The war of words in the Vegas Golden Knights-San Jose Sharks series has now extended to the coaches, and friends, things are getting spicy.
On Monday Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was critical of his counterpart, Gerard Gallant, for “chirping” at Sharks players during the series, saying: “I don’t know if it works in our favor. I mean, there’s still chatter. Their coach is chattering. He’s probably doing the most chattering. He’s talking to our players constantly during the game, which I haven’t seen before.”
DeBoer went on to call the chatter, “ridiculous.”
On Tuesday, just hours before the decisive Game 7 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live Stream), Gallant was asked about DeBoer’s comments and responded not only in great detail about the incidents, but by also calling DeBoer a clown.
“I really don’t want to talk about that, but I think I’m going to have to a little bit,” said Gallant. “For that clown to say that in the paper yesterday, it’s not right.”
From there, Gallant explained when and why he was chattering from the bench.
“There might have been two incidents that happened, and I’ll tell you both incidents,” Gallant began.
“Logan Couture, I thought it was an embellishment, so I’m yelling at the referee. Not Logan Couture. The other one, in Game 2, Evander Kane, he is yelling at Ryan Reaves between the bench. Evander yells at me, he says, ‘hey coach, when are you going to send your big guy out on the ice and play him more than four minutes?’ I said, ‘he’s played 10 minutes every game and he’s going to play a lot more.’ Those are the two times. If I’m going to be a chirper and a loudmouth, I think people know me as a coach and respect me as a coach. If he’s going to yap about that, that’s a little unclassy for me.”
The trash talking in the series began with Reaves and Kane having a very public back-and-forth, complete with Kane referring to Reaves as “the muffin man” after their Game 3 fight and Reaves cracking jokes about Joe Thornton‘s age and vision.
This is only the Golden Knights’ second year in the NHL, but having already played the Sharks in the playoffs each year, and having some wild regular season matchups in between, it is very clear they have their first true rival.
The handshake line on Tuesday night, no matter who wins, should be an interesting one.