What David Quinn said about his approach and this past season

David Quinn was a guest on MSG on Tuesday night and said:

  • On getting the #2 pick, “I was surprised at how anxious I was, sitting there and all the sudden the cards are being flipped and you see Chicago make that jump early and wonder where you are going to end up. One of the that Jeff and I talked about after we got that point against Columbus and then two more against Pitt and our fan base was up in arms, we really felt we were going to be rewarded for doing the right thing and hockey karma rewarded us.”
  • How are you approaching the roster for next year, “we are just so excited about the possible additions and the core that we have coming back. We had a bunch of guys who had really good years and possibly career years and you add players of that stature and maybe a few more we feel like we are going to take the next step.”
  • Any other thoughts on how the season went, “you always learn something when you take a new job and there are things you reflect on and know you are going to be better at and one of those things we feel as a staff, the familiarity between the coaches and players right from day one will really help us next year and can’t wait to get going.”
  • What do you want to do better, “manage our practices a little better, it was a bit of a learning for someone from college hockey where you practice a lot more than you do at this level. I really believe that the familiarity with the players, both on and off the ice, will go a long way in having us have a better season.”
  • How does your approach in the NHL change, “the approach doesn’t really change because no matter what level you are at it’s about managing and motivating people and your roster, whether you have guys 18-22 in college, or 18 to 37 in the NHL, it’s figuring out how to coach everybody and making them the best they can be and pushing their buttons. It’s a question I get asked a lot but I didn’t really find it that much different from coaching college.”
  • “I don’t say this with any arrogance but I haven’t been nervous for one second being the coach of the Rangers. I feel like every step of my career has prepared me for this. I remember being head coach in the AHL for tor the first time and I had a bit of a knot in my stomach because I had never done it before and I was really surprised that when I took this job and going to the press conference and training camp I never had that knot in my stomach.”
  • On how players responded to being scratched, “I gotta give the players a lot of credit, the one big surprise through all of this was how coachable our players were and our team was. One of the things that happens when you scratch a player or give someone bad news, you have to build relationships to be able to deliver that news so that players believe it’s in their best interest even if they don’t see it at that time. As a staff we spend a lot of time building that relationship with our players so that when you do break bad news they know that it’s in their best interest and when your players know that you care about them there is a trust factor and I really felt there was a trust factor with the players and staff.”
  • Does your approach change with a more veteran roster, “yea, I think you tweak your approach when you have a more veteran roster. I certainly wouldn’t coach the Rangers three-years ago, with that roster, the way that I do today.”
  • What would be different, “I think you give them a little bit more room, more space and police themselves a little more but having a younger roster you are more involved as a staff.”
  • What does ‘moving your feet’ mean, “anticipating plays, there is skating fast and playing fast, the guys that are having success in the playoffs and in our leg are always moving their feet. That is not always the case, to me it’s a balancing act of skating and playing fast.”
  • What does ‘keep it simple’ mean, “don’t overthink it, sometimes because there is not a lot of room out there players could get frustrated from shift to shift because you can have a shift where not a lot can happen and then three shifts in a row maybe things haven’t gone the way you wanted and you start forcing plays.”
  • Is that like a ‘blind pass or reckless play,‘ “exactly, high risk hockey and thinking that you have to make this play because something good hasn’t happened in the last three shifts.”
  • What is ‘playing the right way’ mean, “whatever the situation calls for, you have to be fully committed to doing it. You are always on the right side of the puck and what I mean by that is that if there is a 50/50 puck and your goalie is here you are not above the puck, you are below it.”
  • On hockey gods and hockey karma, “if you play the right way you get hockey karma.”
  • What would Kaapo Kakko’s nickname be, “I’ll have to be careful with that, hold on until I think more about it.”