Rangers Notebook: Head coach Alain Vigneault praises Red Wings

Daniel Cleary
Daniel Cleary and the Red Wings got a lot of respect from Alain Vigneault on Thursday.
Credit: Getty Images

Head coach Alain Vigneault’s seven seasons in the Western Conference have given him an appreciation for the Red Wings.

That hasn’t changed, even though both Vigneault and the Red Wings are now in the Eastern Conference.

“They’re a team in my estimation [that has] a real solid foundation,” Vigneault said after a full-team morning skate at the Garden Thursday. “They do things consistently — in my opinion, again — the right way: very strong on the puck, very hard team as far as reloading, backchecking, pursuing the puck to get it back and when they have it they work like bastards to keep that puck. It’s unreal how hard those guys work.

“One thing offensively I think they do as well as, if not better than, any other team in the league is net presence,” Vigneault said. “There’s always one guy on each line who almost seems like — he’s not but it almost seems like — he’s designated to go stand in front of the goaltender to make it real hard on him. That’s why they’ve been one of the best teams in the league for so long.”

The Rangers entered Thursday night’s game one point ahead of Detroit in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Rangers are in eighth in the Eastern Conference with 51 points. The Red Wings are in ninth with 50.

Detroit has qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in 22 straight seasons. The last time the Red Wings missed the playoffs was 1989-90.

“They’re going to come after us,” Vigneault said. “They’re a good skill team. It’s going to be a real tough game for us. We’re going to have to be at our best. [If] I’m a player [or if] I’m a coach coming in here today, looking at the standings, it’s going to be a great game.”

Detroit did not have regulars Johan Franzen, Jonas Gustavsson, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson and Tomas Tatar. Franzen, Gustavsson, Datsyuk, Helm and Ericsson were out with injuries, while Tatar returned to his native Slovakia for his father’s funeral.

Changing defenses

The hiring of Vigneault as coach was done to bring about a complete philosophical change from the approach favored by John Tortorella.

Among the differences between the coaches is the man-to-man defensive system Vigneault has implemented. Under Tortorella, the Rangers were a zone defending squad.

After some early season gestation period in which the system was criticized, the Rangers appear to have developed a comfort level.

“I think we’re doing a good job of figuring out now, man-on-man it puts a lot more onus on you as a player to beat that guy and make a good play on him,” defenseman Dan Girardi said. “We like this system a lot.

“I think it took longer than it maybe should’ve. Obviously the first 10, 20 games we were struggling defensively and not winning many games. It is a little bit different when you’re used to having a safety valve behind you and having that next layer [when an opponent tries] to get to the net.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…