Transcript: Providence head coach Nate Leaman comments after handing BU first loss of the season

(Note to readers: As I was attempting to record this interview, my phone ran out of memory about 10 seconds into Providence head coach Nate Leaman’s comments. To make up for the lack of a video, a full transcript of Leaman’s comments is below. Sorry for the inconvenience. — Sarah)

General comments:
“I thought it was actually a pretty even hockey game. The first period we really controlled, I thought the third period, they really controlled. The second period it was a pretty even period. I just think it’s pretty gutsy for our team, we were about as bad as we’ve been since I’ve been the head coach last night. And for the guys to bounce back and put in a gutsy performance on the road and find a way to win a game, I’m pretty proud of them right now. But we’ve got to take it and get better right now.”

How do you motivate your team after a loss like Friday’s? Do you whip them?
“No, I didn’t whip them. I didn’t whip them at all. We’re doing some things that really aren’t giving us a chance to win games. And that’s what we went over this morning as we watched some video. We went on the ice, but it was all trying to make them better to win a game tonight. The shifts, the turnovers, we were really disjointed, we weren’t playing together at all, we were losing all the battles. We couldn’t have gotten much worse last night, so it was showing them that if we want a chance to win a game, we have to do some things a lot better.”

After a tough night for Gillies, how does he bounce back?
I didn’t think it was a tough night. I think without him last night, it would’ve been 10-1. I thought he was excellent [tonight], especially the third period. I thought he was excellent in the first period. I kind of took a gulp between periods, because I was like, man, we probably should’ve been up 3-0 that period. But O’Connor made some big saves, and then Jonny had to make them in the third. They probably deserved three goals in the third. It’s terrific to see him back. I thought he was good last night. If you guys were at the game, you know it was a pretty ugly game last night for us.”

“It’s nice to get Shaner [senior Shane Luke] on the board, nice to get [center] Mark [Jankowski] on the board with a goal. I thought we were making a lot more plays. They have the wide ice, so there’s a lot more room out there. But I thought we really backed off in the third period, when you’re struggling and you don’t have much confidence, that first win out of it is always the toughest. I thought we got away from forechecking in the third, we really got on our heels in the third. And I think we need to stay on the attack.”

Friday loss, Saturday win trend — can you explain?
“I thought we did the same thing up in North Dakota, we were taking a lot of long shifts, we were turning a lot of pucks over, and you’re playing two top-10 teams back-to-back, three or four of those games on the road, in my opinion we weren’t giving ourselves a chance at all to win the games. And we did the same thing Friday up in North Dakota, we come back after we correct it, I just think that our team is struggling to find their identity a little bit. After a tough loss, they reset, and they play more to their identity. So it’s important that we move on from this. I talked about, after the game, let’s use this to get back to our identity because we haven’t been playing our hockey, the hockey that’s made us successful. Some of that is probably the preseason hype, we’ve shown some immaturity and got away from what makes us, us. That’s all I talked about after the game with them is Monday’s practice. We get better. We’ve got to get better. You get better in practice, and we’ve got to get back to our identity to play hockey.”

Status of John Gilmour
“He was a healthy scratch. [Junior Brandon] Tanev was a healthy scratch tonight also. But John Gilmour’s a heck of a hockey player, and I think his potential is within our top-four D. BUt he came back from an injury this summer, and just hadn’t been playing real well. Just trying to get him refocused, same with Tanney, refocused, because they’re two pretty good players for us. So John Gilmour should be a part of us, especially on that second power-play unit.”

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