Courtesy of Hertz

Drive to the Net: How Sullivan, staff built up Schultz

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Justin Schultz. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

On the morning of June 12, 2016, as franchise history should duly note for so many reasons, Mike Sullivan spoke a two-word admonition to Kris Letang.

"Just defend," Letang would tell me much later that night on the San Jose ice, after he'd been the singularly iconic performer in the climactic Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. "That's all he said. And that's what I did."

Well, that and swarm the circumference of the Sharks' zone to score the winner:

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But the coach's point stood with as much authority as it resonated with the player. And it castĀ the final stroke on Sullivan's six-month masterpiece. He challenged his best player to be his best player by having him focus not on what he does best but, rather, what he could do make his performance complete. What he could do to be brilliant.

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