The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are in the midst of battling for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Emotions are bound to surface and the coaches are seeing the brunt of the drama this weekend while preparing for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
During Saturday’s practice, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien asked members of the Rangers franchise to stop watching their practice. Therrien claims that a “gentleman’s agreement” had been in place not to watch each others practices.
“There is always a gentleman’s agreement between two teams and the general manager that coaches are not allowed to attend practices between games,” Therrien said. “Game day is different. So when we saw those assistant coaches there, they were not supposed to be there, so we let them know.
According to Therrien, doing so is paying respect to the coaches and that it’s the way hockey has always been played.
New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault made his thoughts on the incident known during Sunday mornings skate. Vigneault stated that no agreement was in place between the two teams.
“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.”
Vigneault praised his staff for handling the situation professionally. Keeping their eye on the prize and advancing to the finals should be the number one priority. Getting involved in unnecessary drama can wait until someone loses.