2003 NHL Playoffs 2003 NHL Playoffs

Long in the tooth

Stevens breaks record with another dominant effort

Posted: Friday May 30, 2003 1:21 AM
Updated: Friday May 30, 2003 2:18 AM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Reuters) -- Scott Stevens has seen a lot of postseason action in his illustrious 21-year career and after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, he's seen more action than any other defenseman in NHL history.

On Thursday, Stevens passed Devils special assignment coach Larry Robinson for the most games played in the postseason by a defenseman after he appeared in his 228th playoff game.

"I guess I've come a long way," Stevens said. "It's special passing Larry, who is a great friend of mine and taught me a lot.

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"I guess it's kind of special that way."

Stevens now sits fifth on the all-time most playoff games played list.

Recently-retired Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy leads with 247 games, followed by Mark Messier (236), Claude Lemieux (233) and Guy Carbonneau (231).

It's an accomplishment Stevens takes great pride in, especially since its due primarily to his endurance and the fact that's he's played on some pretty good hockey teams as well.

But it's also one he's not going to dwell on.

"I think you look back on these things when you're done and retired," Stevens said. "One day you can sit back and talk about those accomplishments."

Stevens, 39, has been in the playoffs for 20 of his 21 seasons.

He's been to the Stanley Cup finals four times in his 11 years with the Devils, winning the Cup in 1995 and 2000.

In 2000, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs most valuable player.

He's been a key factor in this latest Devils run too, playing a lot, throwing his usual fierce body checks and leading the team off and on the ice.

Known as "Dad" to his team mates, Stevens still relishes the role of being a team leader.

"What I like best about this team is that we're all on the same page," Stevens said. "Players that come from other organizations know that they have to buy into the system because that's just the way we play.

"It's hard for them, because maybe they don't get as many points as they did on other teams. But we get more wins and maybe more championships, too, playing this way.

"It's been a great run, I've played a lot of playoff games ... but I want to play a few more yet."

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