Defenseman Nate Schmidt may have tied the game with his late third-period goal, but let’s give Gerard Gallant the assist. With 2:18 left in the game, and the puck frozen in Arizona’s zone, the Golden Knights coach called a timeout and pulled his goalie. About a minute later, the lovable Schmidt scored on a rebound to tie it up. Gallant would never take credit, but his instinct to pull Marc-Andre Fleury “early” was the right decision.
I’d do it every time. You got to face that in their zone. You want to make sure you get the six on five down there. Some people think its early, I don’t think it’s early. -Gallant
— Jason R. Pothier (@JRPothier) October 8, 2017
Two minutes left in the game, may not seem early to some, but just a decade ago NHL coaches on average pulled their goaltenders with 1:15 left. Gallant’s decision to go for it was a combination of an offensive zone faceoff, time remaining, and confidence in his players.
If you’re down one goal and you feel good about your team, the way they’re playing. You win the face off in their zone, why wait because you might not get that chance again. I figured let’s go for it, and it worked tonight. -Gallant
Schmidt and James Neal (again) were the stars on the stat sheet, but Gallant’s decision deserves to be noted. His late-game coaching adjustments have worked out well two nights in a row. So, raise you’re brunch Bellini’s to the Golden Knights head coach. Wait, what am I talking about? SinBinners don’t eat Sunday brunch. Raise your happy hour IPA instead, and keep the party going.
— Hockey Blvd (@HockeyBlvdVegas) October 8, 2017