Alain Vigneault met with the media, including SNY’s Nick Licalzi, prior to the Rangers game against the Devils tonight:
- Emotions heading into the first game, “My thoughts are on evaluating our players. Trying to find roles for guys where we will have success. At the same time we want to put certain guys in places where they can be successful. Hopefully tonight, when I go behind the bench for the first time I will feel it. Right now I have so many things going on in my little French brain here that I haven’t had time to sort it all out. I’ve got a lot of things I am thinking about.
- How important is winning tonight, “You always play to win and there isn’t a player or a coach or an assistant or staff member, we all want to win. Tonight we will play to win but it’s also about putting guys on the ice in any moment to see how they react. Can they make the right play at the right time and in the right areas. We need to give them the opportunities.”
- On Marc Staal, “I’ve been told from our medical staff and from him that he hasn’t felt this good in a long time. I’m going by that. In Marc’s case, he hasn’t played a lot in the past two years. He did ask me to play more games. Usually veteran guys only play in 3 of the preseason games but he asked to play in more. He wants to get out on the ice and get into game shape, game conditioning and game conditions. We are playing a lot of back to backs and we will carry a few more guys and it will give me a good and longer and accurate read on the guys we are carrying.”
- On Stu Bickel, “we will find out where he fits in. I have liked what I have seen. He tested real well. He is ready and willing and we want to put players in the best possible place to win.”
- On enforcers, “You gotta be able to play and skate and get in on the forecheck. Because you are a physical presence out there you have to stand up for yourself, but you gotta be able to play. That type of player, I don’t think a lot of teams have that player anymore.
- On the top line tonight, “I want them to play well and if they get an opportunity to get out on the PP. I want to see some chemistry. We worked on it for the first time with coaches. I want to see us get better and evolve.”
- On Kreider being on the top line, “I think it’s a combo. He is one of the high end prospects. He has size, skill, we want to give him every opportunity to show what he can do and putting him with Brad and Rick we are certainly showing our hand a bit to say that we are giving a good opportunity and we want to see what you can do.