The following is a transcript of Pat Quinn’s comments to the media following the Oilers 3-2 preseason win over the New York Islanders. Audio is available at the Oilers’ official site.
Quinn: Early they came out with some vim and vigour, they jumped everything – according to Mike Sillinger, that’s the way they play. We weren’t expecting it, I don’t think; they challenged the passes and the puck everywhere. Early on, we get a rush and out player turns it over and that sets the tone for the next ten minutes or so, and it’s a bad thing. The ebb, flow, whatever you want to call it, it suddenly comes the other way and now you’ve got to get a hold of yourself again and for the first ten minutes – until they started taking penalties – we were under a lot of pressure and not ready for it.
Reporter: Is there much you’re not seeing out of Jordan Eberle that makes you believe he’s not ready to be an NHL’er?
Quinn: That’s the first game. We’ve been watching practice; I know Jordan has a lot of skill, and on a night like that when the whole group seemed to be surprised by what was going on and the aggressive pursuit of the puck by the Islander group, you get away from that early teamwork that we felt good about in our practices. We weren’t supporting the puck early, it was very individual and then we started guessing with the puck – and none of those things work. We finally, after the first period, seemed to get a little bit of a change in how we were playing and got ourselves some chances. Early on, especially on the power-plays we had a couple of ones that you thought were going to be in the net; we didn’t bear down well enough and they made a couple of good saves. It probably should have been 2 or 3-1 after the penalties since they scored the first one, 2 or 3-1 in our favour, but that’s what sports is; it wasn’t in our favour and we had to scramble.
Reporter: We’d love to have a mic on the bench and hear some of the things that you’re espousing to the players. Sam said he heard some things back there that “ok, yeah”, and Sheldon said the same thing, that you’re keeping them honest.
Quinn: It is early, and you tend to think that you’re going to get perfection right away. It doesn’t happen, and sometimes you may be impatient for that perfection. I’ve been experienced and around long enough to know that it’s ebb and flow. Early on, I just want to try to nip bad habits that are there and see if we can get them changed. Habits aren’t easy, as you all know, some of you smoke for crying out loud, I can smell it from here.
Reporter: (laughs) You’re missing it?
Quinn: (laughs) I am, as a matter of fact. Habits are tough to break.
Reporter: Two panes of glass from one player is pretty rare, right?
Quinn: I would rather see it break the net than break the glass. Well, not really; we know he can fire that thing with such great velocity and he’s got a tremendous shot, it’s his bread and butter for a lot of years. I’m sure the Rexall building people are starting to say ‘maybe we should get a penalty on him’ or something, you know…
Reporter: Send him the bill?
Reporter: His legend’s growing now, with the shot.
Quinn: It’s funny what we cheer now a days, we cheer broken glass.
The only comment I’ll make is this: I wonder if Quinn ever tried that hypnotist…