On what he liked best tonight.
“Not one particular thing. The first two periods, I thought, throughout most of our team concept, I thought we were good. We were aggressive, again we handled the neutral zone well, our power play had some good looks—we don’t finish there to get that next goal, but we still score the winning goal on the power play. And Cally, who’s done everything that you can ask for, finally scores a goal. So first two periods, there wasn’t one particular thing. I thought it was just a solid game by us.”
On patting Lundqvist on the back after the game.
“Hank, he deserved a whack. Those minutes there, second half of the third period, absolutely it was his best game last night, and he wasn’t that busy this game, but when we needed him he was right there. He was very (good). That’s a good team, Jersey; they’ve got some good forwards. So Hank really cemented it for us the last half of that period.”
On the three wins and how they were won.
“We have talked a lot about just trying to continue to create an identity, of how we’re going to play, what are we as a team? Along the way when you’re trying to build that you get some wins and I think it’s an easier sell as far as what we want to do as a hockey club, how we’re going to play the game. So we’ll continue. You go through the momentums, and there’ll be some down times, and you just have to try to grab ahold of it and remember what we are as a hockey club. We’re really concentrating on that.”
On the discipline.
“Much better. Much better. I thought we were still there physically. We even talked about it between the second and third periods; it’s 5-3 in penalties, We had five power plays and they had three and we mostly talked about keeping our sticks on the ice. We were much better.”
On the work ethic.
“I think that’s where we’re winning some games. I think we’ve raised our level there. When you play your first game and you win it with the work habit, it becomes, like I told them, ‘We saw you do this. Now you’ve got to get back there again.’ I don’t think that it’s anything special. I don’t think we can think of it that way, as a special thing. It has to be how we play, and I think some guys really brought their work habit to a different level. We always talk about, you can work hard, but really what is the definition of hard work? We’re trying to define that.”
“He gets run over sometimes, but he’s played some unbelievable hockey for us here of late. I go back to last year. I thought his last couple of months, he stepped up in his preparation, how hard he’s been on the puck, everything about his game. And he plays most of the minutes because he plays in all situations for us. I look at him from when I first came here at the end of that year, the last 20 games that I coached, to where he is now and I think it’s a different player. And it’s because he has just a different intensity about him in practice, and I think it rolls over into the game. So he’s been a pretty damn important player for us.”
On Anisimov’s growth:
“His aptitude, he just continues to grow. And I’ve said … I think about him a lot when we’re not practicing and not playing games. I just want to make sure, him and Stepan, and players like that, that we don’t miss the steps in the process of growing. I took a couple of shifts away from him tonight because I worry about that. I don’t want to fill him. I just want to go about the process the right way.
“But he has accepted everything we’ve asked of him, and continues to get better. The whole game. I want to make sure I’m careful with him and not giving him too much. It happened last year and I thought I knocked him down a bit when I put him in a second line role. He was very honest with me. He said, ‘I was nervous’ and he was; you could tell. I think the summer was huge for him, being in North America more, with our strength coach. We got him a tutor to learn the language. I just think he’s a more confident player. He’s coming along nicely.
“I’m not sure what his weight is. He’s still going to grow. He’s still just a puppy as far as his body’s concerned. But you see him bring the puck to the net tonight on that play. He’s impressive. And we just want to keep working with him, both offensively and defensively. He’s one of our better defensive players, too.”
On Callahan’s play:
“He does everything, and I’m glad for him tonight that he gets the winner. And I’m watching him (in Boston) after we take the penalties … Chara’s goal goes off of him, and he isn’t shielding his face. He’s putting his face in front of Chara, and thank God it wasn’t totally in line. But that’s the definition of Cally. You watch him block shots, you see the things he does on the wall and everything about him.
“And I like when he stepped up in the lockerroom between periods (in Boston) when we were taking all those penalties. It’s the most I’ve heard him say in a lockerroom since I’ve been with him. So I think he’s embracing being a leader of this club, too. It’s good stuff.”
On Dubinsky’s improvement.
“I couple Dubi in with some of the other guys in those last couple of months of last season. I thought he seemed much more comfortable. People may disagree with me, but I think he’s a winger. I think that puts him in a situation where he has to use his strength. When he’s at center I think he glides because he’s looking to make plays. When he’s on a wing, he’s chasing pucks and his legs are always moving. I think that’s the best position for him and I think he’s done a great job. We’re getting him more involved in faceoffs. I know that’s something he’s wanted to do. I switched the penalty-killing pairs where he’s taking the faceoffs with Cally, and I thought he played one of his best games in terms of strength on the puck. And he got rocked a couple of times. Just rocked. But he was up there for the next shift. So he’s doing the things he needs to do.”