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May 15, 2016

Peter DeBoer

St. Louis, Missouri: Game One


Q. Pete, obviously there's been a lot of talk about your power‑play. Hitch was up here before saying, Our power‑play is pretty good, too. What have you seen from them? He seems to think they have two good units that can put the puck in the net. How do you defend against that?
COACH DeBOER: The first part of that, from our power‑play perspective, we know it's been good all year, it's been consistently good, been good through the playoffs. We know we're going to get chances on the power‑play against this team, one of the most penalized teams in the league during the regular season and playoffs. We know we're going to get looks and we got to cash in.
As far as their power‑play goes, it's dangerous. I think our discipline is critical. I think we've been one of the least penalized teams through the season and in the playoffs. I think that's going to play into it, too.

Q. In terms of the levels your team has found during the regular season, what level are they at right now?

Q. How well they've played.
COACH DeBOER: I thought in the L.A. series, we were consistently good in all facets. I thought in the Nashville series we got better as the series went on. For whatever reason, maybe a little bit of an emotional letdown the first two or three games of that series. I didn't feel we were in a good spot. Our game was in a good spot, it didn't hurt us because we won two of the first three. But we weren't playing like we were capable of playing.
I thought as that series rolled along, Game5 and 7, we were right where we need to be going into this series.

Q. Any update on Nieto?
COACH DeBOER: Getting better. Talked to him this morning. I think he's on the ice and skating. Good sign.
I'm confident he'll be available at some point in the series.

Q. One of the storylines through St.Louis' run here has been Alexander Steen and his line's ability to play well against the other stars. How can you buck that trend a little bit?
COACH DeBOER: No difference than facing Kopitar in round one and Fisher in round two and his line. Every team has those type of guys. We know who they are. Obviously a tremendous amount of respect. Steen is a fantastic player. That line has been playing great. It's nothing we haven't seen to this point yet.

Q. You have the luxury of a physical pair in Polak and Dillon. How much of an impact do you think they can make in a series like this against a big, heavy team in the Blues?
COACH DeBOER: 'Big', 'heavy', those are all words that we're all using daily in the playoffs. I think that's a reason that Doug went out and got some of the guys we've acquired here, starting back in July. Joel Ward, Polak, Spaling. Everything is toward this time of year. We all know what's important this time of year, what wins, how tight the games are.
Those guys are those type of players. We wouldn't be sitting here without those guys and their contributions through the season or definitely through the playoffs, especially considering the teams we played, the L.A. series, and even Nashville.

Q. Hitch said matching up against your fourth line, you aren't afraid to send them out in any situation. What do you see from their fourth line?
COACH DeBOER: That's going to be the story of the series. When you write down the two teams on paper, both are deep, both teams are capable of running four lines and six D out there. I think it's whoever can take advantage of the other team's guys across from them. I think that's how that's going to work.
I think when we're on our game, our depth guys have been better than the other team's depth guys. That's the big challenge I think for both teams here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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