Habs, Rangers back on the ice Saturday for practices (Video)

habstokarski

(Photo: Dave Stubbs/The Gazette)

The Canadiens and Rangers returned to the ice on Saturday at Madison Square Garden after an off day as they prepared for Game 4 in their Eastern Conference final series.

There was a bit of intrigue at the start of the Canadiens practice with Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, video coach Jerry Dineen, and another team staff member watching from the stands –as well as general manager Glen Sather.

There’s a gentleman’s agreement that coaches aren’t allowed to attend opposing teams’ practices between games, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien explained.

“When we saw those assistant coaches there, they were not supposed to be there so we let them know,” he said.

Canadiens assistant coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault went to tell them and ‘they didn’t appear to understand,” said Therrien who then conveyed the message.

Michaël Bournival practised on a line with Daniel Brière and Dale Weise. And Thomas Vanek played on the line centred by Lars Eller with Rene Bourque.

Francis Bouillon played in a defensive pairing with Mike Weaver, leading to speculation that he might play Sunday. But Therrien was tight-lipped about his lineup.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it’s unlikely Derek Stepan, who suffered a broken jaw when he was checked by Brandon Prust in Game 3, will play on Sunday. Prust has been suspended for two games for the hit.

“The hit itself wasn’t really a topic in the (disciplinary) hearing, it was all about the timing of it,” Prust told reporters after the Canadiens practice.

“I kept my skates on the ice, my shoulder into his chest, I didn’t leave my feet, so it’s just all about the timing. It’s fractions of a second. The NHL deems a hit late around .6 seconds and I’m about .8 seconds. You know, that’s on me. It’s late. But for me my focus was on trying to make a good clean body check and not leave my feet, my elbows tucked. Everything about the actual contact is clean it’s just–it’s late.”

“My mindset is not trying to injury anybody and (Stepan) is a friend of mine,” said Prust, who spent two and a half seasons with the Rangers.

Prust said he had sent a text message to Stepan.

“I told him exactly what I told you guys. It’s my first shift, I’m just trying to create some body contact. And I feel awful. You never want to hurt anybody. And I hope he recovers well.”

You can hear more of what Prust had to say here:

Therrien said he expected forward Derick Brassard, who has missed two games with an injury, will be back in the Rangers’ lineup.

The Rangers lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

“I still think that we have a lot more to give,” Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban said.

“I don’t think we’ve played our best hockey game yet in this series. I think we’ve done some good things. But I still think there’s another level for us to get to and we’ve got to get to it,” Subban said.

You can listen to Therrien’s post-practice press conference here:

You can hear more of what Subban had to say here:

You can listen to Daniel Brière here:

(Video: Brenda Branswell)

Game 4 Preview, NHL.com

Animosity grows on eve of Game 4, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

One victim apiece now in series, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Tokarski has given Habs hope, by Jack Todd for The Gazette

Tokarski goes from Saskatchewan farm to Montreal spotlight, by Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan

Don Cherry finally recognizes Canadiens, by Pat Hickey

Rise and grind, canadiens.com

Stepan out, Brassard in for Rangers in Game 4, NHL.com

Rangers’ Carcillo appealing 10-game suspension, NHL.com

Rangers’ Boyle proving himself as playoff performer, NHL.com

Things get heated at practice, New York Daily News

Vigneault’s firing by Canadiens led to his success, New York Times

Prust unfazed by Garden faithful, New York Post

268 Comments

  1. JUST ME says:

    It`s funny cause all that hate between the coaches does not stick a bit. Those two guys are friends and do not realy hate eachother . They are trying to transfer this energy to their players and at that game beween the two teams the Habs have a definite advantage and have a good dose of mean guys on the bench if needed.

    We owe a big one to Prust tonight so let`s play inspired hockey and follow the example he gave us .

  2. Timo says:

    You know CJ all this is good and dandy only if they actually win tonight.

    • CJ says:

      IMO, the coach has done his job. He’s made it personal and has provided the team with a rallying cry. He’s pitted our group as the underdog, the cheated…..

      He can’t play the game. The on ice stuff is for the players. It’s up to them now. He’s made the reservation, gotten them the invitation to play, but they have to execute.

      In closing, you know I’ve been outspoken against the coach on several occasions this year, but in this playoffs, he’s been masterful. Just my two cents…

      • Say Ash says:

        Take your common sense and get the heck out of here lol

      • joeybarrie says:

        There are plenty of ways to play head games and provide incentive to your team to win. Plenty of ways to get a reaction and make things competitive. I’m all for that. But there are lines and common courtesy. If you are the host team, while the opposing team practices, you do not attend. Give them their time and space. Its only fair, as that’s exactly how you were and will be treated in the next game.
        First off you are shooting yourself in the foot. The next step is to have an ice problem, and maybe the other team cant even practice…. Where do you draw the line.
        Sportsmanship. Class. And always remember that what’s going to happen when you get fired???
        Not that big of a deal, in the end…. But this is a professional league of competitors. I expect more from the teams and staff.
        Maybe the heat is broken or the electricity doesn’t work in the visitors dressing room…. Those things just don’t happen.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Frankie B. with the winner tonight.
      In double OT.

  3. ths says:

    Vinyo knows Habs have at least 2 Forwards and 2 D they can afford to get suspended in order to sort out the Rangers.
    Prust showed how much of a team guy and character guy he is by setting the Hab tone of the series after the shoot the Rangers pulled in Mtl. Now Habs have their Mojo back and I believe someone has been anointed to set the tone again tonight in Prusts absence.
    This will be done in 6 and then we can enjoy the Stanley Cup finals with no pressure. Just go out and give it your all against the best in west and see what happens. Either way Mike T wins. Bergy wins. PK wins. Tokey wins.

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  4. CJ says:

    Good afternoon folks.

    Golf, followed by lunch, equals one very happy CJ.

    So, while on the course I checked twitter 8-10 times. Therien this, the Rangers that….

    Look, I’ll be the first to say I’ve been hard on the coach. I have second guessed decisions and felt, at times, that we have been out coached. That said, IMO, I see the strategy at play. All this buzz, from Larry Brooks, to Don Cherry to Therien himself; but what’s not being said – anything, about zip, regarding our goalie. In this regard, Therien has been masterful. He’s made this about him, about the Rangers, all the while taking attention away from the Tokarski. If I was the Rangers, I’d have asked the New York post to write an article on the kid, keep him in the spotlight. Now, he’s fallen under the radar. Again, I credit Therien for the smoke and mirrors….

    Therien is protecting the kid and all the while putting on a great performance. Look, he took lessons from what unfolded last spring. He was on the receiving end. Now, a year removed, it’s Therien that’s conducting the clinic.

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but it’s something that I’ve noticed in the past 24-36 hours.

    Cheers, CJ

    • BJ says:

      Hi CJ. Glad you had an enjoyable day. Your take on Therrien deflecting attention from Tokarski is interesting, you are probably correct in assuming so.

      • CJ says:

        It donned on me last night when he went after the Rangers coaches. He laid it on pretty thick. Of course, I could be wrong, but it’s working (IMO) to perfection. I haven’t read a single reference to Tokarski on twitter this morning.

        Larry Brooks is actually helping us out, by going after Michel. Hook, line and sinker….

  5. Mattyleg says:

    Some discussion on the previous page of ugly uniforms.
    We’ve been down this road before, with the Seals and the Canucks, but I only just remembered The Cooperall Era.

    Philly sprung to mind, but I’d forgotten that the Whalers had gone down that ugly, ugly road too.

    They look like snowpants!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. FlyAngler says:

    Steve Simmons certainly seems to be among the smarmier characters in the hockey media. I am pretty sure that he is the person to whom Brian Burke directed this comment on the day of his firing by the Leafs:

    “Steve, one of the positive things about today is that I never have to speak to you again.”

    Simmons had previously publicly criticized Burke for visiting Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. That alone is enough to merit Simmons being labeled a complete douchebag if you ask me……….

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • Strummer says:

      Do you why he criticized Burke for going to Afghanistan?
      It was the first day of free agency in the NHL and as the GM of the Leafs his job as President and GM of the team would be to be home and running the team at that time.
      He could have gone to visit the troops anytime.

      Your cherry-picking of comments out of context creates a false impression is just plain B.S.

      Someone below called him a Leaf blower. Criticizing Burke would hardly qualify him as such. Burke had no fans in the Toronto media. I saw the press conference after he was fired. He could have directed that comment at the whole of the Toronto sports media.
      ____________________________________________________
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Sorry Strummer, but if Brian Burke had interest in an unrestricted free agent on July 1, he certainly could have coordinated an offer or had Dave Nonis make contact with any prospective UFAs. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I still respect Brian Burke for having the character and courage to enter a combat zone in order to visit people who were making tremendous sacrifices so that people like us can go to hockey games and not have to worry about religious fanatics executing terrorist attacks. And Simmons comments on practice-gate only confirm me in my dislike of him. So I guess we will have to agree to disagree. No hard feelings- enjoy the game tonight!

        “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  7. BJ says:

    I’ve loved all the NYR signs of fear and nervousness approaching the 4th game. Like us they see the tide turning and they also know we have not yet played well. So it will be a two out of three starting at the Bell the next week.

  8. CHicoHab says:

    I read on a The Hockey News that Vinyo has fired back saying no such gentlemans agreement exists
    in off day practices.

  9. Butterface says:

    More proof the Rangers are douches.

    I don’t play professional hockey, nor do I coach. I have played every major sport (yes, including cricket), one sport I played at an international level.

    It has never been”kosher” to come to a practise and watch the other team work on important drills. Ask the NFL.

    Sure, some sports don’t care (swimming for example), but hockey requires some professionalism from opposing teams. Things like Penalty Kill, Power Play, break out drills, are no different to NFL plays.

    And thanks Rick Nash for saying, “The biggest thing is staying positive” when referring to losing Stepan.

    Try losing Price.

    I would answer that most teams have 5 or 6 decent centres. Just as Zoocasmurf said, “most teams have two good goalies.”

    I am tired of this Ranger team. All they do is use the media for sympathy.

    I honestly don’t know how the Canadiens stay composed, I would be taking heads with my stick.

    Let’ run them out of their barn tonight.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  10. Hockey Bob says:

    Halte là, halte là, halte là, les Canadiens, les Canadiens. Halte là, halte là, halte là, les Canadiens, sont là. Les Canadiens, les Canadiens sont là!

  11. joeybarrie says:

    Seems very unprofessional and classless to send your coaches to watch the opposing team practice.
    Then make a stink about it when you are asked to leave. Especially when at home you have the opportunity to close your own practice.
    Its common courtesy.
    Leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth. Seems kinda pathetic too.
    I hope we roll em over tonight.

  12. CHicoHab says:

    Strummer… I say King Henriks slayer tonite will be “The Hound”
    AKA “Gallagher”

  13. Strummer says:

    Dan Carcillo has proved over and over how un-hinged he is.
    One year in junior he was suspeded twice for a total of 40 games.

    And this I read this morning:

    “… The 10-game suspension of Dan Carcillo will not surprise the Toronto-area summer league that had to ask him to leave a few years back … ”

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  14. Danno says:

    It’s not on Madison Avenue.

    It’s not square.

    There’s no garden in sight.

    That’s why it’s called Madison Square Gardens. :mrgreen:

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  15. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Wish list for tonight’s game is to shoot from every angle & plenty of traffic against the so called king.

  16. CHicoHab says:

    In that case Strummer only one episode Thrones at MSG.

    • Strummer says:

      Who will be the Hab’s “King (Henrik)-Slayer”?

      ____________________________________________________
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  17. CHicoHab says:

    Could be two Game of Thrones episodes tonight. One at MSG. The other at HBO.

  18. desertman says:

    First a nice round of golf on this beautiful day, then the Habs game and then Game of Thrones! Enjoy the day everyone!

  19. CHicoHab says:

    Steve Simmons TSN reporters doesn’t agree MT should care Ulf was watching. Says media is there so why not. This is consistent with my rant yesterday that it’s always our fault. We injure we get suspended. We get injured it’s our fault for no heads up. We complain about unwritten rule being violated but told to shut up. Simmons been hating in habs a long time. Also said Toker just an AHL tender. Everyone raving his performance but Simmons basically saying he’s not good enough for nhl.

    • Corporate says:

      Well may be people have a point. even Don Cherry took our side. Just kidding. I am usually a down the middle kind of guy and judge fairly any team. but these playoffs more than other years, I find we are pinpointed. Everything we do is apparently wrong. even on ice calls go against us more often than not. This will make us winning the cup, that much sweeter. :)

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Don’t let that hack get you down friend. He’s a Leaf Blower thru and thru.

      ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

      • Strummer says:

        Simmons is not a Leaf blower. Far from it.
        I live in the GTA and I read his columns regularly.
        Do follow the Toronto media closely enough to determine who’s a Leaf blower?

        Here’s 3 shots that Simmons took at the Leafs JUST this morning:

        ” I love the assumption that because Paul Stastny is a centre and a free agent, that he will be a Maple Leaf come July. It may happen. But about 20 other teams — all in need of help at centre — may have something to say about it come free-agent time ..”

        “It has to drive Dave Nonis and Carlyle nuts: At the Olympic break, the Leafs were three points ahead of the New York Rangers and tied with Montreal. One of those teams will play for the Stanley Cup … ”

        “When the Maple Leafs selected Mikael Tellqvist with the 70th pick in the 2000 NHL Draft, not only did they believe they were getting the best young goaltender in Sweden, but they thought they were getting the most NHL-ready goalie.

        They were correct about Tellqvist — he played his first game for the Leafs in the 2002-03 season, three years before the best goalie from that class would emerge.

        That goalie’s name: Henrik Lundqvist

        ____________________________________________________
        “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

    • PK says:

      Many in the Toronto media are dreading the day that the Habs hoist the Stanley Cup. The Leafs’ futility just adds fuel to the fire.
      Love it!!
      The Habs’ push deep into the playoffs is even sweeter in that the Bruins, Laffs, Sens are out.

      GHG!!!!!

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Whenever Steve Simmons talks about the Habs, he rolls his eyes & is just disgusted. The way he ripped Tokarski I thought was uncalled for. Who gives a damn what you think Steve. Oops, I think I do.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      That’s what everyone said about Tokarski for the last few years, and he’s only played a few good NHL games. In the playoffs you never know though, look what Leighton did for the flyers a few years ago, and he’s and AHL goalie. With Toker, the jury is still very much out. Simmons is usually a pretty good and fair journalist, it’s only his opinion.

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps indeed Rangers are trying to get in Habs heads with sending coaches and geriatric GM’s into practise, if so this only means to me that it is the Habs who are getting in the Ragdolls heads. Rangers know the Habs can play better, and the emotional win for Habs is swinging big Mo our way.

    Keep it up boys, it is critical MT maintain his composure, he lost it with Ottawa last season as he did against Carolina many moons ago. Much has been said of Gionta struggling, may be true, but I think we will see him with a big game tonight. Tonight is the pivotal game (gross understatement, I realize) Frankie plays very well when rested he will be very sharp tonight.

    Go Habs Go!

  21. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Exciting day friends, Election Day here and Habs later. Might watch the game at the Bar with some fellow Hab fans this morning. Habs even it up. 5-3 (Gallagher, Subban, Vanek, Plekanec,Desharnais)

  22. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Assistant coaches sneaking into practice yesterday was stupid but Glen Sather should’ve known better. Seems like Rangers will stoop to any level to gain an edge including bullcrapping their story about Stepan & his status for today’s game. Can’t wait to see how much love New York will get today from the clowns on HNIC.

  23. in habs we trust says:

    Dustin Tokarski:He`s a Joker,a Smoker he`s a Montreal Canadien TOKER!
    “R” Habs`

  24. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    Whatever it takes to win. Just do it with honour.

    X X X X X X X X X 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  25. ths says:

    If Cube plays tonight he better leave his feet and take 1st or 2nd line center head off otherwise he has no business in there

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

    • Clay says:

      So you’re saying he should take a major penalty and possibly cost us the game? Makes perfect sense.

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

      • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

        Especially against a Ranger power play that’s been as successful as it has over the first 3 games of the series. That wouldn’t be a smart thing to do.

        X X X X X X X X X 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    • Butterface says:

      You mean if we are up by 4 with 3 minutes to go, right ?

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

  26. Hobie says:

    That was awesome seeing Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien toss Ulf Samuelsson out of Habs practice yesterday. Way to go boys. Even when the game isn’t being played the battle continues.

    It would have been awesome to see Bergevin walk over and rough him up instead by I’ll settle for what happened. ;-).

    Samuelsson was one of the cheapest, dirtiest and sneakiest players when he played, I see he implies the same coaching tactics.

    • Marc10 says:

      Not a problem. NYR wants to play games, I suggest we make the Ranger practice an open practice in Montreal; open to the public I mean. The PR guys can hand out the vuvuzellas and the air horns at the gate.

      Hey we checked with Glenn. There was no agreement on that either. Go Habs Go!

  27. Danno says:

    Hockey Night In Canada

    Behind the Scenes

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  28. third generation haber says:

    Dalton Thrower and Brady Vail must be signed by June 1st or we lose them; what is going on???

    j.p. murray

  29. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning all!!
    4-3 Habs tonight! Book It !!!!!

  30. third generation haber says:

    If I were a Ranger forward, I’d much rather face the cube than Tinordi.

    j.p. murray

    • Corporate says:

      Tinordi has not played in how long? Also he is very slow. Yes he can hit, but you can’t hit what you can’t catch. The Cube is a good compromise. He did ok with Weaver when played together.

  31. L Elle says:

    It’s always better to take the high road. I don’t want to hate, but it’s easy with the whining, crying, hypocritical bunch that is the management and coaching of the Rangers. They injure our best player, and act like it’s nothing, and keep pouring salt in our wounds.

    I found myself getting caught up with the “Yeah, let’s kill ‘em crowd”. I have consciously decided not to read or listen to any of the junk anymore. After all, it is only hockey.

    If I’m Therrien, instead of going ballistic at the Ranger “spies”, I’m having my team practice some crazy system, line combos and D pairings that I’ll never use, to throw them off track.

    All’s fair in love, war and hockey? This crap is not good for our sport. It may be good to wake up our team, but, unless both teams decide to play hockey, on the ice, neither team is going to have anything left for the finals.

    Neither LA or the Hawks scare me anymore. How many chances does a team have to hoist a Stanley Cup? Stop the BS and play hockey, ffs!

  32. Captain aHab says:

    The Brassard thing is to make him think: “Are they gonna nail me?”

    Therrien is also trying to get the Rags riled up about the wrong things….worked with the Bruins.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.


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