Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday and said the following (NYR):
- On Marc Staal and Dan Girardi: "they are huge. It's no secret that one of the areas that we need to improve, yesterday we talked about the PK, but we all know that our overall defensive play needs to be better in all facets, whether it be in our zone to coming back to our zone. Those guys are such a big part of that, good gap, good sticks, being able to win some one on ones down low because our second guy is down there and gets the puck. We spend less time in our zone. I talked to both of them, Marc has told me that he feels strong and that his legs feel strong. Those battles that he used to win with a big body presence, I believe that will enable us to play a real fast pace defensively and offensively. We need those players on top of their game. Come tomorrow we start to practice and hopefully we see it in the near future."
- On the fourth line center candidates: "there is quite a few. From [Josh Jooris] that we picked up during the summer to obviously [Oscar Lindberg], to [Marek Hrivik], to [Maxin Lapierre], to etc. There are quite a few possibilities. I just look throughout the NHL and the teams that seem able to win or have won, Pitt last year, three pretty good offensive lines and one line that was doing all of the defensive zone faceoffs. I don't like to talk about us in the past but in my first year we had three lines that could score and a fourth line that helped on the PK, etc. LA was built the same way, Boston was built the same way a few years back. It's something offensively, our depth, is going to permit us. We just need to find the right people on those three lines, that good internal competition, and then find the people for the fourth line."
- On Rick Nash wanting to prove himself: "it's the right attitude to have. A player should want to come here and prove and earn the ice time. We talked about it yesterday, solid two-way player but there is no going away from the fact that we need his offense. We need him to be on the scoresheet, we need him to be a force offensively. We know that he is smart and understands the game and plays a smart two-way game, but that offense that he brings, he is one of elite offensive players and we need that from him."
- On Dylan McIlrath: "he has some good internal competition on the right side. If Dylan plays on a regular basis in the NHL it will be first and foremost because defensively he is real dependable. When you talk about that you are talking about a good gap, good on one on ones. What we also see from Dylan is good puck decision. Doesn't need to be 2-3 guys going up the ice but he needs to make a good first pass to do that. You need to beat the first forechecker, if he can do that and make that first pass then he has some good internal competition there on the right side. With his size, I've been here for four years and I have seen him progress the four years. I'm expecting him to be better than he was at the end of last year. He has exhibition games to prove it, very well respected and liked by his teammates. Brings an element that all teams like to have. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks he will prove that he can make our team."
- On Girardi, "I do believe that after a summer that he was able to get as far as mental break, physical break, being able to heal his body. Everything that I have seen so far, all the indications not just what I have seen on the ice and in the gym but how he is conducting himself, real positive attitude is giving me every indication. He has been so good for so long and the warrior who put his body on the line for his teammates, I think that is the Dan Girardi we are going to see." (Rangers Report)
- McDonagh, Stepan and Miller will likely be off until Tuesday or Wednesday. All three players said that they don't want to take a lot of time off. (Rangers Report)