Vegas Golden Knights decided they need to move on from coach Gerard Gallant – Ottawa Sun
The best advice anybody can live by if they’re headed for Vegas is that you’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.
In the case of Vegas Golden Knights’ general manager Kelly McCrimmon, he decided Wednesday morning it was time to throw in the towel on coach Gerard Gallant. So less than 24 hours after the Knights lost their fourth straight in a 4-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday, Gallant was sent packing and replaced by former San Jose coach Peter DeBoer.
While McCrimmon was short on specifics, it sure sounds like he didn’t like the hand Gallant was dealing in the dressing room and so after 30 months or so with the NHL’s expansion team he’s finished. DeBoer, let go last month by the Sharks, was expected to arrive in Ottawa Wednesday night and will make his debut behind the bench against the Senators Thursday at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Assistant coach Mike Kelly was also fired with Gallant, who only weeks ago was named the head coach of the Pacific Division all-star team at the festivities set for Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis.
“Sometimes you have a feeling that something isn’t the way you need it to be or want it to be,” said McCrimmon in a hastily-called news conference at the Canadian Tire Centre before the club went on the ice. “We feel we’ve underperformed a little bit and certainly not to pile it on the feet of Mike and Gerard.
“But sometimes you feel a change is needed. That’s what went into the decision and like anything we do, we try to do what we genuinely believe is in the best interests of the Golden Knights’ organization and we believe that’s the case.”
The Knights are on the outside of the NHL’s playoff picture looking in but they’re tied in points with the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets for the final wildcard spot, however, both teams have two games in hand. McCrimmon felt if this move was made now it would give the organization time to get back on track before it’s too late and the team is in a free-fall.
The Knights head into this game with a 4-6-0 record in their last 10 games.
“It wasn’t a specific block of games or a specific game. It’s hard to put into words unless you’ve done these jobs but it’s more just the feeling you have that a change might be needed,” he said. “I wish I could be more specific than that but that’s really how we felt.
“We thought about this a lot but it was certainly wasn’t something we did in haste or in the recent four games, it was a decision that was arrived at over time.”
Many will tell you Gallant has done a spectacular job with the Knights and that’s why this decision was so surprising. He has 213-118-75 record since arriving in Vegas and even captured the Jack Adams award after the club’s inaugural season in 2017-18 when the club went to the Stanley Cup final. The Knights lost in Round 1 last spring.
So, why did they turn to DeBoer?
“Peter’s a really good coach and he’s had a lot of success in the NHL,” McCrimmon added. “With him working most recently in the Pacific Division, we’ve had a chance to watch his teams play and that his teams are very well prepared and very well coached.
“We think he’ll do a very good job for us and he’s very respected coach in the industry.”‘
McCrimmon said they didn’t reach out to DeBoer until the last 24 hours.
“It came together very quickly and that’s why the announcement today,” McCrimmon said.
The Knights have been up and down which is why they’re frustrated with where they stand at the moment. They felt if they let it slip any further they’d be on the outside looking in without at least giving themselves the opportunity to get back on track.
“You’ve seen consistency issues and I can’t be more clear that’s not necessarily at the feet of the two guys that were relieved today,” said McCrimmon. “I think our team has more to give and that’s what went into the decision.”
The Knights management likes what DeBoer can bring to the table .
“He’s always been a coach that has a lot of respect from his players,” McCrimmon said. “He relates well with players and he’s an intelligent guy. His teams have always been strong on special teams and he’s been to the Stanley Cup final with two different teams (San Jose and New Jersey). He’s enjoyed a lot of success in the NHL as a coach.
“With this opportunity, I think he’ll continue to do that.”
In the end the Knights felt they couldn’t gamble any longer with Gallant behind the bench and nobody will find out until down the road if this bold move is going to pay dividends.
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Blue Jays beat Twins on Berrios’ pitching, Kirk’s hitting, Varsho’s fielding
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — José Berríos made another solid start. Alejandro Kirk delivered a timely hit. Daulton Varsho did a little bit of everything.
The Toronto Blue Jays took another step toward a turnaround at the end of a rough month, posting their first series win in four ties in well-rounded fashion.
Berríos pitched around a season-high five walks and into the sixth inning for Toronto to beat his old team, and the Blue Jays blanked the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Sunday.
“Hopefully, this kind of springboards us forward,” manager John Schneider said after the Blue Jays played their 17th game in 17 days.
Kirk hit a two-run single in the second inning that held up for Berríos (5-4), who has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his last nine turns after a rough start.
Daulton Varsho scored all the way from first base on Kirk’s hit. Handling center field for Kevin Kiermaier — the day after he twice had a leaping catch attempt turn into a Twins home run when those balls bounced off his glove and into the grass berm — Varsho was superb. He assisted on the third out of the fourth inning when he fielded a single and threw out Alex Kirilloff at third.
Then in the eighth, Varsho jumped above the center-field wall to take a homer away from Carlos Correa.
“For as magnified as he was yesterday, I’m thrilled that he gets to be celebrated today,” Schneider said.
Jordan Romano recorded his 12th save with a scoreless ninth, allowing a two-out single to rookie Matt Wallner. He was 2 for 2 with two walks and has reached base in eight straight plate appearances.
The Blue Jays (28-26), who are in last place in the AL East, are just 10-17 in their last 27 games.
“You’re going to go through a rough stretch at some point during the year, and for us it’s like right now,” Varsho said. “Hopefully we can get hot here and finish off the year strong.”
With Alek Manoah struggling at the top of the rotation, the Blue Jays need several more starts like this from Berríos, who was traded by the Twins at the deadline two years ago. The right-hander, who is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA in his last five starts, helped lead a players-only meeting on Thursday after the Blue Jays lost three out of four to division leader Tampa Bay.
“It’s just on us to stay back, get relaxed and try to be ourselves,” Berríos said.
Bailey Ober (3-2) finished five innings for Minnesota for the fourth time in five May starts, with seven strikeouts in a bad-luck loss.
The Twins (27-26) had their lead in the AL Central cut to one game over Detroit (25-26). They’ve led the division for 58 of 60 days this season.
“Every time the opportunities were in front of us, every time there was something we could have done, it felt like we went in the wrong direction,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Twins rookie Edouard Julien, a native of Quebec City, Canada, whose favorite boyhood team was the Blue Jays, had a rough afternoon. He made a diving stop of Varsho’s two-out single in the second, but he dropped the ball before he could make the throw to first. The play was ruled a hit.
In the bottom of the inning, the Twins had the bases loaded with none out — for a few seconds. Julien rounded second base too far, ignoring the runner in front of him, and was thrown out by the catcher Kirk.
“Those are mental cramps right there,” Baldelli said.
Blue Jays: Kiermaier was on the bench after being removed from the game on Saturday with discomfort in his right lower back. “All things are trending in the right direction,” Schneider said.
Twins: RHP Emilio Pagán was pulled with a strained left hip flexor after seven pitches in the seventh.
Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (5-2, 4.56 ERA) starts on Tuesday night against Milwaukee after a return home and a day off. RHP Adrian Houser (1-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound for the Brewers.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.82 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series at Houston on Monday afternoon. RHP J.P France (1-1, 3.43 ERA) starts for the Astros.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Pressure mounts on both sides as Stars and Golden Knights prepare for Game 6 – Sportsnet.ca
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (33) stands with his team during open net at the end of the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals against the Dallas Stars, Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ronda Churchill/AP)
IIHF Hockey: Canada downs Germany 5-2 – CTV News
TAMPERE, Finland –
Samuel Blais scored two goals to rally Canada to a 5-2 victory over Germany in the final of the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.
It’s a record 28th world title for Canada, and its second in three years. Russia has 27 while Germany has never won the trophy.
Blais netted with a backhand 4:51 into the final period for a 3-2 lead for Canada, which was playing in its fourth straight final.
Lawson Crouse, Tylor Toffoli and Scott Laughton also scored for Canada, Peyton Krebs had two assists and goaltender Samuel Montembeault stopped 21 shots.
Toffoli stretched the lead to 4-2 from the left circle with 8:09 remaining and Laughton made it 5-2 with an empty net goal.
Canada had to come back twice in the final.
John Peterka wristed a shot past Montembeault from the left circle 7:44 into the game. It was the sixth goal for the Buffalo Sabres forward at the tournament.
Blais was fed by Krebs to beat goaltender Mathias Niederberger and tie it 1-1 at 10:47.
Daniel Fischbuch put the Germans ahead again with a one-timer with 6:13 to go in the middle period.
Crouse equalized on a power play with 2:32 remaining in the frame.
It was the first medal for Germany since 1953 when it was second behind Sweden.
The two previously met just once in the final with Canada winning 6-1 in 1930.
LATVIA GETS BRONZE
Defenseman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to a 4-3 victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal earlier Sunday.
It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.
The U.S. lost in the bronze medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it was defeated by Germany in the semifinal 4-3 in overtime.
Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at 3 to force overtime.
Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.
Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.
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