Comments from New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault following the team’s morning skate in advance of Game 3 vs. The visiting LA Kings…
Q. How concerned were you with Richards’ game in Game 2? Do you feel changes might be necessary as far as the forward alignment?
VIGNEAULT: I mean, I’m sure Brad, with his experience, knows that their whole line needs to be better. If you look at the stats on that night, it obviously wasn’t one of their better nights. But they’re veteran guys. They’ve been around. They can evaluate their game real well. I’m sure they’re going to have a good bounce-back game tonight.
Q. Take a look at the success of the fourth line, the way they got the puck in, cycled. Is that a message if you keep it simple you’ll have more success?
VIGNEAULT: I would say to you that our three lines – Step, Brass, and Dominic Moore – last game did exactly that. They got pucks below the top of the circles. We spent a lot of time in their end cycling pucks, getting pucks on the net, getting opportunities. Chance-wise we’re right there with them. We played some good hockey. We got a little bit unfortunate in that last third period. But, you know, we’re right there. We feel real good about our game. Going to be a great night to be hockey fans tonight.
Q. Marty St. Louis said it took him a while to get comfortable in this lineup. When did you see him get comfortable and what did that look like to you?
VIGNEAULT: Marty is real dominant by himself. When he got here, offensively he wasn’t producing to the pace he was used to, the way he wanted to.
He was doing a lot of other things real well. He was playing, in my estimation, the right way. When you play the right way, you give yourselves a chance. Even though he wasn’t on the score sheet, our team was doing what’s important: we were winning a lot of hockey games. When we got into the playoffs, he was still playing the right way, found a way to get on the score sheet. Obviously you only get to this stage if your top players are doing that.
Q. After the way Game 1 ended, was Girardi’s Game 2 even more impressive?
VIGNEAULT: I personally wasn’t impressed in the sense that I knew that’s how he was going to respond. Dan’s got a lot of mental capabilities. He got unfortunate there. We seemed, in the first two games, to have a couple of those bounces not go our way. Things always even themselves out. With the right effort, the right attitude, they say if you work hard, luck will come with you. Well, we’re working hard, working our butts off here. Very confident we’re going to have that same type of effort tonight and are going to be real good.
Q. If you’re down 2-0, coming home, sometimes the urge is to do too much. What is your message to the guys, not to do too much out of their element?
VIGNEAULT: We have to hold serve, and we know that. But we know our game and we know the way to play. When we do that, we’re a good team. We have done that for the most part throughout this series. But even though we’re playing hard and we’re playing the right way, they’re a great hockey team. I mean, it’s been nine periods of real good hockey so far. Could have gone one way or the other. They’re up 2-0. Give them full credit. We’re going to try to make this a series tonight.
Q. It was a tough a game for Brad Richards. Do you have the same expectations you have for Dan in Game 2?
VIGNEAULT: Without a doubt, Brad is a veteran player. I know he’s going to respond real well. I’m confident that’s what he’s going to do.
Q. Did you have any more communication with the League about the Dwight King goal?
VIGNEAULT: Yeah, I did. It will just be between me and the League.