On implementing special teams with new and younger personnel:
I don’t think the power play’s going to change very much personnel-wise. Christian can go in on one of the units, and probably Looch. Tanner’s basically a new player, if we use him there. He’s only played a few games for us. [Reporter: When you want to get those systems down in place now, when you’re implanting that – the special teams in the preseason – is it any different from working on or continuing to reinforce it when you get to the middle of the season?] I think penalty killing is something that system-wise, we’ve made some adjustments, and we’ve obviously had to make a lot of personnel [adjustments]. The power play’s up to the top guys. I mean, you give ‘em fundamentals and basics and different breakouts and things like that, but at the end of the day, they’ve got to produce. If they’re not, that’s on them. The penalty killing, we have to make some adjustments on it, again, because there’s a lot of a personnel change if you look at guys who were premier penalty killers for us – defense and forwards – and we want to give some new guys who don’t get a lot of minutes the ability to kill penalties if they can handle it in terms of being in the right place and making the right plays and making the right reads and staying out of the penalty box while they’re killing penalties. That would be the biggest thing on special teams, and to answer the second part of your question about – was it about young guys? [Reporter: Yeah, just the way it’s implemented during the preseason as opposed to the regular season.] Any of the young guys that haven’t played here, I’m not trying to get them to do something they’re not capable of. It’s like I was telling Jordan Weal again today – ‘If you want to play here, you’ve got to play your game, but you’ve got to play our game. Our game is an NHL game, and you’ve got to break anything that sets a habit that’s not. If you can’t do it during preseason, then you’re going to have trouble playing here.’
On seeing a lot of three-on-three overtime in the preseason:
We do it again tonight, and it’s that mandatory three-game thing, so this is the third game. [Reporter: And you’ve had two extras, right? One extra.] One, I think, right? [Reporter: Does it help? I mean, it seems to turn into a series of three-on-two drills.] I think it helps if you have the guys you’re going to use during the regular season dressed and playing, but it’s helped us get some fundamental what-we-want-to-do in place. I’ve seen where it’s going to be really successful. If we can stick to it, I can see where you’re going to get scored on if you don’t.
On whether he has confidence in using the coach’s challenge in the regular season after a preseason in which it won’t be used:
Yep. Really clear. Really good. Just because we’re not using it during the game, we’ve still talked to the officials, and we’ve had a presentation from the league to the coaches, so anything that wasn’t clear is really clear. So I think it’s not going to be anything to do with coaches or what’s on the ice that’s going to have any sort of grey areas. I think it’s going to be getting how the video is reviewed. It’s easy for me to say, ‘We’re going to review that.’ We’ve talked lots with our own video, the two young guys – Ethan and Sam – about when we’re doing this in preseason, it’s not a trial run. Get it right. If you think it’s off-side, tell us it’s off-side. That way, it doesn’t mean we can review it, but then we’re going to come in and say, ‘Was it off-side?’ [Reporter: So you’ve been doing dry runs.] Yep, for sure. The goalie interference one, as I said, I think it’ll be a reviewed call, but for the most part, there won’t be big changes. The call on the ice will stand, for the most part. That’s a very, very grey area as it is, because there’s so much involved with the blue paint. Are they out of the blue paint? Do they have position? Did he accidentally touch him? Did he intentionally touch him. You know what? The blatant ones are easy for us to see, right? But those little ones, I might say it is goal interference now, and by tomorrow I’m going to say, ‘That wasn’t goalie interference.’ My preference is that if it is a goal, count it. Why are we trying to take goals away? We went to the one extreme where you couldn’t even have your foot in the crease to score a goal, and then the other extreme where you’re allowed to run goalies. There has to be something in there that allows you to score. [Reporter: Like a tie goes to the runner in baseball. Give the benefit of the doubt.] I’m still pro-goal, even when it happens against you. I still like to see guys bumping around the net and fighting to get to the net, for sure.