Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Excerpts from Vigneault's Sunday pre-game briefing
Some excerpts from Alain Vigneault
On Sharks: “They’ve got speed and size, and they play a real solid, fundamental game; they can beat you witht skill and if they need to beat you with size, they can do it. They’re an elite team in this league…they’ve done really good job of surrounding their veteran players with younger, highly-skilled players, on D or upfront.”
On comparing team that lost 9-2 in San Jose in early October: “I don’t even remember what it looked like, we’re a different team…One of the first days I got here, I said some teams improve, some teams fade away. If you intend on getting to the dance, you have to be one of the teams that improves. I think we’re improving; we’re in the final stretch, I think our group is ready for the challenge.”
On D Kevin Klein: “I thought it (in Winnipeg) was one of his better games, if not his best game. He Was moving his feet and passing while he was moving his feet. He joined the rush; a couple of occasions he was the guy driving the net, and we need that. For us to generate some offense we need our Ds to be involved. He was more physical, there was a presence to his game. I don’t know whether it was because Winnipeg was a bigger team. “I’m hoping that was the start of something.” Vigneault said the d-pairs would start the same way
On MSL: “Marty’s working extremely hard right now; we’ve tried him with Brad for five games, they had some good moments, but it wasn’t getting the results. In the last game, Brad’s line (with Hagelin and Pouliot) was effective. We’re going to start that way tonight.”
So that translates to Kreider-Stepan-Nash; Zuke-Brassard-St. Louis and Hagelin-Richards-Pouliot to begin. And a fourth line of Boyle-Moore-Carcillo.