May 16, 2014, 3:05 PM EST
Teams often like to be considered the underdogs, so perhaps it was a matter of gamesmanship on Rangers coach Alain Vigneault’s part, but he gave a glowing review of the Montreal Canadiens ahead of the Eastern Conference Final.
“I know they went into the Boston series saying that they felt Boston didn’t respect them. We respect Montreal quite a bit,” Vigneault told the Bergen Record. “They’re not only a very strong team, but they’re a team that has beaten the No. 1 team in the NHL right now, a team went to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, a team that beat the New York Rangers in five games last year.
“So, we know that we’ve got our hands full.”
Vigneault thought the Canadiens were the underdogs against Tampa Bay and Boston, but he feels they’re the favorites versus New York. He noted that the pressure that comes with that role might do “funny things” to them.
He’s also been reviewing footage of Montreal’s playoff games thus far and hasn’t found anything that the Rangers can exploit. When that statement was shared with Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, he started to laugh.
“That’s a media game,” Therrien said, per NHL.com’s Аrpon Basu.
Game 1 will be played in Montreal on Saturday (1:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
- On the odds of fighting back after Thanksgiving 5
- Why are the Oilers still bad? Look at their drafting 16
- The Leafs are worth almost seven times the Panthers, says Forbes 14
- Isles make some history; Are the Flyers headed for trouble? 41
- Crosby, Malkin power Penguins, help Fleury grab 300th win 5
- Sooner than later? Bruins GM hopes Chara can return in 10-14 days 1
- With worst save percentage in NHL, Oilers fire goalie coach 22
- Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died 14
- NHL on NBCSN: Bruins seek perfect game vs. Penguins 8
- Legendary hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov has died 15
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (99)
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (88)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (79)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)