Brendan Gallagher cannot «guarantee» a victory in Game 6

Published May 29, 2021 at 2:07 PM
BY T. TADI
     
The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will face off in Game 6 of their first-round series on Saturday, and considering that it will be an elimination game for the Canadiens, reporters who spoke with the players ahead of the game asked the expected questions.

Despite the fact that many fans would have wanted to hear a seasoned member of the Canadiens locker room promise a win ahead of Saturday's big game, no Canadiens player took the bait or offered the Mark Messier-style guarantee. When asked about his confidence ahead of Game 6, Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher explicitly mentioned Messier, but declined to follow in the footsteps of the former New York Ranger who famously guaranteed his club will beat the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals back in 1994.

'Nothing's a guarantee," said Gallagher on Saturday. "I don't think you're going to get a Mark Messier quote from me."

Some may interpret this as a hint that Gallagher lacks faith in his teammates, but at the end of the day, making such a remark would simply add to the weight on his and his colleagues' shoulders. Captain Ryan O'Reilly of the St. Louis Blues voiced confidence that he and the Blues would "defeat" the Colorado Avalanche in their first-round series, and the Avalanche's subsequent sweep has only helped to make those words sound a little stupid.


'I've said it all year and I wouldn't lie to you guys, belief has never been an issue," said Gallagher. "We've had some issues that we've been able to sort out along the way but the belief in this locker room will always be there."

I will say though that Gallagher's final words on the matter were certainly considerably less inspiring than Messier's own.

"Show up to the game tonight with the same mentality we had last game, really try to block out all the others things that could be going on inside your mind, and win a hockey game. We've all done it our whole lives, we know what goes into it, do what it takes and find a way to survive one more day."

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Brendan Gallagher cannot «guarantee» a victory in Game 6

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