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NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS: BLACKHAWKS v LIGHTNING


June 9, 2015


Brian Boyle

Alex Killorn

Brenden Morrow


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† Alex, one point during this playoffs you made a comment about sometimes maybe you read your own press clippings, take it too much to heart.¬† Now that you're up 2‑1 in the series here, do some of those moments where you learn the lessons come into play, not read the press clippings?
ALEX KILLORN:  Sometimes you get too high after wins, too low after losses.
In this series, we're not thinking about that.  It's game by game.  Very cliché to say.  It's the way it is in the Stanley Cup Finals.  So far, but so close.  You just got to take it game by game.

Q.¬† Brenden, Steven Stamkos talked before Game2 about why they weren't worried about must win because the road game being so good with this team.¬† Why is this team so good on the road this post‑season?
BRENDEN MORROW:  I'm not sure if we know exactly the one detail.  If we did, we'd do it at home, too.
It could be a combination of a lot of things.  But maybe when we get on the road there maybe isn't as much focus because we can't have it on matchups, we just go out and play.  We're a team that when we have no hesitation to our game, we're very successful.  So that could be part of it.  You turn off the thinker a little bit.

Q.  Did you get any sense their defensemen were wearing down as the game wore on?  What are some of the telltale signs you look for in terms of fatigue?
BRENDEN MORROW:  I don't know.  They're all workhorses.  I don't know if we sense they were getting more down.
When you're getting pucks in the corner, you're winning those battles, winning the races to the pucks, that's a good sign for us.
I'm not sure if it happened a lot in the game.  But as the game went on, we seemed to get to more pucks.  Guys like Callahan that were playing relentless in corners were winning those battles.  That's something you probably don't see against these top defensemen a lot.

Q.  Brian, last night you talked about Cedric Paquette, how he was a bit annoying to play against.  What makes him a difficult guy to play with, even if it's in training camp?
BRIAN BOYLE:  Well, he gets in the way, right?  He's in the right spots.  He plays physical.  He won't back down.  Coming into camp in September, trying to get ready for a season with a new team, start trying to feel the puck a little bit, get some confidence going, he wouldn't let me do it.
It was funny to see.  I said, Who is this guy?  That's Ceddy.  People told me he came up last year for a little bit.  But, again, his attitude's unbelievable.  He was sent down.  He came back up.  He's been a huge part of our team.  Now he's scoring for us, which is huge.
The way he's been playing, he's been a huge part of this so far.  We're going to need him to keep doing that.

Q.  Brenden, as a veteran, when you watch Victor Hedman, how he's developed the past couple seasons, any comparisons that come to mind?  What have you seen in his game that's gotten better the last little while?
BRENDEN MORROW:  Well, I don't have a perfect comparison, but I think he can control the pace of a game.  He can get out of trouble with moving the puck with his stick or with his feet.
I don't know if he's as smooth as Scott Niedermayer was, but he can move like him.  He's about four or five inches taller.  He's a monster.  Like Coop said, this is his coming out party.  We've got to see it and witness it for most of this season.  The rest of y'all are getting to see it now.

Q.  Alex, now in the Finals, in the second and third periods, you're playing some of your best hockey.  Why is that?
ALEX KILLORN:  I don't know.  Against Chicago at home in the first two games, we came out strong.  I don't know if we're trying to get a feel for the way the game was going to go, the other team.  I don't think we came out as hard.
In this series, we have had good starts.  I think last night, their first game at home, they definitely had some jump.  I think we handled that well.  But I think we got to be a little better in the first period next game.

Q.  Brian, it seems now that everybody knows what kind of team this is.  You guys have been running under the radar, getting the type of accolades you should have gotten these playoffs.  Did that motivate you at all, the fact as you move along here you weren't getting your just due here?
ALEX KILLORN:  I mean, we're a confident team.  We've worked for everything we've gotten so far.  I think might have been the Hockey News picked us early in the year to be where we are right now against this team.  That's an exciting thing early in the season.  Doesn't mean anything.  You got to work for what you get.
The fact that we're here now is all that really matters to us.  If it was a motivating factor, for some guys maybe that's a good thing and it's worked.
But we've accomplished quite a bit this year.  We're not done yet doing what we want to do.  It's a tough task.  For us to get more notoriety, we need to accomplish some things.  Again, whether it be in the media or amongst ourselves, we've got to work for what we get, for all of our rewards.  We're going to have to work for it and earn it.

Q.  Brian, as a guy who played for Ryan Callahan in the past in New York, what did you see with his struggles, how he handled all that?
BRIAN BOYLE:  His demeanor doesn't really change.  He's a competitive guy.  He obviously wants to be better and contribute.  But you kind of saw it with Stammer, too.  Whatever they're feeling, going through, you know they wanted to produce goals and offense for us.  They kind of internalized it.  Didn't affect them as they were interacting with us.  Didn't affect them as leaders.
Those are important things for guys that we all look up to on this team, to make sure they maintain that.  They were positive guys.
Cally, gee, he's in the hospital for one of the playoff games.  For a guy like that, he doesn't come out of the lineup unless he absolutely has to.  He's come back, fought his way back.  I think he's feeling better and better.  Like Mo said, he's been relentless.  He's been huge in this series and produced in this series.  That's something that's good to see for other guys that might be struggling to put the puck in the net.

Q.  Brenden and Brian, from a veteran's perspective, when you look at Coop, what is different about him to be able to bring this team to the Stanley Cup Finals?
BRENDEN MORROW:  There's nothing really different, his approach, than a lot of other coaches.  You're either a guy that pushes buttons, motivates aggressively, or you do it fatherly, I guess.  He's kind of the players' coach.  You want to go through the wall for him.
But his X's and O's aren't much different than some of the other teams we've played in the playoffs so far.  He finds a way to get a little bit more out of his guys.  He's had a lot of success.
BRIAN BOYLE:  I mean, he's good at what he does.  His résumé speaks for itself.  Like Mo said, he's a fun guy to play for.  You want to do well for him.  He puts a lot of confidence in his players.  I think he's got a great relationship with his players.  He's very personable.
I think we're a really tight‑knit group because of it.¬† If there's one thing we all feel like we're all in this together.¬† Teams say that quite a bit, but it feels like the whole organization is in this together.¬† It's been a lot of fun so far.

Q.  Alex, what was the mood in the bench after they scored the go ahead goal?  What is it about this group that you were able to respond to that?
ALEX KILLORN:  I mean, we didn't have much time to think about it.  They scored in, what was it, 10 seconds or something.
But I think throughout the whole playoffs, we talk about our group being resilient.  I think you think about our Game2 when we went down and we came back.
Just a resilient group.  We didn't have much time to think about it in that last game.  But we're a group that really never quits.  So it's just been that way the whole playoffs and throughout the year.

Q.  Brenden, three games into the series now, three of the greatest players in the game have combined for no goals, Toews, Kane and Stamkos.  Can you make sense of that?
BRENDEN MORROW:  Well, it's two great teams.  We want to shut down their guys and they want to shut down ours.  It's kind of fallen on the shoulders of some secondary guys that stepped up in a big way.
I think it's just real competitive hockey.  It's entertaining hockey.  We know the guys to focus on.  In that locker room, too, they got some guys circled on the board.  Steven is one of those guys.  It's just two good teams going at it.

Q.  Brian, last night, Paquette was talking about the fact that Coop went away from the whole matchup game you were doing in Tampa, decided to let you sort of roll.  Why do you think he did that?  Do you feel maybe his increased confidence in your line's ability to just play against everyone allows him that liberty here?
BRIAN BOYLE:  We certainly want him to trust us.  I think we've been in situations where we've had to do stuff like that throughout our careers.  Mo and I, our lines, I think a big part of that is being on the road.  We need to understand that we're going to see some of their top lines because that's probably a matchup they're going to want to do.  If we can shut them down, that's going to be a big part for us.
We need to be obviously responsible defensively.  That's a part of our game, my game, that I've always taken pride in.  A lot is being made of these matchups.  As the game goes on, you'll see different things.  Penalties happen, special teams, different times in games, different faceoffs in different zones, things happen.  Things change.
I think it's tough.  The main thing is being on the road, you want to keep somewhat of a rhythm, keep the guys involved.  Tough to get the matchup you want.  He probably just let us play.

Q.¬† Hockey players are known to be hard‑nosed athletes.¬† You're going to play whatever with pain.¬† But still Ben Bishop wrote a bit of history last night.¬† Not the first time we see it in the Stanley Cup Final.¬† For us, for fans, it's very impressive.¬† Is it for you guys?¬† Is it impressive when you see a guy like him playing in pain like he did yesterday?
UNIDENTIFIED PLAYER:  Was he in pain (laughter)?
BRIAN BOYLE:  I think everybody's playing through something right now.  What impressed me was his 36 or whatever saves, the 18 I think he had in the first.
Again, not many guys are 100% right now.  He's got a pretty important job for us.  He's been lights out.  It's been really, really impressive to watch.

Q.  Brenden, you've been at this a little while now.  Being two wins from the Stanley Cup is as close as you've ever been.  Is it tough even at this stage of your career to quiet your mind?
BRENDEN MORROW:  Yeah.  I could back to what Killer said earlier.  We don't want to get too high or get too low.  We're a long ways away yet.  That locker room over there, there's no panic in their game right now.  They've been here before.  They know what it takes.  So we know we got a tough road ahead of us.  I know we're not there yet.  We got to keep plugging away here.  We came here to get a win.  Last night we got one.  We got to get greedy and get another one tomorrow night.  That's our focus.  We'll go from there.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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