Montreal Canadines head coach Michel Therrien made a comment on Saturday mentioning that he knew exactly what New York Rangers’ Derick Brassard had injured. At first glance the statement came off as threatening.
Therrien was speaking with the French media at the time the statement was made. Renaud Lavoie was among those in attendance and translated the comment via Twitter:
#canadiens Michel Therrien in french:”we expect Derick Brassard to play and we know exactly where he’s injured. Hockey is a small world.”
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) May 24, 2014
It was a curious statement to be made while tempers are soaring between the two franchises.
On Sunday, Therrien clarified what he meant after the Canadiens’ morning skate.
“He’s an important player. That line got a lot of success, against the Penguins. He’s a good player. There is no free pass. We’re in the playoffs. But the intention is not to hurt the guy. I mean, come on. There is no hockey player that’s going to go on the ice, there is no hockey coach going to ask to hurt the player. But you have to play hard. We have to play Derick Brassard hard like we have to play all those New York Rangers hard with emotion and the best playoff hockey. No one’s got a free pass.”
Therrien is simply backing his team, making it clear that no one had any malicious intentions. The two teams are here to play hockey and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Emotions are bound to surface and the only thing one can do beyond that is concentrate on the game.