DENVER — Odd though it might sound, the New Jersey Devils said they were happy to be playing tonight's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals on the road.
"Our guys just seem to have too many distractions at home," Coach Larry Robinson said after a 4-0 loss Thursday to the Colorado Avalanche dropped the Devils to 7-6 in the playoffs at Continental Airlines Arena. "Maybe they listen to all the people telling them how great they are and they don't concentrate on their jobs. But we certainly do play better on the road than we do at home."
The Devils have the league's best playoff road record with an 8-3 mark.
"If we had to pick a place to play, it would probably be on the road," New Jersey defenseman Ken Daneyko said.
The Devils are not alone in finding comfort on the road. Visiting teams have won 10 of the last 13 games in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Devils and Avalanche are each 2-1 on the road in the series.
Robinson reunited the A-line of center Jason Arnott and wingers Patrik Elias and Peter Sykora in Game 6, but they failed to click. In fact, Elias and Sykora showed more spark when Arnott was sidelined by a head injury in Game 5 and Bobby Holik took his place.
"That line was very successful for so many years and has won a lot of games for us," Robinson said. "I didn't see any reason why not to put them back together. That's where they have been the last two or three years."
Colorado defenseman Adam Foote is a rough-and-tumble sort, better known for his physical play against opponents' top forwards than for scoring goals or setting them up. Foote had a goal and two assists in Game 6, his first three-point game since he recorded three assists April 4, 1997, against the San Jose Sharks.
"He's so solid and does so many things well," said Ray Bourque, Foote's defense partner. "We really feed off each other. When you play with a guy as talented and as competitive as him, it's very comforting."