David Quinn spoke on Friday morning and said (NYR):
- On Vitali Kravtsov, “I think that when you experience what he has gone through since he’s been drafted, you just mentally feel more prepared for the NHL and I certainly think his bubble experience helped him step into this situation and feel good about himself and what he is capable of doing. When you have success at a high level, when you get here you have a better chance of playing with a little bit of confidence and I think that is what has happened to him.”
- On lineup changes besides Georgiev, “Don’t think so, as of right now.”
- On balancing where to play Kravtsov and Blackwell, “it is a balancing act, we are still talking about our lineup right now. We will see. We will see what the final decision is, but that is two good options to put on that line.”
- On Brett Howden’s return, “I thought he played a smart game, was active, did a good job on the forecheck. Him and Rooney, whoever we put with them, that line was pretty good, whether it was Blackwell or Kravy or Buchnevich. Those two guys had good nights.”
- On Colin Blackwell, “I knew he was a guy that worked hard and had some skill to complement it. It was too bad for him at Harvard, he got hurt a lot at Harvard so he had a tough college career and I thought he could have been one of the best college players in the country if he was able to stay healthy. Obviously, his pro career has been up and down, more on the AHL side, but we thought we signed a guy that had a chance to play here and he’s made the most of his opportunity. Whatever line we put him on last night, good things were happening. I’m just really happy for him because guys like him that fight and scratch and claw for their opportunity, it’s nice to see someone get rewarded when they do get the opportunity and take advantage.”
- On resetting things after last night’s game, “Sometimes the greatest teacher is failure and sometimes it’s the only teacher. We can talk about it, they can do it from time to time, but sometimes you’ve gotta feel pain in your core and really suffer before you learn a valuable lesson. The good news for us is that we’ve bounced back from games like this when our backs have been against the wall, coming off a game like last night. Our track record has been pretty good this year and we’ve usually played our best hockey in this situation. We’ve always had great games against the Islanders, I know our guys are excited about playing, but to your point, you can coach it, talk about it and some guys learn that way, but a lot of people learn when they really suffer and fail. It does give you an opportunity to reset because I do think we’ve gotten away, everybody talked about how different we were defensively the first two months of the season and I think we’ve gotten away from that. The more goals we’ve scored lately, we’ve abandoned our defensive responsibility and if we are going to make a run at this we have to get that back in our game more consistently because we score without trying, well I shouldn’t say without trying, we don’t have to think about scoring, we have guys that have talent that can do it. The stuff we have to pay attention to in our game, that is something you’ve gotta prepare for mentally because I just think that, at every level, those are things that players usually have to prepare for and create a mindset for. Whereas, the scoring stuff and the skill stuff is just talent-driven. It will give us an opportunity to reset to remind these guys what we are going to have to do to have success moving forward.”
- On Georgiev’s success against the Isles, “As a head coach, I just accept it, he’s a guy that has done well against the Isles. The only thing I know about goalies is whether they stop it or not. He seems to stop it more than he does it against the Isles, that is the only thing I know.