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NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS: KINGS v DEVILS


June 11, 2012


Peter DeBoer


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Game Six

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach DeBoer.

Q. Pete, do you get the sense with each passing game maybe the anxiety or pressure that your team is feeling is decreasing as you win these games or is it the same heading into every game?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, I think it's the same feeling as when we were down 3‑0. Like I said, I think the hockey world pretty much wrote us off, and I think we feel we've played with no pressure because of that.
I don't think that's changed because all of a sudden it's 3‑2 now.

Q. You are 4‑0 in elimination games right now. It's not something you can simulate unless you're in the last game of the regular season and have to win to get in the playoffs. What prepares you for an elimination game?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, I don't know if there is preparation. That comes from within your room. That's gut‑check time. Those are the questions that you don't know how your team will respond to as a coach until you get in those situations.
There's clues during the year. At different points you get those pressure points, a must win or a big game, to end a losing streak, and you see how your team responds. Until you're actually facing the fact of going home for the summer unless you win, you're not really sure how you're going to respond.

Q. Marty talked the other night about how draining these games are. Is there anything as a coaching staff you can do to mitigate that or is that just life now?
COACH DeBOER: It's life now. I mean, we've done the best job we can to give them time off, time away from the rink as much as possible. I've been quoted I think on numerous occasions saying I don't believe there's any such thing as too much time off this time of year.
We've tried to alleviate that as much as we can, when we have an off day, keeping them away from the rink. As soon as you step through the doors of the rink, you start thinking about hockey.
But that's about all you can do. That's the life of playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. From our point, that's the best way we've been able to handle it.

Q. As things get chippier, how paramount does discipline come for your team?
COACH DeBOER: Well, it's critical. It's been critical to us the entire playoffs. It's one of the things that has separated us from some of the teams we've played at different points: the ability to turn the other cheek and walk away. That has to continue.
We can't change the formula that has worked for us from the drop of the puck the first game of the playoffs. We almost didn't make it past the first round because of penalties. We fixed that since then, but that can't change.

Q. Do you have a guy on your team where it's impossible to drag them off the ice? You say you're not going on, you're not working out, and they want to.
COACH DeBOER: We have a lot of those guys. Lou reminds me on a daily basis, I'll come off the ice, tell the guys to get off, he'll give me a call telling me there's 15 guys out there 15 minutes later. You have to go back and get them off. They love to play.
I don't think you get to this point of the year unless your best players genuinely love to play. You're not playing at this point of the year for money or for anything else. It's because you love to play and you grew up wanting to win a Stanley Cup. When your best players have that desire, you have success. Part of that is they don't want to leave the rink. You have to push them out, push them off.

Q. Are there any lineup changes? Tallinder, has he surprised you, maybe how sharp he's been considering the four and a half months off?
COACH DeBOER: Same lineup.
Tallinder, you know, looking back in hindsight, it shouldn't surprise me knowing the guy he is. His greatest assets are his feet and his head. I think for me, that's what has allowed him to step in and be successful this time of year.
Having said that, you swallow hard before you stick a guy back in the lineup in the Stanley Cup Finals that hasn't played in four and a half, five months. That's an awful long time out.
He's made us look good.

Q. The idea that the home team, the visiting team, is going to have to weather some storm because of the crowd. I don't know if that's us creating that. Is there something to that? Is it as simple as you being able to take it to them regardless of where the game is?
COACH DeBOER: I think it's typical that you get in the situation that you have to weather an early game storm from the home team. I think L.A. was expecting that. They took it to us the other night in the first period in New Jersey. The best formula for us if we can return that favor and not have to deal with that.

Q. You're not thinking about it when you're in the game, but what is it like when you're watching Marty turn back, getting his jersey pulled up and comes out smiling?
COACH DeBOER: You catch yourself as a fan sometimes watching him, some of the things he does. I'm sure upon reflection, I'll look back and have a deeper appreciation for it. You're so caught up in the moment that you don't appreciate what you're seeing as much as I know I probably will down the road.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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