Recap: AV Squad (3/13)

  • Alain VigneaultOn the Callahan trade, “you lose your captain obviously, Ryan was a very important part of our team but I think all players know that things like that may happen at a certain point in time and in this case it did happen and unfortunately we lost our captain but fortunately we gained a real quality player and person. I’m sure Marty will fit in real well and help us win games.”
  • Do you have to talk to the team after a trade like that, “that was a real emotional day with a lot of things going on and we skated that morning, I wanted to skate them that morning to keep the guys busy and not have them think about the deadline. Trade happened when we got off the ice and that night I didn’t feel the need to address the team or say anything special. Marty flew in from Tampa and walked into the room and I thought that was enough. He has a great presence, an elite player, one of the best players in the NHL and we are fortunate to have him.”
  • On chemistry changes, ‘anytime you change a piece of your team you are changing the dynamics of the mood. I feel that we lost an important part in Ryan but adding a guy like Marty who has won the Stanley Cup, a guy that has been performing at an elite level for a long time will help our group become better and that is what we are hoping.”
  • On talking with MSL, “initially when he got in I told him that I would talk to him tomorrow and to go out and have fun and  the next day we say down and discussed a whole bunch of issues. Marty will fit in real well in NY. He wanted to play and bring his family here and we are pleased to have him.”
  • Do you get emotional when decisions like this are made, “they are hard. Ryan was such a quality guy and had been here such a long time and was one of the first guys on this group that I searched and made sure I had a good rapport with him. There are always contract situations and his came into play a little bit but at the end of the day we made a hockey deal. As good a player as Ryan is we thought Marty would help our team and that is why Glen made the deal.”
  • Have you talked to the group about what happened, “no, not at all. It happened real quickly and we played that night and we have played ever since. We are focused on a game to game basis and getting ready for our next opponents.”
  • On the captain situation, “right now we are going to leave it at three assistants and will deal with it in the summer. Glen and I after we made the deal talked about…there wasn’t a need to name a captain. We have three assistants, good leaders in the group and we will deal with it in the summer.”
  • On Dan Girardi’s contract, “New York Ranger for life. Dan is a big part of our D and our team. Really happy that he will now be with our team for likely the remainder of his career.”
  • On Henrik Lundqvist’s past Olympics, “I think past Olympics will help him now. It’s my job as the coach to feel him out and I think he probably was a bit tired emotionally. We had a good run before the Olympics, he played every game, he got back with the time change and everything. I gave him an extra day off and ever since then, he was real strong against Toronto, strong against Carolina and perfect against Detroit. That extra day was helpful to get his emotions in check, his energy and he is good to go.”
  • On the PK, “it helps because Rick can play hard at both ends of the rink but sometimes you go through stretches like that. Those goals have all been really important to us, the two against Toronto enabled us to get a point, the one against Carolina brought us back into a game and anytime you get a SH goal it’s a big thing for momentum and those helped a lot with momentum shifts.
  • Will you keep using Nash on the PK, “it was something Arnie had used him before in Columbus and it was funny, before the last Detroit game Mike Babcock came to me and said that if you want to help Canada start using Nash on the PK  because that is where we are going to use him. Arnie and Ulfie and I had been talking about it and we started a couple of shifts here and there, he played in the Olympics there, Zuccarello was out, we traded, Callahan and it was a natural fit.”
  • Ever thinking about putting Hagelin, Zuccarello and St. Louis on the same line and calling it the smurf line, “no, we aren’t there yet. I really like the balance of our lines and our 4 lines are contributing and I like that.”
  • Chris Kreider is mic’d up and talks about PP and forechecking in practice. He whistles a lot in practice.
  • On Chris Kreider, “he is a real good kid, really dedicates himself to strong conditioning, he is a powerful player, a powerful man. He has been a real joy to coach ever since he was in Hartford, we sent him to Hartford at the start of the year because his training camp had been so-so but since he has been back he has been one of our best offensive players, working real hard at using his strength, speed and size, putting pressure on the D and that line of Step, Nash and Kreider has been real effective.
  • Where is Kreider in his development, “he is a young player and in my estimation, with his work ethic he is only going to get better. As long as his attitude stays sharp and focused which I think it will do he will only get better very young player and he will only get better.
  • Ulf Samuelsson talks about transition both from defense to offense and form the neutral zone. He shows Mats Zuccarello make a “99 turn” to create  chance
  • On how the Rangers use video, “we are trying to stay real sharp and we use every tool that is available out there. They spend a lot of time with players individually showing them their shifts and where they can improve. I have a great staff and they make me look good.”
  • What is a 99 turn, “that must be something he picked up in Phoenix because has never shared that with me. Maybe something with Wayne Gretzky, he worked with Wayne in Phoenix for three years so he must have picked up something with him and Wayne that he hasn’t shared with me, as long as he shares it with the players.”
  • On the neutral zone, “the neutral zone, so many things can happen. We are a good rush team because we reload quickly, put pressure on the opposition and then from there we create the turnovers to go on the attack. the speed that we have it’s an element that we have been working on since Day 1, we work on that speed, we work on that transition  to help us offensively and defensively.
  • “Unless you are a hockey fanatic who follows the different structures that you need to get the puck back, odds are that the average fan doesn’t pick up on that. Our players need to know the structures when they don’t have the puck so that when we get the puck back we can go on the attack
  • Brad Richards is Driven, “I can’t put into words what that feeling is. It’s so good that it’s all you think about from there on out that you want another one because you know that night, that excitement and what you accomplish with your teammates and the people in the organization it’s unbelievable and that is what drives you still and that is why players play as long as they can because there is always that dream of lifting the cup again and to do it in NY would be unbelievable…..when you get older you assume more responsibilities and you just know more and it doesn’t mean it always works, it’s a hard game to play and you grow as a person….the older you get the more you gotta do. It’s a young league right now and they are coming in with more advanced knowledge on nutrition and how they train and doing things at 15 years old that I didn’t get a chance to do until I was like 20. You need to keep up with that and do more because your body needs to recover…..when you add experience and the calmness that comes with experience all of that helps. Bouncing back from bad things and bad things that will happen, it’s how you handle them and break back out. You play hard and all those things are part of the experience and I have learned a lot with all that stuff. In the end you need to remember how lucky and fortunate we are. After struggling last year I tried to put that focus on here and when you realize how special it is to have this opportunity it’s pretty easy to come in here happy and when guys forget that, It’s something to always remind yourself, to smile and as the years go on you try to have more fun because you know that it won’t last forever.”
  • AV on Richards, “brad has been real good for our group, a strong force in the dressing room. He is an established player and been through the wars, been through the battles. Great leaders and great examples and from day one he has been easy to work with and done everything that I wanted, he came in in great shape and we have been fortunate to have him.”
  • On MSL and Richards being together again, “I think they are real excited to be playing together again, both excited to reconnect, they won the cup in Tampa, they know how challenging it is, they need to be at their best every day and know the aspects and we are very fortunate to have them on our team.”
  • On them being workout partners, “I think it’s been huge, if you consider last year was a lockout season it was a long time before those guys stepped on the ice in January. The fact that him and Marty trained together, everyone knows MSL is a conditioning fanatic works extremely hard and that is why he is still playing at such a high level.”
  • Brian Boyle on the PK, “he brings strong on faceoffs, real smart player, can read what the other team is trying to do. With his size he doesn’t mind blocking shots which is something that you have to do if you are gonna kill penalties. He has been a huge part.
  • On Moore and Klein, “they have fit well together. Kleiner is more of a stay at home guy and John likes to join the attack. Kleiner protects him a bit and John when he sees a how I want him to use his speed and jump in the attack.”
  • On matching up with the Flyers and Bruins, ” We have had some great games against those teams, they are elite  teams and a team like Boston went to the finals but that is down the road and we need to focus on the next game and next opponent.”
  • Are you scoreboard watching, “I think everyone is in scoreboard watching mode. 10 teams fighting for 6 spots, after Pitt and Boston everyone is right there and we are battling real hard to get in.”



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