Alain Vigneault spoke with the media in New Jersey prior to tonight's game against the Devils:
- On Henrik, "He came in to see us on Tuesday. I talked to him when he got eliminated, talked to him on Tuesday and he is following the schedule except that he went on the ice with Ben yesterday. Couldn't wait until Saturday, so he went on the ice with the injured guys and took a few shot."
- Will he play 1 and a half games, "I would say so at this time. Without having talked to him about that one on one, I would say that since he went on the ice yesterday, today and will practice tomorrow, in our last three games he is probably going to get a half and the last one."
- On the goalie plan tonight, "half and half. Antti is going to start and Hellberg will finish."
- On Zuccarello, "I texted right after and he is going to come in and see us tomorrow. He has played a lot of hockey, not just the World Cup but he had qualifying. I will talk to him tomorrow and see how he feels and see what is best for his situation."
- On JT Miller, "We saw, without a doubt last year, that a young man took a significant stride. Offensive capabilities, has bite to his game, I think he would like to become a good overall player which means that you can trust him at both ends of the rink. A lot of JT's decisions that would make him a real solid two-way player are the more higher percentage decisions with the puck. Don't want to put too much emphasis on that since you want players to have creativity and have a little room but there is a time to do that and the score, different things that come into account. As he gets more mature, experience is probably the better word, he will make the better decision more often. For the most part his game took great strides last year and we are expecting a lot from him this year."
- On JT getting engaged by being physical, "that is part, he is a guy who needs to get in on the forecheck and finish and be nasty and one on one battles, that is how he is effective. Any time that you see that bite in him you know that he will have a good game."
- Are Fast and Grabner what you are looking for in the fourth line, "I would say that if we had those two guys on our fourth line that we would have a real good fourth line. In Quickie's case, I don't mind moving him up and down because I trust his decision making and sometimes, depending on the opposition you need to go head to head against top players and he is someone who on the right side I have a lot of confidence in. I am not exactly sure how the lineup will unfold but if we have those guys on a line together it will be an effective line."
- "It's enabled us to give more players and opportunity that they might not normally get, it's also given our coaching staff an opportunity to work more with players who might not necessarily start with us, start in Hartford, but at some point because of the condensed schedule we will need a bit more depth and when we need to call some of those guys up they will have spent a longer time with us and they will be better suited to help us when they come back."
- "Any time you can spend time with the big club where you are learning how they want to play, the type of pace but I think what is most beneficial is that a lot of players on a lot of teams got a lot more opportunities this year.