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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Rangers on 9/24

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS. NEW YORK RANGERS
Thursday, September 24, 2015

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:00 PM
On any update on Zdeno Chara…
No. Just the same as what you guys got here, so, he’s going to get evaluated I guess, closely, and we’ll see. Upper-body.

On what he liked about Zac Rinaldo’s game, especially in the third period…
Yeah, I think, again, there’s a lot more to Zac than what you saw. He’s a great skater, and you watch him in practice, he shoots the puck well, and there’s no doubt he’ll give us some energy. We talked about that. So as long as, same with March [Brad Marchand], what we’ve talked about in the past, you want to keep it within the rules, and in an area where it doesn’t affect your team. Right there, it seemed to distract them [New York] more, and it seemed like our guys were focused on trying to win a hockey game. He stayed out of trouble. It was a clean hit, and we’ll leave it at that.

On Ryan Spooner’s line improving as the game went on…
Yeah and I think we talked about that this morning, right? Talked about, sometimes a little bit of patience and they’re starting to find themselves a little bit. So I thought they were much better obviously than the first game, in Providence, where it was their first time together. But I saw a big improvement in their play, and obviously finding themselves on the ice much better tonight.

On getting to experience different scenarios in overtime tonight due to penalties…
Any of that stuff helps, right, because you see even the referees, the referees at first thought it was going to be four-on-four. We thought it was going to end up five-on-four, and then no. They came back and said it’s a three-on-three, and back to a four-on-three. So there’s some things that everybody can learn from that, so for us, I thought it was a great experience when you’re talking about preseason, you might as well go through those and experience it right now.

On what he saw out of Joe Morrow tonight…
Played well tonight. I thought he was really, really good, and carried the puck, moved the puck well, and that kind of stuff. There’s always things that we can critique behind closed doors, some of the little things that we want him to improve on. But if you ask me for a rating, he got a real good rating tonight. Especially when you’re down to five D’s, and the amount of ice time those guys had to get tonight. That includes a young guy in [Brandon] Carlo, trying to get his feet wet in the league, and right from the get-go, you’re down to five. So I thought those guys handled themselves well, but Joe was really good in my mind.

On if Joe Morrow was on the PK in overtime because of his play or the personnel available…
I guess when you look at our bench, it was probably a little bit of personnel. You hope that you got guys like [Kevan] Miller, and [Adam] McQuaid, and then a lot of guys there that when you’re healthy, [Zdeno] Chara, [Dennis] Seidenberg I’m pretty sure would be ahead of him in the game. So I’ll leave it at personnel, but you know what, at the same time, what a great opportunity for us to put him in that position and see how he handles it. It could happen during the year that you don’t have a choice and you’ve got to put guys like that, so they’ve got to be ready for everything. So we did, and he did a decent job. I thought they killed it well.

On Jeremy Smith composing himself after two first period goals against…
Again, when I looked at the first goal, it was just an unlucky goal. It’s a great play. We didn’t backcheck well on that, so they make a great pass, and it hits the post, it hits his glove. So to me, he was in position, it was an unlucky goal, and you can’t blame him on the second goal either. That pass shouldn’t be able to get through there, and he’s in that area, the forward behind the net, where he has to switch sides. To me, there was no blame for him on those goals. And then the other one went through him a little bit, but I look at the big saves he made when he had to at the end, and even in the shootout he made some real good saves. So I thought he had a good game, and what I liked about it is that he didn’t get down on himself. A little bit of bad luck there in the first, and the second goal, and he still stood there and kept his focus and concentration. So that was important to see.

On Tyler Randell making the most of his opportunities…
Well he’s going to give you that any time he gets a chance. That’s the way Tyler is, and he’s been good about that. He wants to play the game, and when the going gets tough, and he’s being challenged, he’ll take the challenge. He’s a tough, real tough kid, and I’ve seen him in many fights, and I think maybe people underestimate his height. But he’s not afraid, and he does a pretty good job at it.

BOSTON BRUINS COLIN MILLER 
On immediately having to go to five defensemen tonight…
You know this is not the way we wanted to start a game, but I mean I think we handled it well. I mean when you’re playing with five defensemen you’re playing a lot and you’re into the game pretty quick so that’s what happened here tonight.

On if playing with Joe Morrow was exciting for him…
It was fun I mean Joe [Morrow] can skate, he can move the puck and he’s got a good shot. So yeah I think there’s some similarities there but I mean if we can take care of our own zone then I get the puck up ice, it’s fun to play with him.

On if he feels good with his game…
It was all right. I mean tonight was a little more hectic I thought but I mean it went better as it went on. Again, it’s just about getting comfortable. If you can get into the game early and get comfortable then you can go from there I think.

On if the chance for him feels more real now that a couple people have gotten injured…
Maybe, I mean I was kind of always confident. I always wanted to come in here show kind of what I had and what I could do so no I mean no, you’re not really focusing on that too much. You’re just trying to play your own game and then go from there.

On his first game playing at the TD Garden…
It was awesome I mean quite an atmosphere here. Yeah I mean I saw it there the other night there when the guys played Tuesday night and it looked pretty cool so it was fun to play out there tonight.

On if this game is a good representation of what he’s going to do in the future…
Yeah well I mean I think we were trying to get shots to the net a lot on the power play tonight. Especially in overtime there with the four-on-three. I mean it’s so wide open and everything. So I mean the quicker you get shots to the net with the guys banging away I think is the better.

On if there’s something about his defensive skills he’s trying to show the team…
Yeah, just we saw it everyone wants to be solid in all three zones. Everyone wants to be able to be put out there in every situation so I think yeah that’s something I’m trying to prove as well.

BOSTON BRUINS TYLER RANDELL
On what made him fight in the game tonight…
Yeah I just finished my check, he kind of gave me a little bump, and the score…we needed a little boost so I decided I just asked him if he fought and he said yeah and so we just went at it.

On his goal tonight…
Yeah after practice, Morrow and I work a lot on tips so I saw he had the puck and I went straight to the slot and hit, made a perfect shot.

On as soon as he dropped the gloves…
Yeah it definitely crossed my mind, just hoping to get pucks to the net. Our line was playing really well lots of energy. The chances were there and we just got to keep going.

On how he thinks Training Camp is going for him so far…
I felt pretty good. This is the best I felt. I got two games so far and felt good in both games, definitely getting the legs back to getting back in game shape. Physically feel good, feel strong. Just got to keep it going. 

On this game compared to the first game…
Definitely a lot better. The nerves were a little high in the first game, even being in Providence. It was hard to control them…a lot of jitters; the legs were shaking quite a bit. But today I was able to control that a little bit better and just play my game and work hard.

On if the first preseason game on September 20 in Providence helped with his confidence…
Yeah for sure. Like I said, getting the legs going and getting back into game shape is huge. And our line today had a lot of energy so it made it so much easier to make plays out there.

BOSTON BRUINS COLIN MILLER 
On immediately having to go to five defensemen tonight…
You know this is not the way we wanted to start a game, but I mean I think we handled it well. I mean when you’re playing with five defensemen you’re playing a lot and you’re into the game pretty quick so that’s what happened here tonight.

On if playing with Joe Morrow was exciting for him…
It was fun I mean Joe [Morrow] can skate, he can move the puck and he’s got a good shot. So yeah I think there’s some similarities there but I mean if we can take care of our own zone then I get the puck up ice, it’s fun to play with him.

On if he feels good with his game…
It was all right. I mean tonight was a little more hectic I thought but I mean it went better as it went on. Again, it’s just about getting comfortable. If you can get into the game early and get comfortable then you can go from there I think.

On if the chance for him feels more real now that a couple people have gotten injured…
Maybe, I mean I was kind of always confident. I always wanted to come in here show kind of what I had and what I could do so no I mean no, you’re not really focusing on that too much. You’re just trying to play your own game and then go from there.

On his first game playing at the TD Garden…
It was awesome I mean quite an atmosphere here. Yeah I mean I saw it there the other night there when the guys played Tuesday night and it looked pretty cool so it was fun to play out there tonight.

On if this game is a good representation of what he’s going to do in the future…
Yeah well I mean I think we were trying to get shots to the net a lot on the power play tonight. Especially in overtime there with the four-on-three. I mean it’s so wide open and everything. So I mean the quicker you get shots to the net with the guys banging away I think is the better.

On if there’s something about his defensive skills he’s trying to show the team…
Yeah, just we saw it everyone wants to be solid in all three zones. Everyone wants to be able to be put out there in every situation so I think yeah that’s something I’m trying to prove as well.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRETT CONNOLLY
On his line being more in tune tonight compared to the first game…
For sure, we were better. The first night in Providence we were kind of a little bit on our heels, playing in our end too much, but that was our first game too, we’re going to get better here every night. I thought as a line we were a little bit better tonight, still got to be better moving forward here. We’re progressing a little bit, and we’ve got to be better every day.

On three-on-three overtime…
It’s going to be exciting. I think for the players it’s going to take a little bit to get used to. There’s a lot of room, you’ve got to make sure you’re always on top of your checks; one little mistake and it’s going to be in the back of your net and vice versa. Once you figure it out, you’ll see teams that are getting good at it. We’ll hopefully pick on a few little things to try, but again, that was the first time for a lot of the guys in the room, so we’ll get better.

On having to add players during a power play in overtime being an adjustment.…
For sure. I think that you’re playing five-on-five the whole game and then you go into three-on-three and completely change your mindset moving forward. We took a penalty there a couple shifts in. That’s kind of one of those things where you get beat once, you got to take a guy down because they’re on a two-on-one really close to the net. We’ll get better, obviously we’ve only had a couple of them, but it makes for exciting hockey and once teams figure it out it will be interesting.

On Zac Rinaldo providing energy…
For sure. Everybody knows how hard he plays and the way he plays. I think they’re preaching him to…they want him to be on the ice and he showed some composure there. He could have ended up fighting the guy, but he didn’t. He drew a penalty and it was a clean hit, we go on the power play; obviously we didn’t score, we would’ve liked to. He’s got to bring that energy every night, it’s just a matter of him being composed when things like that happen.

On not playing in their own end as much tonight…
For sure. It was the first game. Me and Spoons [Ryan Spooner] played a little bit together, me and [Jimmy] Hayes never played together before this year. Again, a lot of guys are trying to figure each other out. I thought we were better tonight, obviously we got a ways to go, we had some good chances. We’re definitely not satisfied. We’re getting better, we’re getting to know each other a little better. Just got to keep getting better every day. It’s a process and we weren’t expecting to come in here and shoot the lights out right away. It’s got to take a little bit of time. I thought we were better tonight, we’re looking to get better every night.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD ZAC RINALDO
On his overall effort…
Really good. It was a good team effort, too, not just individually. We pulled back in that third period and got that tying goal. As a team, I thought we did everything we could’ve to get that goal, and we did. We never quit. And personally, individually, I thought I brought everything to the table tonight and I didn’t leave anything on the ice.

On his exchange with Tanner Glass…
Typical hockey. That’s just textbook hockey, make a nice hit. I think I hit a couple guys before that shift and he came at me that shift too. I told him I’m gonna keep running around. That’s just my game and I did. They took a penalty on it. Unfortunately we didn’t score on it, but that’s just another part of my game that I can bring to the table.

On drawing four penalties through two games…
Yeah, is it four penalties? Yeah, yeah, it was. Today two…four penalties, I mean it’s just the way it’s going. I’m staying out of the stupid stuff and I’m using my speed and I’m just being a hard-nosed player and guys aren’t liking it and they’re taking penalties on them. I’m loving it, so the more the merrier.

On having a history with the Rangers…
Oh, for sure. That’s Broadway and Broad Street. That goes back to my rookie year. It’s always fun. They’re playing the Rangers, that’s just in my blood. Different team, I don’t like them.

On staying on the right side of the line in the heat of the moment…
I just gotta think about it, you know. I just gotta really process it in my mind, visualize the play that’s gonna happen before I even do it. That’s what I’ve been doing the last two games I’ve been playing and I thought I’ve been doing a really good job at it. I’ve just gotta ease into it and not just come off the handlebars flying and actually think about the repercussions about if I do this, this is gonna happen, or if I don’t do this, this is gonna happen. I’m feeling confident and I’m doing that every game, haven’t taken any penalties or anything over the edge, so I’m feeling really confident in that end of the game.

On if he’s trying to prove that there’s more to his game than just being an instigator…
Yeah, also proving to myself too. Everyone knows that in practice I show my skills and stuff like that, I can score goals, I can make plays and stuff like that, too. I got to start doing it in the game, too, and get my confidence in the preseason and follow it up into the regular season.

On if he is gaining chemistry with his teammates…
Yeah, everyone, I’m just being myself. As long as I’m myself the guys will treat me with open arms. I don’t have a problem with anyone off the ice, everyone’s great people here, nothing but positivity around the room. Some guys might not have known what to expect with me, but I’m just a down-to-earth guy. I’m a 25-year-old kid playing hockey, having a good time. I’m just being myself and everyone’s hopefully enjoying me.

On if he shot the puck through his legs at one point…
Yeah, yeah, backhand through the legs. Just hockey sense, just gotta do it.

On if the coaches here are asking him to do more than he was doing in Philadelphia…
No, with them when I’m making those plays that they don’t think that I can do and I’m actually succeeding in doing them, they’re just giving me confidence. You know, ‘Good job, that was amazing, keep doing that, keep doing that.’ Even in practice, too, they aren’t saying, ‘Stick to this one play, stick to this one play.’ It’s just, ‘It’s hockey. Play hockey. If you can make the play, make the play; if you can’t, if you make a mistake, mistakes happen. It’s part of hockey, you learn from it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On what he thought of three on three overtime…
It was interesting. There’s a lot of room out there obviously, and it’s tough because you want to play offensively but at the same time you’ve got to be aware of where they are on the ice because as soon as you get the puck guys are breaking for two on ones and three on ones, stuff like that. So it’s… there’s going to be a lot of goals this year in OT. I think that’s for sure.

On how he felt out there…
I felt pretty good for the first game, being off for five months so I was really happy. Felt like… felt good with my cardio and my conditioning. That’s more what I was concerned about, so if I can continue to build on that then I’ll be happy.

On whether he wanted to get through a full game and see how his elbow felt with full contact to get some peace of mind…
Yeah a little bit, but it… I mean we’ve been battling a bit the last month, month and a half, so I wasn’t overly concerned about it. I’m more concerned about how it feels tomorrow than right now, sometimes I wake up and it’s a little achy, but for the most part it felt pretty good.

On how he felt about the game tonight and the character…
Yeah, the guys did a great job especially with having a lot of young guys on the ice. They showed a lot of character tonight and stepped it up and, you know, a lot of people take these preseason games lightly, but I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to show what we have and how excited we are to get back and to have a really good year. It’s also a really good opportunity for guys to show that they’re ready to play and earn different spots and there’s a lot of different positions that are open right now on different lines and, you know, with the power play and penalty kill and stuff like that. So right now I think it’s a good opportunity for guys to compete for different things and it’ll help our team get better.

On how much it helped having guys like Zac Rinaldo and Tyler Randell bringing energy and physicality…
Yeah Rinaldo did a great job at the end drawing that penalty and keeping his cool and, you know, that’s what we’re going to need out of him. He did a phenomenal job running around and getting a lot of the fans into it, and he’s known for that. It’s a lot better for us to have him on our team than against him, so he did a great job. You’ve got to commend him for that and then obviously Randell had a big game, big fight, big goal, and he was buzzin’, so that’s what we need out of these young guys. They’ve got to step up and show that they’re prepared to play their role.

On whether having guys like that helps him or relieves some pressure or expectations…
Yeah, for sure. You know, it’s good because then I can kind of focus more on playing the game and I think I’ve been trying to steer away from that a lot over the last few years, and you know, it wasn’t on my mind tonight as much as playing hockey and I think that’s where I’m at in my career and where they want me to be. So having him definitely helps me, takes some pressure off me and he’s a lot better at it too.

On how good it was to have a full overtime situation instead of just 12 seconds…
Yeah, I was surprised that they even stopped the game. I thought they were gonna let it roll. I mean what’s the point of playing overtime if you only play 12 seconds, so it, you know, it was great to kind of experience it, especially the different situations that can arise when we thought it was going four on three and then five on four, so it’s good to get those kinks out before you start the year.

On breakaways on his line…
Yeah we were a few. I mean we had a few opportunities, a few looks, but that’s… that’s what preseason is for. To get comfortable with one another and, you know, trying to perfect those plays is a matter of inches and, like you said, be there for a certain breakaway or not.

On how important Zdeno Chara is with Dennis Seidenberg out…
Yeah, he’s always a huge component to our team. I mean he’s… on and off the ice he’s such a strong presence, so I don’t exactly know what happened, but hopefully he’s okay.

On whether the pace of this game felt more like a regular season game…
Yeah, they had a lot of guys in their lineup and they were playing pretty quick. It was a pretty quick game and I thought we adapted pretty well. We came out really hard and we kind of, we kind of set the pace, so you’ve got to give the young guys a lot of credit. They were playing hard and they were able to keep up, so it’s good when we can play games like this early in the preseason, you know, get the legs under us and conditioning up and hopefully that’ll improve as we go on.

On how Rinaldo rates on the pest charts…
He’s at the top. Even playing against him he’s a tough guy to play against. He’s one of those guys you always have to know where he is because he’s coming full steam, and when he hits he hits to hurt, so he’s a great… great player to have on our team and you saw tonight he does his job and his role better than anyone.

On Rinaldo not doing anything dirty but still drawing penalties…
Yeah I think a lot of people underestimate his game. He’s a really good player. You watch him in practice he’s really fast. He’s got skill, and people don’t’ really give him credit for that, but he’s a really good player. You saw he made a really nice play tonight, backhand through his legs and almost scored a goal, so I think a lot of people are going to see a lot of things out of him that they didn’t really know he had and we’re lucky to have him on our team. He plays very hard. He’s good in the room. He’s a great guy off the ice, so he’s going to help our team.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD RYAN SPOONER
On his game tonight…
I had some times where I made some bad plays, but it’s to be expected, it’s the second game in five months or something like that.

On the young defensemen stepping up after Zdeno Chara was injured…
It was great. If I had to play with five I’d be pretty tired, so for them to go out there – I think he got hurt in the first five minutes of the game – and so for them to play 55 minutes and all that kind of stuff, it was great.

On playing with the same line combination for a couple of games…
I thought the first game we had a couple chances, but we didn’t really get as much as we wanted to. Again tonight, I thought we had a couple looks and were a little bit better, but we were hemmed in our end a couple times and all that kind of stuff. But hopefully we can maybe produce a little bit more, that’s what we’re trying to do right now.

On Jeremy Smith’s performance…
Last year he was great. And again tonight, he had a great game. He had a tough bounce there, I think on the second goal or even the first goal. I think it went off the post and off his glove. He could’ve easily let that get to him, but he didn’t and he finished strong so that was good to see.

NEW YORK RANGERS CENTER MATS ZUCCARELLO
On how he felt about the game...
It’s just nice to be back and play a game. I still feel this decision making and just the timing and stuff is a little off, but it’s the first game in a while and I was lucky there that I got a goal, but it’s going to get better hopefully.

On how emotionally it was for him, even though it is just a preseason game...
It’s for sure nice to be back and play a game, it was fun. I thought we were going to win, too, so that would have been more fun but first games aren’t in the book so I am looking forward to the next one.

On if scoring his goal and playing the way he played put his mind at ease...
I mean it’s always nice to score, I don’t score that often so you got to take whatever you can get, but it’s a preseason game so it’s nice to score like I said. We need to improve here as we go on.

On how comfortable he looked while playing after coming back from an injury...
Yeah, I mean I didn’t think about it once so that was great. I felt good, obviously we haven't played for a while, so some defensive decision-making was a little off, but body wise I felt good.

On if it felt special for him to be back on the ice from his injury last season...
I don’t know. There was a lot of guys who played their first game in a while so I don’t look at this as special for me. Obviously I’m happy being back from an injury but I mean, it’s not that special. Everyone has to think about themselves and worry about themselves and I have to worry about me. So for myself it was nice to be back.

On how he felt with his back-hand assist...
Yeah I mean is was during the play on ice, sometimes that pass goes through and other times it can break up and it’s a three on two the other way, so I was happy it went through.

On what his expectations are this coming season...
I mean same as always; be the best I can be and help the team win games, do what I can do, try to pay physical and get into battles, and hopefully create some chances and play solid D. 

NEW YORK RANGERS GOALTENDER HENRIK LUNDQVIST
On the quality of shots during the game being what he had hoped for…
Yeah, I thought it was a good task for me and I thought both teams were playing pretty good. It was good speed and good chances both ways, so it was fun – it was really fun to be out there playing. I’ve been skating since late July now so you need some games to get more information on what you need to work on, but I feel pretty good.

On what he was focusing on during the game…
Well, we talked about it this morning just making good decisions. My game is all about making reads and making good decisions, so I felt like I was doing that and my position was pretty good. Obviously there are still some things you need to work on, but it was definitely a good start. I’ll probably look at some videos and talk to Benny [Rangers Goalie Coach Benoit Allaire] about different things I need to improve, but it was a good first task.
 
On what was gained from sitting on the bench and observing the three-on-three overtime…
Well, I think you’re going to see so many different looks. Some teams might go out there to try to defend and stay back and wait for the right opportunity. And then you’re going to see teams who are just going to go for it, so it all depends on who you’re playing. Obviously the teams with really skilled players who can hold on to pucks have an advantage. I’m not really sure what to expect from it, but it will be challenging.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:00 AM
On keeping eight defensemen on the roster now that Dennis Seidenberg is injured…
Well that might happen, I think that will be a discussion that, you know, I’m not going to be the one that’s making that decision alone. I think we’ll certainly as a group talk about what we want and what we want to keep here and whether that eight defensemen, now that [Dennis Seidenberg] Seids is out, whether that eighth defenseman now becomes a guy that we’d rather see playing in Providence. And bringing him up if we need to or whether we want to keep him here. Those are…I think that’ll be decided at the end.

On if he saw enough from Joe Morrow to think he was “knocking at the door”…
Yeah, I think he played well enough to be knocking on the door absolutely. You know, but he’s got to earn his spot. That goes without saying but at the same time, he did a lot of good things. I remember, you know, complimenting him on being calm and not getting rattled. And yet, as much as that’s a strength sometimes it can be a weakness too. You want him to be a little bit more, not so maybe high risk at times, but you know there’s good portions to that and I think right now he’s shown us that he’s definitely in the mix.

On if he thinks Joe Morrow played it safe when he played in Boston last year compared to when he played in the AHL…
Well I don’t see him enough in the “A” [AHL] to make that comparison, but I can say that I liked what I saw when he was here. He was making some good plays and again it’s about the little details in this league that, you know, that you have to learn. And defensively in your end and not running out of position because just that alone can cost you a goal pretty quickly. There’s some things you can get away with more obviously in the American [Hockey] League than you can here so it’s just about figuring that out and the more you play the more you figure that out as well.

On if he’ll be relying more on Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron’s line because they are the most established combinations from the past…
I hope not, you know I hope that’s not the case. And that’s why at the same time we’re giving some guys a little bit more time to play together in camp- you know you see [Matt] Beleskey with [David] Krejci- I don’t think that’s any secret and you know we’re trying to hopefully get chemistry going there and to be honest with you the [David] Pastrnak, [Loui] Eriksson thing can flip flop easily. You’ve seen us again with [Jimmy] Hayes and [Ryan] Spooner and obviously [Brett] Connolly, you know they’ve been together since the start. I think I want to give those guys a chance to see if something can happen and yet, once everybody finds their game it becomes pretty easy to flip flop and move guys around. But you know to start with we’re trying to get a feel of something and right now we’re in our third game so we’ve got four more after tonight so you could see some changes along the way if we don’t get the results that we’re kind of looking for.

On if he thinks he will keep the Ryan Spooner line together for the regular season...
Well, we’d like to see what it does here. They’ve been together now for just the beginning of camp, just a week. So you know, that can change quickly too. But you know I’d like to see a little bit more. They’ve only played one game together and you know, chemistry is a big thing. When you start feeling that you are knowing where the other guy is going makes a big difference and you have got to allow that time to happen. And you know for me, in Training Camp right now, I don’t want to give up on certain things too early, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to change along the way.

On if Frank Vatrano playing tonight means he likes what he saw the other night…
We’re just trying to get some fans in with local boys, right? [Laughs] So, no I think he’s definitely earned it but you know we’ve got…we’re almost at  a point now where we’re around two teams and you know we’re at a point where also we’re looking at either games and trying to balance our lines here now and all that kind of stuff. So yeah I think he played well enough the other night he certainly deserves to at least play another game and we’ll see where it goes from there. But he was good, and [Austin] Czarnik’s been good, they were good in Rookie Camp and you know I think last game they found out it’s a little bit different at this level. But now that they got that feel, let’s see how they react and let’s see how that goes because you know those guys are certainly you know… [Austin] Czarnik and [Frank] Vatrano to me have potential playing in this league. You know whether it’s this year next year or the year after. I think they’re showing good promise there.

On how much his thoughts about Frank Vatrano will play into if he plays in this league or not…
Well it’s more than that, it’s more than that. Because obviously he’s got to be able to play the game as well. And he positions himself well; he moves the puck well and all that stuff. There’s a lot about his game. You know he may not be the tallest, but he’s stalky, he’s strong and you see [Brad] Marchand surviving in this league real well and I think [Frank] Vatrano can definitely be one of those guys that can also do that down the road.

On if he thought Brad Marchand’s elbow injury affected him last season at all…
I don’t know. I think, you know, he needed surgery. But he didn’t complain a lot about it. I kind of knew about it, but it was not a big deal in his mind and you know you have got players that play through injuries you know- they don’t want to make a big deal of it. They don’t want to miss a game, and to me I didn’t think that was an issue. And when you look at the way he produced at the end of the year it obviously wasn’t that bad, but needed to be done in order to be one hundred percent. So those are little- those aren’t major surgeries- those are minor surgeries that guys go through in the summer time.

On if he’s seen Kevan Miller back to his old self yet post-injury…
Well I think we wanted to give him a little more time here and get more practices under his belt. We gave him a game, but you know he’ll get more too moving forward here because he needs to play because he’s missed half the season. We have to get him into more game situations. So again, it’s early now; we’re giving certain guys a look because we’re going to be cutting down our roster at some point. So you’ll probably see him play a lot of the games there in the second half.

On if he saw Kevan Miller making some positive adjustments when he played injured last year…
Yeah, I did actually. I thought if anything when he got hurt he had been playing really well. He was making some good plays; I think the offensive part of his game was coming in. He was getting better coming into play more than I had seen. So there was a lot things- like you said using his stick versus getting into big battles. He was wearing a harness, you know, at that time that would prevent his shoulder, you know, his arm getting up too high. So he was limited in certain areas, but it didn’t seem to affect his game. I think the biggest thing was probably, you know, his fighting abilities stuff like that that he had to think twice before doing that and stuff. But definitely, you know, you can learn a lot from being limited to certain things where you have got to compensate in other ways and you hope it helps you down the road.

On what his impression of Malcolm Subban is…
He’s a very athletic individual, and it shows in his play on the ice. When he… just lateral movements, how quick he is. You see him even off the ice, you know, he’s a gifted individual so that’s pretty impressive. And right now he’s just got to figure out the whole game at the pro level, you know. When I say on and off the ice that’s not to say there’s anything wrong off the ice. It’s you know how do you rest as a goaltender mentally? How do you take advantage of your time off the ice to kind of make sure you’re fresh the next day? They have a real tough job; they don’t get those shifts on the ice and off the ice- they’re on there for the whole sixty minutes for the most part. So they need to be mentally strong, you know. So I think at this level here a lot of it is both, you know. How hard do you practice and what does that do for you? And you know when you think you’re tired you know you overcome that by saying I’m not physically I’m in great shape so. A lot of it is mental, and you know a goaltender, I’ve said that all along, he’s no different than anybody else. I think a goaltender needs a little bit more maturity to make that jump to the NHL versus a lot of other players, and I think you know we’ve seen a lot of…Tuukka Rask is a good example of that. He was in the minors for a while and look at him today and if you ask him it’s really paid off. And for Malcolm [Subban] I think he’s got the potential to be a number one goalie. And so, you know, he’s got to play and he’s got to act like one. I think that’s important so that’s what I see in him. You know, unbelievable potential, you know, great athletic individual so I think for him the sky’s the limit for him. It’ll all depend on how badly he wants it because he can do it.

On how he wants Malcolm Subban’s mental approach to be right now…
Well I think we tell a lot of our players the same thing. If you’re going to be in the American [Hockey] League, dominate that league. Force us to bring you up, you know. Forward, defenseman, goaltender, or anything… you want to be able to be a real real good player in that league. So, you know, you can’t, to me you can’t skip, not necessarily levels, but you can’t skip certain things that you need to do in order to become a good pro. So in our minds and probably in his mind, when he came out of junior he knew right away he wasn’t ready. I mean he saw it in preseason he saw it in practice how well the guys shot stuff like that so he’s gone to the American [Hockey] league and now he’s got to you know make sure that his game, you know, gets better every year, and it did. You know last year I watched him in the playoffs he was very good and that’s why right now he’s fighting for a job here for a job with some other goaltenders and we’ve said that all along. We’ve got to grab the best goaltender that’s available to us. So he’s got an opportunity to gain that spot right now this year, and if it doesn’t happen then he’s got to go back there and force our hand again and make sure that happens. So a lot of it will happen in this next week or so and those decisions will be made then.

On if he expects cuts to be made after tonight’s game...
Yeah we’ve only made two so far, right? After a whole week. [Laughs]. Yeah, a lot of players- you’re telling the wrong guy. [Laughs]. So I think in the next few days. You know and that’s a credit to the quality of players we have. Obviously there’s a third group, you know, that practices that we think are guys that are obviously deserving of being here but probably not ready for that preseason game or whatever in that third group yet. And we’ve got, you know, those other two groups that we’ve had. I don’t think I’ve been disappointed in necessarily anybody so far. So they’re deserving guys, but at the same time we’ve got to prepare here. So I think…I’d say in the next day or two you’re going to see probably the roster get cut down. I know Providence is starting Sunday as well so that kind of gives you a bit of an indication there that some stuff will get done.

On when he feels he does his best as a coach…
A lot of it is during the off-season, you know. You review everything, Fluto, and you look at certain things just like what we did at the end of the year. Actually we’re…you know you’re disappointed you’re not in the playoffs but you’re still in the hockey mode. And instead of just kind of throwing the towel in we went right to work as a coaching staff and said, “guys you know let’s look at the things here that we want to tweak in our game.” It doesn’t mean that that was the reason we didn’t make the playoffs, but every year we try and improve ourselves here as a team and evolve with the game and, as I said, counter certain things. So I think off-season is when you do most of that stuff. That’s not to say that… during the season you see little things that you want to change. And we’ve done that also every year- a little tweak here and there with players. And they’re pretty smart. They adjust pretty quick. But during the season my best thinking is probably away from the rink. Away from you guys again. [Laughs]. And…no obviously away from everybody. The alone time is really good for you. On the road you’re in your hotel room and you’ve got a chance to relax and think about certain things so I’d say the off time during the season, the regular season, away from the rink is best.

On if the New York Rangers lineup is going to be a test for his players…
Yeah, it is. And you know I don’t worry so much about what other teams will bring as a lineup.  Because if they do have a real great lineup then it gives the opportunity for the guys fighting for a job to prove they can play against a real good lineup. Because a lot of times you’re playing with half, you know, we say half American [Hockey] League, half NHL rosters. And you say, “Well they did well, but it’s half American League. How’s he going to do against a full NHL roster?” So the better the team on the other side the better evaluation we can make from our group.
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