The last two preseason games have not been pretty on the ice for the Golden Knights. Tuesday they lost to the Ontario Reign masquerading as the Los Angeles Kings, and last night they got beat up over stretches by a team that finished last season with 48 points.
Normally when we’ve talked to coach Gerard Gallant after games we get reports on certain players, lines, special teams, or any other specific facet of the game. But last night he dropped a term we haven’t heard from him before, and while he’s 100% correct, the “E” word is an excuse.
We’re an expansion team. We’re going to work hard and try to get better every day. We’re going to let in 5-on-5 goals, that’s what every team does. We’ve got to work hard and battle hard. We made a few mistakes tonight on two of the goals and we’ll try to correct them, but that’s hockey. -Gallant
This is the part where you gasp. Ready, go! (LOUD GASPING NOISE)
Expansion team. When asked about struggling at even strength, he said they are an expansion team.
Now, of course, SinBin.vegas goes there all the time, we kind of think this team will stink this year, but this was the first time since the players have been in town Gallant used the term “expansion team” as an excuse for a loss.
Again, I reiterate, he’s not wrong, this is an expansion team. They are going to struggle with chemistry, timing, speed, skill, size, and in many ways simply being the lesser talented team on the ice, but to hear it as an umbrella excuse had my ears perked up higher than my Yorkie dogs.
Is this going to be a recurring theme every time they lose?
“What was wrong with the power play tonight?
“Well, we’re an expansion team, it’s going to be like this sometimes.”
“Why can’t you seem to get the puck out of your own end?”
“We’re an expansion team, we’ll just need to work harder.”
Or was this simply a slip of the tongue following a meaningless preseason game from a coach that’s not known to make excuses. Guess we’ll have to wait and see, but believe me, if it becomes a trend, it’s going to get annoying real quick.