New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault confirmed earlier today that he had spoken with the National Hockey League about Dwight King’s Game 2 goal.
“Yeah, I did,” Vigneault said. “It will just be between me and the league.”
After Game 2, Henrik Lundqvist disputed that King had interfered with his ability to make a save on the goal that brought the Kings within one in the third period.
“I’m extremely disappointed on that call or non-call,” Lundqvist said after the game. “They’ve got to be consistent with that rule. We, in the second period get called for a penalty and the puck is not even there. They score a goal and I can’t even move.”
“It’s extremely frustrating for them to get life like that. After that, it’s a different game. I don’t expect a penalty on the play but they need to blow the whistle. A goalie can’t move when you have a guy like that on top of you. It’s such an important play of that game.”
Dwight King spoke about the goal from his perspective yesterday.
“For the bulk of the play, I was pretty much battling to get to the front of the net with McDonagh,” he said. “As far as that went, that was my main focus, trying to get to the front. When the shot came, the ref made the call, that’s the way it stood”
He also characterized the blurred line between goaltender interference and the need to make life difficult on goaltenders with bodies and screens – something the Kings have done well this series.
“You need to get traffic, make it hard on them to see pucks, to stop pucks. That will never change. Obviously there are rules that protect them, so you have to play within those.”
Alain Vigneault, on the Brad Richards line:
I mean, I’m sure Brad, with his experience, knows that their whole line needs to be better. If you look at the stats on that night, it obviously wasn’t one of their better nights. But they’re veteran guys. They’ve been around. They can evaluate their game real well. I’m sure they’re going to have a good bounce-back game tonight.
Vigneault, on the fourth line finding success by keeping things “simple”:
I would say to you that our three lines – Step, Brass, and Dominic Moore – last game did exactly that. They got pucks below the top of the circles. We spent a lot of time in their end cycling pucks, getting pucks on the net, getting opportunities. Chance-wise we’re right there with them. We played some good hockey. We got a little bit unfortunate in that last third period. But, you know, we’re right there. We feel real good about our game. Going to be a great night to be hockey fans tonight.
Vigneault, on Martin St. Louis getting comfortable as a Ranger:
Marty is real dominant by himself. When he got here, offensively he wasn’t producing to the pace he was used to, the way he wanted to. He was doing a lot of other things real well. He was playing, in my estimation, the right way. When you play the right way, you give yourselves a chance. Even though he wasn’t on the score sheet, our team was doing what’s important – we were winning a lot of hockey games. When we got into the playoffs, he was still playing the right way, found a way to get on the score sheet. Obviously you only get to this stage if your top players are doing that.
Vigneault, on Dan Girardi responding with an “impressive” Game 2:
I personally wasn’t impressed in the sense that I knew that’s how he was going to respond. Dan’s got a lot of mental capabilities. He got unfortunate there. We seemed, in the first two games, to have a couple of those bounces not go our way. Things always even themselves out. With the right effort, the right attitude, they say if you work hard, luck will come with you. Well, we’re working hard, working our butts off here. Very confident we’re going to have that same type of effort tonight and are going to be real good.
Vigneault, on his message to the team:
We have to hold serve, and we know that. But we know our game and we know the way to play. When we do that, we’re a good team. We have done that for the most part throughout this series. But even though we’re playing hard and we’re playing the right way, they’re a great hockey team. I mean, it’s been nine periods of real good hockey so far. Could have gone one way or the other. They’re up 2-0. Give them full credit. We’re going to try to make this a series tonight.
Vigneault, on whether he expects Brad Richards to respond well in Game 3:
Without a doubt, Brad is a veteran player. I know he’s going to respond real well. I’m confident that’s what he’s going to do.