A confident Alain Vigneault met with the media earlier today to discuss what the coaching staff is doing to get the Rangers back on track.
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault met with the media today and addressed some different line combinations for tonight’s game against Pittsburgh and his motivation to get the team back on track.
AV on tonight's #NYR lineup, the play of J.T. Miller and more before the Blueshirts take on Pittsburgh. pic.twitter.com/RruO2nBb08
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 17, 2017
Adam Cracknell, Center?
Vigneault began by announcing that Adam Cracknell will be playing center tonight. “[Cracknell] has played center quite a bit. Lindy [Ruff] said that he used him there more than 50 percent of the time last year [in Dallas] so he is used to playing there and he will be effective for us.”
Cracknell is expected to center the fourth line, skating between Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich.
J.T. Miller, Faceoff Specialist
He was then asked about how J.T. Miller‘s season has gone and why he has been so effective on the faceoffs. Vigneault went on to say, “J.T. has always been good on faceoffs, especially on the strong side, good technique and strength and has been efficient for us. As far as his play, like the rest of our team, especially on offense, just a little bit off and that is one of the reasons that when you have guys with that skill level, that can play a power game
“J.T. has always been good on faceoffs, especially on the strong side, good technique and strength and has been efficient for us. As far as his play, like the rest of our team, especially on offense, just a little bit off and that is one of the reasons that when you have guys with that skill level, that can play a power game are having a tough time helping us score goals, we haven’t scored a lot of goals this year. We are looking to play a solid two-way game and finish a bit more on the opportunities we are getting.”
It seems to be the same story with most of the Rangers—they just can’t seem to get going and find a grove to start scoring some goals.
A Question Of Motivation
Vigneault seemed to be taken aback by the question of motivating his team. His response was direct and to the point.
“First of all, since I have been in this league for such a long time, I have been through this before, it’s not my first time. Even my first year in New York, we started off and it was challenging but I do believe that these moments have the opportunity to make teams better, the leadership in the room can establish itself, you can build character and mental toughness. What we are trying to do as coaches is keep our players focused on the process and we are doing a lot of work on the ice and in the video room to play the right way. If you play the right way things will turn around.”
With pressure beginning to mount on both him and his team, Vigneault managed to stay calm, cool and collected in the face of adversity. Let’s see if his team can do the same against Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup Champions tonight.