Gerard Gallant kept reporters waiting longer than usual following the Rangers’ Game 3 victory over the Hurricanes. When he finally did appear at the bottom of the steps leading into Madison Square Garden’s press conference room, the Rangers coach let out a deep breath before walking in.
None of that stopped him from making his feelings clear regarding the situation at the end of the game, which saw Ryan Lindgren and Max Domi rolling around on the ice after the clock had hit zeroes.
“I was not happy with the bulls – t at the end of the game that they initiated,” Gallant said. “We did not do that when the games were close. They put their guys out, that’s fine. They want to play like that, we got guys who can match that. ”
After the Rangers scored an empty-net goal to extend their lead to 3-1, Gallant took exception to Domi’s cross-check on Lindgren, which came after the final whistle. Lindgren and Domi needed to be separated after the scrum that followed, with players on both teams exchanging words.
It figures that the Rangers would be unhappy with that happening to anyone, but Lindgren in particular – who is visibly battling through injuries and missed time in the team’s first-round series – is vulnerable to such a play.
Gallant also seemed upset with former Rangers defender Tony DeAngelo on the bench. ESPN cameras caught him making a chirping signal at DeAngelo and appearing to tell him to “shut the f – k up” after the game ended.
“Pumped about his win, I’m sure,” DeAngelo told reporters when asked about Gallant.
Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters he did not see what happened at the end of the game and refrained from commenting.
His counterpart, though, had a lot to say on the matter.
“I do not like it at the end of the game,” Gallant said. “The game’s over. We still got four games with these guys. … We got the guy who can handle all their guys if we want to. We did not like to do it, but Domi took a cheap shot at our defenseman. You got a long memory. You think about things, like I said, [the shoe] might be on the other foot someday. ”
The series has gotten progressively more physical as it has gone on, with Game 1 being played almost completely at five-on-five without any scrums and Game 3 ending in blows.
Gallant’s reference to the Rangers’ ability to handle those situations – that person presumably being Ryan Reaves – is a hint that the trend could continue.