What David Quinn said on the radio on Monday

David Quinn was a guest on Sirius XM today and said:

  • He is in White Plains right now
  • On expectations heading into the season and how they have been exceeded, “one of the things with our team and I think everybody in hockey kind of felt it, there was a lot of uncertainty, a lot of unknowns because we had so many new faces, we were so young. Who was going to be our second line center, how was Panarin going to adjust to New York, how was Trouba gonna adjust to NY, who is going to be the third line center? How was Kakko going to do, how was Fox gonna do? There were so many different questions being asked about our team and I think that was part of the reason why we got off to a bit of a slow start, a lot of uncertainty. I don’t think we knew how good we could be. I think there are a lot of things you are going to acquire if you are going to have success. You don’t have to have the most talent, you need enough talent and all of these other characteristics as a group you have to acquire to have success. Because we had so much uncertainty and new faces, I just think there was going to be a learning curve to acquire that. As the season went on guys thought, ‘he’s pretty good, he’s better than I thought he was gonna be’ and the whole thing started to come together. We hovered around .500, a little above, and trying to figure out what we had and capable of being. Right after Christmas, even though we didn’t have the greatest record, we were around .500, there was a real internal belief in the locker room, coaches and management, we felt we had a chance to be a pretty good hockey team and you saw that happen in the second half of the season.”
  • On tightening up defensively, “I thought we did a much better job in the second half of the season from a structure standpoint, part of our problem when we get in trouble defensively is puck management and when your D are as active as ours are and talent on the blue line and guys who are offensively driven, you can be put in a predicament, moreso off of turnovers, then it is off structure. A couple of things happened, one is that we managed the puck a lot better in the second half of the season. We had a tendency early on that when we got the puck we felt we had to make a great play every time we had it and two, I thought we really grew as a group defensively, structurally, guys were trusting each other more, trying to do their job and not trying to do too much and we got good goaltending. When you add all that up you are going to have a much better chance in the second half of the season to be better defensively. The other thing that happened, I think we are second/seventh in the league in games where we give up five goals or more. We’d be plodding along doing a good job defensively and, boom, we’d have a bad night where we’d give up five or more which can really skew your goals against. I thought where we were at from a defensive standpoint in the second half of the season allowed us to have the success we had.”
  • On having three goalies, “all three guys have handled it well and obviously, Hank having the career he is having and had and his age, the situation we uncomfortable for everyone but moreso him. He couldn’t have handled it better. He understood what we going on. Igor went down to Hartford and he was the best goalie in the AHL, he bided his time, stayed down there until January and finally we had to call him up. When we had all three of them here in the first month, everyone got an opportunity and we just felt that Igor kind of separated himself in that stretch and we turned to him to get most of the starts. The numbers spoke for themselves, everyone understood it, there was no hidden agenda, communication with Hank, Igor and Georgiev. I can’t google ‘how to handle three goalies, one of them a Hall of Famer’ at the NHL level. There is no right or wrong answer and as I’ve said, I’m sure I made mistakes along the way handling the situation, I certainly didn’t do it intentionally but I have to give all these guys a ton of credit, they handled it like pros and made the situation manageable.”
  • On star players (Mika and Panarin) getting a bit more leeway defensively, “there is that balancing act and we have spoken with those guys at length about those situations and the fortunate thing for us, what you see on the ice is that they are better people. Their work ethic, great teammates, guys that when you come to the rink you want to go see, spend time with them and I don’t mean the coaches, the players. They are coachable, there is give and take, we have conversations and there are some disagreements but when there are disagreements they buy-in to how we want them to do it. We are very fortunate in that regard, both of these guys want to be 200-ft players and when your best players have that mindset you have a chance night-in-night-out.”
  • On plans to resume the season or playoffs, “there are so many different scenarios and we are all guessing at the end of the day. We are at the mercy of a disease that there are so many unknowns to. What our government is going to do and what is the right thing to do from a livelihood standpoint. So many things go into this decision making process. Ideally I think people would want to play more regular season games and let this play out, if they don’t play more regular season games, I anticipate, from what I hear, that there will be an expanded playoffs, if we go right into the playoffs, more than 16-teams. That is just my guess, from what I’m hearing and some of the scenarios talked about being played out but we are all guessing and I know it’s great conversation and way to kill some time but at the end of the day, Gary Bettman and the people who run the NHL have a lot more information than we do. It’s day-to-day, as Jeff Gorton always says, every day that goes by is one day closer. I don’t know when it’s going to end but one day closer.”