Coach Speak: Rangers Alain Vigneault after Game 1 loss in LA

Comments from Rangers coach Alain Vigneault after his team’s overtime loss to the Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final…

Q. Did you feel early on you were able to set the pace? Where do  you feel it got away from you?

VIGNEAULT: I don’t think we set the pace. I liked the way we played in the first two periods. I thought it was a hard-fought, you know, first 40 minutes by both teams.  Not quite sure what happened there in the third. Not sure if it was them being that good or us stopping moving the puck and skating and going north/south.  They definitely took it to us in the third and they were able to get a bounce on the winning goal and put it in the back of the net.

Q. On the winning goal, should Pouliot be staying in the zone?

VIGNEAULT: He thinks that’s an automatic play. The puck  bounced over Dan’s stick. Not sure what he could do there. It was an
unlucky bounce on our part, a fortunate bounce on their part.  Couldn’t put the handle on it. I mean it was a bang-bang play. We were going north/south. We thought the puck was moving.

Q. Did you think the number of chances that you didn’t put away  probably came back to haunt you in the end?

VIGNEAULT: Well, could say the same thing for them. I think  after 40 minutes both teams chance-wise maybe we were a little bit better in the first there. But it was a pretty close game. Could have been 2-1,  2-2 for either team.  In the third, they just were the better team on the ice.

Q. What is the adjustment you need to make going into Game 2?

VIGNEAULT: Let me look at the tape here. We got 48 hours to  make some adjustments before we play Saturday.  I’ll look at the game film and we’ll go from there.

Q. Is John Moore a definite for Game 2?

VIGNEAULT: Again, I haven’t talked about lineup decisions here as we move throughout the playoffs and I’m not going to start tonight.

Q. Talk a little bit about Hagelin. Speed seemed to be a big weapon for you today.

VIGNEAULT: Yeah, his speed shorthanded was definitely a  positive factor for us. We just need to be able to generate the same thing five-on-five.

Q. You knew how heavy a team they were, they are. Now that you’ve  seen it firsthand in these playoffs, what is your take on the physicality they bring?

VIGNEAULT: Well, they’re a good team. I mean, they come at  you hard. When you make a play, you got to be willing to take the hit to
make the play. That’s something we knew coming into the series.  I thought for 40 minutes we handled it real well. Not quite sure what happened in the third there.

Q. Do you feel like you let the Kings off the hook a bit?

VIGNEAULT: I feel when you play against such a good opponent  that has all that strength you need to play a full game. For whatever reason tonight we just weren’t good enough in the third.

Q. What did you think about Lundqvist tonight?

VIGNEAULT: I mean, he was the reason why we went to overtime.  I mean, he gave us a chance. When you get to overtime, a lot of times it’s a bounce, it’s a shot. Tonight they got it.

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