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Monday, May 18, 2015

NHL Peachy: 2015 ECF Pre-Game 2 Transcript - (TBL - Coach Cooper) Our Coverage Sponsored by Maine Woolens

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An interview with:


Q. With Brian (Boyle) on the ice, is there any change in his status? Any update that you can provide that is maybe more detailed than yesterday?
COACH COOPER: The update is there is no update.

Q. Off of your comments from yesterday and having reviewed the tape, when you feel like your team doesn't play as well as you'd like in a lot of different areas, is it just kind of a simple, do more stuff better tonight kind of message or do you feel like there are little areas where your team can improve?
COACH COOPER: Well, naturally when things don't go well that is the easy message, well, we've got to be better.
But I think you understand we're playing a really good team. Last time I looked, the team that had the most points in the league, that is the team we're playing. But we have to, I think I said this line before, we played a team that played like they'd been there before, and we played like a team that hadn't. We've been in these big situations before, but we've got to fight through things better than we fought through last game.
I think it was like the shortest game of the playoffs time-wise. It wasn't very physical. It's just, instead of first game of the Conference Finals, it was like Game 53, and we can't play it like that. So our will has to be stronger. Our determination has to be stronger. And the group, every time they've been challenged, has found a way to elevate themselves. It's unfortunate that we're down 0-1. It was probably a little bit of an eye-opening experience for us, but our will has got to be stronger.

Q. Do you believe that these guys needed one game to maybe believe that they belonged here and believed that they should be here? There is a lot of talk about learning experiences and what you guys are going through.
COACH COOPER: I don't know. I look through the past of this playoffs and think did we get through a really hard Detroit series and then did we exercise some demons against Montreal and then did we exhale? Maybe that's what happened.
And think, okay, we've made it to the Final Four, let's pat ourselves on the back, and have some fun with this instead of we've made it to the Final Four, let's dig our heels in and grind this one out.
Unfortunately, now we're down 0-1. I'm not saying had we played with more will and determination, we would have won the game, but I think we turned this into a six-game series instead of a seven with the way we came out in that game. I suspect, I can't predict the result, but I expect a different team coming from last game.

Q. Some of the players yesterday were comparing Carey Price to Henrik Lundqvist. One goalie comes out a little more aggressively. Lundqvist tends to stay in the net a little tighter. Are the chances any different against two different style goaltenders getting a first and a second chance, or is it just putting traffic in front of the goalie no matter what kind of style?
COACH COOPER: Naturally, that is the answer. If you take a goalie's eyes away, it's much harder for them. I think the one thing you have to combat is the aura. So you say the name Carey Price, and pretty much you say Henrik Lundqvist, and it's kind of the aura they carry.
The other side of the thing is they're both human, and we've played them in the regular season and we've had success against them in the regular season. The one thing that they're both outstanding at is taking away the lower part of the net, just phenomenal feet.
If you remember the Johnson save, I think it was in the third, not a lot of goalies can get there to make that. He's, unfortunately for us, one of the guys that can. But if you stick to your principles- any time you continually get traffic, your shot attempts are up. Your shots on net are up. Eventually pucks are going to go in for you. There might be some greasy ones, but you need some of those to go in before you score, I guess, the picture perfect ones. I just didn't think we were doing that enough. He was seeing way too many pucks. And for somebody of his caliber, he's going to see them all night and our goal total is not going up.

Q. I know you're not built as a bruising team the way your roster is constructed, but do you want to see more physical play from them tonight?
COACH COOPER: I do. I think if you watch the Detroit series and a lot of things that went on there, we may not say - that may not be our MO, but we have a lot of guys that game it out and a lot of guys that will play it that way. I think we have found ourselves playing to our competition. From the way the other team plays, sometimes we've had a habit of that throughout the regular season is playing to the team we're playing.
Detroit was a much more physical series, physical games than Montreal was. I don't know how this is going to keep going, but I'm sure the series will get more physical than it was the other night. But this is two teams that I'd consider faster teams in the league. It was a pretty fast-paced game. But in order to slow them down a little bit and put a little bit more pressure on their "D", we've got to try to knock them around a little bit.

Q. I know you mentioned, obviously, a fast game and we appreciate that with our deadlines and everything. You guys are at your best when you also get your speed and get pucks in deep. Was there a balance there making sure it was not both end-to-end rushes back and forth where those turnovers can lead into their transition, too? Is there a balance there?
COACH COOPER: Well, there is. I think there is a risk when you're playing that way for that to happen. I'm sure they're thinking the same thing. You don't want to go chance for chance. They were probably a little bit better at us than them being disciplined. They took advantage a little bit.
I remember, I don't know, one of the plays Stralman was up ice, and we had kind of a good little rush going and we missed one pass, and all of a sudden they're on the breakaway the other way. That's not what we want.
I said this yesterday, there are two nets on the ice. We've got to be thinking about both of them. We can't just be thinking about one.

Q. A little off topic here. What has the addition of Rick Bowness meant to your coaching staff?
COACH COOPER: Oh, I'll try to keep it short. He's meant the world to me. He taught me about the NHL. There is one thing about people say, oh, you're a rookie coach when I first came in. I said, well, I'm not really a rookie coach. I was just a rookie to the NHL.
There is something to learn about the league, the players, where to be, when to be, how you act. There are just so many different things that he expedited my learning process on that. For somebody that's had all the experiences that he's had, it's just soak it all in, and just wealth of knowledge, and plus he's an unreal guy. He's just been through so many different things. It's great to learn from him.
The one thing that's held him back his whole career is the one thing he wants most is the Stanley Cup. For me that would be unreal to be a coach and a staff that gets one for him because of how much passion he has for the game. Any time you get to surround yourself with somebody that has a downright passion for something, it's great to be a part of.
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