games like this just to...
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ I think it's fantastic.テつ You're absolutely right.テつ I can tell you, I've run into a lot of people over the last month that not traditional hockey fans that have asked me about this game and about the excitement.
I think there's a real crossover because the venues you're playing in, it's natural that you're going to get some baseball fans, because it's at Yankee Stadium, they're going to show some interest.テつ I think that crossover element is great for our sport.

Q.テつ You probably kind of had in your mind what it would be like, what it might feel like when you went out there today but when you stepped out of the dugout and on the ice, what did you see, what did you think?
COACH PETER DeBOER:テつ In awe.テつ I think it's even before that.テつ When I walked in the Yankees dressing room I was in awe.テつ I can't describe the memorabilia on the walls in there and the pictures.テつ They're not team photos, they're casual shots of guys sitting around the locker room or on the training table and in quiet moments, legendary athletes that you've watched your whole life.
It's an awe‑inspiring place.テつ And I think walking out tomorrow with 50 or 60,000 people in here is going to be magical.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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