So here’s the thing: you’re new to this hockey thing. Still. And that’s OK. You don’t understand why Gerard Gallant was fired any more than I can understand where he found the name Gerard. I get it. Your entire hockey existence you’ve thought “this sport is different than the others. They play hard for the name on the front. ThEy’Re AlL aBoUt TeAm AnD lOyAlTy.” So *you* grew loyal to the names.
That’s just it though: in hockey, just like all the other sports, change *is* the only constant. Need proof? OK, relax, Ally McBeal, I got you.
2019 St. Louis Blues:
Just last year the Stanley Cup champs didn’t start that way. At 7-9-3 management saw enough and was ready to make a change to provide a spark for the team(you’ll soon learn, that’s a recurring theme, like Hollywood acceptance speeches). They changed coaches and goalies and held the cup at the end.
2012 Los Angeles Kings:
Were out of the playoffs, hired Darryl (yes, with 2 Rs) Sutter, finished as the 8th seed, and went 16-4 in the playoffs to take the whole thing. Spark theory.
2009 AND 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins:
The Penguins doubled down on their coaching changes turned Stanley Cup season(If I didn’t get a Vegas reference in here somewhere, I’d like me less). Both times they brought up their minor league affiliate coach from Scranton. Both times you wouldn’t have known if the coach was Michael Scott or the Scranton Strangler. Both times ended in a cup. And, yes, I was proud of that one.
In fact, *just a week before Gallant* the Nashville Predators fired their coach who has been in the playoffs 5 years in a row, but had mad the mistake of never getting them to the finals. Nope, wait, he was just there in 2017. At that point John Wick had only successfully committed mass murder without getting arrested once. That long ago. Five years coaching hockey is like acting in Hollywood but you age in Morgan Freeman years. Gallant now makes *six* coaches fired already this season in the NHL. So, you see, this is the norm.
So Who’s The New Guy?
As just another example of loyalty to the names in the NHL, now we have to reconcile with the fact that now the Knights are coached by former San Jose Sharks coach, Peter DeBoer. Which, thank the hockey gods isn’t somehow pronounced Dubois. Which, somehow isn’t spelled Doob WAH. Which, somehow rhymes with Hoo Ha. This is like the time Hulk Hogan joined the NWO for some of you. With children crying in the crowd and everything. He’s uniquely qualified for this job because the Sharks were kind of built like the Knights in a way. Being deep in professional hockey players while not hunting for star power. Being balanced across the board and send 60 minute waves of anyone-can-beat-you right into your zone. Which is what we all liked in Gallant, but in hockey, any sign of a team getting weary of your voice means it’s time to go. Just like it did in San Jose. Because spark theory.
So in hindsight, the Gallant firing wasn’t so much a surprise as it was inevitable. There was really nothing he could do to stop the train once it got going on those spark theory tracks.
Well, except call a timeout somewhere, *ANYWHERE,* between the 0th and 4th goal last May instead of watching us choke for five consecutive minutes.
We needed a spark.