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June 4, 2016

Ian Cole

Olli Maatta

San Jose, California: Game Three

Q. I asked this question to Conor and Bryan when you were here. Do you remember your first meeting, your first impression of Mike Sullivan, and what you thought at that time, what you thought you were getting at that time? If you both could answer.
IAN COLE: I think the first thing you notice is he has a very authoritative voice, very deep. When he's giving it to you, you really pay attention, which I think is good.
He made the points that, We're not going to waste your time. When we are having a meeting, make sure you're paying attention and you're there early 'cause everything we say is going to be important. I think guys took that to heart.
OLLI MAATTA: Yeah, I think that was probably the biggest, the authority he had. When he started talking, you could feel the room, everybody listened. I think that was something that really, really hit us.

Q. Olli, how does your game differ when you're playing first pairing with Letang versus when you're playing with Ben?
OLLI MAATTA: I'm not trying to change my game. I'm trying to play the same way. Obviously it's a big difference playing with Tanger and playing with Lovey. Tanger is more offensive. Lovey is more a defensive‑first guy.
For my game, I don't really change. I try to play the same way. It really doesn't matter. We do a good job of communicating out there. I think that's the biggest key when you change partners.

Q. Ian, Tomas Hertl has been one of the Sharks more effective forwards. What have been the challenges of slowing him down?
IAN COLE: I think that whole line really works well together. You have Thornton, who is certainly more of a pass‑first guy, can dish the puck with the best guys in the league. Obviously you have Pavelski who still skates very well, but is more of a shoot‑first guy, finding that soft ice in the pocket really well. You have Hertl who seemingly does everything very well.
That whole line really works together. You've seen that in the course of the playoffs, how successful they've been, how dominant they've been in a lot of situations.
But specifically Hertl, like I said, I think he's good at everything. He's maybe not the best in the league at one particular thing, but he's really, really good at everything. Great speed, strong, can take pucks at the net, has an outside shot as well.
When you have a guy that's that good, you need to be very aware of him when he's out there, for sure.

Q. Olli, how was the trip to Google? Whose idea was it?
OLLI MAATTA: Steve Oleksy had some high school friends there. He was able to take us there and show us around. It was pretty cool. I see the movie Internship, that's pretty much the only thing I knew about it.
Get your head off hockey for a bit. I think that was the main point.

Q. Ian, how different is your night when you're playing on the road? You hear teams in the playoffs, they want to attack a particular D pair.
IAN COLE: If that's going to be the game plan for them, we'll welcome that. I think we're very confident in all six of our defensemen, their ability to play defense against any line, their ability to transition the puck well and go on offense.
If that's what they want to do, that's fine. Obviously who you're playing, it does make a difference. Every line plays different, every player plays different. Having awareness as far as who you're out there with, knowing their tendencies, making sure that you're aware when you have a guy like Tomas Hertl or Joe Thornton, how they kind of attack certain plays, what they try to do on the ice.
Thornton isn't going to burn you with speed, but he'll certainly try to draw you out towards him to put the puck through you to a guy behind you.
Like I said, everyone plays their certain situations differently. So as a defenseman, being very aware of that is crucial.

Q. Ian, when you're two wins from the Stanley Cup, you have two off days, how difficult is it to not start thinking about the big picture?
IAN COLE: Yeah, I mean, I've used this statement a lot. I think everyone's aware of the situation. I mean, to say that we're not thinking about it, it's true to a certain extent, but I think you're aware. You understand where you are in the timeline of a seven‑game series, the situation as far as how many wins you have.
But I don't think you can let that dictate how you play, can't let that dictate how you're going to approach the game. I think that once you take your foot off the gas, once you kind of exhale and say, Hey, we have a two‑game lead, we only have to win two more out of the next five, that will be easy, no problem, that's where you really get into trouble.
I think continuing to play with the same mindset, just keep going the way you were.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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