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Red Wings give the Devils their due

The Detroit Red Wings were impressed with the Devils' team concept.

"The thing they do best is get you off your game," defenseman Bob Rouse said after the Devils won the Stanley Cup by completing a four-game sweep of the Red Wings with a 5-2 win Saturday night. "They played defense better than us, and that's not something that happened to us during the season."

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman called the Devils "the toughest team I played against" this year.

And Keith Primeau called the Devils "a tremendous hockey club. They're a deserving champion."

Devilishly good in goal

The Devils were the first team to win the Stanley Cup without scoring six goals in a game since the 1976 Montreal Canadiens, who were coached by Scotty Bowman.

Bowman remembered how good that Montreal team was, and thinks the Devils may be as good defensively. "When I was with Montreal, we swept Philadelphia four straight after they'd won two Cups," Bowman said. "That was a strong defensive game, but now there's a little more offense in the league.

"So if you can shut down teams and hold them to fewer than two goals, it's not just goaltending. The goaltender (Martin Brodeur) was very solid, but in all areas of the game, it's one of the better performances I've seen."

Brodeur had a 1.67 goals-against average, and the Devils surrendered just 34 goals in 20 games in the playoffs.

Brodeur says he owes a lot of his success to goaltending coach Jacques Caron, who in turn says Brodeur has been a delight to coach. "He's the type of kid you'd like to have for a son," Caron said. "He's very respectful."

A party in the planning

An official celebration to honor New Jersey's championship will be discussed today, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said.

"Nothing has been planned at this point," Helen Strus said. "We'll meet with the Devils on Monday to plan a celebration."

The Devils did not want to plan anything until the finals ended.

_ TIMES WIRES

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