Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Gallant, Maurice took long road to lead Golden Knights, Jets
Gerard Gallant and Paul Maurice do not know each other, despite the fact that their coaching career of the NHL is superimposed for several years.
The men behind the benches for the gold knights of Vegas and the Winnipeg planes, although both led their teams to the final of the Western Conference after long winding paths.
Gallant was fired by the Florida panthers with a winning record of just 21 games in the 2016-17 season, Leaving him to drop a taxi outside the arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, after his things were unloaded from the bus.
Maurice was fired by Carolina Hurricanes twice. For the second time there were only 25 games of the season 2011-12.
They will match the mid-game on Wednesday night in Game 3, when Vegas hopes home ice gives him an edge in the dead-end series.
Gallant was shamefully released from his duties with the Panthers, a season after he was a finalist for the coach of the year, because of the philosophical differences between the analytical leadership and the old school coach.
"He stayed on the sidelines," said the Golden Knights James Neal.
And it turned out very well for Gallant and the team, which also came out of nowhere.
The coach, discarded by the Panthers, led the collection of garbage to an amazingly successful expansion season.
If the direct shooting coach can help Vegas win three more games, he will join Scottie Bowman as the only coaches who will lead the first expansion team in the Stanley Cup finals. Bowman did it 50 years ago with the St. Louis Blues, and the Hall of Fame is fighting for Gallant.
This season, Gallant won 51 games in his career, seventh in the league.
Similarly, Maurice had the best season with what, he said, was his best team. He won a career 52 games in his 20-year as an NHL coach. He won three wins from the second Stanley Cup finals. In 2002, the Red Wings, led by Bowman, defeated Carolina and raised the Cup.
Maurice joined the league as a coach in 1995 with Hartford Whalers, who moved to Carolina two years later. After he was fired for the first time under a franchise, he lasted only two seasons and had 10 games for .500 in the pressure cookers working with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
When Winnipeg opened the postseason with a victory over Minnesota, it was Maurice's first victory in the playoffs since 2009 during the second round with the hurricanes. He strengthened the perspective that he received over two decades in the best hockey league in the world, knowing full well how difficult it is to win in a league that can have more parity than any other in North American sports.
Maurice is the same student as the teacher who develops as a communicator after language barriers with players, practicing in Russia and learning to show maybe 10 video clips to his players, not 100 after training at the World Hockey Championship.
"He's tense in games, but when we do not play, he's pretty laid-back," said Andrew W. Kopp, the Wingpig Front. "He was in a very good mood, recently joked at meetings, this shows his confidence in our team. It's nice to have a coach behind a bench that does not panic. He has confidence, and we carry this mentality, too. "