4:17 PM: Gerard Gallant spoke after practice today and said (NYR):
- On Patrick Kane not practicing, “a maintenance day, another maintenance day.”
- Do you consider resting anybody, “it’s day to day and we’ll see where we go. There are not a whole lot of options, but if somebody is not ready to play they aren’t going to play, that is for sure.”
- On Lindgren returning tomorrow and what he brings, “I think he brings a lot to our group. He’s a competitive guy as we all know, the way he plays the game and special teams, penalty-killing he’s huge for us, defensive situations, he’s huge for us. And in saying that he’s a good offensive player, too, he moves the puck real well. I think adding him to our group makes a big difference on our team. He’s a competitive guy, works hard every shift. We all saw how he played last year in the playoffs and that’s what excites you about him.”
- Do you have to play Lindgren regularly or ease him in, “we’re going to play him good to go, good to go. Nobody has told us anything different. The kid worked hard for a week. We probably held him out a little longer but you know what, you want to make sure and hopefully, things go well. Injuries can happen at any time to any player even if he’s coming off injury, but you just hope everything is good. He works hard and plays hard and he feels 100%, ready to go.”
- Is he okay to play the back to back, “that is the plan…..unless something comes up.
- Would you consider going 11 forwards and 7 defense to rest a forward, “you could do that, no issue with that, no issue at all.”
- On Kane not practicing, “Nobody said he couldn’t practice (smile). He had a maintenance day, nobody said he couldn’t practice…don’t dig into it (smile).”
- But you lose a day with Kane where he can work with his line, “Doesn’t matter, not worried about losing the day. It’s like the playoffs, you play a game, have an optional skate, optional morning skate and away they go. They don’t need to practice now.”
- What are you hoping for with Kane and Zibanejad “I’m hoping that all the combinations with the new players gel together and play hard. They’ve done pretty well over the last number of games. We’re happy we’re winning hockey games. I’m not worried about one combination, I’m worried about the whole group and during the game, if we don’t like it and want to get something different, we’ll change it up a little bit. It’s not like it’s going to shock our guys, they’ve played with every line combination they could, so I’m not worried about that.”
- On how the puck has been managed recently, “I’ve liked it. We’ve had a pretty good record overall. I thought last game we played the game from the drop of the puck right to the end of the game and that is what I like about our team. We managed the puck well, put a lot more pucks to the net. I think The Kid Line scored a couple of real nice goals because they worked hard down low and when you can show good clips like that and show them that they work like that it goes a long way with our team. I think the guys really looked at the way The Kids played the last game and said ‘you know what, they did some real good things down low, managed the puck real well, went low to high and got some rebounds. It’s simple stuff, every coach says the same thing, but when you do it and see it it works really well for our group, especially.”
- So you use The Kid Line as an example for the rest of the team, “when you see some clips, but the other guys have to play their game, that is what it’s all about. You can’t just say that Bread is going to play Kaapo’s game, that is not what Bread does, but when we show pucks going to the net and people going for second and third chances, that is what makes our team play really well. Mika’s goal was a PP goal, but it was pucks going to the net first and then things opened up.”
- Did you think that Panarin, Trocheck and Tarasenko had a good game against the Caps, “I did, I thought everybody played well, I really did.”
- On Trocheck’s play in the second half, “I think he’s played better defensively. Trocheck plays strong defense and that is what he’s known, as a 200-ft player. I think the first 40 he was trying to do too much offensively and turning pucks over, the last number of games for us, the last 20-25, he’s played great defensive hockey and it led to better hockey.”
- On Tarasenko, “does a real good job on the boards, on breakouts he does a real good job and he’s a veteran guy. I like a lot of the way we’re trending right now. We are getting playoff ready. You’ll have some bad periods or a bad game or so, but we’re bouncing back and that is what is important.”
11:47 AM: Ryan Lindgren told Larry Brooks that he will return tomorrow against Tampa Bay.
Patrick Kane did not practice today with what the team called a maintenance day. (NYR)
Kane is believed to be dealing with a hip issue that has been nagging him for most of the season.