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Fans Unfairly Blaming Gallant Should Watch Toronto’s Fallout

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was a small percent of the fanbase but there were some questioning the coaching ability of Gerard Gallant over the past two weeks. The 2018 Jack Adams award winner has accrued a record of 104-65-17 as the Golden Knights head coach. That’s a .605 points percentage, ranking Gallant among the league’s best over that period. Not to mention his .593 postseason win percentage and 16 combined wins in two playoff runs. Tonight’s visitor, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their head coach are an entirely different story. One that should quiet any Gallant doubters.

Toronto head coach Mike Babcock is highly respected, highly paid, and has one of the most talented rosters in the NHL. He’s also currently on the hot seat.

Babcock is in his fifth season, and under his watch, the Maple Leafs have failed in the postseason never making it out of the first round. This season, Toronto has started slow, put up some stinkers, and according to the fanbase, underachieved.

Fan votes shouldn’t impact an organization’s decision, but it’s a pretty strong indicator of current temperature in Leafs Nation. In reality, there are other elements. Toronto GM Kyle Dubas didn’t hire Babcock, he acquired players that aren’t connecting with the coach, and already has his replacement in the AHL. None of those scenarios exist here in Vegas.

Babcock’s job could literally be on the line tonight against the Golden Knights. But it’s not only because his team struggled over the first quarter of the season. This has been a slow process over the past five years, and it mainly comes down to multiple postseason flameouts. Heck, maybe it’s not fully Babcock’s fault. It could be decisions the front office made, but frankly, Golden Knights fans don’t care what’s happening behind close doors in Toronto.

I hate calling any Golden Knight fan a dummy but the shoe definitely fits this time. Babcock’s situation is much more real and dire. Gallant’s job has never been under scrutiny nor should it be. Maybe his team hasn’t played up to it’s ability but there could be a multitude of reasons why. It could easily be chalked up as the ebbs and flows of a NHL season. Overall, Gallant has done a remarkable job in Vegas and I can’t imagine anything will change for at least a few more seasons.

Why am I so confident? Follow the success and the money.

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11 Comments

  1. Leftyphive

    Exactly! Every time I see someone bringing up Gallant getting fired or being put on the Hot Seat, I roll my eyes. It would be absurd to think his job is in danger, or that he is the reason the Knights have been in a funk.

  2. Tim

    After awhile players get tone deaf with coaches saying the same thing over and over and when the results aren’t their fans tend to pile on. Our problem is were short a few players and my suggestion on defense would be trade for Seth Thomas. Columbus isn’t going anywhere and as good as Thomas is we have the resources to make the trade. After this year he’s still under contract for two more years at 5.4 million. He would help stop the bleeding on defense big guy who can skate and score. Pass that on to Kelly and George he’s a difference maker.

    • Brian

      And how do you propose Kelly and George free up the $5.4 million in current cap space to accomplish this trade?? Send Schmidt (5.95) to the Jackets?? Or Theodore (5.2)? Or Engelland (700) Holden (2.2) and McNab (2.5)? Not sure any combination even close to $5.4 million does anything but make our current blue line weaker.

      • Jonathan

        I’m not sure you know how the cap works. You don’t owe a player their entire annual salary dude. You owe them the prorated portion of the salary still left, which is why it’s much easier to trade for a rental at the deadline. You aren’t going to owe them even half of the full season rate.

      • Daniel

        Send Stastny to Columbus.

    • Nick

      Who is Seth Thomas?!?!?!

  3. a cab for 2

    wrong Pothier. Gallant was fired in Columbus and he was fired in Florida. and he will be fired in LV eventually.

    Look at Arizona, and the NY Isles to see teams flourishing with DEFENSIVE systems. The teams who keep the puck out of their own net are the successful ones, especially when they have limited offensive talent on the roster.

    so, the REASON for the Leafs struggles is that Babcock has NOT been able to get his players to buy in to a defensive mindset.

    and THAT is exactly why Gallant will eventually be canned in Vegas. Not this year, but eventually when things become untenable, and the fans have had enough, he will be dumped.

    There is NOTHING unfair about criticizing a coach who admits that his slug defensive dmen are trying to be Bobby Orr, and he should have stopped that long ago.

  4. Eric

    Vegas is fine they don’t need anything. They are in my eyes the wcf champions and I think that they will play boston in the final

  5. DOC Williams

    IS there a Seth “THOMAS” or did he mean Seth “JONES” ????

    • Jessie

      Seth Thomas was an American clockmaker and a pioneer of mass production at his Seth Thomas Clock Company

  6. you're fired

    Joel Quenneville won 3 Stanley cups in Chicago, and he got fired.

    Darryl Sutter won 2 Stanley cups in LA, and he got fired.

    Was it unfair to them? no, they simply lost the room eventually, as their team got old and slowed down.

    Mike Sullivan and Craig Berube both won Stanley cups after taking over in midseason.

    So, all that matters is what have you done for us lately.

    All coaches are hired to be fired, and they know it, and admit it.

    Even rich , bigshot coaches like Babcock cannot just live in yesteryear’s glory, and they eventually have to face current reality.

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