Recap: Alain Vigneault’s Comments Today

Alain VigneaultAlain VIgneault spoke with SNY’s Nick Licalzi after practice today:

  • On the season starting tomorrow, “ready…nervous…looking forward to it. It’s a new season, a new opportunity for this group. We have been working extremely hard since the first day of camp. Our focus has been real sharp. It’s time now to play for wins.”
  • On Ryan Callahan getting back, “He is close and working extremely hard. For the last 3 weeks he hasn’t missed a beat in our practices. For the last 5 or 6 days he has been taking contact, feels 100%, he is getting real close to being able to help us win games.”
  • On the extended road trip to start the season, “I think it will be good for our team. It should give us a good read on our group and on where we are and where we need to improve. IMO there is one way to play, there isn’t a road way or a home way, there is one way and it’s the right way. It’s what we are going to try and do starting tomorrow night.”

  • On the emphasis on working on the PP, “I don’t need to put any emphasis on it, it’s all you guys ask me about. I think the emphasis is out there. Everyone understands what happened last year but as I have said, I wasn’t here. It’s a new season, we are trying different things with this group on the PP. Things that I am sure they have done in the past, but it’s a matter of executing and being focused and real confident that this group in all situations will be real good.”
  • On surprises since he came to NY, “it’s come about the way that I have planned. When I laid out training camp over the summer, our travel, our expectations for different points of the season, our expectations with the learning curve and the dynamics and the willingness to play the way that we feel we need to win. I mean, this is a good team this team has won a lot of games, done a lot of things the right way, been strong 5 on 5 and they wanna win.”
  • On moving Brad Richards to the wing, “it doesn’t, at least in my opinion, change a lot. The way we play and the way most teams play, centers take the faceoffs but after that it’s about reading the responsibilities about who is the first, second and third forward. The center probably works more down low because he is taking faceoffs but after that it’s about reading and reacting and understanding which forward he is in the group. I don’t see any trouble for a smart and highly skilled player.”
  • On Richards and Stepan together, “I haven’t seen them in a game, only in practice and him and Rick and Brad seem to have some good chemistry so I am looking forward to seeing what they can do in a game.”
  • On hybrid icing, “My first thought is that if it can protect players I like it, that being said, there are a lot of footraces and battles that are fun to watch and that in some instances can generate some more offense.”
  • On shallower nets, “I haven’t noticed much of a difference. The goalies might feel differently but the offensive guys might.”
  • On Stepan missing the first couple of weeks, “I talked to him when he walked off the ice and I asked how he felt and he said that he felt great. He has no exhibition games or quality of practices that we had, but he has looked good in practice but that isn’t the same.”
  • On JT Miller, “I see potential in that young man. A real solid skill set that like any other young player, he needs to get better every day and have the right attitude to push him to be become the best player he can be. There is upside there and it’s our job as a staff and his job as a player to work on him being the best he can be.”
  • On Jesper Fast, “what I have liked about him is his hockey sense. He seems to know where to go when he doesn’t have the puck and what to do, with his skills he can play at this level. That being said, sometimes young kids in training camp and exhibition look good but once all the big boys arrive they don’t. With those two guys, I think they will be able to contribute at this level.”
  • On the lineup, “my lineup tomorrow will be what you have been seeing with the four lines and the six D. If I was a betting man I would say Hank is going to start.”