Thursday, 5 December 2013

Brendan Gallagher is not an 'instigator' or a 'pest'.

I hate the equivalence people are making of Brendan Gallagher to Brad Marchand.  Sure, they're both small-ish forwards, and both can score, but that's where the similarities end.  Brendan is relentless and always buzzes around the opposition net, and digs for the puck until the whistle blows.  As a result, he gets more than his share of crosschecks and facewashes, and unimaginative hockey analysts have labelled him a pest.  He's nothing but, in fact he's a gentlemanly player and good guy who works very hard.  He's not the 'antagonist who gets under your skin', like so many are trying to peg him as, to hammer the square peg into the round hole, since every player must fit into an archetype: checking forward, playmaking centre, defensive defenceman, puck-moving defenceman, ...

Meanwhile Brad Marchand has no honour, he cheats and lies, he spears and slew-foots and goes for opponents' knees, and does so because he has a legion of Orcs to save his bacon.  He gets under opponents' skins because he's a creep and a thug and cheapshot artist and a yapper.  I wouldn't want him on our team, despite the goals.  And the thing is, his conduct, fostered and encouraged as a Bruin, would be unacceptable in Montréal.  He might have had a shot if he'd played here to be a decent player that you can respect.  Instead, he wallows in the cesspool that the NHL excretes by its refusal to clean up the game, and to showcase its stars rather than the pluggers and fourth-liners and assorted other Don Cherry favourites.

Also, Brendan Gallagher is a class act from a good family who's a great ambassador for the team and was universally liked when he played for the Giants.  Meanwhile, we know what a dirtbag Brad Marchand is, and the stories circling around him in Boston and from his home town.  

So let's stop the comparisons between the two, they're demeaning to Brendan and they cloud rather than illuminate the issue.  Brendan Gallagher is a fine young man and a reputable and respectable hockey player.  Brad Marchand is anything but.

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