Ryan McDonagh joined Laura Behnke on WABC last night:
- On the season, “Guys are starting to find their roles, get their legs going. In the beginning stretches we were chasing pucks and we weren’t at the tempo we wanted to be at. These last stretch of games we have found legs and found a way to gain points and get wins.”
- On the identity last year and now, “I don’t think it’s as consistent as we want. We demand a lot out of ourselves, the style that we play requires trust of everyone on the ice and we are moving closer toward to that consistency level. With our group we always think we can improve.
- On the shortened season, “It’s been tough. I didn’t think it would be that much of a hassle or big deal, but now that we have played a handful of games you understand what those practices early on mean to your structure and getting everyone on the same page. The first five games were kind of wild and the fans don’t see it, but there was lots of discussion in our locker room about where guys are supposed to be in certain plays. Now that has calmed down a bit.”
- On blowing leads, “You never want to give up leads at any point. With this group it’s a learning lesson and I hope we have learned that at an early part of the season, just how valuable a certain one or two points can be.”
- On checking the standings, “I like to look at where you stand, you never want to be outside the playoff picture. You want to try and gain some separation and get on a roll and get wins. That is just the competitive spirit that we have with the guys we have on this team. We want to get points, we want to get up in the standings, we got a taste of that last year and we want to get back.”
- On learning form the playoffs last year, “you learn a lot. You learn how hard your body can go and how much farther it needs to go to get to the next step. It was good but it didn’t feel right, it felt like we had another step and we are trying to find a way to put ourselves in that position again and take that next step.
- On Dan Girardi, “He is an incredible player. He was an all-star last year and it’s no coincidence for us to see him in that game. What he brings to our lineup every night is so valuable. We had two games where we didn’t have him and you could see the difference, not only in the plays that were happening but on the bench and in the locker room. His presence, his steadiness and his leadership skills are above and beyond. To be able to play with him allows me to elevate my game. He is so solid defensively and if I slip up, he is there to help out and save the day. We feed off each other that way and just want to be as effective as we can.
- On Rick Nash, “He is incredible. You see the highlight reel goals, bu to see it first hand, and he does it in practice too, the things that he does and he wants to improve. That is the scary thing. He is a pretty young player just entering his prime here. He wants to improve and get better and just try to help this team win in any way that he can. It’s a great feeling to have that guy on your team.