Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault explains silence regarding injuries

Alain Vigneault is known for having a much friendlier demeanor than the fired John Tortorella. Credit: Getty Images
Alain Vigneault will likely not be too forthcoming about injuries this postseason.
Credit: Getty Images

Silence can be the difference between a large silver Cup and an unfulfilling end to the season.

Following an optional morning skate at the Garden Thursday, head coach Alain Vigneault explained why playoff teams become tight-lipped regarding the medical condition of their players.

Call it a cat-and-mouse game or paranoia, but the underlying rationale for the philosophy is an inherent concern of a rival.

“Once the playoffs start, you’re playing an opponent [and] both teams, their goal is to win four games,” Vigneault said. “I would say to you if you know that somebody on the opposition has a weakness, you’ll try to exploit that. So injuries are something that, at that time of the year, you try to keep internal. There are different theories but I think all 16 teams abide by that.

“If somebody’s got an upper-body injury, it would be safe to say the opposition knows that and they would tell their players, ‘Let’s make sure we finish our checks on him.’ Not that they want to hurt him. Somebody’s got a leg injury or he might [have] a tough time skating, ‘Let’s challenge him more on that side,’ et cetera, et cetera.”

Home-ice disadvantage

Let’s just say MSG hasn’t been a Garden of dreams for the Rangers in 2013-14.

Entering Thursday night’s regular season finale at the Garden, the Rangers had a 19-17-4 mark at home compared to a 25-14-1 record on the road.

Still, the Rangers want home ice with the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning next week.

“We’re still playing for home ice,” Brad Richards said. “I think it’s important. In playoffs everything is so tight. It’s a different animal than the regular season. Matchups become that much more important — faceoffs, stuff like that. If it goes to an all-important seventh game and you have last change, it’s a big advantage. We’re going to try our best for it.”

Richards pointed to his Lightning team’s Game 7 wins over the Flyers and Flames in 2004, and the Rangers’ Game 7 win over Washington in 2012, as examples of the importance of having home ice.

“[We] went to Game 7, and pretty much felt in control both games on home ice the whole time,” Richards said about the Lightning’s Eastern Conference finals and Stanley Cup Final clinching games in 2004. “Even here, Ottawa and Washington my first year here — I remember more the Washington series for some reason — that Game 7 at home it seemed like we had way more jump and got a goal early [that] got the crowd into it. It helps a lot.”

Entering Thursday night’s game, the Rangers were the No. 2 seed in the Metropolitan Division playoff race, two points ahead of third-seeded Philadelphia and first wild-card Columbus. The Rangers and Blue Jackets have each played 80 games, while the Flyers have a game in hand.

The Rangers end the regular season Saturday night in Montreal.

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…