What David Quinn said after practice on Friday

David Quinn met with the media on Friday after practice and said (NYR):

  • Have you been able to fix any worries you had before the pause, “I thought we got a little bit away from our D-Zone structure and pressuring pucks, not letting people come up the ice that easily, that is something we harped on and talked about. I really liked what we did today, I thought we took a big step forward today creating more of a game-like mentality, an August 1-mentality. Those were the things we thought we had to harp on when the season came to an abrupt halt.”
  • On a 5-game series vs 7-game series, “there is a little more urgency to all of this but I think that when you are in the playoffs, whether it be a 5-game or 7-game series, you better have heightened urgency for every game that you play. I think our approach will be putting ourselves to get off to a good start, you don’t have as much room for error but I don’t think the approach is much different.”
  • On what stood out in today’s scrimmage, “I just thought there was more physicality to the scrimmage, I liked our intentions, little things and faceoffs, hold-ups, line changes, there was more purpose and game-like feel to what we will have to do on the 1st, throughout the scrimmage. I liked our pace and how guys will have to approach it on the 1st and it was a good step forward for us.”
  • Was there anything you needed to learn from today’s scrimmage, “It was more about the plan and execution and getting the reps we needed and every day taking a closer step to what we are going to have to do on the 1st of August. It’s really that simple because, as we’ve alluded to, time is of the essence, we don’t have a lot of it, we have to take advantage of every practice physically and mentally and our guys did a good job of it today.”
  • On K’Andre Miller through this camp, “I think he has gotten more comfortable, you could see the nerves early on but he’s acclimated himself and played with an awful lot of confidence, kept things simple. You see the physical tools that he has, he’s a special physical specimen and a guy that understands what he is capable of doing. I love the fact that he didn’t try to do too much, he let the game come to him, he did a good job defending. I love the plays he was making in small areas, quick turnovers he made the right play, just a lot of good things from him over the last two weeks.”
  • On Jacob Trouba seeming more comfortable, “100%. He’s skating better, there is much more confidence in his game, I like his gap better, defending better. He’s doing a lot of things better. We had a couple of good conversations over the break, touched on taking some time to feel comfortable in a new environment, I think he puts a lot of pressure on himself. He wants to do well so badly, he wants to please his teammates, coaches, the organization and sometimes that can be a heavy burden. I think his best hockey is ahead of him.”
  • On his mindset with the roster, “I think it’s human nature when someone doesn’t’ do what they were doing before the break and someone is doing something better you automatically, instinctively say ‘we will put this guy there’ but when the dust settles, like I’ve said, we want to let people get a chance to get their feet under them and back to where they were before the break. Nothing has gotten to the point where I thought ‘oh, boy, we might have to change this’ we are getting closer and closer to establishing that we are going to be where we were before the break.”
  • On Brett Howden in the middle rather than the wing, “There really isn’t a lot of difference if we put Howden or McKegg in the middle, it’s just something we wanted to do. Howds is real good on faceoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles on draws that we put McKegg in the middle or if we feel it would be the right move. It’s not something I’m married to but it looks good so far.”
  • Are you nervous when the scrimmage is that physical, “a little bit, but you need to do it if you are going to have success and I thought guys were smart about being physical, a couple of times, especially, in the neutral zone, where Tony has a chance to step up and bury Kakko and he let up on him, Smitty stood up and Mika could have been hit pretty hard and Smitty let up. I think our guys were smart and understanding when guys were vulnerable that they weren’t going to play through to the point where someone could get hurt. I thought our guys did a good job of managing the situation.”

On Thursday he was asked about Vitali Kravtsov and said (NYR),

  • “I’ve liked his work ethic. In difficult circumstances he’s working really hard, not difficult circumstances but when you are with the extras it’s different. I think he’s really embraced the challenge, enjoying being here, learning a lot. I thought he earned the opportunity to skate with the big group today. His skill is obvious and like most highly skilled players have to learn, they have to learn how to play at the NHL level and apply that skill level at this level. I think he’s going through a bit of a learning curve but we like what we see.”