HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On Mikheyev’s status:
The only update would just be that he’s at the hospital here. He’s getting evaluated. He’s got a deep cut and we’re just going to have to get it sorted out. He’s going to stay here in New Jersey tonight and get evaluated. We’ll have to figure out what needs to be done.
On his reaction to the injury when it happened:
All I saw was him coming off without a glove and at first you just think he’s missing the glove. Then once you kind of get a sense of something more serious happening there and having your players recognize it even before I did. That’s one of the terrible things that you hate to see.
On the risk of these types of injury as inherent to hockey:
Yeah, it is for sure. It seems to be more frequent these days than it was even when I played. I’m not sure if that’s actually the case, but it seems to be. It’s unfortunate. There’s been lots done to try to prevent these types of things, but some of it isn’t preventable, of course. It’s the nature of the game, but we’ve got to continue to find ways to prevent it as best we can.
On the impact of the injury on the team during the game:
The bench was a little shaken at the time and it seemed like every stoppage in play the guys are kind of looking for an update. They’re concerned about their teammate. In terms of what impact it had on the game itself, I don’t think it had any. When the puck dropped the guys were just focused on playing.
On the resilience of the team to rally in the third and overtime for the win:
Yeah, resilience is a good word to describe it. We’ve shown some of that really throughout the last little bit, being a resilient team. Not a lot to like about our game today, obviously, but you know, it’s December 27 here and we got two points on the road. So, we’ll take it and get on the plane and recognize we’ve got to get a lot better tomorrow.
MICHAEL HUTCHINSON (24 SAVES)
On if he expects a more wide-open game coming off the Christmas break:
A little bit. You know when players have a few days off and us having to travel the same day, sometimes it takes a little bit for the players to get into the game and get back into good habits and stuff. You expect that you might see some good quality scoring chances. But you know at the same time the other team is in the same boat. They have the same amount of days off. So, knowing our skill, you knew that we were going to get some good looks as well and we got some good scoring chances and bury quite a few tonight.
On Mikheyev leaving the game due to a laceration:
It’s terrifying. You know, I haven’t seen him or really heard. Hopefully he’s alright. I didn’t really see what happened, but I remember kind of pushing the puck in the corner and he was there. Then all of a sudden, I could see a ton of blood coming from somewhere and a lot more than a usual high stick or anything like that. Hopefully he’s alright. I’m sure we’ll get an update on him in the locker room soon.
JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL, 2 ASSISTS)
On tonight’s win:
I think first and foremost, we’re thinking about [Mikheyev] and hopefully he’s okay. It was obviously scary there, seeing that much blood. Obviously, a guy that we care deeply about and was having a great night and playing tremendous for us, so thoughts are with him. I think even after that, emotionally, that can hit you a little bit when you see something that can be as dangerous as something like that. It wasn’t pretty overall but we just kept staying with it. I think we know over the last couple of games that we’ve got to tighten up at times but at the same time, I think we’ve controlled play a lot and generated offence. We just have to be smarter with the puck at times and understanding teams are trying to really sit on those counter-attacks when we sustain a lot of possession and we’re able to cause a lot of movement and create chances, we’ve got to be aware of teams going the other way.
On what went through his mind when Mikheyev was injured:
I was on and saw him kind of scrambling to get to the bench so at first, I was looking to the ref to maybe blow it down, but he got off really quick and you’ve got to get right back into the play. You know, it’s on your mind for sure. You want him to be okay and you’re thinking about him. It’s not an easy thing to see and obviously we hope he’s doing okay. I know we don’t have much of an update, but we’re just thinking about him.