After departing for Banff, Alberta yesterday afternoon, Alain Vigneault met with the media via conference call, and shed some light on line combinations, defensive pairings, prospects, and much more. The Rangers will be holding the rest of their training camp up in Banff as charity work, in order to raise funds for the floods that occurred in Calgary earlier in the summer.
"Both Carl and Ryan were in the drills...Other than having a different color sweater they did all the drills...They look good."
He also described how he would like his defensemen to be active in the offensive zone, along with his projected pairings:
"In my estimation, it's very good to have a shutdown pair, a pair of defensemen who can play against the other team's top offensive players," Vigneault said. "I also like to have a pair of defensemen to play with my top forwards, two guys who can move the puck and play with the top offensive players. It's a combination of different things. If you look at what is considered our top six D, I've played Michael Del Zotto with Marc Staal, I've played Dan Girardi with Ryan McDonagh and I've played John Moore with Anton Stralman.
That's worked out well for us. That's exactly how we practiced and we'll continue in that fashion for a little bit. There might be some changes but I like the fact that Michael can step into the attac and he's got Marc Staal behind him, a high percentage, two way defenseman."
Finally, he explained how he will give all of the young guys a chance in the final four games of the preseason:
"Because of the fact we are going to play four games in five nights, all of those (younger) guys will get an opportunity to play, and I've been trying to put them in situations where they're going to be sucessful," explained Vigneault. "Both Fast and Kristo, for example, are supposed to be offensive players, so I'm trying to put them on a line with some skill level and with a little power play time."
Vigneault also stated that he is keeping Chris Kreider with Brad Richards and Rick Nash for the time being, while Benoit Pouliot will remain with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello.
It's nothing major, just a small little update on a slow news day for the Rangers. Either way though, thoughts on this?