Stanley Cup Final off-day transcript: Alain Vigneault

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From the NHL/ASAP Sports:

ALAIN VIGNEAULT

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach Vigneault.

Q.  After the way Game1 went down, advantage for you to have the two days in between as opposed to one day off?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  It’s the same for both teams.  I don’t see an advantage in it.
I mean, the schedule is what it is.  At this time they said two days in between games.  So took yesterday off.  Guys got away from the game a little bit.  Today we had a good practice.  We had a good meeting before.  We’re going to be ready tomorrow.

Q.  We certainly made a lot of Henrik making his first Stanley Cup Final, how much that meant to him.  The way you talked about the way he played the other night, does that tell you he was ready for this stage?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  He’s an elite goaltender.  You know, from how I got to know him this year, he had maybe a little tougher start.  But once he got his game going, went to the Olympics, did extremely well.  You could tell he was focused and looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity of the playoffs.
He’s been one of our great performers and we need him to continue.  We need him to play the way he has been for us.  I’m sure that’s what he’s going to do.

Q.  A question about overtimes.  You haven’t had many.  Do overtimes in the playoffs take physicality away from teams, tire teams out, or is it not really a factor?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  In an overtime, you know, one shot could be a win or could be a loss.  I mean, I look at the last game.  In my estimation we’re probably going on a three?on?two and then the puck bounced and then we get caught.
You try and continue to play to your strengths and you hope that you’re going to get one past the opposition.

Q.  Fatigue?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  It’s a factor obviously for both teams once you get into overtime.

Q.  How do you expect Girardi to respond?  Seemed to take it pretty hard the other day.
COACH VIGNEAULT:  I think he’s going to be fine.  Everybody understands the dynamic of that play.  You know, Dan’s got to turn the page and move on.  He’s been one of our real solid defensemen, not only in the playoffs and the regular season, but he’s a real hard worker, and I’m sure that he’s focused on the next game now.

Q.  A number of your guys today talked about how there was another gear needed in the Finals as opposed to the first three rounds.  As much as you talk about it, was it a case where guys need to get into it, to experience it, to understand what that means?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Well, probably till you’ve lived it, you know, coaches and guys that have been there can say what they want.  Like I mentioned prior to the series, sometimes experience is hard to get.  When I mentioned prior to the series to the team, and I think I mentioned to you yesterday, that we need everybody’s A game, it’s not just because it’s a great opponent, but it’s the time of the year.
You know, if you’re in the Finals, and your expectations are to win, you have to bring your best game to the table.  Our guys are aware of that.  Our guys are talking to themselves, between themselves about it.  We’re all looking for a better response tomorrow.

Q.  It certainly appeared like you’re planning on putting John Moore back in based on how they skated today.  Can we anticipate that?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Like I’ve told you all along, I mean, I’m not going to discuss lineup.  You watched practice today, so…

Q.  Any update on Cam?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Still day?to?day.  Nothing’s changed there.

Q.  If need be, is J.T. Miller available at this point?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  Yes.

Q.  Understanding you need more, do you need more from your centermen?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  They’ve got a real strong group down the middle.  A lot of their plays start with faceoffs and the low plays and through the neutral zone.
Our guys need to manage the puck well.  We manage the puck better, we can play a faster game, and that’s been one of our strengths.

Q.  John Moore said your staff worked him pretty hard when he was out.  How does he look to you?  What’s it like for a player to come back mentally after a suspension?
COACH VIGNEAULT:  As far as him being ready, I know that if we need him, he will be.  He works extremely hard.  He’s only missed two games.
How he’s going to respond after being suspended, that question goes to him.
I think he’ll be fine.  He’s given us some real important minutes this year and I think he’ll be fine.

Q.  In the aftermath of the hit, the suspension, do you speak to him at all about the play?  He was very sorry about it.
COACH VIGNEAULT:  I was on the conference call when John spoke to the NHL about the incident.  He spoke about how he saw the hit and the play in a real smart way.  At that time there was an exchange between him and the people from the NHL.
I think he understands.  He’s ready to move on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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