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June 3, 2016

Peter DeBoer

San Jose, California: Practice Day


Q. Coach, so far you mentioned two close games decided by a single goal late. Is something like last change here in San Jose a benefit to you that could turn a Game3 around?
COACH DeBOER: Last change, home crowd, sleeping in your own bed, I think all those things are important in the playoffs.
We just have to keep building our game. We were better in Game2 than we were in Game1. I think we'll be better tomorrow than we were in Game2.

Q. Logan mentioned he thinks the forwards can do a better job supporting the defensemen, helping you break out of your own zone. Do you see that, too? Is that something you can quickly fix moving forward?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, we talked about some things that we think we can do better today. I think our support, not just coming out of our own zone, but all over the ice, is always important. A little bit off.
Obviously, you have to give them some credit. Their speed pushes you into positions where if you're off by a couple feet, you're in trouble.
We've gotten used to that over the first two games. I think we'll be much better.

Q. Tomas Hertl wasn't a full participant in practice.
COACH DeBOER: Just maintenance. He's got a little something that's kept him off.

Q. How will you combine focus and effectiveness?
COACH DeBOER: That's a good question. There's a lot going on here. I think we talked at the beginning of the Finals about limiting distractions. I think that's one of the things about being at home that our group has been talking about.
Got a lot of people in town, a lot of family, a lot of friends want to be a part of this. We're prepared on that side.
From a focus point of view, we better be focused. It's Game3. We don't want to be in a 3‑0 hole.

Q. Pete, do you anticipate Tomas being in the lineup tomorrow night then?
COACH DeBOER: We'll make all lineup decisions the day of the game. We'll see how everybody is tomorrow morning.

Q. Your experience in this Final series, I don't know if you draw on what you went through with the Devils. Are you different now after Game2 of this Final series than you were in 2012? How do you adjust differently maybe than that experience?
COACH DeBOER: I don't know if I'm different. I think what you learn is you don't get to this point unless you have a lot of character, a lot of leadership and you're a good hockey team.
What I learned that year with the Devils, we went in a 3‑0 hole. Everybody was saying it was going to be a sweep, it was over. I actually thought going into Game 6 we felt pretty confident that we could win and bring it back to New Jersey for Game 7.
This isn't over until the other team wins four games. You're dealing with two very good hockey teams that beat some very good hockey teams to get here. So we're not reading a lot into where we're sitting right now. We've got to take care of business here at home.

Q. I don't want this to seem like a ref‑baiting question.
COACH DeBOER: So then don't (laughter).

Q. How do you go about drawing more penalties and creating more power plays?
COACH DeBOER: I think we got to have the puck more. I think we got to attack a little bit more. I think there's penalties out there, I do believe that. I think there even has been in the first couple games.
It seems like the players are going to get an opportunity to play here. Unless it's blatant, you're not going to get it. So we've got to make sure that we're attacking holes and making it so there's no choice but to call them.

Q. How important will it be to get Vlasic and Braun on the ice against the Crosby line here at home? What does that matchup offer for you guys?
COACH DeBOER: Well, Crosby is a key guy, probably their best player through the first two games. He's not the only guy. They've given us matchup problems, not just us, but other teams. When you have Kessel, Crosby and Malkin on three different lines, I mean, all three of those guys make more than anybody on our team. That's matchup problems for everybody all playoffs.
You know what, we've got to be aware of their whole group, not just one guy.

Q. Is it discouraging to not have had more time to play with the puck or is it encouraging that despite that you've been in two one‑goal games?
COACH DeBOER: You always want to play with the puck more. I think we were prepared that this was going to be a different series. Just look at Pittsburgh's record from Christmas on. Look at their analytics from Christmas on. Look at what they've done against some very good teams and how they've made them look.
I think we're prepared for this more than maybe some of the people watching. This is going to be a series of momentum. We're going to have it for a little bit; they're going to have it for a little bit. I think it's whoever can carry it for more.
It's not going to look like maybe some of the series in the past where we've dominated for long stretches. They're a very good hockey team. They're not going to allow you to do that. We've got to be comfortable in that. We can't get frustrated by that.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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