David Quinn on Fox, Kakko, Chytil and more

David Quinn spoke with the media on Thursday after practice and said (NYR):

  • Did the team feel looser today, “winning will do that, the way we won will do that, so I think everyone felt good not only about the result but about how it transpired, they should feel good.”
  • On Adam Fox, “we’ve always liked his instincts, offensive play, great ability to get us out of our own end. The thing I’ve really liked about his game, I’ve said this before, people were wondering how quickly he could adapt to the NHL level from a defending and skating standpoint and it’s been, easy would be the wrong word, quicker transition than I think anyone had anticipated.”
  • What stands out about Fox, “there are a lot of different ways to defend, I love his anticipation, he competes when he is in a battle regardless of a size advantage or disadvantage. He has a quick stick, is aware of his body position, for a guy that young, to be able to put himself in those positions and understand that so quickly is a great sign.”
  • How much do you think Fox being at the Worlds helped, “it never hurts to be around NHL players and compete against NHL players and have that type of opportunity before he got here, I think made this transition a little easier than if he hadn’t had it.”
  • On Mika for Saturday, “he is still day to day, he is getting better, had a better off-ice workout today. It’s possible, if he skates tomorrow, if he doesn’t then it will be tough for him to play.”
  • On Kaapo Kakko’s game Tuesday, “I thought before the goal he had all of that from the get-go, he had more jump in his step, more physical, engaged in more battle and as that game was going on he was gaining more confidence with each shift because he wasn’t hemmed in our zone, did a real good job on the half wall a few times in our own end, he was a lot more responsible defensively. Offensively he hounded pucks more and in a short period of time I thought he started feeling better about his game just within the game because of the shifts he was having and that can happen.”
  • Do you think he will carry that confidence over, “I think he will take, we hope he takes it, but I think he will. He’s a guy, you could even sense it today, was felt better in practice, looked like he was breathing a little easier, wasn’t as tense and putting as much pressure on himself. One of the things, even at the end of the Bruins game, I thought that line in the last 10-12 minutes was pretty good, it was why we kept them together and I thought it carried over to the Tampa game.”
  • On Chytil, “I really liked his game. A lot of things he did inconsistently last year, even within games, he was doing consistently. He was certainly engaged, in way more battles, inside people, on the right side of the play, very little cheating in his game if any, I thought he did a really good job in our breakouts. There was a pace to his game, confidence to his game that you didn’t see an awful lot of last year, you saw flashes of it but for 60 minutes you saw it from the drop of the puck until the buzzer sounded.”
  • On his read of the team after 10 games, “I think we are trying to find consistency and what it’s going to take to have success. I thought maybe, I was talking about this with a couple of the players, those first two games really deceived us about what we were going to have to do to be successful.”
  • In what way, “We score six goals in the Winnipeg game, even though we were fortunate to get out of there with a win. The Ottawa win and the goal that everybody was talking about and then, unfortunately to sit there and live with it for a week, maybe we convinced ourselves we were somebody that we really can’t be. I think throughout this homestand we got a little bit of an eye opener on what it’s going to take for us to be successful and the good news is that two of the last three games we have put together two good performances and won hockey games and in-between we showed how we certainly weren’t going to be able to have success. When you play more games you find out what it’s going to take to win and also what you can’t do if we are going to have the season we think we are capable of having.”
  •  Can you stay afloat with this young of a team, “if we keep playing well and moving in the direction we are with the tenacity and simplicity and intentions that we played with against Tampa then we have a chance to win hockey games.”
  • Is three 21-defensemen  a lot, “it is a lot. These guys are going to have peaks and valleys like most 21-year olds. One of the things we like about these guys is they play with passion and compete, there is an excitement to their game, they don’t let mistakes bother them. Hajek’s game continues to improve, I thought he had a really good night against Tampa. Foxy has been good from the get-go. Lindgren stepped in and did a really good job the other night but we have to be aware that there will be peaks and valleys.”
  • What happened on the change leading to Tampa’s goal, “one of the all-time worst changes you will ever see in the sport of ice hockey. Just 5 guys that made 5 bad decisions. Hadn’t practiced those 5 on 0s against Georgie, so I didn’t like his chances>”