May 9, 2003
OTTAWA, ONTARIO: Practice Day
Q. Daniel, I wondered New Jersey is so well known for their defensive play and especially their defensemen, what have you guys got to counter that in this series?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: You got to make sure that you make it hard for them by going down in their own end and get pucks. You don't want to -- the worst thing you can do against their defense is turn the puck over because they are good with the puck and if you give them turnovers that's where they are going to capitalize. You have got make it tough for them chip it in the corners, make them go back and get it and finish your checks on them. I think both teams are similar in that way, that they both thrive on turnovers.
Q. I'd like to ask Daniel, could you comment a little bit on kind of a roller-coaster nature of this series for the Senators. In January payments were late. Looked like the franchise could be in serious jeopardy. Now you have got an owner, that deal could be finalized today. Last remaining Canadian team.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: I don't agree. I think we have had a great year. It has been a lot of fun. Obviously there have been some distractions but as players we have been able to block that out and focus on what we are going to do on the ice. As far as that goes, I think we have been able to stay consistent throughout the whole year. We had a mini-slump before the All-Star brake after a tough schedule time there, but it has been an awesome year, a lot of fun and you know, a lot of fun to come.
Q. Daniel, Coach Martin just talked about Patrick's maturity and the fact that he has earned some recognition. What changes, what have you seen in Patrick where he has grown over the past season?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Confidence is a big thing for a goalie and I think with his consistency he has been able to build on that. I think he's very sound in his positioning in the net. He doesn't make too many spectacular saves because he makes it look easier because. He is in good position all the time. I think ever since he has gotten here he has been a really good goalie and last year in the Playoffs he was awesome for us and same thing this year.
Q. But him speaking out after the Flyers game, that's something we didn't hear from Patrick before.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Well, I think you know, in the heat of the moment everybody realizes what is at stake, and I think people make a big deal of it because he's a goalie or he hasn't done this before. Everybody doesn't know what goes on in the locker room. He's not a quiet guy all the time and he likes to speak up, with the guys as well.
Q. Would each of you comment on you why do you think you are better than New Jersey?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Who said we were beater?
Q. Well, do you think you are better?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: Yeah, I think we do.
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: I think we got better offense than they do and we can play good defensively. I think -- I won't say it's a big difference in the teams; we are both very similar teams that can roll four lines, play four lines but I think if there was anything we would be better at it would be offensively.
WADE REDDEN: Yeah, I think both teams match up pretty evenly. I think I think you look at the styles we play and you know, we both pride ourselves on defense first but as was said here earlier, I think we got guys up front that can make a difference in a tight game, you know, that given the chance they can make a lot of things happen offensively. That's what we want to do, I think we want to go out there and play hard in our end and go from there.
CURTIS LESCHYSHYN: Certainly there isn't much difference if you look at the two teams on paper, but we feel that we have a very quick group of forwards that have been dangerous in the Playoffs and that's the way we need them to be. We have played solid defense. The Devils played tremendous defense as well. The goaltenders seem to match up very well. You might want to give the edge in experience to the Devils because of their past championships, but I don't think anyone rests on their laurels at this time of the year. I think everyone competes as hard as they can and realizes what is at stake and I think our hockey club has been very focused all year and that's the way we continue to be.
Q. Can you all comment on why it is that when players come here they want to stay here and they want to keep this core of the team which has stayed together for so long. What is it about this place that's special, anything about that?
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: I think it's -- the city is a great family city. It's a great place to raise your family. And I think it is a great organization, all the way from management to coaches and players. People enjoy coming here. They are treated really well. And they are expected to perform when they are being pushed, I think everybody enjoys that.
WADE REDDEN: I think it's a number of things. This city is a great place to live. It's a five-minute car ride to the rink every morning, so you know, it's a real easy going lifestyle, and the organization I think they treat us players first-class and you can't ask for anything more. I think you know, we get treated real well, and that's why guys like it.
CURTIS LESCHYSHYN: I guess there's not much more you can say about the city, but from a family perspective I don't think there's much better in the League really. We have an opportunity to be with family a lot more here. We don't have to travel the distances some of the other teams do, like Wade said we're only five minutes everyday from practice to get home. I have been in cities where you are gone at 7 in the morning you don't get back 'til 3, 4 in the afternoon. That's a lot of wasted time through the day travelling just on the roads and it's really nice to be a player here with a family. The city has been tremendous, I think, for everyone that's played here; that's the reason why you hear a lot of guys mention Ottawa and mention a lot of good things about it.
End of FastScripts...