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May 22, 2007

Randy Carlyle


JAMEY HORAN: Questions for the coach.

Q. Any lineup changes, injuries, anything like that for tonight?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: We'll make those decisions as the day goes on. We think that we have some interchangeable parts. And as we go forward, there's some people that have been in and out and we have some youth sitting on the sidelines, so we'll make that decision as we go into the rest of the day. It's not set yet.

Q. Do you need more from Dustin Penner and what would you do to spark that? I mean, his minutes have gone down, he hasn't scored. What are your thoughts about him?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think Dustin Penner, as we've talked about numerous times, he's a high and a low type of guy. And we're trying to get him to be more on an even keel. I think with him it's about offensive zone time and controlling the puck down low.
He's a big man. When he's on the top of his game, that's where he's most effective. He can earn a living down low and in front of the net. That's the type of player he has to be. He can't lose puck battles or possession.
And that's where at this particular time we think there's some room for improvement. We've talked to him about it. But he's been an outstanding player, a young player for our hockey club all year. Scored 29 goals for us.
He's in a little bit of a lull now. We're not going to abandon the individual. We think he's got more to give and we're going to ask him to give more.

Q. Certainly not shy about putting young guys in big situations. In particular, with Carter and Motzko, how do you keep them from being not, say, overwhelmed, with the importance of the games?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think, again, most hockey players have been in some intense situations previous to this one. And you try to get them to just treat it as they would any other one.
Obviously the stakes are much higher. And just give us what you do best. Don't be anybody that you're not. Don't try to do anything outside the framework. We ask for energy. We ask for strong defensive play and we ask for a trusting hockey player.
And it sounds simple, but in these types of situations, sometimes it doesn't happen. But we think that our young players, the experience they've had previously and not forcing them into situations that they possibly can't survive in is the best way.

Q. Is there anything you can say to a team when you've got two chances to finish and the other guys have only one chance to survive, to make sure that mentally there isn't some just sort of a let-down of some kind?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, again, it's not something that you just come up with on a daily basis. I think most hockey clubs have tried to have the imprint in your players' heads right from last September of winning every battle, focusing on the moment, seizing the opportunity when it presents itself. Outwork opponents. Outexecute. Be mentally stronger. Be disciplined.
All those things come into play, so that there's not something that you're really reinventing the wheel here, you're just trying to be consistent. And there are a lot of things that go on within the hockey game. Adversity that you have to deal with it, be it penalties, be it what you might determine as a poor call against you, all those things.
And what we try to do is remain more consistent about everything in how we approach it. Understand the situation we're in, try to dictate the pace of the game and go out and play.
We're a skating hockey club. And some of the instances we haven't skated. That's the most important thing for our group to go out and skate.

Q. Generally how long in a hockey game is it before you can tell what the standard's going to be in terms of how close it's going to be called and what you can get away with?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I don't think there's any standard as far as getting away with anything. I think that's when you live dangerous, as far as getting away. I think what happens in the course of the hockey game, both teams are pretty revved up in the beginning.
What you try to do is dictate your style and your pace and execute at a high level. And what happens, the other team makes adjustments and then you have to make adjustments. And then obviously the emotional drain that takes place, the physical drain and people do get tired. Athletes get tired.
If you make a mistake, then somebody else has got to cover up for it. If you give a puck away or get a bad bounce against the wall, you're forced into putting a stick where you shouldn't be putting a stick.
All those things - it's a game of mistakes. Usually what happens in most hockey games, the team that plays - that doesn't commit the most mistakes usually ends up winning, or the team that's most effective in getting the puck out of their zone.
JAMEY HORAN: Thanks, Coach.

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