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May 11, 2017

Randy Carlyle

Anaheim, California - Practice Day

Q. Just your first thoughts on Nashville and kind of what stands out as far as the challenge they present.
RANDY CARLYLE: Well, I think when you look at what they've been able to accomplish in the first two rounds, obviously taking out the Chicago Blackhawks, accomplishing it in the way they did it in four straight, and then moving on to St. Louis and the style of play, the aggressiveness they play with has given them a huge jump on everybody. That's what we're trying to protect against for sure.

Q. You talked about after Game 5 that the team had trouble in Game 6 getting kind of reracked emotionally. How do you prevent that high from winning Game 7 from turning into another kind of thumping?
RANDY CARLYLE: Well, that's exactly what we're talking about today. You know, having the game-clinching game last night and then being -- I don't know if it's called forced to play the next game in less than 48 hours is kind of a surprise from a scheduling standpoint, that we're playing on Friday night, and we just finished on Wednesday. You don't get a lot of time. So what we've tried to do is we just take the status quo schedule that we've created with playing every second day, and then just treat this as another continuation of the Edmonton series.

Q. Bob Murray was just in here speaking a little bit about your time in Toronto, and there were questions about how you've handled things so far in the Playoffs. Could you reflect a little bit on that time in Toronto and maybe how that's changed and helped you in your career?
RANDY CARLYLE: Again, you know, when you're in that type of situation, the size of the market -- and I've always drawn the comparisons -- if you can imagine working in New York for the New York Yankees, under the amount of scrutiny that you're under on a day-to-day basis and the number of passionate fans that you have in the market, and it's probably an equal, where everything that you do is either deemed positive or negative. There's not too much in between in those type of environments. And the team that we had was not a team that was constructed to say that we're going to wait. This was the team, this was the people they had in place, and the results -- as soon as we made the Playoffs in the locked-out short year, expectations went up to a level that I don't know if our lineup was at the same level. And those are difficult situations.

But hey, it's a great market to play in, great people to work for. I look upon my time in Toronto that it was a positive. I'm born and raised in Ontario, maybe 300 miles north of Toronto, grew up as a Toronto Maple Leaf fan, was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, played for them for two years, got to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. All those things are positives in life. You've always got to take the positives out of the situations because of the people that you were working for and worked with, who were very, very passionate hockey people.

Q. Randy, Nashville's back end is certainly known for its puck-moving ability and its skating ability. They obviously want to get the puck out of their end as fast as possible. What's the best way you see to counteract that, limit their transition game and limit those defenders' abilities to get the puck up the ice?
RANDY CARLYLE: Well, I think the biggest issue for the teams that we -- in watching Nashville play, they haven't really delved into it to the level that we will in the next 24 hours, but knowing them and their history, they possess a different type of goaltender from a back end that almost plays like a defenseman. Pekka Rinne loves to play the puck, loves to handle the puck, and if you don't dump the puck effectively, he is going to be another defenseman back there. So A, that's a challenge, and B, the teams that they've played so far and the games in which Nashville has been dominant, they've started quickly and they've put the other teams under pressure by scoring the first goal, creating a quick start, and I would suspect that that's what they want to do when they come in here tomorrow night, and that's something we have to guard against and we have to be ready right from the opening face-off. There's no waiting around because they're going to come after us.

Q. I wanted to ask you about John Gibson and just over the course of the season, where have you seen him make the most strides, whether it be something technical or emotional, I guess where he's grown as a player this year?
RANDY CARLYLE: I think, again, it's the young goaltender now getting an opportunity to grab the net and stay with it. I think that the competition between him and Freddie Anderson that was developed here before, not to say that it wasn't here, but you could see that there was two young goalies vying for the same position, and the way it developed this year, it was him and Jonathan Bernier. That competition kind of sorted itself out with Gibby somewhere around the Christmas break, and he was on a pretty solid run, then he got injured and missed close to 20 games, and Berny stepped in and played very, very well, and our team did not miss a beat.

As far as Gibby's personal situation, I think it was both maturing as a goaltender and getting a better understanding of what it takes day-to-day in the NHL to be a 55- to 65-game goaltender, that there are things that you have to do on a day-to-day basis, and I credit both him and Sudsy, our goaltender coach for working together and working in unison to develop him into a quality NHL starter.

Q. Randy, particularly with the young players that you've coached this year, quite a few of them actually, how have you dealt with the highs and lows in their play, the good things that they do, the bad things that they do, and have you gotten better over time with that, with handling --
RANDY CARLYLE: You mean personally?

Q. Yeah, at dealing with younger players.
RANDY CARLYLE: Yeah, I think what it is is there's more of a situation that develops on where you're at with your group and what your expectations are, and I always have been under the understanding that if you have to develop young players, and the game has changed in that direction and the team has changed in that direction, that you can hold younger players accountable in the moment, but you can't park them. You have to give them another chance to come back and prove me wrong or prove themselves, and that's always the continuing model that we're going to go with is that, yeah, our expectations are young players are going to get an opportunity, and if they make a mistake they don't get parked at the end of the bench for the whole night or they don't go in the stands for the month. They might get taken out for a game but then they get another opportunity very shortly to come back in and prove themselves here again, and that's the model that's happening in the NHL, and I don't think we're any different. You know, depending on our situation, I can only speak to that, but when you look at the number of young players that are playing in the NHL now, I'd say 23 to 24 years old and younger, there's a large group of them now, so everybody is trying to adopt the same style.

Q. Do you feel like you give them, the young players, in general more rope now?
RANDY CARLYLE: Well, I just think every situation is different. I think if you are going to be hard and fast, again, depending on where your group is, with young players, as we've always stated, it's more important for us to have a young player and believe a young player is going to play in the league for 15 years versus having him come in and play for five years, so I'd rather overcook people in less ice time situations in the American Hockey League versus then exposing them to the NHL game when they're really not ready.

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