Dave Tippett, on how pleased he was with his team tonight:
Well, first game, and we knew they were going to come really, really hard. They didn’t have the game they wanted in the first game, so they came at us awful hard and we turned the puck over too many times in the first period and a half or so, but we got fortunate, and made some good plays and capitalized on them. I thought the third period was our best period; we stayed to a simple game plan and just kind of ground the game down. So, lots of positives, but lots of stuff to work on too.
Tippet, on being able to get an early lead, then add to it:
Well, they were throwing a lot of pucks at our net, and I thought our defense was doing a really good job in front of it. I thought Smitty was outstanding, but then when we got chances, we capitalized on them, and that was the key to the game for us.
Tippett, on being up 4-1 in the 3rd, but on the PK:
We talked after the second period, even though we gave up the goal, if you said we would come in here with a three-goal lead going into the third, we would take that, and our guys said ‘yeah, we would take that’, so let’s go play a good third, so we did.
Tippett, on Max Domi’s game:
I’m so happy for him, he’s waited for this game for a long time, and for him to come out and play as well as he did, it was really nice to see. All our young guys played well.
Tippett, on the energy the young players bring:
There is, they bring energy to our group, they’re always smiling, always working, and it’s been good for our group.
Tippett, on whether he saw the attack he wanted in five-on-five play:
There’s still a lot of work to do there, I thought our defense really competed hard in front of our net and we need that, [the Kings] are a big team that comes at your net, I thought we really competed hard in front of Smitty, Smitty was outstanding.
Tippett, on whether Domi’s performance gives him confidence in the rookie:
It’s one game, Max will tell you that, he came out and played a very good first game. Everybody in our room expected him to play well, I think the media puts a lot of stuff out there about pressure and this and that, and Max, he’s been in the spotlight his whole life, and he came out and he played well tonight.
Tippett, on Mike Smith’s positive start:
That was a much different start than last year, that’s for sure, and that’s the last time we want to talk about last year.
Max Domi, on his debut:
No, it was fun, it was a lot of fun, it was tough to get a smile off of my face that entire 60 minutes, but it was definitely nice to get the win and start the season off the right way.
Domi, on if he had nerves early in the game:
Honestly, I just felt really happy, I was really excited to be out there, skating with these guys, trying to help them win, it was pretty special. The whole family was here too, so to share that with them was even better.
Domi, on his goal:
[Martin Hanzal] had a great change, I just kind of hopped on and the puck was right on my tape, just guessed and got really lucky I guess, but I’ll take it.
Domi, on whether he’s impressed by his team’s performance:
Yeah, I mean we’re real confident in the group we have, we know we’re a special team and that we can do some good things in this league, and we’re just going to keep working the boards and getting better every single day.
Domi, on whether he had a “welcome to the NHL” moment:
Yeah, I think the whole thing overall was definitely a ‘welcome to the NHL.’ It was really fast out there, and obviously those guys are all really smart, and it’s a fast pace, so you just want to be out there, but again, a huge win.
Domi, on who gets the puck from his first NHL goal:
I’ve got it right here, somewhere. They just kind of let me take a picture and then they took it back, but I’m sure I’ll get it back, hopefully eventually. I’ll give it to my Mom or something.
Domi, on who got the puck out of the net:
Steve Downie did, he’s a guy that I’ve been hanging out with pretty much every day through training camp, he’s been pretty great to me, so for him to do that was pretty cool.
Domi, on how Mike Smith’s early saves helped the team gain confidence:
Oh, I mean we’re pretty confident, he’s one of the best goalies, if not the best goalie in the league, and having him back there gives us a lot of confidence as a group and we know we always have a chance to win when he’s playing.
Mike Smith, on where the Coyotes showed positive signs:
Yeah, I think it’s exciting to see, I think it’s a good start to the season, I think we did a lot of things well as the game went on, I thought we had a bit of a slow start, probably slower than we’d like, but that goes without saying we found a way to win a hockey game, and beat a really good hockey team in their building, so we’ll take it.
Smith, on how infectious the youth and energy is on the roster:
It definitely helps, I think it’ll get better as the season goes on, and Max got a goal, and an assist I think he got tonight, or maybe more, and [Anthony Duclair] with his speed, and just the young blood that’s kind of taking over this league, so it’s nice to implement some of them to our lineup and get some big goals and points from them, and some energy for the older goats on the team.
Smith, on how important a good start to the game was:
I think it was big, it was huge, I think after the season we had last year, I think it’s nice to be in this position after one game. Saying that, it’s one game, and we have a lot to learn from that game, but we got better as the game went on, and that’s exciting, that shows we have some leaders in this room that can rub off on the younger guys, the younger guys can learn a lot from these older guys, and we can compete against some really good hockey teams in this league.
Smith, on his 40 saves:
I felt pretty good, it was hot, but we should be used to that. I just tried to take care of my net and make saves at the right time, fortunately we were able to get some timely goals, and it always helps some when we can play with the lead, so all in all it was a good win.
Smith, on whether he saw a tighter unit in front of him:
Yeah, like I said, as the game went on I thought we cleaned up a lot of areas that we talked about, so I think that’s exciting to see. We learned as the game went on, and definitely the D in front of me were fantastic, blocks, some plays that go unnoticed in games that I see that are NHL-caliber plays, and we need that from them game-in and game-out.