Today’s session with Vigneault is transcribed below.
Q. Alain, a very general question about what it’s taken the group of newcomers, be it off-season or mid-season guys, to understand your goals to be the important pieces they’ve been. How have they adapted?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I don’t think it took them very long at all. Probably the main reason for that was the strong leadership that we had in our dressing room, the fact that the quality individuals we have in there knew those guys that were coming in were important parts, and they made them feel at home.
They were quick to help them understand what our culture was, what our standards that we’re looking for on a daily basis. It was a real smooth transition.
Q. Alain, how would you describe the difference between the Kevin Bieksa that we’re seeing in the playoffs and the Kevin Bieksa that started the season?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I don’t think there’s much of a difference. I mean, Kevin has always been a solid defenseman, plays with an edge, jumps up in the play when the opportunity is there. You know, he’s always been a good player.
This year he’s been consistent. Obviously right now he’s playing some of his best hockey of the season. We hope that that continues. We need it to continue.
Q. Your goaltender hasn’t won a game in this building since ‘06/‘07.
COACH VIGNEAULT: You’re telling me he’s due (laughter)?
Q. Is that one of the reasons why we haven’t seen him here in two appearances?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No, this is a great building. It’s loud. I only remember our last game in here was on a back to back, and Schneids was playing a back to back. I don’t remember the other occasion. That’s the case, he’s due.
Q. What do you like about Alex Balduc?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Alex has good size, a real strong skater. We’ve seen him this year. He’s played over 20 games with our team. He has that ability to get in on the forecheck, real strong skater, so…
If we do make some changes, that’s what he can bring.
Q. Some coaches are superstitious and don’t want to change a lineup that won the last game. That doesn’t seem to faze you.
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, I think throughout the playoff, we’ve always put the 20 skaters that we felt would give us the best chance to win on that night. Throughout the season, we did the same thing.
Sometimes you got to make some adjustments. Sometimes players are off their game a little bit or not on top, and you need to make quick adjustments. If we do make some changes tonight, we’ll find out at the game.
Q. The twins were doing some good things in earlier rounds but not generating points. Was it only a matter of time?
COACH VIGNEAULT: For sure. You guys have followed them all year. They were spending a lot of time in the opposition, they were working hard, real smart. For whatever reason, it was a little bit more challenging as far as finding the back of the net.
But right now they have done it the last couple of games and we need them to continue. Their contribution is obviously an offensive one and we need those two guys and their linemate Alex Burrows to chip in offensively.
Q. So you are considering changes for tonight’s game?
COACH VIGNEAULT: We’re looking at different possibilities right now.