Stanley Cup Notebook
The Devils' Arnott looks for humor in injury
Updated: Tuesday June 05, 2001 5:24 PM
DENVER (AP) -- Jason Arnott took part in New Jersey's morning skate Monday before deciding he would be unable to play in Game 5.
Informed that he needed to wear a helmet with more padding, he at one point borrowed goalie John Vanbiesbrouck's mask.
"They made me wear a helmet with thicker foam in it and I don't like it," Arnott said. "So I figured I'd play a joke and put Beezer's helmet on. I asked our trainer if that was OK if I played with his helmet, but it's a little too small on me.
"You've got to bring a little humor into it. I've been down. It's hard because it's tough to be upbeat and positive in here. That's me. I've got to bring a little humor to the room so the guys just forget about me and concentrate on the game."
Arnott, who was experiencing dizziness after being hit in the head with a puck in Game 4 on Saturday, said doctors haven't told him if he sustained a concussion. But, he added, "The symptoms are there."
He didn't know how many concussions he has had in his career, but noted, "I have been knocked out before."
Asked if he might also miss Game 6 on Thursday in New Jersey, Arnott said, "That is also a concern. I will have to see. It's day-to-day. I have to get rest."
Losing ArnottThe Devils compared the loss of Arnott to Colorado's loss of Peter Forsberg, who had surgery to remove a ruptured spleen after Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals on May 10.
"They've had to go through the same thing with the loss of Forsberg," Devils center Scott Gomez said. "You've seen that each guy has had to pick it up over there. We are going to have to do the same thing here.
"It's tough not having Arnott in the lineup, but this is the finals. There's no use crying over spilled milk. You keep going."
Defenseman Sean O'Donnell said Arnott's absence is "big, really big. He's a huge part of this team. He's part of the big line we have."
"I'm sure most people thought Colorado was done when Forsberg went out. But they have gotten contributions from unlikely sources," he said. "You need to do that."
Keys to unlocking CupGame 5 has proved critical to a team's success in winning the Stanley Cup in those series that were tied 2-2, as the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche were heading into Game 5 on Monday night.
In the 16 previous Stanley Cup finals series that were tied 2-2, the club winning Game 5 has gone on to win the Stanley Cup 13 times.
Since then, the five teams that won Game 5, including Dallas in 1999, have captured the cup.
This year marks just the fifth time in 25 years and the 17th time since the best-of-seven format began in 1939 that clubs have split the first four games of the Stanley Cup finals.
Clear viewAvalanche coach Bob Hartley was asked about his comments that coaching in the NHL playoffs is better than working in a windshield factory, which he did about 20 years ago.
When asked if that feels like a long time ago or if he still felt a connection, Hartley said: "I think it gave me a clear vision," drawing laughter in the room.
"The experience I got out of working in a factory with 400 or 500 partners is certainly helping me out in dealing with people in this business."
"There are possibilities that if we win Game 5, we will be right on the doorstep," Reid said Monday. "That's what everybody is looking at. We win this game and we are right there. But we don't look at what-ifs."
Reid detected a fatal attitude in his team before Game 4, won by New Jersey 3-2 to square the series.
"It's thinking past a particular game and what if we are up 3-1 before we even played Game 4," he said. "We have to concentrate on Game 5 now, one game at a time. You get too far ahead of yourself and you get in trouble."