Some of what Stempniak has been doing has come as a surprise to coach Alain Vigneault considering the scouting reports he received on Stempniak in the offseason.
"He competes harder when he doesn't have the puck than I thought, to protect it and to get it back, from what I had heard," Vigneault said Thursday. "Obviously we did a little bit of homework before signing him. But [he's a] smart player and he's been very effective for us."
SOG: 14 | +/-: -1
"Everybody talked about his skill set, his shot, his knowledge of the game, [but] there were some concerns maybe that sometimes he wouldn't hang on to [the puck] as long as he could," Vigneault said. "But he has. He's taken checks to make plays. He's done a good job for us so far."
Stempniak said he was attracted to the Rangers because of the style Vigneault has them playing. He got a taste for it during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, when he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins.