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June 5, 2015

Joel Quenneville

TAMPA, FLORIDA: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Trevor Van Riemsdyk, is he going to go tomorrow?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think he's available.  I think we'll probably keep the same group on the back end.

Q.  Bryan Bickell at practice today, though not in his usual spot.  He said he passed the concussion test, it's up to him now.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He passed the concussion test because he never had one (laughter).  We'll see how he is.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I'm not getting into the injury.

Q.  Joel, just wondering if the difference in approach in how the Lightning sort of attack your defense on the forecheck, they seem to be intent on hitting the man, the Ducks were, the Lightning are speed based.  What do you think is more taxing for your group?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  They're kind of comparable in ways.  They're fast, they're quick, whether it's more of a puck‑possession entry can be challenging.  I think we need backside pressure, good gaps, good sticks.  They've got some good play‑making ability off their entries, good play selection, good patience, good shooters as well.
You know, but if we can be disruptive through the middle of the ice, on entries is something you look for.  They still got to hard forecheck when they do get it behind you.
You got to play it out.  Whatever way they enter, it will be something to be challenged.

Q.  The lack of a constant physical element, does that make it easier?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I don't know.  It's tough to compare.  I know there's a lot made of the last series, the constant hitting would tire our guys out.  You know, their team played just as many minutes as our defense did, too.  Tough to say.

Q.  Joel, Duncan Keith and Marcus Kruger resting?

Q.  Kris Versteeg, last few years have been different, injuries.  How have you seen him handle these ups and downs?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He's a competitive guy.  I know he's had some good stretches with us.  2010 I think he had an outstanding year for us.  Then last year, I don't think he was up to the pace at that time of the year that we saw in the past.  This year had some good stretches for us, good ice time, played with some top guys.
But he got hurt a couple times.  Might have slowed that process.  I thought he had a real good mindset when he came into camp, real good pace.  When he has that pace, he's a tremendous player, good play recognition, can make plays as good as any player in the league.
We get him like that, being comfortable and confident, playing with some pace, he can be really effective for us.  I thought he had a good first game.  We're looking for some progression.

Q.  Patrick Kane credited you with completing his game.  What specifically as a young player did he need to work on defensively and how did you do that without stifling such a creative player?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think one thing, there's a lot of freedom with Kaner and his game.  One of his greatest strengths is with the puck.
We feel the better we check, getting the puck back as quick as possible, plays within his strengths.  I think not just relying on his linemates to be the guy to get the puck back has been something he's really worked at.
Playing in his own end, as comfortable as any guy in his own zone, playing without the puck as any forward we have on our team.
First couple years was a work in progress.  Down low, had the stretch where he was playing center, which is even more challenging for our forwards.  I think that helped him as well, knowing the role of all the guys in all the areas of his own zone.
Strength on the puck.  He anticipates as good as any player, both sides of it.  But coming up with the puck is what makes him good.  He does that well.  When he has it, he's as good as any player in the game.

Q.  10 games since Patrick Sharp scored.  He does other things.  What are those other things?  Do you need him to score some goals at this point?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We don't care where they come from, but having some balance.  His linemates scored two key goals for us last game.  Thought he had an outstanding practice today.
But certainly it's one more weapon that we have that offensively can add some offense to our game.  He's on the power play.  It's not like I'm picking who can score for us.  Certainly we like the balance up front.  We're looking for, you know, some contributions across the board.
Can't complain when his line comes up with two big goals for you.

Q.  Corey said this Stanley Cup Final he's maybe doing a better job of keeping his emotions in check than he was two years ago.  Have you noticed that?  What might be different in his approach?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Tough to measure.  It's one game.  I just think through the playoffs, you know, the last time, even unproven, a lot of scrutiny on Crow, hasn't been proven in certain areas.  You get in the Finals against Boston, I thought he was outstanding in that series.
He answered a lot of questions.  I think his approach throughout this whole year, handled a tough situation in the first round.  Have to commend him on how he's been since then.
I don't see much of a difference.  I think the focus is totally in the right place.

Q.  With regard to the feeling‑out process of Game1 in a playoff series, especially in the Final where you're not as familiar with your opponent, is there ever anything you discovered or found in Game1 that you could exploit in the rest of the series?  In general, how does that play out Game1 to Game2 strategically?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, technically, you know, first time we get to see them really in a long time.  I think the one thing we found out, they're fast, they're quick.  Technically they play a very sound and very fast game, a lot of pressure, not a lot of time.
So that's kind of what you got to work through and work around.  That's probably as technical as you get in that area.  Certainly they're a good hockey team that plays the right way.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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