Recap: Alain Vigneault On The Michael Kay Show (Talks Chris Kreider)

Alain VigneaultAlain Vigneault joined the Michael Kay Show at 3:45PM 4:45PM today:

  • Where is the team, “we are a work in progress but where I expected us to be. We are getting to know each other. It’s a new group and we didn’t know the East and I didn’t know the Rangers players that well. It’s been going well. Players have been very receptive. They want to get better. We are working very hard. It was demanding and we tried to work on quite a few things in Banff. We are down to our team and have been working hard to get ready for Thursday,”
  • On last year’s style vs this year’s style, “couldn’t tell you. I didn’t look to see what Torts did before. I have a tremendous amount of respect for John. They were very successful. They went to the ECF and the second round. He coached a certain way where he thought certain things was important. I’m coaching a way where I think certain things are important. I want our guys to outnumber the opposition to get the puck back and to play a quick, fast paced game, north south game where we can attack the opposition at a fast pace, be quick in transition. I think our fans will find it fun to watch.”
  • On the PP,  (interrupts question with a laugh) “Everyone talks to me about this PP. Not that I wanna stop you, but I wasn’t here in the past. I don’t know what happened, but I believe we have a good skill set to make it work. There are different principles. We just got Derek Stepan back, Ryan Callahan isn’t far away. Both of them are right shots and will help our PP. When you have right handers and left handers, 2 or 3 of each, it makes it challenging for the PKers. One timers, one touch passes. I am confident that we will make it work.”

  • On far behind is Derek Stepan, “until we see him play we won’t know exactly. We made him do the same on and off ice testing that everyone else did. He tested well. He is a little behind as far as practicing with us and getting on the same page. The last three days he has been doing a lot of video with the assistants, a lot of time learning positioning, I have been told he is a quick learner and I am confident that come Thursday he will be right there.”
  • On pressure to win a Stanley Cup this year, “the expectations that we have are very high. We believe we can compete for a Stanley Cup, we are one 10-15 teams, we have to do a lot of things along the way. You can’t play in June without doing the right things all along the way. Our guys have been working the right way. We are committed to getting the puck back to get back on the attack. It is challenging and we are focusing on special teams, 5 on 5 play, getting the puck back. We are doing everything that we can to put the chances on our side. It’s a long process but we have a good group.”
  • Was it tough to send Chris Kreider to Hartford, “not really, in the sense that… I know Chris has been in and out of the lineup with the Rangers. I see a young man with a tremendous amount of potential and tremendous upside that needs to play. I didn’t believe that I can give him the minutes that a young player like that needs to improve and be able to contribute. We talked with Glen’s staff and my staff and we determined that the best thing was for Chris to go to Hartford, play big minutes, play PP, play PK and improve and once we feel he is ready to improve and play on a regular basis we will take him.”
  • On how Kreider took being sent down, “I was impressed by his attitude. He understood that there are areas he needs to work on. Myself and Jim Schoenfeld, who spoke with him, he looked us straight in the eye, understood, and said that he knows he can be better, knows he wants to be better. He is going to Hartford with the right attitude and the right frame of mind and hopefully we can see him back in the Rangers lineup soon.”
  • On Brad Richards, “I am very impressed with how Brad came to camp. His work ethic on the ice and involvement with his teammates. I can’t comment on the past. He is a true pro and will play anywhere I tell him to play. He wants to contribute to this organization and the team, so far I have really liked how he has conducted himself.”
  • On Marc Staal, “real good. We gave him 4 of 6 games. He is healthy, ready to go and is working real hard.”
  • On where there is more pressure, here or Vancouver, “it’s the same pressure. I go into the season thinking that we can compete for the cup. I had good teams in Vancouver and as I get to know this group I see that we have good players, a good foundation and a young team that is on the upswing.”
  • On the media interaction, “We haven’t talked about that. I’m sure that, with Vancouver, you turn the page and move on. I’m sure the media and John have done the same.”
  • On starting on the road and getting a good start, “it will give us a good read on us and what we need to work on. Whether you play at home or on the road, you gotta play a smart game. Home or road, you gotta play the right way and that is what we will do.”