The Rangers had their baggie day Wednesday. Gerard Gallant held a press conference, which is typically a good sign he will be retained as head coach.
But then again, NHL teams change coaches like underwear. The veteran, win-now Blueshirts did just fall flat on their face with their seven-game loss to the Devils. And James Dolan owns the team.
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So yes, questions about Gallant’s job security were going to be asked. But not without him throwing a fit, blaming the media for such “disappointing” inquiries.
A contortion of fury and disgust progressively wiped over Gerard Gallant’s face as his end-of-the-season press conference went on Wednesday.
The Rangers head coach, whose second year at the helm ended way below expectations in a pitiful Game 7 first-round loss to the Devils, said he hadn’t yet spoken to president and general manager Chris Drury but that he has read what has been circulating about his job security in the media.
It’s disappointing, he said bluntly. Gallant also attributed it to coaching in New York, but that didn’t seem to make the line of questioning any less offensive to the 59-year-old.
“I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about me getting fired,” Gallant said. “If I can’t stand by my record and what I’ve done, I think there’s something wrong.”
Gallant isn’t wrong, per se. The team has had back-to-back 100-point regular seasons under his watch. They overachieved getting to the conference finals last year and they underachieved with a first-round exit this year. He does deserve to come back. And he likely will. But that does not mean the question will not be asked. Because it has to be. The Rangers went all in. It did not work. And the roster more or less is what it is. Which leads you to the coach. Which Gallant clearly realizes, because otherwise he would not lash out at the media like this.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.