Gerard Gallant spoke after practice and Friday and said (NYR):
- On naming a captain, “still discussing it with Chris, we’ve been talking about it quite a bit in the last couple of weeks and I think I’ve talked about it quite a bit where I’ve come from different teams and it’s more important for me that 23 guys are a big part of our group and that’s the most important thing. We’ll get to a decision here sooner or later and like I said, but it’s, you know, I did talk with Chris quite a bit about it, gotta of make a decision soon, and we’ll decide what we’re gonna do, but the biggest thing for me is, I need 23 guys to be leaders. I’ve had that in the past with some teams I coached, that’s the biggest thing for me so we’ll, we’ll make a decision in the near future.”
- On Ryan Reaves being day to day, “Yeah that’s accurate. It’s day to day and obviously things didn’t look good but I think it’s gonna be a lot quicker than that, so it’s day to day for us.”
- Is Reaves possible for the opener, “I think it’s gonna be close, again, when he left the game I said no but the last couple days it’s going in the right direction, so I can’t really say but I think it’s gonna be real close from the info I got.”
- On Georgiev, “Do what their doing, keep playing solid hockey. I mean, I think you guys know more than I know about the goaltending the last few years and there are two guys capable of playing real good hockey for us. We saw the other night Shesty was outstanding in the game, he played great hockey. Sure, we won 6-2, but I thought he made some real key saves and great saves for us in that first period, late in the first period so that’s what we’re going to need that’s we’re going to get from our goaltending and I think Georgie is the same thing, he’s a competitive guy, they want to fight for the net and that’s a good problem to have for a coach and for a team”
- On Strome, “He’s a good leader. He’s a leadership guy, he’s a character guy, I don’t know him that well but he’s one of the guys that you have fun with on the ice and practice, he’s sharp. I really like what I see from him, he’s a talented hockey player, sees the ice well and I think he’s a real good teammate.
- On Sammy Blais, “Yeah, the last few games I think he was excellent. He played really strong hockey and I think when we went out and got a player like Sammy, the way he is. Again he played in St Louis so you watched him play over there, but you don’t really know a guy until your around them for three or four weeks. I’m just starting to get to know a lot of the guys and I’m feeling good about it, but I think Sammy plays a real big man’s game and that’s what we need. That goal he scored the other night showed some great hands and some of the plays he made, but he’s still got to do the good things that we like and that’s bumping bodies and playing an up and down game and I think he’s done a great job with that, especially the last two games, he really stood out.”
- On Zac Jones, “Yeah, Jonesy did nothing wrong. He played well, it’s all about numbers and how many guys you can keep on your roster. Everything Jonesy has done in camp was excellent, he going in the right direction. Again, Lundkvist has played very good hockey, too but it wasn’t just about the two of them, it’s about the fight for that position. He’s a young player, we like him a lot and he’s going to be in New York a lot, but the opportunity right now is, with the depth that we got on the blue line, we have to make some of those tough decisions, and that was a tough one.
- What do you want to see tomorrow, “just continue playing strong hockey and good hockey and get ready for the opener. I’m not concerned about the score of the game I’m concerned about the way we play the game and getting prepared to play that game and that’s the last game, so hopefully, we’ll focus on it and play real well, get used to the system a little bit like they have last game so, and if we go out there and have a bad game, am I going to be upset about it? I’m not going to be worried about, put it that way. I mean I want us to play well and work hard and win the hockey game, but it’s the last exhibition game and you’re hoping for good health. That’s a big part of it too.”
- Would you call anyone up to play tomorrow, “pretty sure we’re going with this roster, like I said I’m not 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be with the 25 guys we had on the ice, 24 on the ice. A couple of key guys might not be playing, we’re not sure yet, we’re just discussing with Chris. You want to be careful, but you want to make sure you’re ready too, so it’s that fine line it’s like going into the playoffs when you clinch your division or clinch something you want to make sure.”