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May 17, 2015

Jon Cooper


Q.テつ We talked a lot about your depth.テつ (No Microphone)?
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, you kind of answered your own question a little bit.テつ If we want to advance, we're going to need more than the Triplets to score.テつ When you've looked at some of these big games, we've had other guys score.テつ We've had other guys contribute.
But depth is a big thing.テつ You look across the hall, and they haven't scored a ton of goals in the playoffs, but they're getting a balanced attack from a lot of guys.テつ It's not the Rick Nashes that have scored every single night.テつ They've had guys chip in.テつ And they're advancing, and that's how we're going to have to do it is we need more guys to chip in.テつ It's not like they're not trying to do it.テつ They just haven't gone in right now and they're going to need to find a way.

Q.テつ Getting Ryan Callahan on the ice (No Microphone) you call him a tough guy, but where does that fit in in things you've seen in your career?
COACH COOPER:テつ It's not a secret about hockey players.テつ It almost seems like they'd give up wins just to be able to play.テつ And for Ryan especially, I know surgeries have improved and technology has improved, but when you see the scars and the bruising down there, you know he's in a lot of pain.テつ But he always says, I can suffer the pain in the summer.テつ I don't want to do that in the spring when we have a chance, and he's a big part of our team.テつ There is a reason he wore a C on his shirt in New York, and a reason why he wears an A for us.テつ You can't have enough of those guys, and I'm just glad he's on our team.

Q.テつ Could you give us a very detailed update on Brian Boyle, please.テつ Will he play tomorrow?テつ
COACH COOPER:テつ You know what, I don't know.テつ I don't know the answer to that, honestly.テつ I don't.

Q.テつ You see a guy like Todd Johnson and with his size, he's able to do so much in these playoffs.テつ I know you've only worked in the NHL for now three years, but is there something about the game that's maybe opened it up more for players who can skate who have that skill and maybe less need that size to have success?
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, the one thing about smaller guys, bigger players always have to play themselves off teams.テつ Smaller players always have to play themselves on teams.テつ As a smaller player, I believe you have to set yourself apart in some aspect.テつ You have to be better than everybody else.テつ You look at a Gaudreau, his hockey sense is off the charts, better than most.テつ That's why he survives.
Tyler Johnson, his speed, his competitiveness.テつ That's what sets these guys apart.テつ The other thing is they're winners.テつ Just go back in their history and look at what these guys have won.テつ They're the catalyst of teams that have won, and it's no secret those are the guys that have success.

Q.テつ You've had a chance to work with Anton Stralman.テつ How impressed are you by the reliability he brings to you game to game and how impressed are you by the approach and good habits that he brings to your team?
COACH COOPER:テつ I can't sit here and say I'm the guy that works with Anton Stralman, because I think I would just screw him up.テつ Like when you come to the package he brought to the table, my glimpse of Anton Stralman was in the playoffs last year, so that's where you get to know him.テつ He didn't get the fanfare that the Girardis and McDonaghs and Staals were getting.テつ And Stralman always seemed to be the other guy.テつ Yet Stralman when we go through the tapes, he was always the guy on the ice when the other teams were putting up the best players.
But he is definitely one of those guys you do not appreciate until you have him on your team.テつ His preparation, his calm, his hockey sense, everything, it's phenomenal.テつ He is the total package, and he can play in every situation.テつ I know he didn't play in the power play here, but he probably could have.テつ He just had other guys ahead of him.テつ But he plays against the top lines.テつ He can play offensively, defensively, and just the way he prepares himself, I can't say enough about.テつ That was an unreal signing for us, because he's changed the dynamic of our defense, and it's him that's changed it.

Q.テつ How do you slow down, limit or even stop the Rangers from getting the four‑man attack on the rush with McDonagh on one pair, Boyle on another and Yandle on another?
COACH COOPER:テつ You know how you do it?テつ You possess the puck.テつ That's how you do it.テつ When they don't have it, they can't make the rushes.テつ Make them play "D".テつ If they've got to play "D" 20, 30 seconds, the chances of them heading up ice aren't good.テつ The chances of them heading to the bench to change are really good.テつ And that's how you stop it.
If you're going to go into zones and be one and done like we were last night, we have no chance.テつ So we have to possess the puck more.テつ It's been a big part of the reason why we're here, and if we're not going to do that, it's going to be a long night, short series.

Q.テつ You talked about needing more secondary scoring from guys that aren't the Triplets.テつ Jonathan Drouin is a pretty good offensive player.テつ But obviously he's young, and he's got flaws maybe in his 200‑foot game.テつ Is that a decision or thoughts that you weigh in terms of putting him in the lineup and not putting him in the lineup?
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, I guess, as a coaching staff ultimately, it's my decision who goes in the lineup, and that's it.テつ It's talked about and then finally the decision is made, what are the 20 guys that we think are going to help us win tonight?テつ Sometimes he's in that 20.テつ Sometimes he's not.
Offensive skills, there is no question he's fun to watch.テつ But, again, it's where a guy is going to fit.テつ What situations are they going to play in?テつ What roles are they going to play in?テつ There are more than two nets ‑‑ or there is more than one net in a rink, all right.テつ There's two.テつ So you have to be able to play in front of both of them.テつ Everybody's learning to do it.テつ Everybody makes mistakes at one end or the other.テつ But you just can't sit there and concentrate and say this guy's really good at this.テつ Maybe he goes in.テつ You've got to look at the big picture.
And as I said, he's been in some games and not in others, and that is the cost.テつ He's been in some, not been in others.テつ Morrow, in some.テつ And the guys have gone in and out.テつ That's a little bit of a tribute to the depth of our team, is we can pull guys in and out.テつ We can play 11 and 7, 12 and 6, and still have success, and Joe's one of those guys.
As we tell all our guys, it's professional hockey.テつ You have to be a pro.テつ If you're not in, be prepared because you never know when your name is going to be called.

Q.テつ When you go back and watch the game, do you see areas where you can exploit the Rangers and create more shots and create better quality shots?テつ How do you go about doing that?
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, it's funny watching games.テつ Like you can play the game and you can watch it and say ‑‑ you look at the game and not think you played very well, and then you watch the tape and it's actually a little better than you thought. テつBut then there's the times that you think you played okay and you watch the tape and you want to vomit, and that was a little bit how last night went.
For two periods I thought we were a little bit better than we were until I watched the tape.テつ I think the Rangers played extremely well, but there are so many things, like we just kept stubbing our toe all night.テつ So we were just handing them tickets to the movie, and we were a turnstile and watching them go by.テつ We can't do that.テつ We can't be giving pucks away, we can't be turning them over, we can't not make them go the 200 feet.
And as Dan was saying, how are you going to stop the four‑man rush?テつ Well, you can't keep giving it to them or it's going to be a long night.テつ We've been a puck possession team all year.テつ I'm not sitting here saying that just replicates and goes into the playoffs, but we've got to be much better than we were, and I'm quite convinced we will.

Q.テつ Hey, Jon, Marchessault put up some pretty good offensive numbers, but how much of his defensive sensibility is contributing to you so far putting him into the lineup?
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, the one thing about ‑‑ Marche played a couple games for us in the year.テつ He played against Boston at the end of the year and was a big reason we had success in the game.テつ A right‑handed shot, winger, which we've needed a little bit.テつ He's got a little swagger to his game, too.テつ He's not afraid to look in a situation like this and say I don't care if the Conference Finals are going to be my first or second ever playoff game.テつ I'm going to embrace it.
Little bit of an attitude that we've liked.テつ He gives us a different look.テつ Cali had gone out, and we were looking for a right‑handed shot that could play in the power play and he fits that mold.テつ He's a little competitor.テつ He's not afraid to go to those dirty areas and he gives us a different look.テつ Whether he stays in or not, he's earned his right to be here, and he's another piece of our depth that we use.

Q.テつ You talked about the inconsistencies with the team where they had a lot of turnovers yesterday.テつ There will be another game and they won't have any.テつ At this stage of the game, I know it's a learning process for some of the younger guys, but do you think it's beyond this stage right now where the learning process needs to be that they need the post?
COACH COOPER:テつ I don't think it's ever beyond the stage for a learning process.テつ I think consistency is a big thing.
Last night was two teams that one team played like they've been there before, and the other team played like they hadn't, and that's why ultimately in the end that's the way the game turned out and it probably should have turned out that way.
We're learning.テつ It's new experiences for us every step we take in these playoffs, for myself, for our players.テつ And it's just part of the evolution of our team.テつ But we're not going away.テつ We're going to hang around, and we've just got to keep building on these experiences and learn.テつ We can't go into Game 1s and play the way we did.テつ Now we have to follow up Game 2, learn from Game 1 and move on, and this group has done that.

Q.テつ Darryl Williams was watching practice for the Rangers.テつ Today Rick seems to be upset at the beginning with it.テつ Is there a deal between the two teams to watch practices today?
COACH COOPER:テつ No, Rick wasn't upset.テつ I think probably banged on the glass to say hi to one of his coaching buddies.テつ But coaches make deals all the time.テつ It didn't matter to me if the Rangers watch our practice, and the Rangers don't care if we watch theirs.テつ So there is no story there.

Q.テつ What did you know of Braydon Coburn before the trade, and how quickly did it take for him to gain your trust?テつ He's obviously been a big part of your team.
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, there is another player you get to watch.テつ I remember watching him in the Finals.テつ When they made that run, he and (Indiscernible) were big parts of that run.テつ He's been off‑and‑on injured.
When we played the Flyers, he played some, and we don't see the Flyers a whole ton, three times a year.テつ But I always remember just how well he could skate.テつ It was tough for him because he played four games for us, and then broke his foot and was out for six weeks.テつ I just felt awful for the kid.テつ You really get to learn about somebody sometimes when there are character tests and he's not on the ice with us.
And ultimately, I knew he was going to be awesome with us just in the way he prepared in the six weeks he wasn't playing.テつ He's really paid off for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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