It's 2013. If you're a Ranger with a question, there's an app for that.
Not only are the Blueshirts watching more customized videos and having more one-on-one meetings with assistant coaches than before, but players are a click away from seeing what they did well or poorly. "Every player has the app where they can just punch on and within a few seconds, they can see all their shifts," coach Alain Vigneault said. "That's probably the best tool that they have, to look at themselves and see how they're doing, and if there's any questions in any areas, there are coaches to help them out."
Using available technology and a hands-on style is what Vigneault, associate coach Scott Arniel and assistants Ulf Samuelsson and Daniel Lacroix bring to teaching. They also read so-called advanced stats, such as a player's Corsi number, which is the shot differential while a player was on the ice. That includes goals, shots on goal and missed shots. But they do not pass that data on to players.
"I find it useful to us a little bit; it's information that we can look at and digest," Vigneault said, "but for players, I would think it would just be overkill.
"Just like Ben's [Benoit Allaire] doing with the goaltenders, what I really want is coaches to spend a lot of time one-on-one," he said. On video, they will break down "anywhere from five to 10 shifts, sorting things out, making sure they understand why they made that read, why it was the right read, and in other situations, what you need to do, until they do it instinctively."
Samuelsson, a defenseman who played 16 years in the NHL, oversees the defense, which has been more cohesive in the past six games. "Doesn't say too much behind the bench," Marc Staal said. "Pretty calm. If he sees something, he'll tell you. But he likes to talk to you after practice, see what your feelings are about the game or if you need help. It's been good."