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McPhee on Sweeping LA, Scratching Tatar; Gallant Looks Ahead to San Jose

April 19, 2018, 9:44 PM ET [2 Comments]
Sheng Peng
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George McPhee took the podium yesterday to talk about sweeping LA, while Gerard Gallant looked ahead to San Jose today.

Here are some choice quotes from McPhee's presser:

On choosing Fleury over other goalies during expansion draft:

Geroge McPhee: "To get a player like that who can play the way he plays, who can provide the leadership that he brings, it was something we had to have. The great Jean Beliveau said, 'Leadership is number-one, everything else is number-two.' He brings leadership."

On limiting LA's high-danger scoring chances and coaching staff's part in that:

"To sit in on some of the video sessions was impressive. To watch them talk about what we needed to do -- and to do it quickly, succinctly, and clearly for the players -- was excellent.

"Turk is deploying players the same way he did in the regular season -- everybody plays. It really shows a belief in the players.

"The match-ups. We'll play our 3rd-pairing D or 3rd or 4th line against the other team's top line. It doesn't matter. This is what we are, who we are. This is how we play.

"The video sessions were more about how we do things. How we do our PK. Our positioning on different things.

"It's mostly always about our team. We show the other club's tendencies. But it's mostly about us.

"The way Turk delegates was excellent."

On ownership's expectations of "Playoffs in three years, Cup in six":

"That was something that Bill said. I've always said we'll focus on what and not when. According to Bill, we're ahead of schedule."

On what Trade Deadline acquisition Tomas Tatar can improve in his game:

"I don't think he's doing anything wrong. I think we have a lot of good players. Not everybody can be in every night.

"They're all going to get a chance to play; we're going to need everybody.

"We needed bodies at the Deadline. We did not want to be one of those clubs that unravels the last three or four weeks of the season.

"We were banged up far more than anybody would know. We were really thin down the stretch.

"I'm happy we added him. He's a good player. He's a great teammate. He'll get back in."

On benefit of advancing early and time off:

"We're finally getting healthy for the first time in what feels like six months.

"This is not like the bye week where they have five days off and we're not skating or training. We're not going to Mexico."

On his intensity during games:

"[Just releasing] stress. (laughs)

"I didn't like a call that was made last night. And I thought the whole series had really been called well. But late in Game 4, five or six minutes to go, there's a call...maybe both players should've been called. Reilly's stick was between his legs, but I thought the guy took a dive.

"I wasn't happy about it. Because it had been called the right way all series.

"That's the way we vent sometimes."

(HockeyBuzz note: McPhee is accusing Dustin Brown of diving)

On communicating with fellow Bowling Green alumnus and Kings GM Rob Blake throughout series:

"He came over to say congratulations after the series. I missed him. He sent a nice text; I sent a text back.

"He's a pro. It's hard to have a lot of dialogue when you're competing against each other. It feels awkward."

On any negotiations with his free agents during the playoffs:

"No. There are no negotiations. That stopped at the Trade Deadline."

On current salary template of fairly even salaries across the board:

"It's not a bad way to have it if you can get it that way. But it's hard to do in this business.

"But I like what New Jersey did years ago when they were winning their Cups. Everybody played. Everybody contributed."

On Marchessault's intensity and Neal's leadership:

"With Marchessault, we tried to uncover every rock to find guys who play with that kind of intensity. You don't ever want to dial that back. They'll learn as they go.

"We've got good leadership from all of these guys. Whether it's Neal or Engelland or Bellemare or Fleury."

On big goals scored by less-prominent Golden Knights against LA:

"It was a big goal for Cody Eakin; he had a terrific series. Just got better game by game.

"To see Brayden score, it reflects what we did all year. Big goals from different people."

On Marchessault stating that he signed for same AAV as Smith and what it says about the team concept:

"They bring different sorts of things. But sort of equals out. We just thought it was the right number."

On Sbisa's return:

"He's getting closer. But this defense, as is, has played very well. Wouldn't expect any line-up changes."

On Theodore and Tuch's evolution:

"It's the sort of the thing that happens when the coach plays young guys; they develop into pretty good players. He was really patient with them.

"We brought them back. They've really evolved. They're both playing really, really good right now.

"I give Turk a lot of credit, continuing to throw them out there. There are games when they weren't so good. But he kept playing them."

On this team's "magical" season:

"That's for you guys to describe. You're far more creative. I don't have that ability.

"You see more of it than we do. We're on buses. We're at the bottom of the rink. Or way up in the pressbox. We don't know what's going on outside.

"It's kind of a cloistered life that way. We just work everyday and see where it take us."

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