Getty

Gallant responds to ‘clown’ DeBoer for ‘chirping’ comment

5 Comments

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.”

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

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.

Related: Trash talk between Reaves, Kane almost as good as their fight

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Evander Kane loses cool as Sharks’ meltdown continues

6 Comments

The San Jose Sharks are unraveling.

Not only has their biggest and most obvious flaw — goaltending — once again been exposed in their in Round 1 series against the Vegas Golden Knights, but the team has started to melt down in all phases and now has been pushed to the brink of elimination following an ugly 5-0 loss on Tuesday night.

The Golden Knights are now in complete control of the series with a 3-1 lead and seem to be just toying with the Sharks.

If the results weren’t bad enough, the Sharks completely lost their composure in the third period of Game 4, a development that was highlighted by an Evander Kane tantrum that resulted in him earning 14 penalty minutes and an early exit to the locker room.

After aggressively cross-checking Paul Stastny in the neutral zone, Kane delivered a sucker-punch to the face Colin Miller in the scrum that ensued.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Kane has made headlines in this series for his Game 3 fight with Golden Knights enforcer Ryan Reaves and then some trash talk through the media on Tuesday where he said, among other things, that he thought he was “fighting the muffin man” when he dropped the gloves with Reaves.

As Kane was being escorted to the locker room on Tuesday, the Vegas in-game entertainment crew played “The Muffin Man.”

Here is the entire sequence involving Kane on Tuesday.

Whether or not that punch is enough to earn a suspension remains to be seen, but it will almost certainly be looked at by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

The Sharks were already playing Tuesday without Joe Thornton after he was suspended for a hit to the head late in the Sharks’ Game 3 loss.

But the meltdown did not stop there.

With the Sharks already shorthanded late in the third period, Timo Meier earned a two-minute minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at the officials from the bench.

As for the actual hockey, things were not much better.

Starting goalie Martin Jones gave up two early goals — including another in the first two minutes — on only seven shots and was benched after the first period. Backup Aaron Dell did not play any better, while the Sharks’ defense that is led by Norris Trophy winners Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns just looked bad at times. The former still does not look to be anywhere near 100 percent healthy.

Max Pacioretty had four points, including two goals, in the win for Vegas while Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault also found the back of the net for a Golden Knights team that is having no problems feasting on the Sharks’ horrendous goaltending.

The series shifts back to San Jose on Thursday for Game 5 at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN where the Golden Knights will have a chance to move on.

More Sharks-Golden Knights:
Sharks lose Thornton for Game 4
Trash talk between Kane, Reaves almost as good as their fight

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Trash talk between Reaves, Kane almost as good as their fight

5 Comments

Evander Kane was named after Evander Holyfield, but there’s a touch of Muhammad Ali to his trash talk with Ryan Reaves.

The two engaged in a positively terrifying fight during the Golden Knights’ 6-3 win against the Sharks in Game 3, after heated exchanges that Pierre McGuire described as minutes-long bits of almost certainly NSFW banter. While the material there is too “blue” for our innocent eyes and ears, the two weren’t shy about making their disdain public. From the sound of things, Game 3 might not be the last time they drop the gloves during this Round 1 series, whether the next bout happens in Game 4 (Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; Live stream) or later.

On Monday, Reaves was asked if he gained respect for Evander Kane after that fight, and the answer seemed to be “not a ton.”

“Yeah I guess a little bit but not really a lot to be honest,” Reaves said, via Sin Bin Vegas. “I’m not really ever going to respect that guy.”

[2019 NBC STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS HUB]

Reaves went on to take a shot at Joe Thornton regarding Thornton’s suspension following a hit on Tomas Nosek, referring to Jumbo Joe as “grandpa” and joking that Thornton will have trouble seeing from the press box. Kane apparently heard about those comments, and they became a part of a multi-part takedown of Reaves. Shen Peng of Fear the Fin captured the trash talking glory of it all:

As you can see from that smorgasboard of smack talk, Kane made the following remarks:

  • That Kane was unharmed from the fight, and that he “expected more of a battle,” comparing fighting Reaves to fighting “The Muffin Man.” (Not totally sure what Kane is referencing, so here’s hoping it was this. Either way, that song has traveled back from my childhood and is now firmly planted in my head.)
  • Kane says that Reaves speaks as if he’s in WWE, and uses that as a way to throw a barb at Reaves as a player, wondering if Reaves might become a professional wrestler soon. Request: if Reaves does, can his gimmick be “The Muffin Experience?”
  • Most succinctly, Kane said “Nobody thinks of Ryan Reaves as a hockey player.”

Harsh.

As we saw with the Alex Ovechkin – Andrei Svechnikov fight, it’s easy to forget about what are often scary consequences to these fights. While both Reaves and Kane are more seasoned in that regard, there’s also even greater size and fighting experience involved, only making potential bouts more dangerous.

From the Sharks’ perspective, you also have to wonder if Reaves is accomplishing a lot by getting Kane off of his game. This feud isn’t just a distraction; Kane (and the Sharks) must be aware that any fight would mean taking Kane – who had 30 goals and 56 points during the regular season – off the ice for five minutes or more. Even those who believe that Reaves brings more than fisticuffs to the table would probably agree that such a tradeoff would be a huge win for the Golden Knights. The same could be said if both players were injured in a fight.

For fans of “old time hockey,” this is a rare treat, and there’s no denying the spectacle. The Sharks risk giving the Golden Knights an edge if Kane gets swept up in all of it at the wrong time, though. Kane fighting Reaves in a blowout was one thing, but tensions boiling over at the wrong time could end up hurting San Jose.

Then again, maybe an angry Kane might produce some big points with all of that extra motivation? We’ll see.

Golden Knights – Sharks Game 4 from T-Mobile Arena will be Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. (Live stream)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

PHT Morning Skate: Hedman ‘doubtful’ for Game 4; Hughes, Kakko top Central Scouting ranks

3 Comments

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Here’s your daily NBC Sports Stanley Cup Playoffs update for April 16th

• Uh oh. Victor Hedman is “doubtful” for Game 4, according to Jon Cooper. [Tampa Bay Times]

Matt Duchene is loving playoff life with the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Sportsnet]

• As expected, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko top NHL Central Scouting’s final 2019 draft rankings. [NHL.com]

• One of Max Pacioretty’s sons told him to score in Game 3. Sure enough, dad fulfilled the request. [Sin Bin Vegas]

• A look at how the bad blood between Evander Kane and Ryan Reaves has evolved over the years. [NBC Bay Area]

• There’s one member of the Pittsburgh Penguins who knows about coming back from an 0-3 series deficit. [Pensburgh]

• A good look at how the New York Islanders have put the Penguins on the brink of being swept. [Lighthouse Hockey]

• “New campaign aims to bring women’s hockey league to Seattle” [MyNorthwest.com]

Patrick Kane has been named captain of the U.S. roster set to take part in next month’s IIHF World Championship. [USA Hockey]

• Oilers forward Milan Lucic suffered a lower-body injury and is currently sporting a cast. The off-ice injury is not expected to force him to miss any time next season. [TSN]

• Now that Joel Quenneville has been hired, what else is on the Florida Panthers’ to-do list this off-season? [Panther Parkway]

• A good breakdown at just special a talent the Vancouver Canucks have in Elias Pettersson. [EP Rinkside]

• Finally, here’s episode 3 of “Puckland,” as the ECHL’s Maine Mariners hold an intense training camp and evaluate local players for their final roster:

Golden Knights’ Stone, Stastny dominate Sharks to take 2-1 series lead

When you begin a Stanley Cup Playoff game with a goal in the first 16 seconds, it’s often a sign of good things to come.

When you score three, add two assists and have another player on your team also put together a five-point effort. Well, you have yourself one hell of an assured win.

Mark Stone and Paul Stastny feasted on Shark in a 6-3 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series on Saturday, moving the Golden Knights to a 2-1 series lead in the process.

Stone entered the game with three goals in the first two games and left Game 3 with six after a ridiculous effort from his line alongside Stastny and Max Pacioretty. The line combined for a whopping 12 points in the game.

Stastny hadn’t scored coming into the game but had three assists and double that in the game, assisting on Pacioretty’s first-period goal (both via a pass and also via a perfect screen) and Stone’s second and third of the game. Stastny’s goals were his first an second of the series.

Pacioretty had a goal and an assist for good measure.

The Sharks showed life in the third, scoring two goals in 54 seconds to pull the game to 5-3. That’s as close as they’d get.

Martin Jones played like another goaltender altogether in San Jose’s Game 1 victory. Jones, who had a .896 save percentage during the regular season, put up and elite .923 outing to open the series.

In Game 2, he was pulled after allowed four goals on seven shots. On Sunday, he allowed six on 40 shots. Two disastrous outings, but both the Sharks’ No. 1 and the five in front of him.

[2019 NBC STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS HUB]

If you’re San Jose, you have to be thinking about putting Aaron Dell into the net (Dude, you’re getting a Dell…) But seriously, Jones hasn’t been the answer all season and something needs to change after such a demoralizing defeat.

The Sharks have no answer for Stastny’s line. And if they find one, then it will be at the cost of shutting down William Karlsson and Co. There are no easy fixes here, and Vegas looks very good once again.

San Jose, meanwhile, is probably going to be without Joe Thornton after this bone-headed hit by the elder statesman.

Frustrations boiled over there and later in the game when Ryan Reaves and Evander Kane engaged in a fight that featured few jabs and all haymakers.

Game 4 of this best-of-7 series goes Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. 


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck