Alain Vigneault met with the media following Rangers practice today (NYR):
- On seeing the real Keith Yandle lately, "he is definitely playing some strong hockey and not just with the puck but defensively, like I mentioned two days ago, I don't expect him to crush anyone, he isn't a physical defenseman but I do expect him to be dependable, good stick position, tie up his man when he is going to the net. The added ice time for whatever reason has made him play better. Hopefully he will continue that. He is an important part of our team as far as puck movement and our transition and defense to offense. When he is on top of his game, like he is right now, he is helping us out."
- Will it be tough to get him that ice time when everyone is healthy, "I would say that a lot of it depends on how the guys are playing. When Mac is playing the way he was before his injury, you gotta give him those 23 to 26 minutes a game. There is only 60 minutes on the left side and 60 minutes on the right side so when Mac is playing that way and depending on if we are playing a team that has two lines that can score, sometimes we use Marc a little bit more against that. You try and distribute the ice time as much as you can but it has to do with how the game is going also. Are we ahead? Are we behind? If we are behind there is a good chance that Keith is going to play more. Faceoffs in the offensive end, good chance he plays ahead of Marc, maybe not ahead of Mac, but ahead of Marc. Every game is different and brings out different situations."
- On the PK, "In Toronto we were pretty solid there. We were solid against a team last night that has some highly skilled guys. Our personnel made some better reads and better pressure. We have always been a good PK team and our PP has been able to go on positive stretches. Just gotta get it together. Ulfie is doing a lot of video with our group and trying to get on the same page and a little bit sharper in our decisions on the ice."
- On Dan Boyle playing the left side, "that is just the situation we are in right now. Dan has done a good job of going on his offside and giving us some minutes. It's not easy, he's probably played the right side for about 95% of his career but out of the guys that we have there right now he is probably the best suited to be able to handle that. That is the way our situation is right now and he needs to handle it and he is ding a good job now."
- On Nash, "I saw him briefly this morning in the gym and asked him how he was doing and he said that he was coming along. As far as I know from talking to our medical staff and him quickly that he is on the right track. I think a couple of days ago was four weeks so he is in 4-5 weeks right now. We are week to week and hopefully he will be back soon."
- Is it all about matching desperate teams like New Jersey, "there is no doubt in my mind and we will address that with our group tomorrow. We need the points also, we are as desperate as the Devils are. We need points, they need points, all the games against them have been tight with great goaltending on both sides, not a lot of room. That is what you will see tomorrow."