Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to tonight's game against the Leafs and said (NYR):
- On the confidence level in the team, "we are a couple of wins out of second place in our division. We are in a good spot. What we need to do is play a smart game, get a couple of our players to elevate their game. It's the best time of the year. Every game means a lot and there is a good challenge in front of us and you gotta take it one game at a time. Tonight we are playing against a team that is playing extremely well, they have skill and speed, and it will be a big challenge in front us."
- On the trade chatter, "at the beginning of the year the chatter was on me, now it's on something else. As coaches and players you need to focus on the job in front of you and as players your job is to play the right way and as a coaches it's to prepare them against the opposition that we will play against and give them a plan they can implement and them and us a chance to win the game. That is what our focus solely going to be on moving forward."
- On Ryan McDonagh, "I would say that a fair statement would be that I expect a lot more from Mac. When he is on top of his game he is an elite defensemen in this league, powerful and can beat the forecheck, get up in the play, once he is up in the play he can still be back in time to defend. In my mind he is one of the best defensemen in the league. For different reasons, and you mentioned the injuries, he has had a few that are nagging a little bit but at the end of the day every player has those and you have to play through them and play well and that is what I expect from our captain."
- On Cody McLeod, "my understanding, and I am just getting to know him but the HW we did, great team guy, plays in a straight line and is a very good teammate. As I mentioned a couple of times, our depth was being tested and he added depth and experience and a bit of bite. We will give him a chance and see how he does."
- On Lettieri staying in Hartford, "he wasn't going to play right now, I wanted to get Cody in. Young player, wanted him to play and play a lot of minutes in Hartford. Real good upside with Vinny, I like his pursuit ability, his shot, not afraid to shoot it from different areas. We have a good young talent there and it takes a bit of time to develop but I like his potential."
- On Anthony DeAngelo, "defensively he has been very stable, stick is better, is in better positions to take lanes away and to take the oppositions options away. He has been good with the puck, made some good heads up plays. Most of the games, when he we have been tracking him, he has been on the positive side of chances for and against. I like what he has brought so far."