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2020 Return To Play

What David Quinn said on Friday

David Quinn was a guest on MSG on Friday night and said (MSG):

  • On his reaction to the Rangers winning the lottery, “I almost pulled a hamstring jumping out of my chair when I saw the ping pong ball shoot up that little shoot there. It was a week of highs and lows with the disappointing performance in Toronto and then coming home and doing a lot of self-evaluation and going through a lot of things organizationally that we feel we have to be better in and then to have that happen Monday night switched things a little bit, made everybody feel good. I’m a lot less pissed today than I was last Monday morning when I woke up still feeling that deep sting in Toronto.”
  • Is there more pressure on the Rangers this year at the draft, “there are a lot of great players in this draft, everybody that I talk to says it’s a deep draft, that being said, it’s above my pay grade, I don’t make those decisions. I have an awful lot of faith in our organization, our scouting staff, Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury that we are going to pick the right player and they’ve done a heck of a job in the last two years since we sent out the letter. Everyone talks about the fact of where we are at, maybe a little bit ahead of the process of, quote unquote, rebuilding. We always like to talk about building, building a Stanley Cup team here day in and out and it’s just another great asset to have and these guys have done a phenomenal job of putting us in the position where we are today. That being said, nobody is happy with what happened in Toronto, we certainly have higher expectations for ourself and the organization. Hopefully that learning situation in Toronto will make us a better team and a better organization.”
  • The city must be excited for the Rangers to have #1, “I don’t know if you guys saw the reaction on our Instagram, they showed a bunch of our fans filming the draft process and when the ping pong ball went up the shoot it was about a minute of our fans reacting to winning the lottery and it was pretty cool. We actually watched it yesterday and had a lot of laughs about it but it just speaks volumes about the passion of our Ranger fan base. I’ve said this repeatedly, there is no such thing as  a Ranger fan, just a crazy Ranger fan and their passion is deep and it’s amazing to me, that when we travel, how many Ranger fans are in opposing buildings, it’s incredible and there is nothing like it in the NHL.”
  • On him being a Boston guy being accepted as Rangers coach, (laugh) “I’m a New York guy, now. I went to prep school in Connecticut and when I went to Kent in 1981, everyone was Ranger fans, Giant fans, Yankee fans and I was a true following, passionate New England sports fan but when you are in that environment for three years you start, ‘well the Giants aren’t that bad, the Rangers aren’t that bad, the Yankees aren’t that bad so I’ve got a little bit of that in me and you take this job and you just feel the passion of all the fanbases in the City and it’s tough not to get caught up in it. We work here with the Knicks, I know these people personally and I root hard for the Knicks, even though I’m a lifelong Celtics fan, now I’m a Knicks fan because it’s all about the people and the city you work in.”
  • What did you take away from the Carolina series, “you can’t un-see what you have already seen and we have to be careful with evaluation the whole season and including what went on in Toronto. We can learn some things from our experience in Toronto, we don’t want to ignore what happened the last three months of the season when we felt we were making great strides and playing the hockey we need to play to have success at the important time of the year, and that is playoff hockey. All the things that we were the last 2/12, 3 months of the season we were not up in Toronto. One of the things we were was a great third period team, I think we were third best third period team in the NHL and we got blown away in all three third periods against Carolina. We were mentally tough during the season, we weren’t mentally tough in Toronto, we were resilient during the season, we weren’t in Toronto.”
  • Which players showed the most growth, “there was so much uncertainty going into the season and who was going to be the second line center, what was our D corp going to look like, what were the pairings going to be? What type of season was Chytil and Howden and Kakko and all these question marks and once the calendar turned our guys realized, ‘ok, we have a bunch of guys who are pretty good’ and I think there was an inner belief in our locker room that we could have a good hockey team and if you don’t have hope or belief, you don’t have anything, no chance to have success. Everyone points to the fact that we are able to hang around .500 before the calendar turned and then we really turned it on. There were a laundry list of players that had good seasons that maybe you wouldn’t expect. Start with Mika, 41 goals, leads the NHL in goals per game, Strome had a great season, Panarin has a great season, Chytil has a great season after coming back from Hartford. Kakko made some great strides, Howden made some strides, Lindgren and Fox, no one counted on them having the season they had. Trouba had a good second half, Marc Staal had a good second half, there was a bunch of things, Tony DeAngelo had a great season, there were a bunch of guys that we can point to as an organization that we feel really good about.”
  • Are you watching the playoffs or put it aside, “I’m forcing myself to watch it. I think you can learn and try to watch as much hockey as you can because you can always learn. It’s two-fold, to force myself to suffer and feel what I am missing but also to hopefully pick up some things when watching the games.”
  • On the 5OT game from a coaching perspective, “it’s pretty taxing. I know it doesn’t sound like much but the emotional roller coaster as a coach, it’s incredible. I’ll never forget the first game I every coached, the game ended and I was shocked at how tired I was. As a player, you play your shifts, you rest, you go back out. Not that you don’t pay attention but, as a coach, mentally, you are playing every play, trying to analyze it, come up with solutions for the players. I was stunned at how tired I was. I have been on the bench for a two-OT game, never a five, that is  for sure and I can’t imagine what goes on from a coaching perspective when you are that deep into the game. 2 1/2 games when you think about it, just an incredible game, great for hockey.”
  • How do you build your endurance as a coach, “we have to be mentally tough and resilient too, that will push your limits for sure, but you just get so enthralled in what you are doing, I really believe that you take your little break between periods but you gotta recharge the battery and get back after it when you get on the bench.”
  • “The first day of next season started the day we got on the plane leaving Toronto, we are already back at work.”
  • Is there ever an offseason for a coach, “No, no. Even when I got on the golf course every now and then the mind will wander a little bit. I joking tell our players, ‘my life is pathetic’ because I’ll be standing over a putt and I’ll start thinking about Chytil or Howden and some of the other things we are doing. Hopefully I’ll be able to block that out a little bit this fall.”