Recap: What Alain Vigneault Said Today (Chris Kreider’s Role, Not Thinking About Derek Stepan

AVAlain Vigneault said today, via SNY’s Nick Licalzi:

On the preseason schedule, “usually you play more games at the ebginning when you have bigger numbers. We are playing 4 in 5 nights next week and it permits me, which is positive, to keep more guys and get to know the players in our organization. I see this as a real positive for all players and myself. We can go down to Banff with 39 players, spend 3 good days of practice and then play 4 days in 5 nights. I will play a lot of people and try them in different positions. It’s a real positive time that I will use for everyone’s benefit.”

  • On team bonding, “for me, this year, it’s an ideal scenario. every year for 10-12 days, we would have to revisit that. This year, it’s an ideal scenario and I can spend quality time, look, I gotta get to know my coaching staff, I gotta get to know Glen and Jeff and Jim and JR and the trainers and everyone. It’s ideal for me and for the players to get to know us not only at the rink, but at the hotels and traveling together.”
  • On Johan Hedberg, “we talked after the game with Glen and his staff and Benoit, thinking how we would use Henrik and we figured with 4 in 5 nights would be to play the first game in Calgary and the game in Vancouver. If he is playing those two and we wanna give a full game to Marty. I called Johan this morning and told him it was possible that the could get half a game bu there is also a chance you may not get a game, so since he is a well respected veteran player, I wanted him to hear it from me what the scenarios were. He just decided to stay back.”
  • On Chris Kreider, “Speed, size. You can see we are trying to use him on the PP in front  of the net, big body, if he ever becomes comfortable at doing that, it’s so tough on the goalie and helps the PP so much. It helps 5 on 5 so much if you have a guy going to the net and is gonna stay there and take the goalies eyes away. The goalie can’t stop what he can’t see. When you have a guy with that willingness it really helps you out offensively.”
  • On the goalie schedule, “I would say that the only non complete game that is up in the air is the Vegas game. It will be Henrik, Martin, Henrik and TBA.
  • On Kreider being a net front guy, “When a player tells me, it’s not an easy position to play or a place to play. The example I use is Ryan Kesler, I wouldn’t say we convinced him, but we told him that with the twins, go to the front of the net, screen the goalie and you will see. He wont the Selke, scored 21 on the PP. It’s a good spot to be if you wanna score. It’s not an easy place to be, you are gonna take some abuse, a lot of times, shots are gonna hit you and not go through. There is a willingness there. YOu look at the Holmstroms, those guys made it an art. And it is an art. it’s not an easy place to be. I see him being able to contribute, we are just trying him out there and its’ just a possibility.
  • On JT Miller, “He is supposed to be healthy. He has had two practices where he has been able to skate from start to finish. It’s my first looks, so I will give myself those games in Banff and go from there.”
  • On Marc Staal, “you are talking about a solid two-way defenseman that can be real tough to play against. As soon as he finds his rhythm he will be a useful player at both ends. All I’ve seen from him and every conversation I have had with him, he is just a real quality person.”
  • On Staal’s game against NJ, “For a first game after not being in the lineup and having that injury, as the game went on he looked more and more comfortable.
  • On Cam Talbot, “he made a big save last night. Sometimes you need to make that one save at the end of the third and permitted us to get our first win.”
  • On line combinations, “Right now what I am thinking is duos. I want to see if Richie and Nash can work, then I would like to work in the third guy. I like Brassard and Pouliot. I like Boyle and Moore and Dorsett.”
  • How does Derek Stepan factor into line combos, “At this time right now I am functioning as if he is not here. I am looking at Lindberg. The way Oscar is skating. I really liked Monte Kristo….Danny. I liked Fast also. Those guys are all pushing and they all have that skill level. I don’t know if they are ready for the NHL but they have NHL skill level. We will have to sort this out. Ryan isn’t here, Haggy isn’t here and Stepan isn’t here. I am looking at the guys who are here.”
  • On the depth at forward, “as we move forward here, there play will sort that out. I thought Powe had some good energy shifts. There is always room for that. The identity of the four lines and the 6 ds, I will have a better handle soon. “
  • On the defense, “I will be honest. The hockey will have a say in it, but the cap will also have a say in it. That is always the reality and we will have to sort that out. My preference would be to have eight d and 13 forwards and two goalies, but it depends on the money.”