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Vigneault: ‘Thank God for soft ice’

Jun 11, 2014, 11:47 PM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three Getty Images

After Game 3, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was downright glum about his team’s perceived bad “puck luck.” The coin tosses seemed to flip dramatically in favor of his team in Game 4, however, so it’s no surprise that Vigneault was in a good mood on Wednesday night.

In assessing the Los Angeles Kings’ two chances in which pucks stopped within a breath of crossing the Rangers’ goal line, Vigneault provided a classic assessment:

“I knew it wasn’t in because the light wasn’t going on,” Vigneault said. I didn’t know exactly where it was. I was able to see the replay after.”

“Thank God for soft ice now and then.”

That’s downright verbose compared to Vigneault’s take on the Rangers’ play in Game 3: “Couldn’t score.”

Naturally, he also thanked his lucky stars/deities for a masterful performance from Henrik Lundqvist.

“He had to make some huge saves in the second and the third,” Vigneault said. “He got and we got a few bounces. You need those. Maybe the luck is changing a little bit.”

Of course, Kings fans would probably snicker at the “little bit” part. Beyond some prime scoring chances that hit a post or missed the net entirely, those “soft ice” moments were crucial to New York’s survival. It’s almost impossible to deny the “luck changing” narrative when you consider these moments:

There certainly was a lot of “snow” in the crease late in the third period:


It was fairly slushy there when Anton Stralman saved a goal, too:


The Rangers managed to extend this series to Game 5 despite the Kings generated a 15-1 shot advantage in the third period. One cannot help but feel that luck can only take them so far if they perform this way again.

Regardless, the Rangers aren’t complaining tonight.

“I’ve been in the game a long time to know that sometimes the hockey gods are there. They were there tonight,” Vigneault said.

  1. jimeejohnson - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    Maybe the Garden had soft ice, but at least nobody fell through the ice up to their necks!

  2. papajack1259 - Jun 12, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    He is honest, they avoided the sweep and must play much better to get back to soft ice Fri. Again it’s on Henrik and the soft ice If the Rangers have a chance. Good Luck.

  3. bergencountyjc - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    As a Devils fan, I was pulling for the Rangers in the first few games since we lost to the Kings a couple years ago. Being Game 4 and a possible sweep at the Garden, I edged a little bit to the Kings side just for the lulz. However, Rangers really played some inspiring hockey last night and I have now decided I want as much hockey as I can watch; play to Game 7 and Rangers win.

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