First the news, then some quotes to follow:
Same lineup tonight, with Lundqvist starting in goal. Prust is expected to play with a shoulder that’s been sore from fighting, and if he can’t, then White will be de-prucha’d.
Drury is now skating and stick-handling, but still can’t shoot. Prospal is on the ice for 15 minutes or so at a time, with no equipment, just very light skating.
On Michael Sauer’s game
“I like the way he played last night. His last game I thought he struggled against Pitt, but he bounced back last night. The key to his game is he stays within himself. He doesn’t try to do too much. Getting better and better positionally as far as having plays come through him. I love his edge as far as on the back end. And again, he’s a guy, and no one talks about it—I think he has a pretty good sense of when to come in offensively. I mean he’s not terribly skilled offensively, but he reads the plays and knows when to jump in. He consistently goes about his business. He’s played well.”
He said the D have to be involved when the Rangers are cycling, because most of the time it’s three against five.
On double-shifting Gaboik (and alike elite players):
“With him, he is just such an efficient skater. He’s on top of the ice all the time. It’s not a lot of work for him, where he skates a shift and he comes off. He can recover quickly. He’s in great shape and just how efficient he is skating, it doesn’t wear him down. And I think with him … I mean, all players want to play. It’s always, ‘Give me the ice time, I’ll show you.’ With him, right now, in the start of his year, we want to try to get that to him. He’s been out for a while, we’re trying to get him going and he can just do it because of his conditioning, he’s strong, and he’s so efficient. It doesn’t take a lot out of him when he skates a full shift.”
On the shots missing the net:
“Sometimes (it’s the lanes being taken away), but not all the time. The way we try to approach it is, you end up scoring a goal on a rebound. It’s a pretty good play, scoring a goal on a rebound. That’s probably your best pass. Especially defensemen, when we’re trying to get them involved in rotation, going to the net, beind underneath the hashmarks sometimes. I don’t think it’s the best idea to try to pick a corner to try and score a goal. If you’re going to miss, you need to miss on the net, especially for a defenseman. It’s a breakout pass if it’s shot wide and you’re caught in, and we’ve done that. It’s something we work on every day. But we’ve done that a little bit here, where I think some of our best chances the past few games have been shot wide. And not only by our D, but also some of our forwards.
“So it’s just a concentration of thinking that, ‘I have to at least hit the net, not try to pick corners’ where it could go wide, and maybe (we) bang in some rebounds. And you also create momentum by keeping the puck on a rebound and staying on the forecheck.”
“It was (better earlier in the season). We just need to concentrate more on not trying to score that pretty goal. If you have to miss, at least hit the net.”
On Avery having exchanges with Sim and Parenteau (among others) last night:
“That’s part of Sean’s game. We don’t want to take that away from him. It’s something that we’ve never tried to take away. It’s just making sure we stay disciplined with it, too, where we’re not going too far with it. I liked Sean’s game last night. He was engaging Sim, a lot of people were yapping at him. But I liked Sean’s concentration. He played every shift, was probably one of our best players last night—offensively and on the wall. He did some good things on the wall, too, where some guys struggled on our team.
“The other stuff comes with it, and I think that helps his game. As long as it doesn’t effect him where it’s too much to the other side and he’s not worried about playing, because he’s a pretty good player.”
On Christensen’s line:
“They moved the puck quickly. It was our best line. The other lines did some things offensively, but I thought hurt us defensively at times, too. Christensen, Aves and Gabby, they had the puck in the end zone quite a bit and I thought Sean initiated that with his forecheck and holding on to the puck and turning his back.
On Christensen’s goal and his ability:
“He’s able to do that. You see a lot of players now, I don’t think (his was) such a bad angle, but you see a lot of bad angle goals in our league now. People are throwing them up there. But he’s got a great shot.”
Tortorella smiled and started to laugh, and added, “He’s got it all. He’s got it all.”
He was then asked how often he tells Christensen just that.
“You could replay it and replay it. As hard as I am on him sometimes, I’m also trying to tell him that, ‘Jesus Christ, look what you’re doing here; this is really good.’ So it goes both ways. But again it’s a matter of him believing it. Not me. He played well. He played well.”
On why so good on the road and not at home:
“Nope. I don’t know why. I don’t know why. I don’t have an answer.”
On the success in the second of back-to-backs (6-0-0 this season):
“I think our conditioning comes into play there, and I think when you start getting some success you start believing you can do it. It ends up being kind of a mindset when you start having some success early. This has gone on for a couple of years now (9-2-2 last season). I give the players a lot of credit for the work that they do, not duirng the year, but in the summertime, as far as getting ready for camp. That’s where you make your gains as far as conditioning.”
On Drury’s progress:
“Each day it gets better … if he doesn’t shoot himself.”