Recap: Alain Vigneault’s Comments Today (On Needing His Top Players)

Alain VigneaultAlain Vigneault, via the Rangers, met with the media today:

  • Is it odd that there has been very few OT games this year, “that is a good question. Usually when you are nearing the 30 game mark you have played some tight games and you go into OT and we haven’t  had, other than the Detroit game, one of those.”
  • Does that even out, “I’m not sure those things even out. If you work hard bounces and calls and stuff like that even out…I’m not sure. I have never played this amount of few games of 1 goal games where we aren’t going into OT. It’s the lowest amount for one of my teams.

  • What is keeping this team from staying over .500, “I feel that we are exactly like all the NHL teams in the sense that teams that get over…it’s a real competitive league and every night you need to put your best game on the ice for a chance to win, we are no different than any other team in the NHL. If we are going to get some traction and get past the .500 level we need our top players to play consistently like our top players. Not a period in and a period out, a game in and a game out. We need the core leaders of this group to perform accordingly and we have not done that on a consistent basis. Look at our lineup, our core group and our key guys and that is the answer.”
  • On Henrik developing a rhythm, “Hank is getting more than a decent share of games to find his rhythm. He, like the rest of our top guys are getting the ice time that players need to find a groove, to find timing to find execution. Those guys need to put it together and they need to do it consistently.”
  • If they don’t…(AV interrupts) “If they don’t we aren’t going to get in.”
  • Will you sit someone to send a message, “that is always a possibility. I’m not at that point yet. I’m hoping that with the experience that the players I am talking about have, that the sense of accountability and responsibility that they should have, that I won’t need to get to that. If we are going to get some traction they need to figure it out.”
  • On the leadership group (AV interrupts) “I feel that we are all being tested right now. The leadership group, the coaches and we need to find a way to get some traction and respond consistently.”
  • Have you seen stretches where you think you are getting over the hump, “that is a lovely part of coaching. Sometimes you think that you are taking a couple of strides and moving forward and you start to feel good about where you are going and where you are headed. There is always a curve ball in there. That is part of an 82 game schedule. That is going to happen. You just hope that those curves and bumps are short and then you get right back at it. Ours, we haven’t had that traction. We have had a lot of curves both ways, we just haven’t had that uphill traction that I think we can have.”
  • On the lineup, “today is the day after a very disappointing game. Spent a lot of time analyzing what happened. Showed some stuff to the players and will take the rest of the day to see what we have to do against Buffalo and come up with a decision tomorrow.”