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Vigneault responds to Habs practice flap, Therrien’s injury knowledge

May 25, 2014, 12:24 PM EDT

Alain Vigneault Getty Images

Saturday was the day for the Montreal Canadiens to sound off about their thoughts on Derek Stepan‘s jaw injury, Michel Therrien’s knowledge of what Derick Brassard‘s injury is, as well as kicking Rangers coaches out of their practice session.

Sunday turned out to be the day Rangers coach Alain Vigneault returned serve.

Following the Rangers morning skate in preparation for Game 4 Sunday night, Vigneault spoke with reporters about what went down yesterday. AV didn’t hold back.

Regarding his coaches being tossed from Habs practice yesterday in which Therrien cited a “gentleman’s agreement” not to watch each others practices, Vigneault said no such thing was in place.

“Well, we were treated very unfairly yesterday,” Vigneault said. “There is no rule. There was no agreement between both teams. That is the exception, not the rule. I mean, I’ve been asked in the past to do this on a couple of occasions. Usually the coach calls me or the GM calls the GM, never happened. What happened yesterday was uncalled for.

“Without a doubt, my staff handled it with a lot of class, just like our team, play whistle to whistle, don’t get involved with the other stuff. We’re very credible. This is the National Hockey League, and that type of behavior, we’re lucky it didn’t escalate.”

Vigneault was asked about Therrien’s comments saying he knew what Brassard’s injury was and helped eliminate the elephant in the room as to what that was about.

Let’s put it this way, I hope nothing happens to Brass, the player, and Michel could be in trouble,” Vigneault said.

As for Stepan’s availability tonight, Vigneault said he’s out indefinitely and resting at home following jaw surgery. As for Daniel Briere‘s comments saying reports of his injury were “fishy,” the Rangers coach isn’t giving that a second thought.

“I can’t comment on their players saying Step’s injury is fishy,” Vigneault said. “We’re trying to play whistle to whistle. We’re trying to do the right things. I know in the hockey world we were painted as dishonest and dishonorable; we’re not. We follow the rules. We follow the rules on the ice, and we will follow the rules off the ice.”

The war of words takes its action to the ice for Game 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

  1. lowenni - May 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    There’s no rule saying you can’t sit in on other teams practices, and the Canadiens need to stop complaining. I had defended them after the “disrespected” comments but this is getting out of hand, and instead of making excuses and talking about what the Rangers are doing they need to start looking at themselves and winning this series. Rangers (the organization, not players like Carcillo) have handled this very well, very classily in my opinion.

  2. billiam55 - May 25, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Theres video of the incident. The way Therrien handles it is uncalled for. Watch the video.

    • charlie24zz - May 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Poor baby can’t take some swear words? If I were the coach, I would’ve told them to get lost too. Whining billiam.

      • billiam55 - May 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        the thumbs have spoken.

  3. mzim2756 - May 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    How can the injury be fishy when there is am X-ray showing the fracture

    • flowerdew - May 25, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Brière said that the way Vigneault was addressing the injury was fishy, not the injury itself. Unfortunately (but entertainingly) that hasn’t been the way it’s been reported.

      • flowerdew - May 25, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        Oh for crying out loud.

        Brett Cyrgalis @BrettCyrgalis

        Danny Briere, firing shots. First about Vigneault’s ref complaints: “It seems a little fishy to me. It seems a little like a game…
        1:22pm – 24 May 14

        Briere cont. (2/2): “Ryan McDonagh is a great defenseman, but I haven’t seen someone slash as much as he does since Chris Pronger.”
        1:26pm – 24 May 14

        To be clear, Briere’s “fishy” comment was about Vigneault not giving an update on Stepan’s status AND about them wanting a PP from hit
        1:32pm – 24 May 14

        NY Post reporter, guys. I’m sorry if the story isn’t as much fun this way.

  4. bills4 - May 25, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    If you are American, I let you all in a little secret. We, Canadians can’t stand these Montreal pukes, so it says a lot when your the only team from Canada left and 90% of Canada wants to see you lose!! They think they are above the rules, just like the rest of Quebec!!

    • bigblueapple - May 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      The amount of Habs fans who attend Canadian road games for them says otherwise. But it’s ok, keep living in your own little world and keep making baseless and inflammatory claims.

    • joey4id - May 25, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      90% hahahaha! Do clean out horse stalls for a living? You’re pretty good at mucking merde. Montreal Canadiens is the second most valuable NHL team in Canada, and it’s not because 90% of Canada wants to see them lose.

      Are you prejudice towards Quebec?

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Fact, The Habs are Canada’s most popular team according the the polls, around 20% of hockey fans in Canada root for them, the Leafs are second around 18%

      The Habs are also the 2nd most hated team in Canada around 17%, while the Leafs are the most hated around 19%.

      90%? Come on man
      And if you want to get political, Montreal is the reason why Quebec didn’t get the # of votes required to (lol) leave Canada. The city of Montreal thinks vastly different than the rest of the province.

  5. gallyhatch - May 25, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    So many NHL coaches play the media game in the playoffs, it’s kind of refreshing to see one of them take the high road. I admire the way AV has conducted himself in this series.

    • charlie24zz - May 25, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      I don’t get it…Vigneault and his staff were treated unfairly because Habs coaching staff didn’t want them spying on their practice?

      • stakex - May 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        They were perfectly within their right to be there. Unwritten rules are not rules….

        Also, I’m sure the Canadians have watched the Rangers practice every time this series. Its pretty easy, you can watch it live on the internet….

  6. razorbyrd - May 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    so, it’s not a rule, but there’s precedent because he’s been asked by other coaches not to do it… that, to me, would constitute a “gentlemen’s agreement”, and doesn’t require a call from the Canadiens…
    it was a shady move, by a shady team… “we’re classy, we follow the rules”… “well except this guy, and except that instance, and on that play…”

    keep trying AV

    • stakex - May 25, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Way to totally not understand what AV was saying. His point was that, on a day by day basis, sometimes teams will ask that their practice not be watch. In other words, its not a long standing agreement but rather something teams request from time to time.

      Nice try yourself.

      • charlie24zz - May 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Still pretty bush-league, no matter how you slice it

      • flowerdew - May 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        I’m hearing from other sources – Don Cherry, for one, which would make this the first time I’ve ever cited him for anything, but whatever – that it is unheard-of for coaches to observe practices. I’m not in the NHL, so I have no idea, but Vigneault is the only one I’ve heard say that there isn’t one.

      • c9castine - May 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        stakex…you mean unwritten rules like “thou shallt fight idiotically when thou dost throw big check”

        ?? hypocrite.

      • avscup - May 25, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        And yet Grapes (that’s Don Cherry for you newbie fans) talks about it being a respected agreement back in the 70’s! Not a day by day thing at all. More like for decades you nitwit!

  7. bigblueapple - May 25, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    We play whistle to whistle and after the whistle assault officials and get suspended for 10 games.

  8. mrd5c - May 25, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Going into this series, I didn’t know much about this team or this coach. After the Boston series, the message was that they weren’t getting respect from the Bruins. After watching coach and team whine and complain, Therrien, Prust, Desharnais, Briere, etc. I can see why they get no respect. They don’t deserve any respect. It’s the Sydney Crosby rule. Let the way you play speak for you and keep your mouth closed. The coach and many players have shown why they haven’t earned any respect. My disrespect for them has grown day by day. Little to no class. Hope they lose in 5!

  9. michemai - May 25, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    How many time before this did the Ranger’s watch another teams practice?

    Better yet how many times has any team in the playoffs watched any other teams practice?

    If this is a first then it’s an obvious douchebag move by the Ranger’s. If it’s a common occurrence then it’s not a big deal.

  10. c9castine - May 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    oh yes. therrien is a master of the mental game.

    second, for all you people who think AV is taking the “high road” taking the “high road” would have meant not saying anything at all. im not knocking the guy in fact you only remember the winner here. if he loses then congrats on taking the “high road”.

    i would have told the rangers coaches to F off too. they knew why they were there. there was a reason they were sitting where they were sitting. and they left right afterward. why would therrien be in trouble if brassard got hurt? its perfectly acceptable to hit guys in this game.

    i dont remember much fuss (from people outside of pittsburgh) when zdeno chara cold cocked Crosby in his broken jaw last year in such obvious fashion it was absurd.

    people that think this guy or organization has no class are self righteous whiners.

    • theghostofwillisreed - May 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM


      • c9castine - May 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        then go back to sleep.

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