Alain Vigneault met with the media on Tuesday and said (NYR):
- On Jesper Fast, "this morning he did his on-ice testing and had the fourth best score of our whole group. I think he is closing in here, might need a couple of practices, not sure of the time length, I haven't talked to our doctor or Rammer, but I will at some point today or tomorrow. I would say a week to 10 days he should be ready to go."
- What do you miss most from him, "It's not one player, Quickie is an important player to our group but right now, we are a work in progress. We are trying to sort out our identity, trying to sort out the chemistry, whether it be in duos and linemates. It's where we are. We have a lot of work ahead of us, everyone wants to put in the work and effort that is needed. We had a good day today as far as some video and on ice stuff. Tomorrow we will have a good practice and get ready for Columbus."
- Was this a set day for skill work, "this was planned quite some time back. We look at the schedule and plan what is ahead, what we should be doing on certain days. I know that the results aren't what we want them to be but we have a plan, it's a smart plan. It's a plan that I want executed. We know what is ahead of us and today was a good day for us."
- What is a skills practice, "it's to get our players to work on their skill level. A lot of times you don't see it because you come in for the official team practice at 11 or 12, every practice we have, I would say 4-6 players who go on an hour before with our skills coach and they work on different skills. Defensemen work on things like mobility and passing and stride and one- time shots from the point. Forwards on bringing pucks to the net or handling it with traffic and cones or whatever. This is done on a regular basis prior to practice. With us having 4 in 6 nights and two days and then a back to back coming up, we thought this was a great day to get one of the hockey school days. Forwards get split into two groups and the D get together and they work on different individual skills that are used in a game. It's more skill specific to in-game situation. Players usually love these days, we didn't have enough, Joe, when we were young, it would have been a good thing. Now, with the technology and different coaches it's something that the players can work on."
- On the defense pairs, "Our first two periods 5 on5 we didn't have a lot of energy or will power, didn't generate a lot. In the third we played smarter, more north/south, got pucks behind him. They had a lead and were clogging up the neutral zone and it was hard to get through and then you have to play higher percentages. In the third we had some looks and opportunities and zone time, good energy, good will power but it wasn't good enough. Our situation is that we need to get better and we have a great test in front of us on Friday and we will be ready."
- Is there a pattern to what has gone wrong, "quite a few areas of improvement but also some good things. Defensively, last night we didn't give up a lot, didn't give up a lot against Montreal. I just believe that we can play a quicker game than we are right now. It's forwards and D being on the same page and once we get the puck, what pressure are we under and where can we go to get available. That will permit us to get on the same page. I've addressed a lot of the areas without the puck where we have to be better, I need to address more with what we have to do with the puck."