Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday after Rangers practice and said (NYR):
- "He took that boot off last week, I don't remember exactly what day, but we were at MSG and he rode the bike today, is walking around. He is on schedule and working extremely hard to get back."
- Will Clendening play, "I haven't made up my mind. We have 12 forwards so the 12 forwards are definitely playing. On D we had one extra and we hadn't had a practice where we could work on our PP, I wanted to give him a good look. I will check Minnesota's game tonight, one of the hottest teams in the league, and make up my mind in the morning."
- On the decision on D, "Nick is going to play for sure but if I do change my mind, there are 2-3 guys, depending on the lineup I want to put out."
- On the break coming up, "we have been talking for a while about getting to this game for a while, and then we have 3 days to recover, re-energize, we were able to get a real good practice in and worked on a lot of things we needed to work on, special teams, worked on backchecking and coming back in our zone and picking up the right options. Tomorrow, what I don't usually do, but sine we have had two days, I am going to leave it as an optional so whoever needs to go on the ice will be able to go on, whoever doesn't think they need, they won't go. We have one more game before the Christmas break and hopefully we will play a good game because we will need a real strong game the way that Minnesota is playing now."
- On not looking ahead to the break, "that is where you count on your leadership and veteran guys. They need to make sure, the coaches will come in with a team plan on what we need to do and what we need to execute but the veteran guys need to make sure that everyone in that room is ready to play and execute and perform. We still have one more game and I am confident that the strong leadership that we do have will step up and do the right thing."
- On maybe sitting Girardi, "when you talk about these scenarios you are always talking about in an ideal world and right now, in my ideal world, in my division, it is crazy. No one is losing, there are 5 teams that are close to being in the top 7 in the league as far as wins, goals for, etc, so, this resting thing...everyone is trying to get in and you need to play your best lineup and what you feel is your best lineup and that is what we are trying to do, we are trying to win games. In an ideal world you'd like to play Hank a certain amount of games and this player but it's about winning games and it's unbelievable how competitive it is."
- How has Clendening deal with sitting, "we have talked to him a couple of times. He obviously wants to play but his attitude, and he has worked real hard in practice and he needs to stay ready. When he gets the tap to play he needs to come in and perform well. I don't know when that tap is going to be but when it does I hope he comes in and plays well for us."
- Are you pleased with this last stretch, "I don't want to talk about the last game, I have moved on, but other than we have played real hard, competed, put our structure and system on the ice and for the most part we are trying to find ways to win and that is what we will try to do tomorrow against Minnesota."
- Could Grabner play with Zuccarello again, "those are in game decisions where you are trying to spark the team or certain players against certain defense are getting good looks. It's always a possibility. Michael has been a real effective player for us at both ends of the rink and see how the game is and the opposition and make those decisions."