The New York Rangers let a game slip away from them in Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens and they’ve spent this week getting better prepared to handle the Habs attack this weekend. While the momentum is still witht he Rangers — for now — they can’t afford to let it slip away and are pulling out all the stops to make sure their preparation for Game 4 pays off better than it did earlier this past week.
One of those stops includes taking in Habs practice in New York, something that is frowned upon in hockey but isn’t directly against an specific rule in the handbook. Habs head coach Michel Therrien must have a different handbook because he was not happy about looking up in the stands at practice and seeing members of the Rangers sitting there.
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Andrew Gross from Ranger Rants captured Therrien’s comments and his none too pleased attitude about New York sticking around to watch Habs practice this week.
“There is always a gentleman’s agreement between two teams and the general manager that coaches are not allowed to attend practices between games. Game day is different. So when we saw those
assistant coaches there, they were not supposed to be there, so we let them know.
“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.”
Watching practices does have its advantages but it’s not some mystical key that unlocks an automatic win for whoever violates the unwritten rule. The Rangers may end up losing Game 4 despite taking in Habs practice, but it’s clear that they’ve come this far and aren’t willing to let some silly unwritten rule carve into their preparation for Montreal.
Only time will tell if the Rangers watching practice had any effect, but if the goal was to get inside the Habs’ head, then mission accomplished.