- On last nigh and Alain Vigneault telling them not to be afraid, “I think sometimes it works to a teams favor if you have a new coaching staff and they haven’t gone through the hard times that the team has gone through there.”
- On last night, “for me, I thought it was a real exciting game. 1-0 games can be real sleepers but I felt that both goalies played tremendously well and it was a great hockey game.”
- On the team play last night, “the commitment to working 200 ft was one of our keys and our forwards were helping the D and it was a team effort.”
- On Justin Falk: I think he provided some stability and played hard and was a hard player to play against. I think he was pretty good with the puck as well considering he has been out for a while.”
- On the Kings, “The Kings are a great team and we will need another really good effort. They are a big team and good down low in their cycles and we need to use our speed.”
In a chat with the Rangers website, Ulf Samuelsson said that the plan tonight for the Rangers is jump on Carolina much like they jumped on Buffalo on Thursday.
“They played last night and they traveled and the mentality for them is to get through the first period and we want to come out full speed and attack as hard as possible.”
Other comments from Samuelsson:
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson has been conducting one-on-one conversations with his defensemen during practices, on and off the ice, as well as one the bench during play.
Michael Del Zotto told Brooks that Samuelsson is very positive, very supportive and does a great job at helping build up a players confidence.
He adds that Samuelsson, because of his career as a defenseman, understands that mistakes will happen and that when they do he is supportive and sends them back onto the ice so that they can learn and be better.
For more on Samuelsson, CLICK HERE.
While coaching in Sweden the past two seasons for MODO, Ulf Samuelsson has gotten to see Rangers prospects Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg as they competed in the Swedish Elite League.
Samuelsson told the Rangers website that he thinks some time in the AHL, to get used to the smaller ice surface, will benefit Fast and Lindberg but he wouldn’t be surprised to see them challenging for roster spots in the near future.
For more on Fast, CLICK HERE.
For more on Lindberg, CLICK HERE.
In a chat with the Rangers website Anton Stralman noted that when Ulf Samuelsson was the head coach in MODO the past two years his team played a very offensive game and their defensemen were always joining the rush.
During the conversation it was noted that bringing some more offense to the defensemen and pushing them to join the rush is a priority of Samuelsson as he joins the Rangers coaching staff.
Stralman said that Samuelsson is with the Rangers “for a reason” and that he looks forward to hearing Samuelsson’s ideas and learning from him.
He added that he knows Samuelsson a little bit and that he watched him when he was growing up in Sweden. In Sweden Samuelsson is a “hockey idol.”
For more on Samuelsson, CLICK HERE.
Keith Yandle told USA Today that Samuelsson is the kind of coach that can have and joke around with but, “he’s also one of the most intense guys I’ve ever met.”
Samuelsson told the Rangers website back in July, “I knew I wanted to get back to the NHL and this opportunity came about and I am glad I am back with the Rangers.”
He added that the two years he spent coaching in the SEL were good for his education and that during his time in Phoenix, with Wayne Gretzky and Dave Tippett, he was able to work in all areas of coaching.
In terms of a defensive philosophy, Samuelsson said that no one should screen the goalie and no one should get to any rebounds.
Samuelsson told the Rangers website that he feels he has a pretty good understanding of the Rangers defense after watching nearly every single shift the Rangers defensemen took last season.
He added that he has had conversations with his former teammate and current Whale assistant Jeff Beukeboom about the Rangers defensive prospects.
When asked about his defensemen, Samuelsson said “I think we have a tremendous blueline.”
For more on Samuelsson, CLICK HERE.
In the Rangers press release announcing the hiring of Ulf Samuelsson as assistant coach, part of Samuelsson’s biography includes “The former NHL defenseman was instrumental in developing the team’s core defensemen, including Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Zbynek Michalek.”
Samuelsson was an associate coach in Phoenix from 2006 to 2011 and saw Yandle start his NHL career and develop into an All-Star who had at least 30 points, 3 times over 40, since 2008-09.
Craig Morgan, at Fox Sports Arizona, writes Samuelsson showed a lot of confidence in Yandle and “oozes pride” when discussing Yandle’s development.
Yandle praised the Phoenix coaching staff for his development, but singled out Samuelsson and the time they have spent together.
Yandle told AZ Central that Samuelsson preached that strong play in the defensive zone will lead to more offensive chances, “if you’re not playing in your own zone, then you’re in the offensive zone….that’s when you get to have fun and score some goals.”
In a chat with the Rangers website, assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson said that he didn’t realize how much of the backbone Henrik Lundqvist has been for the Rangers over the past few seasons.
Samuelsson said that he has spoken with Lundqvist during the offseason and Lundqvist told him that he is anxious to push himself to the next level and take the Rangers on a deep playoff run to the Stanley Cup.
Samuelsson said of Lundqvist, “that’s such an incredible advantage to have someone as the backbone of your team with that talent and that kind of mindset.”
Ulf Samuelsson was a guest on TSN Radio yesterday:
- On coming back to the NHL and to the Rangers, “I took the job in Sweden to get a head coaching gig on my resume and I was always intrigued about coming back to the NHL and working with the top athletes in the world again and this opportunity came about. It was a very easy decision to come aboard and join an organization where I knew a lot of people, not necessarily the coaching staff, not the coaching staff which is all new but I know people in manage and the team for sure.”
- On MODO and the caliber of hockey, “I worked with Markus Naslund and he was the GM and set up a great set up. We ran an NHL team on a lower budget and we had all the means we needed. The hockey side is the same but the biggest difference is that it’s hard to produce scoring chances on the bigger ice. They are both fun to play on, but with the bigger ice surface you have more space away from the net so you get a lot of choices for a forward coming down the wing, should I make a skill play or just glide wide and end up in the corner. A lot of times in the NHL the players try to make those high risk plays and it results in turnovers.” To read more of this story, click here
The Rangers have announced the members of Alain Vigneault’s coaching staff:
- Scott Arniel (more) is “Associate Coach”
- Ulf Samuelsson (more) and Daniel Lacroix (more) are “Assistant Coaches
- Benoit Allaire remains as “Assistant and Goalie coach”
Arniel will handle the power play and forwards, Samuelsson will handle the defense and PK and Lacroix will fill the role of “eye in the sky,” pre-scouting, skill work and player development.
Announcement from the team is below: