Rangers coach David Quinn was a guest on Hockey Central at Noon today and said (Sportsnet):
- On how he’s doing right now, “we are doing well, it’s been a tough time for everybody worldwide, not just the people in New York but New York has been hit the hardest. We were in Colorado when this all happened and supposed to fly to Arizona the next day but we got re-routed to New York, landed in Westchester and I’ve been holed up in Westchester ever since we landed, on I think the 12th of March.”
- He’s only been back into Manhattan once, to swing by his apartment to pick up things before going back to Westchester.
- (They go through his career from player to coach)
- On Mika Zibanejad’s 5-goal game, “It was so electric in the building that night. Regardless of what was going to happen, what went on the last 6-7 weeks for us was so important to our development as an organization and where we want to get to. Mika Zibanejad, I was telling everybody when I took this job a year ago, I don’t know if people realize how good this guy is. We are so fortunate that our two star players, and we have a lot of good ones, but two guys that have obviously separated themselves, Mika Zibanejad and obviously Artemi Panarin, what makes it all so exciting is the type of people they are. One thing I remember about that night, not only did he score five goals, but in a game of that impact, with that atmosphere, against the Washington Capitals, with our season on the line every night when you are in that playoff push, he scores a goal every which-way possible. He scores with a minute and a half to go to make it 5-4 and the roof almost blows off the building and then Ovechkin ties it and 30 seconds into OT Panarin makes an unbelievable pass to Mika and he gets the fifth. I wasn’t there, but it’s amazing to listen to the people that have been around the Rangers for awhile, they hadn’t heard the building that loud since, I think 2015, when in Game 7 they beat Washington to go the Eastern Conference Finals. Stepan scored the OT winner at the Garden. Whether it was Marc Staal or Hank, they had never heard the building that loud since that night.”
- Brian Burke interrupts with a pet peeve about why Zibanejad was on the ice when Washington’s net was empty, (laughing) “I should have called a freakin time out, is what I should have done. Well he’s a good defensive player too, so I got to put him out there….he’s a hell of a player, but the night, the magnitude, the five-goals, it wasn’t a 7-2 win, this guy scores five goals against the Capitals in a game of that magnitude, it was just an incredible night and so happy for him and obviously a huge two points that night.”
Brian Burke said of the Rangers “I think they are way ahead of schedule. The letter shocked everyone for its frankness. When the GM says to their most important customers that it might be a tough couple of years, folks, but we are going to do it right and right now. They are back in the thick of things 18-months later, it’s pretty impressive. Made some good moves in the offseason, they have done a lot of good things right. Jeff Gorton is a real quiet leader, he doesn’t do a lot of interviews, doesn’t want a lot of praise, he just likes to win. Hired a coach that raised some eyebrows, not that David Quinn isn’t a quality coach, everyone knows that, but not a lot of experience as an NHL head coach, so that raised eyebrows but he’s been patient, taught these guys, they re-signed Kreider. Done a lot of things right.”
Burke said of Artemi Panarin as an MVP candidate, “he’s in the conversation but I don’t think he can win it, there have been too many better performances. That is the problem when you are a winger, usually those awards go, or often go, to centers because they get more points or defensemen because it’s acknowledged that it’s a harder position to play. Wing is the easiest position to play and just racking up goals often isn’t enough to get a major award like that. You look at what they have done, it’s a series of things. The goaltending has emerged, the Trouba trade was a good trade for them, an upgrade. Pionk is a good player, a different kind of player. The Panarin signing, they have done…DeAngelo has really emerged as a a player, they have done a lot of incremental steps that have resulted in them being back in the hunt.”