Gerard Gallant met with the media following the win over the Islanders and said (MSG):
- On the game, “we got off to a great start, obviously. That line had three goals in the first period and it was great and I thought we played real well. I’m disappointed the shutout streak broke, but that was going to happen sooner or later, but overall I thought the games played really well, played a real good, solid game and it’s two big points.”
- On Andrew Copp going to the net, “we talk all the time about getting the net drive going, people going to the net and when he does that, like he did tonight, he gets an opportunity to get great passes from great players. The more you do that the better off you are going to be. Sometimes we get too cute and we get fancy and try those plays up high, but when we get people going to the net, things open up and that happened again tonight 2-3 times and we had some good chances from driving the net because our defensemen joined the rush, K’Andre a couple of times and the opportunities open up when you drive to the net. That is what he does really well.”
- Has Copp exceeded expectations, “I didn’t know much about the player, I knew he was a good, solid two-way player. I can’t say he’s exceeded expectations because we expected to put him on that line when he got here and things have gone well. Is he gonna score that many goals? He’s playing with two players that can give him a chance to score that many goals and you get the opportunities and he’s taken advantage of it. I wouldn’t say yes or no.”
- On Panarin, “I thought he was outstanding, he made those passes and plays. We know what he’s going to do. We talk about playing defense, the easy thing about playing defense is if you are working hard and coming back in your zone, that is half the battle for me. He doesn’t play a perfect d-zone coverage, doesn’t backcheck as hard as some guys because he’s reading plays and that is what he does, that is why he gets 100 points a year and makes those special plays. He competes and plays hard. I thought that tonight they went after him a little bit and he just bounced off of them and kept making his plays. I love the way he plays and when the games are real tight, over the last four games and he comes back and doing a good job in the d-zone, he’s not trying to turn over pucks, he’s getting low and trying to make his plays and for the most part he’s done that. I think he’s a hell of a player and he doesn’t play the same was as everybody else, but that is what makes him special.”
- On clinching home ice in the first round, “It’s a goal, the first of the year you are always thinking about making the playoffs, but once you make the playoffs it’s about clinching home ice. I think Carolina won, so we are still battling with them and we’ll see where it goes.”
- On how the team has been playing, “I’m happy with the way we’ve played the last number of games because there were some games where we played teams out of the playoffs and we still kept focusing on our game and playing the right way and that is what I’m more happy with. I like winning, but I’m more happy with the way we are playing, definitely and I’m hoping we can carry that on the next four games and into the playoffs.