Alain Vigneault

Recap: Alain Vigneault’s comments today on Marc Staal, PP and more

Alain Vigneault met with the media today in Pittsburgh (Rangers):

  • On Marc Staal, “I knew Marc Staal more by reputation, I hadn’t seen him play a whole lot begin out west. I heard a lot of good things and I think he is a player who has improved throughout the year. He hasn’t played much in the last two years and we always knew he was a good defender, which he is still one of the best defenders in the league in my opinion but he has improved his puck decisions and helping us break out of our end and he is a player that still has room to improve and I am confident that he will.”
  • Do you see the guy that you were hearing about, “again, haven’t not seen him, you hear different things but he is a big part of our defense and we need him to keep playing well.”
  • On Staal stepping up with McDonagh still getting back into form, “The fact that he is playing well right now is that he was playing well for a long time and this is playoff hockey and when you get a chance to measure yourself against the strongest opponents, he has a tough challenge in front of him and knows that for us to win he has to play well.”


  • On changing people on the PP, “that is a good question and I have to tell you that I have been giving it some thought, we are getting some good looks. Our first PP last night had some good opportunities but there are two things, you need to trust your players that they will find a way to get it done and also it’s the options that you have and the other thing that comes into consideration is that at this time of the year you don’t practice a lot and we don’t work on a lot of things, so I am thinking of all of those things right now and trying to find a solution.”
  • On worrying the PP will snowball, “having been in these situations before, I know that it’s a topic. Our PP started well and it hasn’t been clicking. It’s an important element of winning games but this is a new series, last night didn’t work and we have another game coming and we turn the page on that one and we will try to make it work. It’s a topic and it’s there but I don’t think it has an impact on the game moving forward, at least in my estimation and players may feel that they are tighter, I don’t know if I fully believe that but we will come up with a plan and try to execute and make it work.”
  • On potentially using Staal and Stralman on the PP, “I would say that there are some other reasons why I don’t play them on the PP that I am probably not comfortable sharing with you.”
  • Will the PP just start working, “PP is… sometimes they get hot or cold and you say that to win games all parts of your game need to be going and I believe that but sometimes I think that you can not score on your PP and build momentum. Last night I liked our first two and not our last two, those were the ones in the second and in the second we lost momentum, they took it away from us and we didn’t have a good second.”
  • On not allowing another second period struggle, “I know that in watching Columbus, there were momentum swings I hadn’t seen in a long time, long swings, sometimes you see them in a period, a couple of shifts one way and the other, last night we played a strong first, they played a real strong second and in the third and OT we played well and good enough to win and we found a way to win it.”
  • On winning one of the first two on the road, “every team at this stage can win at home or on the road, we are all good teams. We won the first game and will focus on winning the second and they will  too.”
  • On the Derek Stepan/Rick Nash/Marty St. Louis, “I thought they competed hard, that is a good team and they are going to have their moments and looks and we will work hard to have our looks. They have one of the best teams that I have seen in a while, skill wise, D jumping out and joining the attack and we need to work hard to be good and we are working hard to be good.”
  • On the back to back, “what we will do today is rest and had a good meeting, some guys are in video sessions now and we will have a good morning skate tomorrow, some pre game meetings that we normally have and focus on one thing which is tomorrow night.”
  • Did you always believe in being a four-line coach, “if you look at the teams who have success and win the cup, the last lockout, not this last one but the one prior, those teams have had depth and play their depth and…from a personal experience, I know that when we lost the cup to Boston, Boston was a four line team and probably the best fourth line in the league and it’s the same line now and one of the best if not the best, we didn’t have four lines….so I think from that experience, if you can play four line and manage the minutes I think you can play a higher tempo and play a higher pace game.”
  • How much do you take, experience wise, from 2011, “like any player or coach that has been in playoff situations before, experience is sometimes painful but it’s good to get and you try to share it and improve as you move forward.”
  • On Sidney Crosby, “I thought he played a good game, he made it hard on us. They had some transition looks and looks down low, he is an elite player and real tough to handle and we will need a lot of help to stop him.”