Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/25/14 at 12:51 PM ET
Q. This has obviously become a war of words between coaches as much as the players on the ice. Yesterday you spoke about Derick Brassard and spoke about knowing where his injury was today. Alain Vigneault suggested that if Brassard gets injured tonight, you could be in trouble.
COACH THERRIEN: You know what? Because I was saying the same thing we said about Carey Price, that they knew before we knew his injuries, and in the hockey world it's a small world. It's a small world, so we knew exactly what happened to Derick Brassard. And by the way, he's a good player. He's an important player. That line got a lot of success, aganist 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 with 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. I don't think they gave a free pass to P.K. Subban, all the cheap shots that he got. I don't think they gave a free pass to Gallagher. But that's okay. It's the playoffs. It's the beauty of it. There is a lot of emotion. And Derick Brassard, let me tell you, he's a good player, and we're going to get to pay attention to him. But there is no ‑‑ there is no one wants to see a player get hurt. We don't want to see Stepan get hurt. I'm sure they didn't want to see Carey Price get hurt, but sometimes those things happen.
Q. There is a difference between hurting and injuring somebody. You try to hurt somebody. He wants to hurt them.
COACH THERRIEN: What are you talking about?
Q. He's saying he doesn't want to be injured, but he wants to feel the hit. He wants to hurt him.
COACH THERRIEN: You play players hard. That's the way it is.
Q. I'm saying there is a difference between hurting someone.
COACH THERRIEN: No, you know what? People who follow our team through the course of the season, we're a team that we're disciplined. We're a team that plays whistle to whistle, and there is a reason why we're here, because of our discipline and because we respect the game. We're not going to change anything.
Q. What I'm just saying is when you have someone check somebody, you want the player that's being checked to feel it.
COACH THERRIEN: It's part of hockey.
Q. You want to hurt them. You don't want to injure them, you want to hurt them?
COACH THERRIEN: You want to finish your check.
Q. Alain said today there was not a gentleman's agreement between the two organizations?
COACH THERRIEN: Who said that?
Q. Alain said it. Obviously you feel differently. Is there a miscommunication between the two organizations?
COACH THERRIEN: I'm assuming so. Because like I said, my staff and my coaching staff were under the impression that there is a gentleman's agreement. So probably there was a miscommunication. I don't talk to coaches. This is things the GM talks about. But from our standpoint, we still believe that there is a gentleman's agreement.
Q. How would you describe the current status of your relationship with Alain Vigneault?
COACH THERRIEN: Good (laughing). No, no. You know what? I'm just joking. You know what? Alain Vigneault, first of all, he's a good friend, and I'm privileged to be one of his friends. He's an important person in my life. He's a guy that pushed for me to get into pro hockey, and I respect that. Over the years we became great, great friends, and I've got tons of respect for him, and he's a good coach.
But right now we're battling for the same thing. The same thing he wants to get to the Stanley Cup Final with his team, it's the same thing for me. We've got to put our friendship aside for, what, two weeks? But I'm sure when everything's going to be done and everything's going to be over, and as soon as we get a chance to see each other, we're going to have a nice cold beer, like we did in the past, and nothing's going to change. But right now we're competing for the same goal. That's normal. It doesn't mean that I have no respect for him. I have tons of respect, and he's one of the reasons why the Rangers are here, because he's a good coach.
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