“It’s hard to be disappointed right now, or satisfied. If we’re in, I think it’s a great year. If we’re not, then absolutely you can’t be happy about the year. We’ll see.”
“If we’re in, I think everybody feels that this is a pretty good year. We’ve been winning a lot of games, we’ve been pretty consistent, we’ve been working really hard and it’s been a fun year. If we’re not in, we can’t be satisfied, obviously. The amount of wins is pretty good if you look around the league. Maybe, if a couple more losses into overtime, that would be a big difference.
“But we did our job today and I think everybody should be feeling pretty good about themselves, how we handled this, going down the stretch. Obviously the last game. we wanted to win that one. It was not an easy one, though. After (the Thrashers) got their first goal, I think they could feel that theyt had a chance—if you look at last night (against Carolina), they didn’t get the lead and they kind of went the other way. So, yeah, right now it’s really weird.”
I asked him if they might feel differently if they’d beaten the Islanders and Atlanta but lost to Philly and Boston, which would have put them in the exact situation.
“I don’t know. Good question, though. It just shows us that, if we’re in, we could definitely do some damage. I feel like we have a pretty good team, we’ve worked really hard, we can beat anybody. And, again, if we’re in, I think everybody feels it’s been a pretty good year. But if we’re not in, again, we can’t be happy about the year or satisfied.
“I still feel like last year we has more games we should have won than this year. This year we’ve been working hard, we’ve been there all the time in close games. It’s just a weird feeling right now. We’ll see what happens tonight.”
“It’s tough when it’s this close. After 82 games it comes down to, not the amount of wins, but how we played against Carolina during the year. It was really tough last year, and if we don’t make it this year, it’s going to be a really long summer for a lot of us. For me personally, it’s going to be really tough.”
Will he watch tonight?
“I haven’t decided yet. It’s going to be really hard to watch. But it’s going to be hard not to. Maybe we’ll get the boys together and see what happens. I feel pretty low right now even though we did our job, because we haven’t gotten much help the last few weeks, so I don’t have high hopes. If we’re in, I’m going to be the happiest guy in Manhattan, that’s for sure. We’ll see.”
“There was now way we were going to lose two games in a row when we’re in the position we were in, where we need the two points. It was just a great feeling to see how hard we were working, and the energy, and to see Dru back. I had a good feeling about him when I saw him before the game. I didn’t tell him, but I had a feeling he was going to score today and he did. I’m really happy for him and he deserves a lot of credit for sticking with the program here. He’s been working really hard to get back and I’m happy for him.”
“The regular season, you put in so much work the whole year, and to miss it, it’s tough. It’s tough mentally to take. Playoffs, it’s a little shorter and you go and you’re in or you’re out. But for a whole year, that’s probably the worst feeling, last year, to miss it that close. And again this year, it’s really close again.”
“When you can’t control it or can’t have a say in it, it’s kind of hard. But it’s out of our hands, and at least as far as today’s concerned, we did our job and we just have to sit and wait and watch.”
“I was ready for whatever Torts wanted and I was just glad to help out.”
“The biggest thing was that we did get the win, whether I played two shifts or 10 shifts. To me it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be here for the win. If it was two shifts or 10 shifts, do whatever I could to help out.”
Said he was thinking of setting up something where the team could watch tonight’s game together, but that some of the players told him they didn’t want to watch the game.
On his only goal of the season:
“I’m glad it came at a good time, in a game that we won.”
On whether he hoped his return might spark other guys:
“I don’t know. That’s probably a question for Torts. But I would certainly hope that me being in here, being around, and not just today but the last week, being with the guys, would help in at least a small part.”
“It was like that all year. We didn’t just have one line. We had a lot of guys scoring some goals at big times.”
I asked him if he’s seen a more odd circumstance in his career:
“Oh, two years in a row now.
“If you look at it, it’s almost like in any sport now. I don’t know, maybe it’s because of the salary cap. But all the teams, they have talent and stuff. So it’s difficult. It’s just the way it is right now. It may suck, but it’s reality right now, where we are.”
I also asked him if he spoke to any of his boys in Tampa:
“I did not because we (hadn’t done) our part before I came here this morning. There might be a need a little later when they start waking up after their (pre-game) nap.”
On what he likes about this team through 82 games:
“I think the biggest thing about this team is the work ethic. Even though this is a really, really young team, the work ethic, the way that people got to know the New York Rangers this year is that they’re going to come out, and we may not get the result, but there’s not going to be too many games like the one Thursday against Atlanta because we come out hard. We go out and play with a lot of emotion, with a lot of grind in our game. And I think that is the identity of this team, how hard we play. That’s what they’re going to remember about us this year.”
“We came out and did what we wanted to do. Obviously they got the 1-0 and 2-1 lead there, but we stuck to our gameplan, we played the game that we’ve been playing all year and been successful with and we’ve got a few to go. We did all we could and we’ve got to sit and watch, and hope for the best.”
“I think I’m more nervous now to watch the game than I was to play this one. It’s just maybe the nature of having no control over the outcome. Tampa’s a good team. Hopefully they do the job for us and we get into the playoffs. I think the way our team is, we’ll be a tough team to play.”
On his first NHL goal:
“It made it sweeter that we got the win for sure. It was a good feeling. I’ve been thnking about it for a long time, when it was going to come. It turned out to be a game winner and it helped the guys out today.”
“We have great guys in the room. Our leaders have been talking. They made sure we were calm and cool and we stuck to the gameplan.”
On Drury’s goal:
“That is huge. You can’t say enough about Dru and his character. We needed him the most and he came through … Captain Clutch … isn’t that his nickame?”
On Drury’s goal:
“Dru scored a lot of goals in his carer. He’s been a great player for a long time. We were just truing to shoot pucks, get to the net, crashing. That’s how we score our goals. It was blue collar. That’s the way we had to play today and that is the way we have to play. It was great.”