Recap: Alain Vigneault’s interviews yesterday

Alain VigneaultAlain Vigneault spoke with Kathryn Tappen and Mike Johnston on the NHL Network during the Rangers outdoor practice:

  • “we had a good skate considering the conditions. We had a good 40 minute skate and if we play in the snow we will be better than them because they didn’t have any snow.”
  • How did the ice hold up, “the ice was alright, the tough part was a lot like the game in Detroit, get the shovels, we did it once during our quick practice there but other than that the conditions were pretty good. A little snow in the face and it reminded everyone of their young days back at home.”

  • Who is starting, “Henrik…..he’s been ready for this for quite some time. I think everyone is looking forward to. It’s my first opportunity and I have seen all the games on TV and from the outside it seemed like a lot of fun and now that I am here I know that it’s a lot of fun.”
  • Did you ask other coaches who have played outside, “I asked our players, they were in here maybe 10 of them two years ago in Philly and conditions were fairly good except for a five minute spot in the second period, conditions were good and then the game played like it normally does. If the conditions are like this then it will have to be really simple and just keeping the puck forward because it won’t move around so well. If the conditions are good then the guys will push and go hard.”
  • On the season and what clicked, “we have been playing good hockey for some time, better than our record indicated. Prior to the last two games we were playing some real good hockey and one thing was that Henrik got himself going. I gave him seven straight at home and he couldn’t find his timing or rhythm and since then he has been playing really well. In this league where teams are so close goaltending is the foundation of the team and to win and win consistently it starts with goaltending and timely goals and lately we have been getting both.”
  • What did you know about Cam Talbot, “nothing. What happens is that Martin gets off to a shaky start and Benoit Allaire knows Cam really well since they worked together the last three years and he said that the young kid was ready, lets give him a chance and Marty struggled and we brought in Cam and in every game he played he has given us a chance to win and that is what you want from your goalies.”
  • What is the biggest challenge in living in NY, “driving in the City….hockey wise it’s a lot of the same, there is a lot of media, though not as much media attention as in a Canadian market because of all the other sports where as in Canada you just have hockey. Hockey wise the adaptation has been really quick, it’s a first class organization and they do everything the right way. The foundation is good and the team had some good players. It was just a matter of adjusting to how I and my staff wanted the team to play. It was just a few changes and you know once Hank found his rhythm and the other parts of our game were pretty good and we started winning on a more regular basis and in a tough league and tough conference and a division where everyone seems to be winning.”
  • On adjusting to the Eastern Conference, “I wouldn’t sat that the style is different but the teams may be a little bit bigger in the West. Bigger down the middle but the quality of the teams out east and you can see it now, it’s good. It’s a fast paced conference, a good division with good goaltending and you have to be at your best every night or you don’t stand a chance to win.”
  • On Brad Richards, “I didn’t do anything. I met with him the day I accepted the job and I sat with him for two hours and I knew Brad from my PEI junior days where during the prior lockout he had come to work with my junior team. Class player, class individual and he helped my players out and after we met for two hours we just said hi, see ya later, he came to camp, great attitude, great leader and great example and left it there. Very low maintenance.”
  • On Rick Nash, “I think two things happened, when you are out with a concussion and can’t train it takes a while to get back. Rick came back and other than maybe going on the inside a little more, his game was real good. He was getting some Grade A chances and just wasn’t putting them in the net. Sometimes players get a little streaky, I think Rick can be a little streaky and I like the streak he is on now.”
  • On his family being there, “both of my girls and one of the boyfriends and we are going to have a little skate and then get ready for tomorrow.”

Vigneault also spoke with John Giannone:

  • Is this cool, “it’s my first opportunity. I have seen all the previous games on TV and I would think about how it would feel to really be out there and in the snow and it makes it real special and I am really looking forward to tomorrow.”
  • What is the biggest concern, “the snow, it slows everything down, slows the puck and movement, if it doesn’t snow and stays like this it will be ideal conditions. It’s gonna be fast, quick and intense and then there is the snow, which is what happened with Detroit and Toronto, but they aren’t expecting snow tomorrow so it should be a good game.”
  • On the importance of the game because it’s in the division, “everyone is in the playoff mode and everyone is working extremely hard and that is what we are going to have to do and put our best game on the ice