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May 12, 2013 1:21 pm

May 12 practice quotes: Rob Scuderi

On the strong defensive performance in the first round:
“I think the one thing we did really well was identify who was the first pressure guy. A lot of times if the puck’s in a halfway area, you know the other team’s going to get it. The team gets confused if a guy doesn’t pressure right away. So I thought this series, this past series, I thought something we did really well was whoever the defenseman was on that side, we got pressure right away. It lets everyone else know what their responsibility is and what they had to do to fall in line to do their responsibilities. I thought that was a big factor.”

On whether the culture in the locker room is similar to that of his Pittsburgh teams:
“Absolutely. I think it has to be a similar vibe in any winning locker room. It’s something where we try to push each other to be better. Internal competition is the way teams get better. Even though we’re not wishing ill will on anyone else here, you’re still trying to play your best not necessarily to push someone out, but just push them to be better. The more competition you can have on a team, usually the better that team is.”

On countering the opposition’s strong forecheck:
“it comes down to what we’re going to do as a group. I know certainly some teams do some things that will give everyone problems, but there’s always another way through it. It’s up to us as players – certainly the coaches to evaluate it – and then let us know as players, and for us to execute that game plan, whether it be maybe the defense skating the puck a little bit more if they sit back, or making a quick first pass if they’re aggressive. It’s up to us to make those adjustments and to find a way through so that we can play in the offensive zone.”

On whether it’s hard to prepare for a series without knowing who they’ll play:
“No, not really. It was nice to get a day off yesterday, and today kind of a maintenance day, whatever you want to call it. Some guys want to go on, some guys don’t. Just kind of relax and get your head reset and refocused for another round. Like I said, we have no preference. We’ll just sit back and wait and see what happens.”

On the lack of travel in the second round:
“It’s nice not having to switch time zones. Especially after game four, then five, and then six you’re going back and forth. It’ll certainly be nice. We’re either a half an hour drive or a 45-minute flight. So I think it’s beneficial to really all the teams involved.”

On the potential benefits towards less time between series, compared to last year:
“I’m indifferent to it. It’s nice if you can get a couple of days, but that’s pretty much what we’ve had. It’s lucky for us that we started our series on the first night as compared to some teams that had to wait a couple more nights, and we’ll have to wait for them to finish up. Overall, I don’t think it’s really that big a deal. I think either way…the coaching staff has done a good job of giving us a good balance of rest and preparation.”

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