SAN JOSE, Calif. — Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant called San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer “a clown” for accusing Gallant of trash-talking Sharks players from the bench during their contentious playoff series, which ends with Game 7 at SAP Center on Tuesday night.
On Monday, DeBoer was asked if the chatter between the teams had dissipated as the series has worn on. “There’s still chatter,” he said. “Their coach is probably doing the most chatter. He’s talking to our players constantly, which is something that I haven’t seen before. That’s probably where most of the chatter is coming from now. The players are playing.”
DeBoer said one of the targets of Gallant’s taunts was Sharks center Logan Couture, calling his counterpart’s behavior “ridiculous.”
Gallant heard about those comments, and responded on the morning of Game 7.
“I really don’t want to talk about that, but I think I’m going to have to a little bit. For that clown to say that in the paper yesterday, it’s not right,” Gallant said.
“There might have been two incidents that happened, and I’ll tell you both of the incidents. Logan Couture — I thought that was an embellishment, so I’m yelling at the referee. Not Logan Couture,” Gallant said, in reference to a Game 5 incident in which Couture had teeth knocked out by a Jonathan Marchessault high stick but the on-ice officials didn’t initially call a penalty.
“The other one, Game 2, Evander Kane is yelling at Ryan Reaves between the benches. Evander yells at me and says, ‘Hey, Coach, when are you going to send your big guy on the ice and play him more than four minutes?’ And I said, ‘He’s played 10 minutes every game, and he’s going to play a lot more.'”
Gallant said those were the only two occasions in which he made comments regarding a Sharks player.
“If I’m going to be a chirper or a loudmouth — I think people know me as a coach and respect me as coach. If he’s going to yap about that, that’s a little un-classy for me,” he said.
Vegas players like Marchessault said they were unaware of any egregious “chirping” coming from their coach. “I never saw [Gallant] talk to another guy on the ice other than us. I would not assume that,” Marchessault said. “Maybe they’re a little extra sensitive.”
This isn’t the first time DeBoer has gotten into it with an opposing coach. In 2012, while with the New Jersey Devils, DeBoer and New York Rangers coach John Tortorella got into a war of words on the benches and in the media. At one point DeBoer dismissed Tortorella’s criticisms of the Devils players as “comical.”