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Ulf Samuelsson

Sam Rosen spoke with Ulf Samuelsson prior to the Rangers and Coyotes on MSG:

  • ?On how he will focus with son Henrik on the ice for Arizona, "I have to, AV is just a few feet away so I have no choice. We know he is a pretty mean guy sometimes...it's exciting and fun and proud of Henrik, he has worked hard and he gets a crack at the big time and childhood dream for sure. "
  • On the scouting report on Henrik, "pretty crafty with the puck sorta like his dad was...ha ha, he is good along the walls, strong with the puck and a big boy, 6-3, something like 215, strong on the puck.
  • What do you tell your defenders, "I told him to let him off, it's his first game, he will be overwhelmed, it's in Madison Square Garden so he will be looking around for a little while but he can make some plays for sure."
  • On the defense without Hank, "the D and the whole team has rallied and played well, we are finding ways to win and that is what good teams do, you find different players to step up and we are getting good plays from our blue line."
  • On Yandle and OEL, "they are both top-notch players on the PP and we want to stay disciplined but they will join the rush and are mobile and it's a group effort to keep those guys off the board."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with Sam Rosen on MSG before the game:

  • On the last game, ?it?s a tough team to play, Toronto. They aren?t quite in the playoffs and they are playing loose hockey and taking chances when they aren?t supposed to and sometimes it?s really hard to play against those opponents. We can for sure look at some areas where we can improve on.?
  • Where do you want to be better, ?I think, we always talk about a good gap and that starts with how much back pressure you get from the forwards and it boils down to five man units so if we can get five guys committed offensively and defensively we will be in good shape.?
  • On playing a desperate team, ?it?s a very important game for them and us. We want to put together a good road trip with the days on the trip and it?s one of those must games for Colorado and they have two really good lines and one is scoring a lot and the younger guys with Landeskog are not scoring as much but they have the chance to be a really tough opponent.?
  • On Ryan McDonagh?s game, ?he is slowing inching his way back to the player he was last year. He has been playing at a pretty good level this year but he is close to getting back to a top-notch level he can play at.?
  • On the dads trip, ?it?s great and so exciting to see them spend time with their sons and see how they are working on an everyday basis, they are having a blast.?
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Sam Rosen spoke with Ulf Samuelsson before the Rangers and Islanders on MSG:

  • On the Isles, "it's a big game and a good opportunity for us to play a good time. We are down 2-0 in the season series so we need more emotion in our locker room."
  • What happened in those two games, "they have done a good job of clogging up our rush game, we haven't seen as much skill on the rush. We would like to make some adjustments and open that up."
  • On the schedule in the second half, "it's so many games, it's all about hockey until the end of the season. Eating right, sleeping and it will be so much hockey and the consistent effort is needed every night."
  • On the Islanders strength, "it's a good four line team, they have a good blue line and a good goalie. No real weakness and they have four lines that can chip in. They are quick and can score on the rush."
  • On Kyle Okposo, "he is one hell of a player so any team that loses a player of that caliber is going to lose his skill."
  • On the goalies, "we are comfortable with both of our goalies and Henrik is playing great hockey and Cam has stepped up when he has been called on. We have the luxury of having two good goaltenders."
  • What is the goal for this team, "everyone wants to get back to the playoffs and we want to play as good as we can every game and we are not looking down we are looking up."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with Sam Rosen on MSG prior to the Rangers and Ducks:
  • On the trip, "We are feeling good about our game and we know we are playing some good teams and it's a great test to see where we are against some of the better teams in the league."
  • How will they test you, "they are good teams, big teams, top of the West, LA is a great team, they are big teams that play fast and compete hard."
  • On the Ducks, "it's a 1-2 punch that most teams don't have. It's gonna be up to our two big lines to respond and play against those guys."
  • How do they counter your game, "They have been known to play with sticks and when they have the puck it's hard to get the puck back. We have to be quick and swarm in our zone to get good D zone coverage and not give them a lot of room to operate with."
  • On the PK, "Anytime you have success on the PK your goaltending has to be superb and it has been, also the guys have worked well as groups of four and been able to pressure at the right times and at others be patient. It's hard to go after them in their wide 1-3, there is a lot of room, so you need to have patience and wait for a loose puck or rebounds."
  • Confident, "I am excited. We are playing well and have a good feeling but we all know we are up to a big task tonight."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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John Giannone spoke with Ulf Samuelsson after the second period and quoted him as saying:

  • "The puck support and willingness to want the puck has been great and key for the Rangers. When the defense go back into the zone they usually only have one option but tonight there has been two or three, the forwards are filling the lanes."
  • On Alex Ovechkin, "he can beat you 1 on 1 or sometimes 1 on 2 like we saw the other night. If we get people around him we can be better with our gaps. We have seen him rim the puck around the boards 3-4 times and that is a strong indication we are playing him the right way."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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John Giannone spoke with Ulf Samuelsson between the second and third period and quoted him as saying:

  • "the one thing we stressed was to not get out worked and I don't think that has happened but we have not created nearly enough scoring chances."
  • "our D needs to do a better job of getting shots through and being mobile on the blue line. Up front we need more skill on the rush and to create more, we need more rebounds."
  • "It will be more of the same from their team, our D is going to get involved in the rush more so it's probably going to be a dirty goal or lucky bounce that ties it."
Derick Brassard told Giannone that he felt the Rangers were playing a good game but could maybe get in front of Ward a little bit more.
Tags: 2014-15, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with Sam Rosen on MSG prior to the Rangers and Flames:

  • On Ryan McDonagh, "he is very close, skating is quicker, reaction time, timing, his passing has gotten better, he is close."
  • On McDonagh's impact, "assures us 25-30 minutes of high level defense, puck moving and all aspects of the game, tremendous asset."
  • On team defense, "goaltending out, the blue line is playing better. Commitment from our forwards to back check has been tremendous."
  • On shot blocking, "winning games, a lot of times you need to pay the price in your own zone. I think it was a season best for us."
  • On the defense scoring, "it's something that we work on, getting shots through, screens in front, a combo of a lot of things and it's nice to see the defense chipping in."
  • On Calgary's defense, "they are almost as good as ours (laughs)
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with John Giannone between the second and third period and said:

  • "Edmonton is focusing on D to not give up odd-man breaks or they are protecting the slot really well. We need to spread the puck around, go D to D and get shots through."
  • On what they told the team, "This is not a great game but we need these two. We played last night and they didn't, we need to dig down and give 100% and focus on winning the period because we really need these two points."
Tanner Glass said between periods that the Rangers need to create their own energy in the third. He added that it was important for them to be smart and get through the neutral zone with speed while making it tough for Edmonton going the other way in the neutral zone.

 

Tags: 2014-15, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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7:57PM: John Giannone, on MSG, quoted Samuelsson, before the third period, as saying "collectively, that could be the worst two periods I have seen since I got here and that is a lot of games. Hopefully that is a low point for us. We are leaving it to the leadership to rally the troops, we are not competing at a level that we need to, it is not about xs and os. We are getting crushed by EDM in our building and that is embarrassing."

5:46PM: Sam Rosen spoke with Ulf Samuelsson before the Rangers/Oilers game on MSG:

  • What happened last night, "I think the last few games it has been creeping into our games. Our structure hasn't been as sound as we would like it to be. We addressed that today and looked at a lot of video and hopefully we can play on the right side."

Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with Sam Rosen on MSG:

  • On the defense, "we have good depth this year in our organization. We have a lot of good players who have come here, now they can show off their skill set."
  • On Conor Allen and Dylan McIlrath, "Dylan has become a very good defender at the AHL level, he has simplified his game and is better with his reads and physical attributes of passing and skating have gotten a lot better. Allen is a skilled player, he you have to dial it down a little to make some safe plays and elevate them from there."
  • How will they be used, "they will probably start together but it's one step at a time and adjust accordingly."
  • "it's an opportunity to shine, we have a lot of good players in the organization. I look at it as an opportunity for these guys to come up and play."
  • How much can Girardi and Staal go, "our schedule is tough the next little while so we will try to limit, last game we had two guys out so we had no choice to play them 30 minutes. I would like to keep them in the mid 20s if possible."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Sam Rosen met with Ulf Samuelsson on MSG before the Rangers/Devils game:

  • On the defense, "I think we are looking pretty good on the blue line. We will see with Girardi but it was looking pretty good this morning so we hope he will play."
  • On the improvements, "as units of 5 we are working together hard to backcheck and making it easier for the defense to stand up with their gap control. We will be tested tonight against a good team who puts a lot of pressure on our breakouts. That will be a key tonight, to beat their pressure."
  • What was happening early in the year, "a number of things. Players try to find roles and combos, now we have found a groove here and we have a great goalie."
  • On the Devils, "If you look at their top three lines, it's a balanced team that will have success this year and it will be a good test for us today."
  • How do you slow them down, "I think we talked about beating their pressure in our zone and skating through New Jersey's neutral zone, they are good at that and very aggressive in their D zone coverage and swarm and we need to act quick and be active in the offensive zone."
  • On Matt Hunwick, "I think he has done a great job, he can play the left or the right and he can help out on special teams. He is a good player for us."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson spoke with John Giannone on MSG:

  • On replacing Dan Boyle, "it's a big blow and I guess we would rather take it early than late. He will be missed for the time he is out for sure."
  • On the PP without Boyle, "we are looking at trying some forwards out on the blueline to see if we can get something done because we don't want to overload our top guys with too much ice time at the start."
  • On Matt Hunwick and John Moore, "I think they are both capable players, comfortable playing at this level and not necessarily will be out at the same time all the time. We will get a feel for the matchups and see where it's going."
  • On playing against Columbus, "two man forecheck always gets the puck out quick. You don't want to get too engaged with small plays but it's also good not to go D to D too much, you want to keep it on the same side as much as possible and getting it too the center quickly.
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson says that the ability to use "analytics" has been around for a few years and they allows you to look at how effective different plays (such as dumping in the puck vs carrying it in) are. (Expressen)

He says that this information can be used as tool but it's "very time consuming" and hard to examine it all. (Expressen)

Samuelsson said that when he was in Phoenix (2006 to 2011) they looked at this type of information to see how they could take advantage of it. (Expressen)

Tags: Hockey Technology/Analytics, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson is now being considered an? "unlikely contender" for the vacant Penguins head coaching position. (Trib)

Samuelsson interviewed for the job with Penguins GM Jim Rutherford but Rutherford said that he is focused now on a candidate who he hadn't spoken with before. (Trib)

That candidate is reportedly Mike Johnston of the Portland Winterhawks who was considered a contender for the Vancouver Canucks job. (Trib)

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Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins is going to be in Vancouver this weekend and if all goes well he is expected to be named the next coach of the Canucks. (Bob McKenzie)

Dejsardins reportedly chose the Canucks over the Penguins. (Kevin Weekes)

Jim Rutherford said today that the Penguins top coaching candidate chose to go in another direction and that candidate was believed to be Desjardins. Desjardins spent part of the last day with the Penguins but couldn't come together on a deal. (Trib)

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9:38AM: Desjardin's interest in Vancouver's job may change Pittsburgh's plan. (Dreger)

9:37AM: Pierre McGuire says that Ulf is still involved with some other jobs and that most people did think that the connection with Ron Francis would land him the Carolina job. (TSN1050)

6/20/14 | 8:54AM Desjardins may no longer be a slam dunk for the Pens job. (Dreger)

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4:47PM: The Hurricanes have officially announced Bill Peters as head coach. (Canes)

4:46PM: The Hurricanes are set to announce Bill Peters as their next head coach. (Aaron Ward)

4:06PM: Bill Peters is reportedly the leading candidate to become head coach of the Hurricanes. (Bob McKenzie)

Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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6/18/14:

5:15PM: Darren Dreger said on TSN Drive, "he is a good guy and not that it should be enough for an NHL job but he is smart hockey man and respected as a player and has stayed in the game. From a resume perspective he pales in comparison to others. We believe that Francis is close with Samuelsson but you do have the flavor of the month which applies on an annual basis. That applied to Dallas Eakins. Managers go with who they believe in and want to find the next great coach and usually that comes at a cheaper price tag than a Dan Blysma."

2:51PM Ulf Samuelsson is one of ten people who have interviewed for the Penguins head coaching job. (Darren Dreger)

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7:47PM: Ulf spoke with John Giannone on MSG before the game:
  • How much more confident is the team, "We are excited to be here and to get another crack at it. We did a lot of good things in game four but there are still things that we could have done better and we are excited to get the chance."
  • What do you want to do better, "We want to play to our strength which is defend hard and counter punch. We have been trading chances too much in the last few games and we fell off our pace and we are looking to get back to our strengths."
  • On Henrik Lundqvist in elimination games, "He is a terrific goalie and we are excited that he is behind us and that should give us more confidence to play our game and give the shots up that we want to give up and not the really hard ones and working on rebounds and getting them out of the way and freeing the zone."
  • On rebounds, "I think there are always rebounds, it's impossible to get every puck to stick and it's when we try and get on the right side to eliminate sticks in front of the net.
11:24AM:Ulf Samuelsson was a guest on Rangers Insider on MSG last night and spoke with Bill Pidto, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti.

  • Why did you fly out to LA today and not last night, "you look at getting a full night's sleep and then fly over and then had a nice little practice on the ice and they start off slow but found it after and we are in a good frame of mind right now."
 

  • What one thing really needs to improve, "I think that we have played good minutes in game three but have strayed away from our system and team play and the momentum management of the game has been up and down and we want to play more consistent up or down. We lost our focus in the last game and got away from how we play."
  • What are you trying to do to counter the LA push, "we really gave them a lot of help in their transition. We helped them out quite a bit and we were anxious at times and we didn't read and react and LA is a good counter puncher off the rush and we need to read it properly to defend."
  • The biggest challenge for a defenseman against LA, "the combo of size and speed is sometimes unusual, sometimes you have small skilled forwards or bigger, slower ones. When you have big and fast you need to be really good with your gap and not give too much and you have to be there at the right times and if you give up the blue line it opens up a can of worms and if you open up they can beat you wide."
  • On Dan Girardi's game, "Danny is the ultimate pro and we had a talk after practice today about the stick and where it broke and he know that he got caught in no mans land a couple of times and looked awkward at times but you have to time it so perfect against Gaborik and Brown and Kopitar and Carter and if you are off a little in that position you will get hurt and he will bounce back and he has been one of our best players the whole year and has a lot of built up confidence from the season."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with Sam Rosen on MSG before game four against LA:

  • How do you get the players to buy in to feel that they can do this, "They are ready. Yesterday was a tough day and today you can feel the energy and everyone recognizes that we are in the Stanley Cup Final and we are happy to be here but we gotta come out swinging tonight for sure and the feeling is good in the room."
  • What was missing in game three, "A few things we looked at are trying to get more on the inside and had some scoring chances and some borderline scoring chances but we for sure want to fight our way to the inside. LA is a good team defending and we want our defense more involved in the offense and the cycle."
  • On the defense getting inovled, "we haven't been that good shooting from the blue line. Lots of shots blocked and LA is good at playing man to man down low. LA is backchecking really hard so you need to go hard and quick when you see that opening."
  • On defending against LA, "we can always improve on that side as well but we are good at swarming and out manning LA in the corners and defensively we are pretty happy with most things. On offense we want to be quicker on the pucks and need to be sharper on breakouts and get better and more in the middle of the ice."
  • Is the team ready emotionally, "yea, we are ready, ready and yesterday was brutal but today everyone will come out swinging."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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7:20PM: John Moore is in for the Rangers and Robyn Regehr is still scratched. It was thought yesterday that Regehr would play.

6:55PM: Ulf Samuelsson spoke with John Giannone on MSG before game two:

  • Where are the players at, "I think they are very hungry and got a first taste of the Stanley Cup Final and realized that it's very hard to win and we started off with a bang but then we sat around and watched. We are ready for a 60 minute game tonight."
  • On how the defense can improve, "we can be better with our first pass, be more active on the rush, be more active with offensive zone plays. LA is a lot of man on man and you need a defenseman to make the reads harder for them."
  • What needs to be better, "I think for us it's when we manage the puck well from our zone to the neutral zone and getting our forecheck and skilled players through the neutral zone. Getting through the neutral zone and putting the puck in plays where we can create some scoring off the rush."
  • More nerves as a player of coach, "I think as a player, now you get a little distant and have done it before and know how hard and fun it is."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson was on Rangers Insider on MSG and said:

  • On game one and what needs to change, "I think we are going to need our best game. We are playing a good team with a lot of experience in big games so they are going to do what they can do without being bothered by nerves and things like that so it will require our best game but that isn't surprising. We know what we are up against and we had some players who played good and some players who need to play better."
  • Did you run out of gas in third, "I don't think we ran out of gas at all, we made some plays early on that gave us some good looks and had guys in the right position to get in on the forecheck and we didn't accomplish that in the second half of the game, especially the third and we didn't play as well. The feeling that I had in talking with the players on the bench is there was no fatigue factor."
  • On the defense moving up the ice and creating offense, "we talked about that today, that is something that we have been doing throughout the year and getting everyone involved in the cycle and the rush and come up to the standard that we usually are at."
  • On John Moore, "He has been pretty good all year in all aspects of the game but his strength is joining the rush and that is a good thing for him to do when we have him in the lineup. A good 4 on 4 player and PP guy."
  • On the Kings defense and defending them, "Drew Doughty is I think one of the best in the league and he is gonna push the pace and a lot of times you need to make sure that you have a third man high and if there is a turnover you need to fly back. You have to have people back and make sure that Doughty and Muzzin and Martinez don't get any looks on odd man breaks.
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson spoke with John Giannone on MSG before the Rangers and Habs:

  • On the team being ready, "we gotta take it to them early because in game two they took it to us pretty hard and we made some small technical adjustments to be able to get the puck quicker in to their zone and to get forechecking which has been great so far."
  • On the defense and goals against this series, "I think Henrik is Henrik, best goalie in the league in my opinion. The group in front has worked really hard, pushing the pace from behind and eliminate a lot of the delay plays that MTL has. Our D has done a terrific job in defending and battling in front of Henrik and it's a combined effort."
  • On his family success, "hockey has been great to us overall but this year there has been a lot winning so lets push the pace and hope that I am not the guy who is falling off."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson joined Macko and Cauz on TSN Drive on Tuesday morning:

  • ?Congrats on going back to NY 2-0, "it's very exciting to be up 2-0 but we know we are a little lucky to get the W with how Montreal came out last night in the first period."
  • On coaching experience, "I think AV does a terrific job staying focused and calm and weathering the storm. We push from the bench but it's more about getting back to our game and taking some punches and keep going. Playoffs can be such an emotional roller coaster ride that you need to find a nice level to stay at."
  • On winning Stanley Cups, "I think in some ways you can get respect a little quicker. There are many ways to do it but having been there and savoring the experience and knowing the things you need to go through and how hard it is to win in the regular season and to win it all in the playoffs, it helps me to teach the young players to maintain a focus and realize what kind of climb it is."
  • On when Marty came back, "It's a tremendous story about Marty and how he is handling and his family, both sides have benefited from this incredibly sad event. It has rallied us and made us closer and given us a focus we didn't have before. His family sees it the same way, hockey is a big part of their lives and it's helping them handle the tough times."
  • On Chris Kreider being booed and does he miss being booed, "in my role it has changed a lot in the game, the league has done a great job in cleaning it up. We had some different methods of shutting down top players in my day. Kreider is big and fast and all in a lot of times and he does frustrate a lot of players, he is so reckless but he isn't mean at all, just a super athlete that goes really fast and sometimes he kind of runs into things or people."
  • Is it fun being booed, "for me, if I didn't get booed I wasn't doing my job. You can't compare Kreider to me."
  • On the game changing, "I do believe it was harder to produce in the old days when you could jump on the back, hit him in the head and the things they had to fight through to score.....I think it's a tremendous product on the ice right now."
  • On Mario Lemiuex losing, "he doesn't like it at all. He gets testy. Him and Wayne are two guys on a level and Mario was a superstar that could do his things and get his points but when it comes to playoffs it was total commitment to the teams purpose and I can guarantee you that he is sour now."
  • Who was more vocal/angry: Wayne or Mario, "both are laid back and in their own way would get the message across. None of them would embarrass a teammate but they would get the message across if someone wasn't doing their job. That goes for most great leaders."
  • What is the best bottle of win you shared with Mario, "it was a few and a few good ones and he started with a lot of French early, I wasn't a big wine drinker early in my career, I was more of a beer guy but I started with some hardcore expensive french and unfortunately I have some of those habits left so I am not that happy with how he started me out."
  • Did you ever apologize to someone on the ice, "a lot of times. A lot of times, one quick story, I remember playing in Philly and Tim Kerr was in front of the net, I was pounding on him and he pushed me down and as I was coming up he met me with a knuckle right on the nose, broke my nose and then 45 minutes later we are in a limo together heading to Atlantic City to have some fun there. I met a lot of friends the hard way so to speak."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson met with John Giannone on MSG:

  • "late and early this morning, you look at all details to maneuver and change our position. Excited that the game is here."
  • What did you see, "there are some small tactical areas but more importantly our puck possession and how we gave it away and if you feed a transition team like that they go to work."
  • On 6 in 9 nights, "it's something we have taken off the table. We know what it is but you get into the game and it's the second round of the playoffs and those things we don't even talk about. It's just petal to the metal.
  • The crowd," a huge factor, we lost the second game but recognize that we need to stay away from the roller coaster and we have home ice and we need to go out and kick some butt."
  • On Sidney Crosby, "he is a great player and we need to get more than one person to cover him, if he has it or Malkin we want to swamp them with people."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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5PM: McKenzie said on TSN Drive that his guess is that Samuelsson is the front runner.

2:40PM: Earlier today, new Hurricanes GM Ron Francis fired head coach Kirk Muller and his staff.

Chip Alexander speculates that Francis may look at his former teammate and Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson as a candidate. He also mentions Kevin Dineen, formerly of the Panthers and another former teammate, as a possible candidate.

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Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson spoke with John Giannone on MSG before the game:

  • Is this a special time for you, "it will, the history of both teams makes it special. The good years that I had with both, first with the Pens and winning the cup a couple times and making a lot of friends that I still keep up with and then the Rangers."
  • On game planning against the Pens, "I think any time an underdog is going to win or will win is when we execute but we need to bring better work ethic than the Penguins because they are according to most places in Vegas the favorites to win this series. We have a number of different areas tactically but staying together as a unit of five and read and react and push the puck out of 87 and 71's hands when they have it."
  • On 6 games in 9 days and monitoring ice time, "we are in pretty good shape right now with the group. I am pretty happy with the ice time that we spread out in the previous seven games. In some cases it was below and so we are okay but it's something we have to monitor if we are up or down by a big margin, try to spread it out but it's a war and you need to fight ever inch for it."
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Sam Rosen spoke with Ulf Samuelsson before the Rangers/Hurricanes on MSG:

  • On the season, "It's a nice feeling to know you are in the playoffs and it's truly the best time of the year when you can start competing for the cup. I don't know if there was a turning point but it took a while for everything to come together. We had some travel issues and a new staff and some new players but we managed to work through it and we have been pretty solid for the remainder of the year except for a little slide here and there. It's been a solid effort from a lot of players to get us to where we are."
  • What is the identity, "I think it's a group effort and tremendous goaltending from the back . It's a group effort and we have three lines that can score on a regular basis. Our fourth line can help out there too but they have been valuable as of late. It's a group effort and we have six D that are all valuable and those have been keys."
  • On the next three, "Some questions, as of rest, may come up in the last game or so but we want to feel good about ourselves, we want to control our destiny and get home ice if we can and keep pushing but maybe give some rest in that last game."
  • On Ryan McDonagh, "He skated today and he is very anxious to get back but we need to be patient. The value of him is so tremendous so we need to make sure he is 100% before we put him back in."
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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On MSG, Ulf Samuelsson spoke with Sam Rosen:

  • On replacing Ryan McDonagh, "he has been a horse for us and carried a big load. It may be hard to replace him but it's a good opportunity for John Moore who will get some ice time with Dan Girardi. We will find who is hungry for those 25 minutes that McDonagh carries so we will play it by ear."
  • On Moore and G, "it won't necessarily be a three group rotation, maybe it's Staal and G in d-zone draws and save John Moore for neutral and offensive zone draws. A lot of juggling with missing Ryan McDonagh.
  • On the PK, "I think AV has done a good job of putting those guys in there at the right times, not necessarily for draws, but to throw high skill players out on the fly so they can do their thing without getting stuck in our zone the whole time. It's not just offense but defense as well for those guys."
  • On shorthanded goals, "it's frustrating for a PP if they have guys like Nash and MSL out there, they are a little tentative and not making those hard plays and maybe looking one more instead of instinctively passing the puck around. It's hard to play a PP against skilled guys like that."
  • Good luck with the revamped D, "we will make it work."

Marty St. Louis spoke with John Giannone on the bench:

Tags: Marty St. Louis, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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On MSG, Ulf Samuelsson spoke with John Giannone:

  • ?On last nigh and Alain Vigneault telling them not to be afraid, "I think sometimes it works to a teams favor if you have a new coaching staff and they haven't gone through the hard times that the team has gone through there."
  • On last night, "for me, I thought it was a real exciting game. 1-0 games can be real sleepers but I felt that both goalies played tremendously well and it was a great hockey game."
  • On the team play last night, "the commitment to working 200 ft was one of our keys and our forwards were helping the D and it was a team effort."
  • On Justin Falk: I think he provided some stability and played hard and was a hard player to play against. I think he was pretty good with the puck as well considering he has been out for a while."
  • On the Kings, "The Kings are a great team and we will need another really good effort. They are a big team and good down low in their cycles and we need to use our speed."

Prior to the game, Associate coach Scott Arniel met with the media in place of Alain Vigneault:

Tags: Scott Arniel, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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In a chat with the Rangers website, Ulf Samuelsson said that the plan tonight for the Rangers is jump on Carolina much like they jumped on Buffalo on Thursday.

"They played last night and they traveled and the mentality for them is to get through the first period and we want to come out full speed and attack as hard as possible."

Other comments from Samuelsson:

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson has been conducting one-on-one conversations with his defensemen during practices, on and off the ice, as well as one the bench during play.

Michael Del Zotto told Brooks that Samuelsson is very positive, very supportive and does a great job at helping build up a players confidence.

He adds that Samuelsson, because of his career as a defenseman, understands that mistakes will happen and that when they do he is supportive and sends them back onto the ice so that they can learn and be better.

Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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While coaching in Sweden the past two seasons for MODO, Ulf Samuelsson has gotten to see Rangers prospects Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg as they competed in the Swedish Elite League.

Samuelsson told the Rangers website that he thinks some time in the AHL, to get used to the smaller ice surface, will benefit Fast and Lindberg but he wouldn't be surprised to see them challenging for roster spots in the near future.

For more on Fast, CLICK HERE.

Tags: Jesper Fast (Jesper Fasth), Oscar Lindberg, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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In a chat with the?Rangers website Anton Stralman noted that when Ulf Samuelsson was the head coach in MODO the past two years his team played a very offensive game and their defensemen were always joining the rush.

During the conversation it was noted that bringing some more offense to the defensemen and pushing them to join the rush is a priority of Samuelsson as he joins the Rangers coaching staff.

Stralman said that Samuelsson is with the Rangers "for a reason" and that he looks forward to hearing Samuelsson's ideas and learning from him.

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Keith Yandle told?USA Today that Samuelsson is the kind of coach that can have and joke around with but, "he's also one of the most intense guys I've ever met."

Samuelsson told the Rangers website back in July, "I knew I wanted to get back to the NHL and this opportunity came about and I am glad I am back with the Rangers."

He added that the two years he spent coaching in the SEL were good for his education and that during his time in Phoenix, with Wayne Gretzky and Dave Tippett, he was able to work in all areas of coaching.

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In the Rangers press release announcing the hiring of Ulf Samuelsson as assistant coach, part of Samuelsson's biography includes "The former NHL defenseman was instrumental in developing the team?s core defensemen, including Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Zbynek Michalek."

Samuelsson was an associate coach in Phoenix from 2006 to 2011 and saw Yandle start his NHL career and develop into an All-Star who had at least 30 points, 3 times over 40, since 2008-09.

Craig Morgan, at Fox Sports Arizona, writes Samuelsson showed a lot of confidence in Yandle and "oozes pride" when discussing Yandle's development.

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In a chat with the Rangers website, assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson said that he didn't realize how much of the backbone Henrik Lundqvist has been for the Rangers over the past few seasons.

Samuelsson said that he has spoken with Lundqvist during the offseason and Lundqvist told him that he is anxious to push himself to the next level and take the Rangers on a deep playoff run to the Stanley Cup.

Samuelsson said of Lundqvist, "that's such an incredible advantage to have someone as the backbone of your team with that talent and that kind of mindset."

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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Ulf Samuelsson was a guest on TSN Radio yesterday:

  • On coming back to the NHL and to the Rangers, "I took the job in Sweden to get a head coaching gig on my resume and I was always intrigued about coming back to the NHL and working with the top athletes in the world again and this opportunity came about. It was a very easy decision to come aboard and join an organization where I knew a lot of people, not necessarily the coaching staff, not the coaching staff which is all new but I know people in manage and the team for sure."
  • On MODO and the caliber of hockey, "I worked with Markus Naslund and he was the GM and set up a great set up. We ran an NHL team on a lower budget and we had all the means we needed. The hockey side is the same but the biggest difference is that it's hard to produce scoring chances on the bigger ice. They are both fun to play on, but with the bigger ice surface you have more space away from the net so you get a lot of choices for a forward coming down the wing, should I make a skill play or just glide wide and end up in the corner. A lot of times in the NHL the players try to make those high risk plays and it results in turnovers."
  • On his role with the Rangers, "I will work with the D and a little bit on PKing. We have had some meetings in NY and AV is very thorough. We have dug in deep and gone over a lot of details as we get going."
  • On working with the Rangers defense, "I am looking forward to it . It's a different gig from when you are a head coach to an assistant coach. There is more time to dig into the details of each player on the bench and work on whatever they are good at and what they need to get better at. I take my experience as a player and knowing how they think and how they should react and act in each moment in the game. It's so much fun and I am looking forward to it."
  • On Brad Richards and players looking lost, "I think, honestly, Brad is going to be a key player for us. He is only 33 years old and isn't at the point where he is old and slowing down. The shortened season and the preparation of last year probably impacted him cause I have watched him so many years. He is tremendous at creating scoring chances for himself and other players. I know he has trained really hard this summer and is anxious to bounce back. He will be given every opportunity to succeed and I think he will take it and run."
  • On his style of play and how the game has evolved, "I think the game is great right now. It is so fast, when you are at ice level, it's a tremendous thing to watch. The coaching is so structured, I think it's the best game in the world and the league has done a great job at taking some of the gray areas out since they were slowing the talent down. Now it's more of a free-wheeling skill game."
  • I am still very competitive and standing behind the bench I feel like I am almost playing. It's one of the things that bring me back to coaching. It's a great feeling to be part of a team and going for it.
Tags: Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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The Rangers have announced the members of Alain Vigneault's coaching staff:

  • Scott Arniel (more) is "Associate Coach"
  • Ulf Samuelsson (more) and Daniel Lacroix (more) are "Assistant Coaches
  • Benoit Allaire remains as "Assistant and Goalie coach"
Arniel will handle the power play and forwards, Samuelsson will handle the defense and PK and Lacroix will fill the role of "eye in the sky," pre-scouting, skill work and player development.

Announcement from the team is below:

Tags: Alain Vigneault, Assistants, Daniel Lacroix, Scott Arniel, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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When Ulf Samuelsson was hired in Phoenix, then head coach Wayne Gretzky said, "as a former teammate, I know firsthand how he played the game with intelligence and passion. We look forward to him working with our young defensemen and helping them develop into better players."

Samuelsson and Gretzky were teammates throughout Gretzky's entire time with the Rangers.

The LA Times writes that Samuelsson had a big part of keeping the spirits and morale of Phoenix players high during their ongoing ownership saga.

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This season the Rangers will welcome Ulf Samuelsson back to the organization as an assistant coach to Alain Vigneault.

Marc Staal told the?Rangers Website that he is looking forward to?reconnecting with Samuelsson after they spent time together when Staal was starting his professional career in Hartford.

Samuelsson was an assistant in Hartford during the 2005-06 season and Staal played 12 playoff games for the Wolf Pack after his season in Sudbury ended.

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According to Katie Strang, former Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson filled out the questionnaire that was sent out to head coaching candidates.

Samuelsson, she writes, is highly regarded within the organization and could warrant a spot on the bench with Alain Vigneault.

It was reported yesterday that Samuelsson is a possibility to become an assistant/associate coach with the Rangers.

Tags: Assistants, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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According to Larry Brooks, in the NY Post, the Rangers have interest in bringing in former defenseman Ulf Samuelsson to join Alain Vigneault's staff.

Samuelsson:

  • played four seasons for the Rangers, 1995-1999
  • was an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack, under Jim Schoenfeld, in 2005-06
  • was an associate head coach for four seasons with Wayne Gretzky in Phoenix and one season with Dave Tippett in Phoenix.
  • has been the head coach of MODO in the SEL for the past two seasons.
In 2011-12, MODO had 27 wins, 22 losses, 2 OT losses and 4 shootout losses.

Tags: -2013 Rangers Coaching Search, Assistants, Ulf Samuelsson, Adam Rotter
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