Anton Stralman wants Lightning to build on strong penalty-kill showing

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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman says there are plenty of things to work on after the team's season-opening shootout victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

INTERVIEWER 1: What do you have to improve on today?

- Yeah, I think it was a combination of things. That being one thing, and then we seemed like we were skating kind of without a purpose a little bit there. Everybody was excited and just going without really thinking, and that's never a good thing. And they played well. I think they outworked us a little bit, too. So it was a combination of all those things. And I think, as the game went on, we finally got into it a little bit more, and then obviously Vasi was huge for us. Same with the PK, and that even got us the goals.

INTERVIEWER 1: Yeah, looking at the penalty kill, that's one aspect of your guys' game that you wanted to be better at this season. Played perfect. You know, what did you guys do differently? Or what are you doing differently to kind of make that so effective?

- I think it's just the small details. I don't think it's any earth-shattering stuff we're changing. But just to kind of wipe the slate clean and start over again, I think that's a good thing. We can let go of the past and look forward to what's coming now, and also that was obviously a good start for us. And now we want to built off that. It was still not perfect. We still gave up some good chances, and Vasi made some big saves for us. But we'll look at it, and we'll try to improve.

INTERVIEWER 2: What were the major issues from the game against Florida that you guys wanted to clear up and get better at for the next time you go out on Thursday?

- Yeah, I think compete was one thing-- the intensity of our game. But like I said, I think from being on the ice and kind of reading the situation from what it was, it felt like we kind of lost the structure a little bit. We didn't have a structure. Once we got the puck, everybody was just going, and the support wasn't there. Everybody wants to do the right thing, but it's just one of those things when everybody goes, and you just go out of your own way. And we didn't a game.

INTERVIEWER 2: How much do you look forward to tomorrow, Coop's Catch, the fishing tournament? Is this a fun day for you guys to just be able to get out on the water, and meet some fans, and just relax, and do it for a good cause?

- Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a fun event. I'm not-- actually a couple years ago was the first time I ever fished, so I got to try new stuff, I guess. And like you said, it's a good cause. It's good for the community, and thanks to all the people that buy in and want to come to this event. It is a fun event, and hopefully we catch some fish this year. I haven't been on a successful boat yet, so probably it says a lot about my skill.

INTERVIEWER 3: So Anton, with temperatures running below the penalty kill this year, how has that maybe changed things? What different things are emphasized? Just, what's different?

- I don't think we made any big, big changes. I think starting at zero and starting over and have a chance to improve-- it's a big thing. You can just kind of forget about last year. It doesn't matter now. You start fresh, and you go from there. I think it's just-- everybody has to be bought in and really do their job. That's what it really is all about. It's a lot of blocking shots. It's a lot about being in the structure and trusting that structure. I think last year you got into a cycle where you are actually doing some good things, but the puck still goes in, and then that just, you know, it's a trickle-down effect. And it just gets worse.

So it's a lot to do with confidence, and also just a confidence-builder, I think. But you know, that game is done. Now we have to do it again. It's about consistency.

INTERVIEWER 3: Yeah, what does killing five penalties do for your confidence?

- Yeah, I think that's the start you want. It would be tough to go in and look back at that game, and maybe we're two for five or something-- that would have been tough-- and lost that game. So I think that was big for us to know that, you know, we can do this, and now we go from there.