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Devils Won't Get Caught Up In Cup Dreams


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#1 Rock

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 06:25 AM

Devils won't get caught up in Cup dreams
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Friday, May 9, 2003

By TOM GULITTI
STAFF WRITER



WEST ORANGE - The Devils are closer to the prize now, but they don't dare look at it.

With only four teams remaining, the temptation is there to start thinking of playing in the Stanley Cup Finals - and winning it all. It's a nice dream, one the Devils are trying to keep tucked in the back of their minds while they prepare to face the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference finals, which begin Saturday afternoon at the Corel Centre.

They hear the Senators talking about the Cup and they shrug.

They don't mind if the Senators dream. It's just that they won't.

"We don't talk about Stanley Cups," Devils' coach Pat Burns said after Thursday's practice at South Mountain Arena. "We talk about conference finals. We go step by step. I've been reading a lot about them, how they want the Cup and how they want to win the Cup and how the Cup is important. Well, to get to the Cup, you've got to go through somebody first and that's us. And I think that we're ready for that.

"We'll worry about the other stuff when we get through that."

Burns' words seemed to indicate he felt the Senators were looking past his team. He insisted that wasn't the case, that he was simply pointing out the difference in the teams' approaches to the series.

"It doesn't bother me," Burns said. "It's just that we're a team that talks a little different. The Cup is another round away. It doesn't bother me. They can say whatever they want. I'm just saying that we're going to prepare about winning the conference finals before we start talking about the Stanley Cup."


After having Wednesday off, the Devils began making thorough preparations to face the Senators before and during Thursday's practice. They met for 45 minutes before taking the ice for another 45 minutes. Their meeting included video review and lengthy discussion of how they will take on the Senators.

What it didn't include was a discussion of what comes next if they are able to defeat the Senators. Perhaps, that's because they already know.

This is the Devils' third trip to the conference finals in four years. The Senators are making their first appearance in the NHL's final four since the franchise was reincarnated in 1992.

"We just know that it's so far away from us and there's so many things that can happen before we put a foot on the ice on Saturday afternoon," Devils' goalie Martin Brodeur said. "We just have to worry about that game. It comes with experience."


The Devils know they are facing their toughest challenge of the playoffs. The Senators captured the President's Trophy by finishing first overall with 113 points. They have impressive scoring depth with six players who scored 20 goals or more, play solid team defense, and have a reliable goaltender in Patrick Lalime.

"We're the underdog and that's the way it should be," defenseman Ken Daneyko said. "That might be good for us. I think we're a little bit afraid that if we don't play our best, we can get blown out here. They're a good team. They're very skilled. At times it can be intimidating looking at their lineup. You go, 'Wow, that's a good team.' But, hopefully, we'll be able to contain some of that high-flying offense."


If the Devils believe the Senators are looking past them by talking about winning the Cup, they're not admitting it. That, too, is a sign of experience.

"You've got to play every game on the ice," Daneyko said. "Leave it to everybody else to stir it up. When I was younger, maybe I got too caught up in it. Other teams can say what they want. If you need motivation this time of year, there's something wrong. I don't need any extra motivation from people making comments or not making comments. The only motivation that we need is to know that we have the chance of a lifetime here of getting to another Finals."


"Every team's goal is to win the Stanley Cup," added center Joe Nieuwendyk. "I think you have to go through a lot to get there. Words are words and I think they realize that we're a pretty good team here and they're not getting too far ahead of themselves."


DEVILS BRIEFS: Burns said right wing Turner Stevenson's groin strain, which kept him out of the final two games against Tampa Bay, is "100 percent" healed and that he will be in the lineup for Game 1 Saturday. ... Scott Gomez said his sprained right ankle is "almost 100 percent.''
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#2 Derek21

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:36 AM

They had essentially the same article in The Post with the same Burns quotes. Not only did he retract but then he took shots at the Senators saying they were looking past the Devils. Ottawa has given his team plenty of respect in the tabloids with players and even their coach saying how they copied them and how excellent an opponent they are. Just because their eyes are on the prize means they think they are a shoe-in for the Cup Finals :blink: ???

That's called focus. A team gets to this point and the object is the Cup. They were quoted as saying they were halfway to their "goal" after beating Philadelphia. Somebody should tell Burns.

You don't get that fancy trophy for making the conference round.
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#3 Risky

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:26 AM

"Win the next game" is the right attitude, not "win the cup." If you look at that, you're seeing the forest and not the tree in front of you, which is fine until you run straight into it.
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#4 Derek21

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 09:37 AM

[quote name='Risky' date='May 9 2003, 09:26 AM']"Win the next game" is the right attitude, not "win the cup." If you look at that, you're seeing the forest and not the tree in front of you, which is fine until you run straight into it.


I agree with that Risky. I think the whole Cup thing was overblown though. All you have to do is look at the quotes from Ottawa on their formidable opponent this round. They know that in order to get there, they will have to beat an extremely difficult experienced team to get to that next step.

I don't think you'll see either side taking the other for granted.


The Cup is every remaining team's goal at this point. It's just getting through this next battle to get to that final destination.

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#5 westcoastdevfan

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 12:30 PM

Derek, your "focus" has shifted a bit. You once praised the Devils. Now you find anyway possible to bash them. You have pretty much over analyzed everything little article in recent days. I respect your views and will continue to do so because quite frankly you know what your talking about. But, why the sudden shift in attitude? That's what I don't understand.
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#6 LizDevil30

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 12:39 PM

Jealous. WC. He is so jealous he sees everything through the eyes of the Green eyed monster. His Rags missed the playoffs again and the Devs are way to close to the Cup than he is comfortable with.

It's okay. He's a Rag fan. We won't hold it against him. :lol:
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#7 Zamode

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 05:40 PM

You don't win the Cup merely by winning the President's trophy, either. Four wins, guys, give us those four wins!



Oh yeah and the next four really! ;)
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#8 Langenbrunner15

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 05:48 PM

the devs are doing a good thing though... take everything one step at a time... because if u start walking to fast u might fall and hurt yourself and in their case get beaten... and not get to the cup.... but of course we are all behind them.....

GO DEVS!
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#9 Derek21

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:17 PM

WCF, Burns is a good coach but what he did is obnoxious. He didn't like the fact that his over the phone interview with Slam, a Canadian hockey site turned into him saying, "Ottawa has an excellent team but the Devils will win the series."

All you have to do is read closely what he said today. He didn't like being portrayed in that light. That's understandable. I don't understand why he had to make the Senators the issue and twist their words.

I know what he's doing. Trying to take the pressure off his team and give his team an edge. Frankly, I find it arrogant that he accused Ottawa of looking past his team. It's like a game of cat and mouse. Burns said something and got quoted and then he tries to put the onus on the opponent :unsure: ???


Whatever. It won't mean anything once they drop the puck tomorrow.
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#10 Triumph

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:20 PM

If the Senators care at all about what Burns says, they are pathetic.

Overanalyzing all of these quotes means nothing once the puck drops, you are right. And I'm tired of the media overblowing every single quote that might be interpreted as motivation for the other side.. if the other side needs motivation, it sure as hell isn't going to come from Pat Burns' braggadocio.
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#11 Zamode

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:20 PM

Derek why don't you just come out and say you are rooting for Ottawa? :rolleyes:
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#12 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:40 PM

Too long a lull between series for these things not to happen.


Zamode, if the roles were reversed, I'd be pulling for the Sens too.
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#13 Zamode

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:50 PM

Too long a lull between series for these things not to happen.

True

Zamode,  if the roles were reversed, I'd be pulling for the Sens too.

You both stink then! :P   :angry:


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#14 Derek21

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:54 PM

Zam would have liked me in 2000 when I pulled for the Devs to win. I also rooted for them to repeat over the hated Av-nots.

I'm not all that bad.


Did you really expect me to root for the Devils when it's my 2nd favorite team? I've been rooting for them since the playoffs began.


Oh well :wave:
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#15 Zamode

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:56 PM

Well you do have 2636 posts on a Devils board!!
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#16 Derek21

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:01 PM

[quote name='Zamode' date='May 9 2003, 08:56 PM']Well you do have 2636 posts on a Devils board!!


See. You took the positive :lol: . I knew you would ;) .

I don't know why it's so awful to post on a rival team's board :unsure: . Especially with such nice people. I find it fun.

This is a good board.

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#17 SpeakoftheDevil(s)

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:21 PM

I'm sorry, I just dont understand having a second favorite team. Especially one that is in the same conference as my favorite team.
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#18 SBT

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 11:40 PM

I'm sorry, I just dont understand having a second favorite team. Especially one that is in the same conference as my favorite team.

To each his/her own.
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#19 Zamode

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 12:47 PM

[quote name='Derek21' date='May 9 2003, 09:01 PM'][quote name='Zamode' date='May 9 2003, 08:56 PM']Well you do have 2636 posts on a Devils board!!


See. You took the positive :lol: . I knew you would ;) .

I don't know why it's so awful to post on a rival team's board :unsure: . Especially with such nice people. I find it fun.

This is a good board.
[/QUOTE]


You make absolutely no sense and neither does this post :blink:
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