Stanley Cup Notebook
Devils hope to rain on the Avalanche's parade
DENVER (AP) -- On the eve of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, city officials quietly made tentative plans for a parade on Monday in the event the Colorado Avalanche won Saturday night.
They weren't discreet enough, however.
The New Jersey Devils, who made similar tentative plans for their own parade before losing Game 6, got wind of the Colorado plan but weren't worried.
"Anger isn't the word," said Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko. "I think it's pretty funny, actually, I get a kick out of it. Nobody's won nothing yet.
"There's still a hockey game to be played, and we're pretty excited about the opportunity to put a little bit of disruption in the parade plans the city has already made here."
Center Bobby Holik said there were more important matters to attend to than worrying about another team's celebratory plans, however premature.
"The moment we worry about them is the moment we don't play well," Holik said. "What their plans are and what they're going to do in the immediate future, it's not going to affect us."
Chasing the CupAll eyes were on Ray Bourque, the Avalanche defenseman who was seeking the first Stanley Cup of his 22-year NHL career.
"This would be a great way to win it, coming from behind like we did, being in a tough situation and responding," Bourque said Saturday, referring to Colorado's 4-0 win in Game 6 to force a deciding seventh game. "It would be awesome.
"Until that happens, we're not going to let ourselves get too far ahead. We're going to do the job and think about the process."
Bourque, who maintains his home in Boston, has had his family with him during the finals.
"They're real excited and kind of living a dream being here in this situation," he said. "They know how important and special this would be for me, so they're really having a blast."
Arnott improvingDevils center Jason Arnott pronounced himself almost 100- percent fit for Game 7.
"All the symptoms have pretty much gone away, and I'm feeling a lot better," he said Saturday.
Arnott was hit by a puck in the left temple early in Game 4. He missed the rest of that game and Game 5 because of concussion-like symptoms that included headaches and dizziness, but he played 16 minutes in Game 6.
"I took a few days off there, and when you do that it kind of hits you," he said. "It's nice to get a game under my belt before [Game 7]. Hopefully, I'll feel better on the ice than I did the last game and get my legs back a little bit more."
Wild rideReferring to the inconsistency of both teams in the finals, Avalanche coach Bob Hartley called the series "a real roller coaster."
"Basically, momentum has been switching, momentum has been nonexistent," Hartley said. "Teams have come up with great efforts, teams have been awful at times.
"I think it just shows that sometimes this game is a lot more mental than physical at this time of the year.
"The way you prepare, the way you react, the way that you adjust is so vital."
Sudden deathThe last two finals were decided in overtime, with Dallas beating Buffalo in three overtimes in 1999 and the Devils beating Dallas in two overtimes last year. Both were in Game 6s.
Devils Coach Larry Robinson wasn't enamored of the thought of going into overtime in the concluding game of this series.
"It's nerve-racking," he said. "Someone told me he hopes it goes two or three overtimes and really makes it wonderful for everyone. I told him, why doesn't he just take a knife and stab me now?
"As a player, you love those games. But ask anybody who has to stand and watch. Watching is probably the most difficult thing you will ever do."
Road warriorsHome ice has been anything but sweet for both teams. The Devils and Avs each are 1-2 at home in this series, which might negate the home-ice advantage the Avalanche earned by posting the NHL's best regular-season record.
Daneyko, at least, hopes so.
"If we had a choice -- and that's being truthful -- we would choose to play here than in our building," he said. "We seem to play much better and a much more composed game. We feel real good about that."
Slap shotsHolik won't be receiving any Christmas cards from actor John Travolta. As many athletes do, he killed time Friday night at a movie theater, watching Travolta's latest, "Swordfish." Asked his impression, Holik said, "It occupied a couple of hours." ... Robinson said defenseman Sean O'Donnell will return to the lineup, replacing Ken Sutton. O'Donnell played in the first four games of the series but not the last two. ... Saturday night's game was the 100th Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. The home team has won 61 of the previous 99 (62 percent).