Recap: Alain Vigneault’s comments today on what needs to happen tomorrow and how the players are feeling

Alain VigneaultAlain Vigneault met with the media today following the Rangers optional skate (via the NHL)

Q. You said you’d take the night to think about what to say to your team. Do you have something in mind now?
COACH VIGNEAULT: You know, all the talk that we can have around trying to spin this any way you want, 29 other teams would like to be in our spot. You know, we’ve played well. Just need bounces.
Whatever talk you might use, at the end of the day for us right now it’s about one game. That’s as simple and logical and realistic as I can put it for you. We have to focus on one game and that’s what we’re going to do.

Q. Was that the same message in Pittsburgh when you were down 1‑3?
COACH VIGNEAULT: At that time we were going through a different situation, so…
Q. You’ve had such a long, inspired run in the playoffs. How much of a sense is there that it doesn’t deserve to be clouded by losing tomorrow night, that you deserve a victory?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Sorry, I don’t understand.
Q. I guess what I’m saying is, if you guys were not to win tomorrow night, it might cast a pall over your playoff run that it doesn’t deserve.
COACH VIGNEAULT: I’m going to let you decide that for yourself.
From my standpoint, like I just said a few seconds ago, however we might want to look at this, we could be up by two games to one instead of being down by three, et cetera. It doesn’t matter.
Our concentration, our preparation is going to tomorrow night’s game. If we want to continue to play, we have to win.
Q. In 2012 with Vancouver, you were down in a similar situation against L.A. How different is this team compared to what you saw a couple years ago?
COACH VIGNEAULT: It’s not very different. The core players are basically the same. The performers, the high‑end performers, are basically the same.
It’s a team that’s well‑built, that is tough to play against. They find ways to win and they’ve certainly done that so far.
Q. What have you seen in the past couple hours or since last night’s loss that gives you a sense that there is still belief in this room?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I know my players and I know the values that they have, their competitive nature. Again, everybody’s going to come out and say all the right things, et cetera, et cetera. All that, like I mentioned, is just talk.
What needs to happen is the actions on the ice. I like the way we’ve played. I mean, we’ve played some good hockey, but we haven’t found a way to win. That’s what we got to do tomorrow.
Q. Obviously you are focusing on one game, but are you allowing the team to think about what can happen if you do win? Are you allowing them to think that one step farther?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No. Going to focus on tomorrow. One game.
Q. What can you change or do differently tomorrow night?
I mean, their goaltender made some key saves at the right time. Just like we’ve seen Hank do so many times to the opposition on the road, their goaltender did it to us yesterday.
Are there things we could do better around their net? I thought as far as net presence and getting to second opportunities, we did a good job. He was just able to stop them. I think if it would have gone on for three, four more periods, he was in that zone last night.
We’re going to show our guys a couple things here. Coaches met this morning. Maybe we can do them a little bit better. And hopefully he won’t be as good as he was last night.
Q. Are there parallels to what you did against Pittsburgh or is this a completely different animal because of who the Kings are?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Two different teams. But to some extent‑‑ not to some extent. We’re facing the same exact situation we were against Pittsburgh: we lose, we’re done. If we don’t want to be done, we got to win.
Q. You have been upbeat throughout this series. What is the psyche of this group right now?
COACH VIGNEAULT: We’re down 3‑0. We’re all lacking sleep. This is tough.
I didn’t expect my players today to be cheery and upbeat. We’re in the Stanley Cup Final and we’re down 3‑0. You don’t get a lot of these opportunities.
Excuse us if today we’re not real cheery. But tomorrow I can tell you we’re going to show up.


"29 other teams would like to be in our spot."

As there are 30 teams in the NHL, 28 teams and not 29 would like to be in the Rangers' spot. The Kings would probably like to remain in the spot that they are in.

One more thing AV: take Richards out of the QB position in the power play and mix up your lines (I know, I know, that was 2 things)