Transcript from Lightning coach Jon Cooper's press conference before Thursday's game against Nashville.
On what the coaches wanted to address during yesterday's practice
"I think one of our biggest things was our attention to detail in the defensive zone. We were really lacking our compete level back there so we needed to adjust and that's what we did yesterday."
On if you can coach consistency
"Well I think you can coach anything. It comes down to your habits. In an 82-game year, when you're playing three to four games a week, unless you're the Columbus Blue Jackets, it's hard to be consistent in this league. I only say that (because) Columbus is on the long winning streak right now, but I bet you even their coaching staff is sitting there saying, "We could be better at this. We could be better at that." There's just so many games. That's why I think consistency is kind of that buzz word that's thrown around all the time when things aren't going well. You've just got to stay true to your system and stay true to your habits. In the end, you've got to work your tail off. Were we inconsistent last game? I suppose so, but it was the fact that we just didn't work hard in the defensive zone. That was the problem. It's just your attention to detail in all the games, but I find it tough sometimes because if you're playing three in four in a back to back and another team's coming in fully rested and you don't have the greatest effort, well, that was more of a competitive disadvantage, I believe, than it was being inconsistent. Rounding out your game (and) your attention to detail, that's the big part for me."
On how Peca and Erne have performed and stayed up
"They've forced themselves to stay in the lineup. Peca and Erne tonight. They don't give you a reason to pull them out. They're playing hard. They're playing with speed. They're playing with pace. That's what we need. Peca's been rewarded with it with a couple of points here in the past couple of games. Now it's to make sure that they don't take a step back, which can happen with some of these new guys when they come up. They've been an asset for us and we expect them to keep doing the same things moving forward."
On how he describes the season after having 32 different players on the roster
"Well, I wouldn't be surprised if we have 35 or 36 at some point. The downside of that is guys are getting hurt. The upside is you get to take a look at what the next wave of players is and give you an idea of who can help you in certain situations. We've just got to make sure we translate these into wins when these guys are coming up. For the most part in this home stand we have. We've got one game left and we have to take care of business tonight."
On Bishop's timeline still being intact
"We're hoping, maybe California. If he comes back earlier, that's good for us. I think we've always said California. Hopefully he comes back then."
On if Paquette will play
"Paquette is back tonight."
On if Wilcox was called up as a reward and if he could see playing time
"Well, there's a bunch of reasons for that. Kristers hasn't played since he's been up here so this was an opportunity to get him games. Wilcox has been playing all the time down there, but it's not saying that he's not going to play. Obviously, Vasy's playing tonight, but now we've got a couple of back to backs coming up and we're just going to have to monitor how we're going to play our goalie situation moving forward here. We're not ready to commit what's going to happen."
On Vasilevskiy's play
"Vasilevskiy, to me, has played extremely well. Has he let in a goal here or there that he would love to take back? Sure, but I don't know if there's a goalie in the league that doesn't say that. We had a tough one the other night, but I'm not pinning anything on him. It was our play that led to all the scoring chances against, but he gives us a chance to win every single night. That's all you can ask for in your goaltender and we're going to ask that again of him tonight."
On Vasilevskiy's workload
"I don't know. I don't think he's working any more than any other starting goalie in this league. They play six, seven, eight in a row and if they've got three or four days off like we had the Christmas Break off. You get through this little stretch, we're going to have how many more days off before the Buffalo game. There's rest in there and he's just got to take advantage of that."