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Inside the Locker Room -- Season Finale Part 2

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs season has come to a close so see what the players were saying as they closed up shop for another year.

Bryan McCabe

There's still a sour taste, and it'll be for a while, it's a tough feeling, i'm disappointed (Something this team needs to change?) I think we really have a great group of guys in here, a lucky bounce here or there, you never know what could happen, I don't think we need to change anything, we got a great group of guys, great goaltending, good leadership. (Is this the best room you've been a part of?) Yeah, I think so, we made some great acquisitions this year, guys are awesome in the dressing room, on and off the ice, lead by example, and hopefully we can get everyone back together. (Can the management afford to keep the team together?) I don't know... If they want to write some paycheques, but I would certainly hope we could keep most of the core together here, I really believe we have a great group in here, and if we could keep the core together we should give it a good run here.

Photo Brian Leetch
(Re-playing the last winning goal) I would've liked to stay near the red line, and keep an eye closer for a two-line pass, but I cheated up a bit towards that blue line, and the puck went in one of those areas I couldn't get to it. (Transition to the locker room easy?) Like I've said, pretty quickly I felt pretty comfortable, the players made me feel like a big part of the team right away, and that made the transition a lot easier in the locker room, and so many people went out of their way to make the transition smoother and easy as it could be, and they showed me a lot of respect, and a lot of help in making this transition. (What's it like to be back in the post-season after missing them in New York?) It's a long regular season, and the idea is to put your team in that spot, to compete for that cup, and I was excited coming to a strong team, and I knew we'd be in the playoffs, and I felt like most of the guys here that we had a chance at it, and that's what hurts, but obviously that chance to go for the cup was great (Pat Quinn comments?) Pat has been really good as a coach, he's the type of coach that I like, he's aggressive behind the bench, style of play, puck movement, trying to outnumber the other team aggressively, and then making guys accountable in the locker room, and I really enjoyed it. (World Cup?) It's never something that you can guarantee that you'll be on, but certainly I'm looking forward for that chance to play and playing where the travel's not a big deal and the play is that great of a compeition. (Playing against teammates in the World Cup?) It always makes it a little strange, especially with the season starting up maybe a few days later, could be playing your teammates, it was the same in 96, remember (former Rangers teammates) (Mark) Messier, (Adam) Graves, it actually made it a lot more difficult for them, with their game was finishing checks, and they knew they'd be playing with me a few days later. (Hopes that there's no lockout?) I look at the World Cup as an important time, focus will be back on hockey, a lot of games will be at primetime, areas that will bring the focus back and put pressure on both sides, if nothing comes out of that short amount of time, we start to miss training cup, and get towards October, my optimisim will start to fade. (Leafs in Toronto, like Yankees in New York?) Being a Yankee in New York is a special thing, but it's hard to comment on it until you're at that point, but that's one of the biggest things I learned coming here, Leafs Nation, support of the fans that they give this organization, not just in Toronto, it's in every city, that's something that tradition and other sports things bring in, when you compare with the Yankees... I think it's the respect that they have for the Maple Leaf and being a part of this organization, and you know that parents have passed on their love of the Leafs down to their kids, that has continued right along, and I think that's one of the benefits coming to a city that has the traditions and longevity of an organization. New York's a big city, and hockey's a small part of what goes on in that city, and I think that the Yankees and baseball can bring a lot of people that aren't interested in sports out, and I think that's the same way in Toronto with hockey.

Photo Darcy Tucker
(Has the shock worn off yet?) I dont think it's going to wear off for a while, obviously we were really commited to doing it this time round, it's heartbreaking, that's for sure. (More dissapointing this year?) That's for sure, game 5 was tough for us, we layed an egg (What do you think the team needs to get over the hump?) That's managements decision, as players we always want a chance to win, and we've always had a chance to win since I've been here (Did this hurt more than Martin Gelinas goal in 2002?) Yeah it's sort of the same, any time you lose in overtime it's just over right away, and the building was going pretty crazy before that, and a lot of excitement, it bursted the bubble pretty quick (CBA comments?) I'm not thinking about that now, I'll worry about that as the summer goes on

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