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.