Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday prior to the game against Tampa Bay and said (NYR):
- On the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, "It's very special and in some of his speeches, I remember him talking directly to me and sending me direct messages on what he wanted the team to do and he always did it the right way and it is a big award for any player on this team. He meant a lot to this franchise and this organization."
- On McDonagh and Girardi, "they were our number one pair, they always had the toughest assignment. They thrived on that. They wanted to go against the best players and compete and work hard and I have nothing but total respect for those two guys. They always came and gave their 100%, never any excuses, very accountable to their performance and teammates and that is what you want from your players."
- How have you gotten the team to play hard in this stretch, "we have just talked about being professionals. We are talking to our younger guys about what is a pro and having them understand what it means to come in everyday, practice or game, and give your best. We have been focusing on that with them and giving them very precise instructions on what we want them to do and how they can get better. It's what we will keep doing for these remaining games."
- On Zuccarello, "both Mats and Marc Staal have done an amazing job. You have to look at those two guys and what Marc has done with the six D and what Zucc is doing with the forwards. So much positive reinforcements, example on the ice with how hard they are playing and how well they have played. I'm very proud of how those two have conducted themselves and helped us along."
- On Kreider's leadership role, "there is no doubt, there is more room for him to express himself with some of the key guys that were the voices in the room, now there is a place for him to establish a bigger role and he wants that. He has been doing it on the ice and that is the best place for anybody to do it. He has been doing it on the ice with his play and to some extent it has continued into the room. He is more vocal right now and it's good to see from him."
- On Jimmy Vesey, "he is coming along. Jimmy has to understand that he is a power forward and what a power has to do, go into the tough areas, the front of the net, finishing your check and being a physical element that you need. Like any young player, he is in his second year, you are looking to establish yourself as a pro and you find out what it is to be a pro and bring it every night and that is what Jimmy is learning and in that last little stretch he has been playing much better."
- "Lindy is good to go. He wasn't as vocal as he usually is but that hard heard of it is good to go."