Imagine a Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens held a joint practice like the ones NFL teams have been doing for years.
Of course, joining those two storied rivals together in practice drills and controlled scrimmages could lead to some good old-fashioned donnybrooks, but Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery likes the idea of trying to emulate the NFL joint practices.
“Yeah, I think it could work,” Montgomery replied when asked about the idea. “I remember – I don’t know, maybe six years ago now – I really wanted to work on our pulled goalie situation. You can do it in practice, but I remember we were playing Florida at the time, and I asked Joel Quenneville before the game:
‘Are you OK if during the second period, it doesn’t matter the score, we might pull our goalie to work on pulled goalie situations?’
And he goes:
‘I never thought about that. It sounds like a good idea. A little odd’
He said that because no one had ever suggested it, but [joint practices] would allow us to do that. Controlled scrimmages to work on that and other in-game stuff teams need to work on, but I don’t know if it’s feasible.”
Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic wasn’t really a fan when he was asked if he’d be cool with the NHL adopting joint practices.
“To be honest, I think that’s why the exhibition starts right away,” Lucic replied. “Instead of guys kicking the crap out of each other, they want us to kick the crap out of guys on the other team and all that type of stuff. They kind of got away from those six or seven-day camps before the exhibition games started. The controlled scrimmages in practices, I don’t know about that. Maybe more guys would be getting hurt if that’s the case.”
Valid points by the 35-year-old veteran winger, but one has to wonder if the NHL was holding joint practices back in 2009 and the Canadiens and Bruins held one together, would Lucic have fought George Laraque instead of ignoring him to stay on the ice?