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).
- Flyers rally as Zepp wins his career debut at 33 years old 0
- Oilers squander three-goal lead, lose 18th time in 19 games 7
- Pickard makes one last bid to stay, beats Wings in nine-round SO 1
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno 24
- Giroux line takes Leafs ‘to school’ in Flyers’ 7-4 victory 17
- Wolverine Pacioretty gets two assists just two days after being hospitalized 18
- Ovechkin scores beauty as Caps shutout Devils 8
- Seriously? Stress fracture sidelines Columbus’ Jenner for 1-2 months 6
- Julien chides Bruins’ offense for too many cute plays 40
- Sens roll over Ducks, who ‘weren’t ready’ 11