COACH DeBOER: You know what, I just felt a little under the weather after practice. Nothing serious. I stayed away out of concern for your guys' health and me spreading it to you. Last thing we need is you guys getting sick this time of year. So I'm fine, though. We're good to go.
Q. Did you watch last night's game? And did you do so with any interest at all of who won, or did you have a preference? Did you care whether or not it was going to be for the home ice or getting caught up in the hysteria of the next two weeks of Rangers-Devils?
COACH DeBOER: You know what, I didn't have a preference. Watched a lot of tape on both teams. I thought appropriately the series went seven games and what I saw on tape was two very evenly matched teams.
For me it was a pick-your-poison type situation. So I did watch. But not with the intention of preferring one team over the other. I really think that there's a reason that there's only four teams left, and they're all very good.
Q. With that in mind, now knowing that it is the Rangers, first of all, how excited are you that you're going to have this kind of hysteria for the next two weeks? And, second of all, do you like the way your team matches up against the Rangers?
COACH DeBOER: You know what, I am excited it's the Rangers. Anybody that coaches or plays wants to play your main rival in this type of situation. So I don't think it gets any better than that. That's the type of environment you want to play in.
And so I think we're very excited that we'll get an opportunity at the best team in the Eastern Conference. They have the most points, and we're going to throw our best at them and see if it's good enough.
What was the second half of the question?
Q. About the styles of play. It seems like the Rangers are almost like a mirror image of yourself.
COACH DeBOER: We play a similar style. Both defense oriented. We had some great battles during the regular season. I think we ended up splitting or they ended up a point ahead on a shootout win, I can't remember the exact record. But I think that the style of plays are real similar, and it should make for some real hard-nosed hockey.
Q. Are the games going to be vastly different than they were during the regular season simply because you know what they were like during the regular season and that doesn't usually happen in the Playoffs?
COACH DeBOER: What are you asking me, Rich, if it's going to be fights on the opening draws, is that what you're asking me?
Q. More than fights. Yeah.
COACH DeBOER: I don't know. It's hard to predict what the series will hold or where it's going to go. I know we're going to be ready to play. And we can play any way they want to play.
Q. You're a lot likely to have a lot of those same plays?
COACH DeBOER: You never know.
Q. Is your team better than it was the last time you played them? You didn't really have Travis, you didn't have Travis other than the first time you played them, and you seem to be playing more consistent than you were back then. Do you think you are a better team than you were?
COACH DeBOER: I think we're a better team. I think we've gotten better as the season's gone on. And we've taken the same path in the playoffs. So I know we played the Rangers late in the season. And we were playing at a good level at that point and so were they. And the games were very close. So I think, like I said, you get to the last four teams of the 30 in the NHL and there's one thing in common, I think, for all four teams. And they all play hard and they all play a team game. None of the four teams left are based around individuals. It's about playing a good team game, and that's why we're here.
Q. Biggest key for you, for your team, to win this series?
COACH DeBOER: We have to find a way to generate some offense, and we've done a good job of that through the playoffs and late in the season. I think when I look back at our games against the Rangers, you know, we weren't as successful in some of the losses of doing that. And that's a credit to their team game and to Lundqvist. That's going to be keeping our defensive foundation and finding a way to score some goals.
Q. Both teams are obviously playing great. Should we be concerned that the coaches on these two teams peaked during this season?
COACH DeBOER: That's a good point. I think I said earlier, you know, this is going to be decided by the guys with the skates on and on the ice. It's not going to be decided in my mind behind the bench or in a coach's room.
Again, I think you get to this point in the year, the final four teams are all well schooled on the Xs and Os and the system and the strategy. You know, it comes down to will and some bounces and some health, and that's all decided inside the boards, not behind the benches.
Q. What's bigger in your mind, beat the Rangers or reach the Finals?
COACH DeBOER: Well, we obviously have to do that to get to the Finals. We're here to win a Stanley Cup. Our season success or failure isn't based around the New York Rangers or beating the New York Rangers. It happens they're in our way on our goal to win a Stanley Cup, and we're going to have to get through them to get where we want to go.
Q. You made such a point of emphasis to say not to retaliate against the Flyers, to keep it between the whistles. Is that something that carries forward considering the rivalry and the nastiness between these teams during the season?
COACH DeBOER: You know what, we got certain staples of our game that we know make us successful, and those vary from opponent to opponent. So I'm not going to get into too much about our game plan, but we know what works for us.
Q. Have you figured out your starting lineup for tomorrow night yet?
COACH DeBOER: Tune in at 8:00.