Canucks and Beyond

Post-Game 1 with Alain Vigneault

06/02/2011 at 1:47am EDT

Post game highlights video here.

Post-game Q&A with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault:

Q. How did you enjoy coaching in your first Stanley Cup Final game?
COACH VIGNEAULT: We won, so… when you win, it’s a lot of fun (smiling).

Q. Dan Hamhuis, was it a serious injury? How difficult was it to go down to five that early in this type of a game?
COACH VIGNEAULT: He’s day-to-day. Obviously, you know, going down to five D midway through the second, with the intensity that was out there, was obviously taxing on our group.

But I thought our forwards did a good job of helping our defense out. I thought the five guys that handled the workload did a real good job of sharing the time. I thought our best period was our third period. We were down to five D at that time.

Q. Sum up the play of your third line tonight.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, they were strong. They played the way we want to play: fast, north/south, took pucks to the net. They had some grade A scoring chances.

I really liked both Max and especially Jannik’s speed tonight. Obviously there was a weapon. Raffi had a couple of nice hits tonight, obviously clutch at the right time.

Q. Is this the type of goaltending you’re expecting throughout this series?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, we got two of the best goaltenders in the League battling out. So obviously scoring is going to be a challenge for both teams.

Obviously two totally different styles of goaltending. Our goaltender always plays in the blue, stays in his ice. Their goaltender is always out of the blue and comes into other people’s ice.

We’re going to need a little bit of clarification there, especially when he’s initiating contact with our team. I’m sure we’ll be able to figure it out.

Q. What do you say about a guy like Raffi, a guy who maybe starts the season just wanting to get a job and now scores a huge goal in Canuck history?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, like I’ve said all along about Raffi, we brought him in because he was an emotional, physical player. He’s had nothing but a great attitude and a great work ethic with us all year long.

He comes to play, prepares himself real well. We need him to play the way he does. You know, he’s a little bit sometimes outside the box.

But you got to let him be who he is. That’s what we try and do.

Q. Was the Nashville series good training for this one, your guys stayed patient, stayed with the program?

COACH VIGNEAULT: I thought there was a lot of offense on both sides tonight. It might have been a 1-0 game in the last 30 seconds, but I thought it was up and down. Both teams had to fight for every inch.

Nashville series was obviously different than the Chicago series. But Nashville and San Jose, they were both real intense, physical series.

This Boston team is another big, physical, intense team.

Q. Your thoughts on Kesler’s play at the goal?

COACH VIGNEAULT: After watching him tonight, how do you think he is (smiling)? He’s a workhorse. Great second-effort play on that goal. That’s what we expect and need from him every shift.

Q. Can you talk about your third line in the sense that Daniel was saying when your third line plays that way, you win a lot of hockey games. Talk about their effectiveness.

COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, obviously I thought that line was real effective at both ends of the rink, speed-wise creating turnovers, playing the physical type of game that we know that they can play. They got some grade A scoring chances for us tonight.

Q. There was a nasty edge to that game tonight. Did you expect that sort of game tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, with what’s at stake, I expect both teams to want it real bad. That’s what we saw tonight.

Thanks, guys.

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