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May 15, 2007

Randy Carlyle


JAMEY HORAN: Questions for Coach Carlyle.

Q. Year over year, what has been the changes and improvements in Ryan Getzlaf's play compared to this point last year?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, I think he's, number one, bigger, stronger. Naturally, that happens in athletes from, I'd say, a 19- to 20-year-old body. Now he's developed into a 22-, 23-year-old. There's a lot of natural strength that is developed.
Obviously skating and playing at the highest level for the last year has allowed him to get comfortable. He's a big, strong kid. He has the ability to play one-on-one hockey. He has the ability to be physical. He's got a heck of a shot.
He's one of those guys that there's lots of potential for him to be a much better player also. We always are trying to get him to be the best he can be. When he's not effective, he's not moving his feet. We sum it up, categorize that pretty simple with video with him. Sometimes he doesn't like what we have to say, but sometimes the video lays out the proof (smiling). He has a dynamic about him. We want him to be even better.

Q. Is Thornton able to go or would that be a game-time decision?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: That's a game-time decision. He skated this morning. He seemed fine. I would expect he's available.

Q. Randy, what does Brad May give you in terms of flexibility with the lineup? How close do you have to monitor him to keep him from going over the edge sometimes?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: We use Brad May in a similar fashion as what we had with Todd Fedoruk. He can go out and play a physical hockey game. He can play in all three of your forward lines. He can provide you with the physical presence. He's real strong on the forecheck. He's a physical player. He will stand up for his teammates.
As far as going over the line, I think with him, he has to play on the edge to be effective. If he was to take a step back, I don't think he would be as aggressive on the forecheck. I don't think he'd be as aggressive on the puck. I think that would minimize his effectiveness. I think with him, he has a skill set that he's comfortable with. He can't go outside of that.
We think that he's been a huge, positive influence in our dressing room from a leadership standpoint and a desperation standpoint. He provides that day in, day out.

Q. What is it about Getzlaf that every coach who's ever had him has always had to almost push him to the extreme to get him where they want him to go?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, I guess, you know, what happens previously to him, I think the coaches recognized that he didn't dominate games when he should have. Probably a factor of having to play an extra year of junior hockey due to the lockout. All those things were things that followed him around.
But he does have the ability to play big in big games. When the game's on the line, he seems to be able to motivate himself to give you that extra. With us, we want that extra every night. That's what coaches get a little excited about a player like a Getzlaf because you know he has more to give. If you push the buttons, and he delivers the one time, you're going to ask him the next time, and it's constantly the same thing.
The only thing that I can say about Ryan Getzlaf, I've said it before, he can be as good as he wants to be. It's our job to continue to push those buttons.

Q. Marchant's ice time has steadily increased in the few games he's been back. Do you see him at the point to where he can be able to physically give you more, become even a larger presence, given the obvious absence of Kunitz?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think, as we said before, I don't think we're going to expect Todd Marchant to go in and play the minutes that Kunitz played. I think it's unrealistic to expect a player - I think those minutes are going to have to be shared.
We will try and find the right combination and the right time to allow our players to make a contribution there. Todd Marchant coming back in, starting to look more comfortable with the pace of the game, and that's why his minutes are going up. I think it would be unfair to put him in a situation where he'd have to play 20-plus minutes in a hockey game, being the second game into the playoffs after a two-month absence.

Q. Dominik Hasek has taken on a bit of the same form that Roberto Luongo did last series. Frustration set in on a team when you shoot, shoot, man always seems to get in a position to stop the shots?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I guess for us, you know, we know the quality of goaltending that we faced in the playoffs. It was no different with back Strohm in Minnesota. He played well. Luongo played well. Hasek is playing well. We have a motto that, you know, if you direct enough pucks at the net, when you have enough traffic, you have second-chance and third-chance rebounds, you'll be rewarded.
Our motto has to be consistent.
Our goaltender has been pretty good, too, in the playoffs (smiling). People don't seem to be talking as much about ours as theirs. Or all the three that we faced. I think it's about time we give our goaltenders their due.

Q. Are you harder on Corey Perry than just about anyone else you coach?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: No, not at all. The one thing with Corey Perry, I found out from Hunter, his junior coach, when asking him about the player's specific traits - he had him for a number of years - he said you could always push him to be better and you would always find a way to get more for you and he would reach back.
History was basically I guess not on Corey Perry's side from the standpoint that the knowledge I got from his previous coach I tried to apply here. It's not a question of on him. I think we demand certain things from our players. It's not just Corey Perry, it's not just Ryan Getzlaf, it's not just Dustin Penner. It's Francois Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Teemu Selanne. The way you deliver the message to those guys would be much different. But I don't think any young player doesn't appreciate the things that you're trying to get him to do when he has success. There's a line between going too far and being sarcastic, and I don't think I'm sarcastic with him at all. I ask him to do the things we feel they need to do to give us success. If they don't, I ask them in a different way. Sometimes it's polite, sometimes it's not polite.

Q. Do you get concerned in this series about Chelios may be taking liberties with some of your younger players, provoking them to get out of character themselves?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, you know, they have a veteran group. Chelios is atop that list. He's a warrior. Competitor. What else can you say about an individual that's played - I think this is his 22nd season? He's a modern marvel. As far as an athlete, his ability to compete at the highest level. He's got a few tricks in his book. That's one of them.
We just have to play our game. We have to stay disciplined. I think we've taken two undisciplined penalties in the series so far: one by Getzlaf on the slash and the shove by O'Donnell the other night. We cannot continue to take those penalties. It's a simple fact: if you take those undisciplined penalties, you're going to end up losing momentum, they're going to score a goal, you're going to lose hockey games. We cannot afford to continue to do that.

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