The drama keeps building between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers as they approach Sunday’s Game 4.
If talk of dirty hits, taking advantage of injuries and excessive slashing didn’t stir the pot enough, Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien asked members of the Rangers to stop viewing a Montreal practice, claiming that his opponents broke a “gentleman’s agreement” though not an actual rule.
The Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross explains how the situation played out:
Shortly after the start of the Canadiens’ practice this afternoon at Madison Square Garden, an upset Canadiens coach Michel Therrien asked/demanded that Rangers assistant Ulf Samuelsson not watch his team practice.
After that, Rangers GM Glen Sather came out to watch the Canadiens practice and assistant Dan Lacroix did too, with Canadiens goaltender coach Stephane Waite informing Therrien there were still Rangers’ personnel watching. Afterward, Therrien cited a “gentleman’s agreement” between the playoff combatants to not watch each other’s off-day practices.
Therrien notes that game day is different, but clearly this situation rubbed him the wrong way.
“It’s respect for coaches that want to make adjustments between games, and it’s always been like that and that’s the way it is,” Therrien said.
There may have been some concern about Habs drumming up enough ire against the Rangers after that heated series against their historic rivals from Boston heading into this conference finals matchup, those concerns can be put to rest.
Really, any doubts about there being some healthy distaste and maybe unhealthy vitriol were probably erased when Chris Kreider collided with Carey Price.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.