Almost all of the talk after last night’s game was about Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban and their comments regarding the other.
A lot of people think this is the ‘aha!’ moment. Rumours swirled about Subban being disliked in the locker room and we finally had our smoking gun.
Not so fast.
Let me preface this by saying that when you get 23 men together, there will be personalities that don’t mesh. It’s possible that the two didn’t get along. I don’t think that this affected the on-ice dynamic of the Montreal Canadiens and forced the trade.
Yes, Gallagher’s comments weren’t great. Some have said they were immature. I think it was a frustrated man letting out some of that frustration.
The Canadiens played very well yesterday (more on that a bit later). They didn’t win. We know from watching them that Gallagher and Subban are very annoying to play against. They tussled, and tempers flared. They let loose a little bit after the game.
I can understand why Gallagher said what he said. I can see why Subban said what he said. They are two players who are very competitive. There’s perhaps no Habs player who hates to lose more than Gallagher. There’s perhaps no player who likes to win as much as Subban.
That’s what fueled the comments.
Gallagher has off-ice relationships with rivals Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand and has on-ice tussles with them. When you have to fight for every inch like Gallagher has had to for his entire career, you get into on-ice altercations. You get that emotion build-up. It doesn’t excuse what he said, it explains it.
But we need to be careful not to read too much into words when the person saying them was clearly frustrated. Gallagher’s relationships with the two aforementioned players shows he can separate the two, and relationship dynamics are much different when you are on the same team and when you are battling for a win.