On whether the team is giving up more defensively as it adds offense:
I think every game’s different. Every game’s going to present challenges. I think we managed the puck very well last night, and I think that’s a big reason why we gave up the chances we gave up. (Ed.: “Didn’t manage the puck?”) If you guys think differently, I’d like you to prove it to me, but I don’t think the offense we’re trying to create has got anything to do with giving up more defensively. I think the only way that comes back to hurt you is when you don’t manage the puck well on the rush. I think there are times [last night], especially late in the period we turned pucks over that came back at us where you can get pucks in behind people, so there has to be a recognition when there’s an opportunity to make plays on the rush in terms of possession plays, and when there’s an opportunity to get pucks in behind with speed to retrieve those pucks, and to me, that’s where you end up giving up too much defensively. But in terms of what we’re trying to create offensively in the offensive zone, we have very good structure in terms of defending and tracking pucks coming out of what we’re doing. We think on the rush we can push teams back more. We need to manage the puck better than we did last night.
On whether defensemen jump in the rush more comfortably knowing Jonathan Quick is behind them:
I think we have a lot of confidence in Quickie, and Kuemp’s played great for us, as well. But still, that doesn’t change our mindset in terms of what we’re trying to not give up. Obviously when he can make key saves, especially early in the hockey game, it gives your team confidence. At the end of the day, we know it’s important to be good defensively to cut those chances down and still build on what we want to do offensively. If you look at last night, we scored four goals, [but] we didn’t create a lot offensively. We did some good things offensively in terms of changing sides and getting some good movement in the offensive zone. We had some plays that didn’t get to the net that had a chance to get to the net, so even though we scored four goals, we’d like to create more than we did last night and give up less – and we won, 4-0.
On whether Brooks Laich and his linemates are forming an identity:
Well, we moved him around last night just because of what’s gone on in the middle with a couple of injuries, but he’s a veteran guy that’s good on faceoffs that gives you stability on whatever line he plays on. I think it’s hard when you put three young guys together at the NHL level, especially on the road. Teams will get the match-ups they want. They had Galchenyuk on their fourth line last night, and he’s one of their top guys, top offensive guys in the league. I think you need a guy like that. I think it solidifies the line, it gives them stability and allows you to get a lot more minutes out of all four lines in your lineup.
On Michael Amadio’s recall:
We just felt we needed a centerman. We knew that Shoresy was banged up a little bit. We really feel like a centerman can play wing a lot easier than a wing can play center, and he played well, and we thought that his game would help us, and he did. He gave us some good, solid minutes last night, but we just felt that we were better served if we had a centerman at our disposal as opposed to a right winger. If a right winger had have gotten hurt, then Augie would’ve stayed here.
On whether it’s “daunting” to make a debut amidst the environment in Montreal:
I would think so. He grew up in Ontario, so Toronto-Montreal is kind of the mecca of the hockey world up there, so to get his first game in there, I thought he handled it really well. Wasn’t intimidated by the surrounding or the setting. He went in there and played the game that he’s capable of playing, so it was a good first step for him.
On whether Nick Shore is likely to play against Boston:
I don’t know. I haven’t talked to the trainer yet. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t make that decision today. I mean, every day’s important for a guy like that, so get him some good work in today, see how he responds, and then get him to skate in the morning again and we’ll probably make a determination then.
-Lead photo via Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
-One quote omitted for use in today’s practice notes