Alain Vigneault channels 2014 Rangers incident with Brendan Gallagher dig

Alain Vigneault’s memory goes all the way back to 2014, at least.

The Philadelphia Flyers coach has been under fire after his Thursday comments about Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher, who suffered a broken jaw in Wednesday’s Game 5 between the teams.

“In my estimation, Gallagher got up and seemed fine,” Vigneault told reporters. “He was talking to the referees. The whole time that he was on the bench, he was talking to our players for the rest of the game.”

The response to the injury — the product of a crosscheck for which Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen was suspended for a game — was not well-received in hockey circles, though it may have deeper roots.

Going all the way back to the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, when Vigneault was coaching the Rangers, forward Derek Stepan had his jaw broken on a hit by then-Habs winger Brandon Prust. Gallagher was among those who felt the Rangers exaggerated the injury.

“I’ve seen some broken jaws,” Gallagher told media. “Usually can’t talk too much and he seemed to be talking fine.”

Five years later, it seems Vigneault hasn’t forgotten, and definitely hasn’t forgiven, either.

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