Alain Vigneault apparently found some words of hope for his beleaguered Rangers
. (Kathy Willens/AP)
By Allan Muir
The first three games of the Stanley Cup Final have been a spiritual de-pantsing for New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, but at least he's emerged with his sense of humor intact.
"I had my Netflix imitation ready for you guys today," he told the media at today's pre-game press conference. "Nobody asked [for it]."
If the reference escapes you, you haven't been watching the playoffs on NBCSN. A commercial for the popular streaming TV and movie service has run on a loop during the postseason, and it features a coach firing up his hockey team by reminding them of an inspirational speech in a film they'd all watched on Netflix.
So Vigneault's either offering a sly wink to pop culture...or acknowledging the fact that there's not a whole lot he can say to his own club that they haven't heard a hundred times before.
His Rangers know they're in trouble down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. They know that of the 25 teams to fall into that hole, just one has come back to win the Cup, and that was 72 years ago.
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But they also know the Kings came back from the same deficit in the first round just a few weeks ago to knock off the San Jose Sharks. They know that Vigneault's Canucks owned a similar 3-1 lead over the Boston Bruins back in the 2011 final but couldn't seal the deal.
And they know these same Kings allowed Chicago to get up off the mat in the Western Conference Finals and almost blew a 3-1 series stranglehold.
It might not be much, but they know they have a chance.
And despite the movie-cliché bit, Vigneault apparently was able to find the words to put that into perspective for his team.
"We've been able to string it together before," defenseman John Moore said. "Why not now? Twenty-eight other teams would love to be in this position. It's not over."
No, it's not. Because no matter how bad things look today, the Rangers still have one life left to give. That's one more than those 28 other teams, all of which would gladly put away their golf clubs and shutter the cottage in order to line up and take their shot at these Kings.
It's not just an opportunity. It's their opportunity. The Rangers earned it. They earned the right to be here, to play in front of their fans.
It's up to them to make the most of it.
Then maybe they can talk Vigneault into giving the Netflix speech before Game 5.
Car Bomb to be rolled out?
Vigneault was mum about possible lineup changes for tonight, but with his team needing an emotional boost and Daniel Carcillo available after serving his six-game suspension, it's a good bet that the rambunctious winger draws in for this must-win contest.
If he does, Carcillo would likely take the spot of Derek Dorsett on the fourth line.
"He would bring what he's brought to us all year long, a real good energy," Vigneault said. "He's been in these situations before. He's been a good player for us. If we do use him tonight, I'm sure he'll be ready."
Carcillo has scored just two goals in the postseason, but both came after he had been a healthy scratch the previous two games. He's no game changer, but he will wreak havoc on the forecheck and go hard to the net and make life miserable for Jonathan Quick. Those are two elements that the Blueshirts have lacked through the first three games of the series.
"That's why sometimes we make changes, you know. We expect changes to be positive for our team," Vigneault said. “Sometimes you bring new players into the lineup to hope they can give you a spark. Every time we needed players to come in for different reasons, they've usually come in and done a pretty good job for us."
Today's Darryl Sutter pearl of wisdom
Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter was asked if the organization had learned anything from being in a similar 3-0 situation back in 2012 against the New Jersey Devils and if the Kings will do anything different this time for Game 4. His response: "We were at home. Now we're on the road."
I think when this season ends, we'll miss Darryl most of all.