While speaking about Cody McLeod earlier in the week, Alain Vigneault referenced that last season McLeod was part of the Nashville Predators team that was the final team to make the playoffs.
Vigneault noted that the Predators then went on to play in the Stanley Cup Final.
Nashville finished last season with 94 points en route to the Stanley Cup Final where they lost to Pittsburgh.
On Friday, Vigneault spoke about how the Rangers need to raise their level of play and upgrade their game and, again, referenced the run that Nashville made in last year's playoffs.
Overall, Vigneault said "we just need to elevate our game throughout our team and that is the challenge we have in front of us. It starts tomorrow and no better team than the Stanley Cup Finalist to do it against."
Henrik Lundqvist noted that all it takes is a couple of "good weeks" for the Rangers to feel good about themselves again and they just need to "dig deeper and work at it harder when it's not there." (NY Post)
Lundqvist added that the Rangers goal is to be in the playoffs "no matter what" and that he "truly believes that once you're in, you never know. If you get in, it's wide open." (NY Post)
Vigneault has historically mentioned that any team that gets into the playoffs has a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Adam Rotter: The message to the Rangers is that anything can happen once you make the playoffs. Teams that finish in the last spot can make a run. It's happened before and with Henrik Lundqvist, that possibility is always there. No one, if they make it, would consider the Rangers favorites or give them much of a chance but at least they would have the chance to make a run. I think that the Rangers would love to sell, get some assets and then still make a run towards the playoffs. The injuries they have, and their play overall, might prevent that but I think that the focus of the players that remain, and certainly the goalie, will be on giving themselves the opportunity to make a run.