2022 New York Rangers Playoffs

What Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant said on Monday

Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant met with the media on Monday and said (NYR):

  • Did you believe the team had the capability to go to the Eastern Conference Final (Drury): “As we said when the season started, we wanted to have a great regular season, we wanted to do everything we could to get to the playoffs. Our mantra was ‘when you get in, anything can happen.’ Certainly excited to be one of four teams left and we are going to just keep grinding as best we can.”

  • Have any of the deadline players performed to where you think you have to keep them (Drury): “They’ve all contributed as you know. I thought our scouts and staff did a great job identifying those guys as targets and we were fortunate enough to pull off the deals to get them. There will be plenty of time for that kind of thoughts or questions after it’s all over. They’ve certainly all fit in well and been used extremely well by Turk and we’re certainly thrilled to have them all. I did come down after the game last night and was going around seeing the players and Copper looked up at me and said ‘sorry about your first’ (big laugh) which is no problem at all.”
  • What appealed to you about signing Barclay Goodrow and his experience (Drury): “that, for sure, was a big piece of it. What he’s gone through, what he went through in San Jose, winning the back-to-back Cups with Tampa. Just all of our homework about him on and off the ice and what a character player he was and the things he can do not only in the playoffs, but in the regular season to help create and build a culture. He’s done everything possible to do that.”
  • What are you most proud of with this group (Drury) “You guys see it everywhere and I know our players say it, but there has been no quit throughout the season. We battled through different things up and down during the year, you find different ways to win and we certainly did that during the season. In both series, to come back and win some big games on the road and take care of stuff in our building. A resilient bunch that really has had no quit from Day 1. Probably the second thing is just how close they are and I think you guys can see and feel it being around the team all year. As I said at the deadline, I think that started before training camp when guys started to trickle in and new guys started to meet each other and meet Turk and meet me. It’s just a very close knit group, which is exciting to see.”
  • PR: Does anyone have one for Turk (Gallant): “I can leave…” (Big laugh)
  • Did it ever enter your mind that you would eventually have to go through Tampa (Gallant), “Honestly, it hasn’t. When we clinched a playoff spot, 2-3 weeks ago before the season, that was a big goal of ours, obviously. When the playoffs did start there were 16-teams that…I looked at the Eastern Conference first and I said that any one of these teams can win. They were 8 really good teams, talented teams and you guys asked me many times who I’d rather play and I was honest in my answer in saying it doesn’t really matter who you play because there were eight great teams there. I think any team is capable of beating anybody at this level, at this time and that is what I see with the remaining four teams, they are all really good hockey teams and I felt like that from the first day of the playoffs.”
  • Is there anything from your experience that you think can help the team (Gallant), “well, I mean, I was fortunate enough to get there a few years ago with Vegas and, again, it was sort of an underdog-type team that no one expected to get there and we had a lot of fun. It’s a long journey, we had a lot of fun, battled hard every game, we had a great group of character players and that. I look at this team and I say, obviously we have more skill than that Vegas team had, but we just play one game at a time, take it one game at a time. We’ve had five elimination games so far and the guys just go into those games and play the same way, compete hard, battle hard and they want to keep going. I compare the teams a little bit, but they are definitely different type of teams. We are a lot younger team, more skilled than the Vegas team, but the Vegas team was a special team with veteran players, character guys and they found a way and will. Unfortunately we fell a little short, but it was a great experience for me to get that far in the playoffs as a coach.”
  • (Drury): “just take it, simply put, one day at a time, one game at a time. Turk has been preaching that since Game 1 of the Pittsburgh series. 8PM tomorrow night, just be ready, enjoy it, have fun. Don’t get too high or too low and enjoy the moment.”
  • How has the team evolved since Game 1 of the Pittsburgh series (Drury), “I think in the playoffs there is a certain level of intensity and commitment to do things right all over the ice and as our 14-games have gone on, we, as a group, started to understand how hard it is, how intense playoffs are. As someone alluded to earlier, we didn’t have a lot of players with a lot of  playoff experience and they certainly have shown that they can play that way and handle tight and intense situations.”
  • How is it for you to see MSG like this from a management role (Drury), “It’s exciting. You guys probably all knew, but I didn’t know that the bridge shook. We used to sit in the corner, before it was moved to the bridge, it’s quite an experience to sit up there and watch to see what Turk’s game plan is before and how he executes it and see the players from that vantage point. It’s an honor to have this job and it’s exciting to watch Turk and his players perform.”
  • On Jacob Trouba bringing an old style of hockey, (Gallant) “Scott Stevens comes up for me all the time, when you are on the ice you gotta keep your head up. Jacob is a clean hockey player who plays a hard game, good honest game, but he’s an old school guy who comes to the rink everyday with a smile on his face and he’s working hard and goes out and does his job. He’s not trying to hurt people, he just plays a heavy game.”
  • (Drury) “I kind of think of Adam Foote a little bit, too. Maybe just because they are both righties. I think Turk said it right, he comes to play hard, he’s a little bit of a throwback, really no nonsense to him day in and out, practice day or game day, he laces them up and comes to play and he really enjoys the physical part of the game and glad we have him.”
  • On the quick turnaround and Tampa’s time off (Gallant),“I’ve been in both scenarios before. Teams that have, we’ve played 14 games in 28 days, a day off between games everyday. I think our players like it. Right now we’re getting healthier than we have been since the start of the playoffs, to be honest, and guys get ready for one game at a time. Guys don’t practice anymore, get ready for the games, prepare for the games and hopefully it’s gonna be good for us. They had eight or nine days off and, again, I’ve had that in the past, too and it definitely helps you, you get some jump out of it, but also a little rust in your game, too. We’ll see what happens, I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow night, but we’ll be ready to go.”
  • How do you deal with a team that can throw out McDonagh or Hedman almost all the time (Gallant), “they are great players and have great experience and won Stanley Cups, but we’re going to worry about playing our game, we’ve had good success against them in the regular season, which means nothing, but we’re going to attack, play our game and they got more than just those two defensemen, trust me, but I like our defensemen too. We’ve got a so-called big four and they got a big four and it should be a great series.”