On what he wanted to see tonight:
“I think we got a little bit of our personality back, and the style that we wanted to play. To score a goal, I thought Ward was outstanding. The good thing about our club, we didn’t get frustrated. We didn’t turn things over. We didn’t try to force the issue. Just stayed within the style of game we needed to play.”
“I wasn’t surprised. I think we’ve been a pretty patient team in those situations all year long: Third periods this year, even down a goal, we haven’t opened up. And we just stayed with it. I think that’s been a big positive this year with our club. I thought our start tonight was better, although we end up taking a couple of penalties that takes a little momentum away from us. But, even when we got to the overtime; we got the point and I was on the bench thinking to myself, ‘That’s the way we have to play.’ And then we find a way to get the extra point.”
Asked if anybody else could score that goal Zuccarello scored:
“I don’t know. Did it go straight up? Did it deflect? Good for him. And you know what I liked, and I like looking at these things on tape, it wasn’t an individual celebration. He got excited but then looked right to the bench. He’s a likeable kid. I don’t know where it all settles here as we get through, but good for him. It must be exciting for him.
“You hope he scores another one. He’s a confident kid. He understands. He asks the right questions. He minds his own business and goes about it, and is learning to be a pro in North America. I don’t think he lacks confidence. Creative people, they need that. But he should feel good about it. It’s obviously a huge two points for us, and it’s a big goal by him.”
On the young guys fitting in so well:
“I think the young guys that have been here are just maturing. Look at Dubinsky. You know? He’s hard, he makes a huge play on that goal as far as just not giving in. He’s been hard on the boards, and I don’t want to just single him out, but all of our kids are maturing. It think when you bring up a Zuccarello and players like that who have come up here, I think the American League coaches have done a pretty good job in their conditioning, because I think they’re in really good shape. It’s been as seamless as it can be as far as callups coming through here.”
“He didn’t piss and moan. He stayed within himself. He practiced hard. When he got the opportunity, he played good games. Nothing extraordinary, but played steady. Has shown us he’s working in the defensive part of the game. You can see his confidence in his pinching. So he just stayed with it. He was aggravated that he wasn’t playing, as any pro should be, but he just kept himself ready. Remember, the times I sat him out, and I always say this, he wasn’t that bad a player. We just decided the other six were better. That’s a decision we made and now Gilly has kind of swung that a bit. Good for him. He’s playing with the right type of arrogance.”
On Avery playing even in the late stages of a 1-0 and 1-1 game:
“Well, I thought early on Sean was on. And I switched. I put Sean up with Artie and Gabby and I moved (Frolov) down — not that Fro did anything wrong, but i just wanted to switch that. We’re asking for forechecking out of Sean and we got that early on. He made a couple of good plays, so we stayed with it. I thought it was one of his better games in a while.”
On the first half of the season:
“As I talked before the game we’re going to have to be a better team. We’re going to have to work on the details because the games are going to be tougher. Again, I think we’re in the right direction. I know we’re in the right direction. But there’s a fine line between winning and losing hockey games, no matter what’s going on with your club — and I’m really excited about a lot of things going on with this team — there’s a fine line between winning and losing, and that comes down to details.
“I’ll just give you an example. Brian Boyle’s line plays a helluva game against (Eric) Staal’s line. I mean, that Staal’s an animal. He is one helluva player, and I thought they played really stiff against them. One mistake, losing the center on a lost draw, a basic thing, ties the game. Those are things we’re going to have to continue to work at. We can’t afford to make that mistake, and I’m not trying to criticize Brian, because he played a really good game. But that’s where we are, and that’s what happens the second half of the year — the small things. So we have to continue to work at that and remain with our personality as a team and that’s what we were tonight, and be consistent with it.”
On the Eminger play to break up the 3-on-1.
“It’s a huge play. We didn’t give up too many odd-man rushes, but that was a doozy. And he makes a great play. It’s hard to teach that. He filled a lot of ice and made a great play there. Details? A big play, a fine line of a good defensive play vs. an offensive play, that’s what’s going to win games in the second half. So we need to try to keep our concentration there.”