Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday prior to the Rangers game against the Predators (NYR):
- On Girardi, "he took a shot, he blocked a couple of shots last game, but he took one off the foot and it opened up and he had to take a couple of stitches so he won't play tonight but I am hoping that it won't be long. The swelling has to go down and he should be good in a couple of days."
- On Holden, "every time we talk about Nick since he has been here, the first word that comes to mind is dependability. He has been very dependable, steady, high percentage, like any player he will make the odd mistake. I like his dependability when he doesn't have the puck, I like his dependability when he does have the puck. He makes the play in front of him, if it's an easy early outlet he will use it, if it's not there and its a flip or the glass he will get it out and he has been effective for us and out of all of our left handed D, other than Mac, he is the guy that is most comfortable."
- On Brady Skjei, "other than his last game, where I thought he had a tougher time with his decisions from the puck, he had played some real solid hockey for us. I like that he can skate away and beat the other team's forecheck and then jump up in the play when the opportunity is there. He has been better at getting his shots through and if it's not on the net then get a tip or something. He is one of our young players taking real positive strides and is coming along."
- More on Skjei, "he would be like, whether Buch or Vesey or JT a couple of years ago or Hayes, young players that are becoming professionals and what it takes on the ice what it takes off the ice. The discipline that a player must have to go out and perform. That is what Brady is going through. Last year he had a full year in the AHL, some good coaching and development and finished the season with us and after an average camp he has picked up his game."
- "Focused on tonight against a team with a lot of structure and some of the best offensive defensemen in the league, they jump into the play and Hank is playing tonight."
- On the Hayes line, "I think that teams might...different matchups, every team has three duos and different lines and who you will match up against. That line with Kevin, JT and Grabs are getting different matchups and that speed element and ability to make plays has been real effective for us. The way that Grabner has played and that speed has made a real positive impact on our team. It's backing off some good defensemen and giving us a little bit more room to make plays."
- On Mika Zibanejad, "bringing Mika back, another right handed shot not only helps on the PP but faceoff wise. He is another young player that I don't mention very often, he is only 23 and scratching the surface as far as talent and keep improving him and getting him better."