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.