PITTSBURGH — Keith Allain may be a newcomer to the Frozen Four, but he knows the media drill. Allain served as assistant coach with the Washington Capitals from 1993 to 1997 and as an assistant on the U.S. Olympic teams in 1992 and 2006. Allain was also the head coach of the U.S. National Team in the World Junior Championship in 2001, 2002 and 2011.
It’s no surprise, then, that Allain sounds experienced in the news conferences that are held daily during the tournament.
When asked after practice Friday what he’d done for fun while in Pittsburgh, Allain quipped, “We played a hockey game last night.”
As for the host city of Pittsburgh, Allain said, “It’s hilly. It’s got rivers. And it’s got some real character.”
In the mid-1990s, the Capitals frequently played the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL playoffs, giving Allain some perspective on the changes the city of Pittsburgh has gone through since then.
“It seems to be more of a booming city now than it was then,” Allain said. “It seems a little more vibrant, a little more colorful to me than it was back in the ’90s.
“And this building wasn’t here.”
When a reporter asked Allain a question about Yale’s conference rivalry with Quinnipiac, Allain echoed the reporter’s words when replying. “Obviously,” began the reporter, “it is the national championship … is the approach just like any other game?”
“Yes,” was Allain’s one-word answer, until he was prompted — among some laughter — to say more. “You said obviously,” said the coach. “I mean, yeah, it’s obvious to me, too.”