Dream still alive
Foote, Roy give Bourque one more shot at Cup
Updated: Friday June 08, 2001 1:58 AM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Ray Bourque gave his teammates an inspiring pregame speech, and his best pals made sure his latest Stanley Cup quest didn't sink in the New Jersey swamps.
Adam Foote had a goal and two assists, and Patrick Roy made 24 saves for his 19th career playoff shutout as the Avalanche beat the Devils 4-0 Thursday night to force a deciding Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals.
"Ray's one of the many leaders on this team and when the leaders speak, everybody listens," Colorado forward Dave Reid said. "Ray spoke and everybody listened. I think that's the best way to put it."
Bourque, seeking his first championship in 22 seasons, teams with Foote to form Colorado's top defensive pairing, and he regularly rides to practice with Roy, who atoned for a costly mistake that allowed New Jersey to rally for a victory in Game 4.
The two were instrumental in putting Bourque 60 minutes from the Stanley Cup. Game 7 is Saturday night in Denver.
"Today was my biggest game of my career," Bourque said. "The next one is Saturday, and that's the biggest one. I said before that I'm enjoying every second of this and I'm having a blast."
Foote had a blast of his own, scoring his third goal of the playoffs on a long shot from the right point to give the Avalanche a lift with 1:58 left in the first period. It was Colorado's fourth shot of the game and deflated the Devils.
"Adam is very underrated when it comes to his offensive skills because he's so valuable in our defensive zone," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "He's so gritty and so tough people judge him by his work in our zone."
Foote, known more for his hard-hitting defense, also played a key role in helping the Avs take a 2-0 lead 2:26 into the second, keeping the puck in the zone near the end of a power play.
"It was important not to press when it wasn't there," Foote said. "They're very good on the transition game and they burned us last game. We thought we needed more shots and more traffic in front of Brodeur. I didn't try to go all-out on offense. That wasn't in my mind."
Roy, who has an NHL-record 136 playoff victories, was not about to squander a two-goal lead, especially after the embarrassing gaffe five days ago.
In his last appearance in New Jersey, Roy misplayed the puck behind the net, and Scott Gomez scored the game-tying goal with 12 minutes remaining. The Devils went on to win and tie the series, leaving many wondering if the play would come back to haunt the Avalanche.
After a pedestrian performance in Game 5, Roy put himself back in the MVP mix by stopping several New Jersey chances in the game's first 15 minutes. He also was selective in playing the puck behind the net.
"You never like to make a mistake," Roy said. "Everybody makes mistakes. It's part of the game. You just try to live with it and regroup and keep playing the way I was playing."
By staying at home in the crease, Roy made sure the Avalanche would go home for their second Game 7 in four weeks and their eighth in franchise history.
Colorado, which earned home ice with the NHL's top regular season record, defeated the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals to improve to 3-4 in seventh games. The Avs were eliminated by the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the conference finals each of the previous two seasons.
"Anytime that you perform in a Game 7, it's always one of the best learning experiences that you can get," Hartley said. "It doesn't get more important than this. That's where you see the real warriors. They'll stand up."
Bourque predicted his teammates would play well in Game 6, and
he wasn't disappointed. Maybe Colorado's Game 7 karma is changing.
Bourque wore No. 7 early in his career with Boston before switching
to his more familiar No. 77.