Video: Alain Vigneault talks playoff goalies, gigglefest, and the Presidents’ Trophy on After Hours

Alain Vigneault was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday, and you have to think the timing was just right. With the regular season coming to a close, the Canucks having just clinched their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy, and AV’s inevitable transition into his dry, unforthcoming, and short “playoff mode” on the other side of a good night’s sleep , he was in a particularly chipper mood.

Keep that in mind when watching the interview. It isn’t the most compelling of the recent Canuck appearances on After Hours, but it’s AV at his breeziest, and that’s something we likely won’t see again for quite some time. Not long after this segment, the clock struck midnight and the Vancouver head coach turned into a grumpy pumpkin. But for one more night, at least, he was all rosy cheeks and chuckles. Enjoy.

Just a few highlights:

  • Scott Oake asks if Andrew Ebbett’s was being used as a placeholder for Daniel Sedin, who is rumoured to be skating at an undisclosed location. Not so, says Vigneault. Daniel’s not healthy right now and he’s just trying out potential combos for the postseason, where everyone is likely to play with everyone. It makes sense, although Oake was right to wonder what in the heck Ebbett was doing on the first line. If that isn’t an indication that Vigneault pays attention to possession stats, I don’t know what is.
  • The guy who walks past at 7:12 gives a grade-A sneer.
  • At 6:30, Chris Higgins saunters by with two very attractive ladies. What’s Higgins got that I don’t? Like, besides money, an Ivy League education and abs you could zest a lemon on.
  • If it wasn’t completely clear that the entire Canucks team has been annoyed with the local coverage this year, Vigneault interrupting Scott Oake to mock the implication that 2 losses in 6 games was a funk pretty much sealed it for me.
  • Normally mum (and even deceitful) on his starting playoff goalies, Vigneault declares Luongo the starter for game 1 immediately. I was glad to see him take that storyline out of people’s hands immediately. I also like the way Vigneault said “Both my goaltenders are ready for this challenge.” The possessive tone struck me as a subtle and maybe even passive-aggressive reminder that he, not the fans or media, is the authority on who will play in goal.
  • Vigneault claims Luongo has been blamed for the teachers’ strike, bad weather, and high gas prices. That’s crazy. Luongo can’t control the weather.
  • In case you forgot English is still Vigneault’s second language, enjoy the way he trips over the word “resilience”.
  • On gigglefest: we had played 6 games in 8 days. I was tired.
  • And finally, my favourite part of the interview came at the very end, when Vigneault ribbed Oake about the possibility that the CBC wasn’t going to be covering the Canucks in the first round. Here’s why this was especially funny to me: when it comes to playoff broadcasting, the CBC and TSN have an agreement that the CBC gets to pick two series to cover, then TSN gets the third, then they alternate naturally. This year, that meant that, once the CBC took the two Canadian series, TSN would get that sexy Penguins and Flyers series. No doubt the CBC wanted that one more than either of the two they took, but can you imagine the uproar if they had skipped over one of the Canadian series? Most of us prefer TSN’s coverage, but can you imagine the outrage out West if we learned CBC had skipped us over? Vigneault poking fun of this was funny. “I just wasn’t sure if you were going to pick us,” he says. Oake immediately goes into P.R. crisis management mode. “The Canucks are number one for us,” he says.
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15 comments

  1. Hips
    April 9, 2012

    “The Canucks are number 1 to us” says Ron Maclean while sobbing in a corner, stabbing an Alex Burrows voodoo doll with a needle.

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    Rating: +44 (from 46 votes)
    • Brent
      April 9, 2012

      I actually think Oak likes us. I mean look at the research he does on PITB before Canuck interviews. PLus CBC made a ton of money on the Canucks run last year. Game 1 of the final had the most veiwership of any previous hockey game. Last biggest one was game 7 in the Canucks-Rangers series.

      Ron Maclean I am not so sure about. He definitely doesn’t like Burrows, or at least he didn’t. I think he probably has come around to Vancouver. His indignation over the Keith hit and wanting 15 games I think was real.

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      Rating: +19 (from 19 votes)
  2. CanuckFanInSF
    April 9, 2012

    AV turning 20 shades of red after watching Schneider’s impression of him was priceless.

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    Rating: +25 (from 25 votes)
  3. ES13
    April 9, 2012

    Soooo… any chance we’ll be getting a new Canucks Cheat sheet?

    http://passittobulis.blogspot.ca/2011/01/your-canucks-bandwagon-fan-cheat-sheet.html

    …After viewing both of them and coming to the realization that Hansen is uncannily like beaker, especially when Schneider imitates him, I must say, well played.

    …and is it just me, or does it seem like the Management and Staff have been doing a lot more interviews this year? Maybe I’m just paying more attention now, but it does seem like something has changed a bit.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      April 9, 2012

      Actually, we did one this year. How did you miss it?

      We’ll be doing an appendix in the next few days, since the Canucks picked up a few new bodies since then.

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      Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  4. shoes
    April 9, 2012

    Is Wednesday here? Drop the puck and lets get this baby started.

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    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  5. Aderam
    April 9, 2012

    Luongo can’t control the weather.

    Just in case we should start feeding him peanut butter sandwiches just like Pudge the Fish.

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    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  6. John in Marpole
    April 9, 2012

    Huge AV fan here. Even more of one now, thanks to that interview.

    It was interesting to get AV’s side of the gigglefest. His explanation makes sense. I think many, I include myself in that number, forget that the coaching staff deals with the same travel schedule ass the players, plus the time players use for pre-game naps is taken up with video/strategy sessions for the coaches. 6 games in 8 days would leave anyone punchdrunk, especially with a lack of sleep thrown in.

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    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  7. Timmy Wong
    April 9, 2012

    “Oake immediately goes into P.R. crisis management mode. ‘The Canucks are number one for us,’ he says.”

    ZOMG WESTERN BIAS. Someone must immediately notify Toronto of this.

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    Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
  8. Benner
    April 9, 2012

    Ebbitt possession stats? Link? I rely on PITB to keep me informed so if I’ve missed a post somewhere please make it easy on me… wouldn’t want to do my own advanced research when I’ve got you guys…

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  9. Bure4life
    April 9, 2012

    Never liked u av ur not cup material ur president trophy worthy so good for u- ur coaching style has been the most boring in the league I truly don’t know how Canucks fans can stomach watching your games…total snooze fest..u should coach junior

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    Rating: -36 (from 36 votes)
    • Brent
      April 9, 2012

      Me thinks you communicate by text too much.

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      Rating: +22 (from 22 votes)
  10. obituary mambo
    April 9, 2012

    Great read — I adore AV. It was nice to see him in a relaxed, jovial mood. One we’ll have to treasure as Serious Playoff Mode takes over.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  11. strukkingfuggle
    April 9, 2012

    What a great interview!

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)