MHH: How did it feel getting the shootout attempt, what went through your mind?
Gabriel: If they scored the goal before they would have won the game. So right when they missed, he kinda gave me a kick in the butt and told me "Go do your thing, kid." I tried to go out there and not think too much. Just go out there and have fun. Just trying to smile and soak it all up, you know? Just kinda had my mind made up what I was going to do already. Open up the one side, when the puck went in, it was a pretty good feeling.
MHH: Your first goal certainly wasn't
Gabriel: The prettiest?
MHH: or the most common. Do you look at your second goal as more, like, the "official" first goal?
Gabriel: It was funny 'cause, you know you always save the stick that you score your first NHL goal with and I skated, or scored my first one with my skate so... I guess I'll save my skate. I actually saved the stick that I scored the second goal with. Which I actually scored with my stick. It was funny that way. But I'll take them, which ever way they come I'll take them. Pretty special. Special to score the first one, definitely a dream come true.
MHH: What about this chemistry that you are having with Ryan O`Reilley? It's fantastic, what is making it work?
Gabriel: It's tough to say. It's tough to pinpoint one thing, but we both like to work hard. We're not trying to be to fancy out there. We're just trying to communicate a lot out there on the ice which is a big part of it. Off the ice as well and we work hard and stick to the game plan and work hard and then, he's a great player. We're playing with Milan Hejduk as well right now. Even when we played with Winnik, we created some pretty good scoring chances and some chemistry. They make it so easy to play hockey. They are such great hockey players and good guys so it's a lot of fun.
MHH: What's the best advice you've gotten on the team?
Gabriel: On the team? Maybe Hejduk. Before the first game. He knew I was nervous, I mean, who wasn't nervous before their first game? He just told me "It's just another hockey game. Just go out there and play. It's the same game you've been playing your whole life, so just go out there and play and have fun." That's what I tried doing. That's what I try to do every night.
MHH: Last night at the end of the game (on December 17th against the Washington Capitals) you guys raised your sticks, and thanked the fans, like you do after every win at home. Who's idea was that? Was it a spur of the moment thing?
Gabriel: I don't know. It was just kinda the first win of the season, win at home. I don't know if they did that last season or not but it was just that one of the guys said, in the huddle after the game, "let's go thank the crowd in the middle" and we just kinda started doing it. It's a pretty special thing for us to do that, and to see the crowd stand up on their feet and to clap their hands for us. It's a pretty neat feeling.
Tune in tomorrow for yet another installment.