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May 17, 2015

Alain Vigneault


Q.テつ Your players have been asked a lot over the last month about how their experience going on deep playoff runs has helped them.テつ How has it helped you as a coach to have been down this road before?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ You know, for us, players and coaches, any time you go through playoff stretches, it just helps with your experience in how to handle the games, the highs and lows that come within a series, and the focus and the commitment and hard work that is needed to take it one game at a time and just stay on that game.
I think our team and our group of players are very mature.テつ They've understood that and they're dealing with that the way they're supposed to.

Q.テつ Any concern with Tanner not being out there?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ No.テつ Another maintenance day.

Q.テつ Has Zuc started skating?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ I could not tell you.

Q.テつ The Lightning signed Stralman in July.テつ Rick Bowman said you're going to love this guy.テつ What did you like about Stralman here and what do you know about his progression in his game this year?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ Well, he played a major role for us last year.テつ I mean, he was in our top four, played big minutes against top players.テつ He was a top four defenseman.テつ Every team has cap issues, and we had cap issues at that time.

Q.テつ Tampa has a terrific road record during the season, the best in the league.テつ How critical is it?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ Their record is better than ours?

Q.テつ I meant home record.テつ Sorry about that.
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ You almost got me there.

Q.テつ I almost got you.テつ I tried.テつ By the way, has Zuc started skating yet?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ Are you asking me about their home record?

Q.テつ I'm asking how critical it is for the Rangers to win at home because it might be tougher to win in Tampa.
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ At this stage of the season where you're down to four teams, all teams can win at home and on the road, I believe anyway.テつ So we're going to focus on tomorrow, and we know it's going to be a really tough game.テつ They're going to play really well, and we're going to play really well.テつ We're going to give it our best shot.

Q.テつ How much of your team's comfort with the one‑goal games, the close games, is preparation, and how much is the experience of doing it so much?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ I would say it's a combination of both.テつ We try to play the right way.テつ The right way permits us to make the plays that are needed.テつ Sometimes it's a defensive play, sometimes it's an offensive play.
Obviously, in last night's game, there were more chances than a normal 2‑1 game.テつ But at this time of the year, you're meeting all the best goaltenders and it's normal to sometimes have some of these.

Q.テつ Back in training camp you knew that McDonagh was the right guy to lead this franchise.テつ But since he's had to deal with all the things that come with being a captain, how much growth have you seen from him?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ He's only going to get better.テつ I mean, he's a very young person with great principles and great values, so as he grows as a person and as he is growing as a player, he's only going to touch more people and share his experience and wisdom with them.テつ He's going to make our group better.

Q.テつ When you decided to put Girardi and McDonagh against the Johnson line, was that simply Johnson's line was hot and that's the way you wanted to work it or what was the decision?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ They've been their best line so far.テつ Not to say that the Stamkos line is not a big threat also, but throughout their first series, Johnson's line has been the more effective.
So for that game last night we decided to go that way.テつ Doesn't mean we're going to go that way tomorrow.テつ But for yesterday's game that is the approach that we took.

Q.テつ Did you feel last night's game was one of your defensive core's best game as a group of six?
COACH VIGNEAULT:テつ I thought considering the pressure that Tampa puts on the opposition, I thought we were fairly good at spending just a limited amount of time on our end.テつ They did have some shifts, they had good possessions.テつ But our guys for the most part were able to read the pressure and break out.テつ I like the way we supported the attack and played in the offensive zone.テつ So as a group of six against such a strong opponent, it was a good game for us from the back end.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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