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NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: LIGHTNING v RANGERS


May 22, 2015


Jon Cooper


TAMPA, FLORIDA: Game Four

Q.テつ Matt Carle for tonight?
COACH COOPER:テつ Matt's out.テつ Matt will be out tonight.

Q.テつ So maybe get a guy like Barberio in there?
COACH COOPER:テつ Maybe.テつ Our full 21 guys are playing, so you have to show up tonight to see which guy is out.テつ But he's one of the guys I told might be in.

Q.テつ Either way, if you do go 7, you have a guy that hasn't played for a while in the lineup.テつ What kind of things go into that?テつ (No Microphone)?
COACH COOPER:テつ This is where you find out if guys are pros or not.テつ It's a game we all love to play, but it's also in some respects, it's your job.テつ These guys are expected to, when your name is called, to come in and do the best you can and keep yourself in shape.
Our guys and our staff have done a great job with players that haven't been in the starting line‑up, but potentially could come in.テつ You look at everybody from, you know, if it is Barberio to Drouin, Namestnikov, Marchessault, go down the list.テつ Those guys are ready to play at any time, and when you're called, you've got to come in and do the best you can.テつ When you're called, you've got to be a pro.

Q.テつ There is a lot of talk in there about the defensive mentality tonight.テつ How easy or hard is it to enter with a defense‑first mentality?テつ What is the biggest thing you guys have to do?
COACH COOPER:テつ I think, if you ask myself and A.V., I don't think we go into‑‑ I'm pretty sure we don't go into the locker room and say, okay, fellas, we're putting a touchdown on the board tonight, let's just try and win this 7‑6.
I know there is a defense‑first mentality that goes into both of these games.テつ But when you have the skill and the speed that both these two teams have and a want to score goals, sometimes‑‑ I think offense can be the defense sometimes.テつ And both these teams are fast, and they're skilled, and they can play the game.テつ Pucks are going to go in the net.
I don't know.テつ Now that I say it, this game will probably end up being 1‑0 tonight.テつ But there is too much skill on the ice to keep everybody down for long periods of time.テつ We want to.テつ We're trying.テつ The goalies are trying, they're just getting beaten by some pretty good players on both sides of the ice.
Eventually it will probably calm down, but I'm sure A.V. and I are probably losing a few follicles, but the fans out there are probably having one heck of a time watching the games.

Q.テつ A lot has been talked about the quality of goaltender you faced.テつ Does it matter?テつ You seem to have Lundqvist questioning his decisions on where he's supposed to be.テつ Does it matter, I guess, to this team right now?
COACH COOPER:テつ I don't know.テつ Looking back now, the irony of this whole thing is we had Carey Price's number for whatever reason in the regular season a little bit and got to him a couple of games in the playoffs, and we found a way to do that in two of the three games against Hank.
But these guys are world class goalies.テつ I don't expect them to‑‑ I don't expect Hank to give up 6 a night.テつ He, to me, has paved his way probably into the Hall of Fame at some point.テつ We have to go into the mindset that our habits and what we've done to score goals all year, we have to keep doing that.テつ For that to happen, we have to play a speed game.テつ We have to make him go side‑to‑side.テつ We have to make him go down, get up, all these things we talked about in how to be a goal tender, especially of his caliber.
If he's questioning himself, I don't know, to me that would probably be a little bit of a ploy.テつ I don't think he questions himself.テつ I think he knows he's good, and he's probably a little taken aback that we scored a few on him.テつ But I expect him to come right back, and we're going to come right back at him.テつ That's why he's as good as he is.テつ But we're not going to let up.テつ As I said, he probably won't either.

Q.テつ What's been the best part of the last two games?
COACH COOPER:テつ The last two games?テつ Well, if you see, Hedman, you watch how explosive he is.テつ He's one guy on the ice that could ice the puck and beat it out himself.テつ He can lead the rush and be the first guy back.テつ It's just his explosiveness I've watched in his game.テつ It's like shooting him out of a cannon.
All of a sudden we're in an even‑man rush, and all of a sudden it's an odd‑man rush because here comes Victor.テつ But the one thing that makes you proud of what he's playing, he's playing "D", and he's playing "D" fast.テつ He's closing fast.テつ He's being physical.
I've said this many times, when Victor is going, usually our team is going.テつ He's a big part of what starts us from foot one and makes us go 200 feet.テつ And when he's like that, that's good for us.

Q.テつ We saw a lot of players throwing their weight around from Stamkos to Nesterov last game in the series.テつ Was that a conscious decision after seeing what worked so well for Washington when they played the Rangers?
COACH COOPER:テつ Well, if you watched‑‑ we're probably not known as a physical team, but the more physical we play, the better we play.テつ If you watched‑‑ I probably made light of it a little too much.
But Game 1 was a no‑touch game.テつ When we fall into that, it's not good for our play.テつ To see we have guys that can play physical, and I think especially with our speed and the way we jump on teams, when we add that extra dimension, it kind of lifts everybody up on the bench a little bit, especially when your captain and your leader is getting into it.テつ But we're just a better team when we play like that.
So, yes, is it a conscious decision for us to play that way?テつ Most definitely.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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