Alain Vigneault

Recap: Alain Vigneault’s comments today (On JT Miller, Rick Nash)

Alain Vigneault met with the media today following the Rangers practice (via Rangers Report):

  •  Is there an update on Brassard, “no.”
  • Do you expect him on Thursday, “I would say yes.”
  • On Mats Zuccarello, “he is a very important player to our group and one of our most consistent offensive players and in our push to get into the playoffs his line with Brassard and Pouliot has been good at 5 on 5 and on the PP and he is a big part of that. He is intense and smart and plays with an edge to his game and we need that from him.”

  • On line balance, “we have some parts and that is one of the reasons why we called up JT. If one part goes down, he has the potential and skill set to be able to come in and play that spot for an amount of time. We have good balance on those three lines and our fourth line is a bit difference of a makeup but an important part of our success and being able to roll four lines. Come Thursday we will put it on the ice and see where it fits.”
  • On what he said about JT Miller, “those comments may have been interpreted by you as pointed but I would say that 95% of young players have to figure it out. They get help from coaches and until they figure it out they are either going to figure it out and be NHL players or figure it out and be good minor league players. That comment I made of him I could have made of any young player.”
  • On the media interpreting the word “commitment,” “and I would say to you that I could say that about…it’s a process with young players and they need to understand what that process is and how to become a pro hockey player. Other than the odd Crosby here and there that figure it out when they are 15 or 16 years old, others figure it out when they are 19-20, others do when they are 27-28.”
  • What do you need to see from him, “he is a young player and learning every day and if we need him I am confident that he will be able to come in and play that role for us. He has done that on a number of occasions.”
  • On Chris Kreider, “this time I would say, as I had said all along, that it’s indefinite and until it changes that is what it is.”
  • On game 1 setting a tone, “game 1 is the most important game we are going to play. Both teams want to get off on the right foot, both teams, if you look at all the comparisons, PP, PK, 5 on 5, both goalies, there is so little separating one another. It will come down to good prep on our part and the players part and the players executing. I believe we are going through the right process and I really believe that our guys want to win. We have been on a playoff push for some time and playing under pressure and responding well in big games and that is why we got in.”
  • Would you be comfortable putting JT at center, “yes.”
  • Does faster and cleaner play benefit you more, “I think both teams will play to their strengths. I won’t define their strengths for you but I will say that we need to play a smart, checking game when we don’t have the puck. When we have the puck we need to play fast and go north/south as quick as we can and using our skills and attributes. We will put our best game on the ice and move forward.”
  • On Rangers/Flyers being physical, “I would say that discipline is a big thing and in every series physical play gets put up a notch. The commitment gets put up a notch and that is why it’s playoff hockey. But I look at how we got in and it’s because we have been playing playoff hockey against teams like us that are trying to get in. We are used to that competitiveness and it’s just gonna carry over to the first game of the series.”
  • Does the role for fourth line change, “no. Right now we have that four with Boyle, Dom, Dan and Dorse that comprises our fourth line. Any time we try to move one of those pieces it doesn’t come back and work the same way as when I keep them together and play them together. We will keep them that way and see what happens.”
  • On Henrik’s playoff experience, “I believe that having been in that situation before, playing big pressure games should help a player. In Hank’s case, he has been through the biggest games possible except for the Stanley Cup Final. He has been waiting for this moment just like the rest of our team. First we had to get in and now we are one of 16 with the chance for the cup and all teams have that chance at it and you need to take it one game at a time and that is what we are going to do.”
  • On Rick Nash in the playoffs, “Based on what I have seen this year, he is our best and one of the best in the league as far as scoring game winning goals so he puts himself in the right spots and puts himself in the right areas. He has big game experience. I think last season was his second time in the playoffs and I am confident that he will learn from that and he is a hard worker and dedicated and he will put his best foot forward on Thursday.