THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 2, 2002
Raleigh, N.C. - There are no compromises with what has become known
as "The System" for the Carolina Hurricanes - even against a team
with the star power of the Detroit Red Wings.
Carolina plans to open the Stanley Cup Finals on Tuesday night with
the same defensive, trapping style that frustrated the Devils,
Montreal and Toronto en route to the franchise's Eastern Conference
The Hurricanes have allowed just 29 goals in 18 playoff games and
aren't too concerned that they'll now be facing eight future Hall of
Famers and a team that crushed the defending Cup champion Colorado
Avalanche, 7-0, Friday night to win the Western crown.
"Changing now would be a guarantee of failure," coach Paul Maurice
said. "Those things are ingrained now with us. The system is not the
key, it's the quickness and the execution."
With that in mind, Maurice geared things up yesterday as the team
practiced full-speed breakouts and defensive positioning on the rush.
"We're trying to get our pace up high as we can," Maurice said. "We
really focused on quickness after the Olympic break and we're looking
at these five or six days of practice in the same manner to get back
to doing things as quick as we can."
The one-hour session also was intense. At one point, Jeff O'Neill and
David Tanabe almost came to blows along the boards, the two teammates
pushing and shoving after a check.
O'Neill dismissed the incident after practice. Maurice just smiled.
Tanabe, injured with a broken wrist since Game 1 of the New Jersey
opening-round series, is trying to get back into the lineup. "He just
about got into a fight today, which was nice," Maurice said of his
second-year defenseman. "His level is getting up there."
The Red Wings, led by such stars as Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and
Sergei Fedorov, have scored twice as many goals (58) in the playoffs
as the Hurricanes have allowed. But captain Ron Francis said Carolina
can't get caught up worrying about Detroit's offensive prowess.
"Our focus has to be on ourselves and our system and playing that as
well as we can and making as few mistakes as we can," Francis
said. "That's our biggest challenge, sticking with our game plan."
Carolina at Detroit
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