You have to respect Brendan Gallagher.
Gallagher gave a devastating post-game interview after Montreal lost Game 5 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. The Bolts repeated as Stanley Cup champions with a 1-0 victory.
Gallagher wears his heart on his sleeve and fought through immense pain in the playoffs. The Habs forward took an absolute beating all summer. Gallagher had a nasty scar on his forehead after getting his head shoved to the ice by Bolts’ blueliner Mikhail Sergachev in Game 1.
Coach Dominique Ducharme also revealed after Game 5 that Gallagher was playing through a groin injury “and more”.
Gallagher’s Game 5 post-game was resemblant to the passion he plays with on the ice. He had a hard time answering the opening question about what the team meant to him. Gallagher was able to fight through the emotions and give an answer.
“Ah sorry”, said Gallagher fighting back tears. “You know I played on a lot of really good teams with a lot of really good guys. Sorry. I’ll try it. We got so many players that work their entire career to get to this point. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Gallagher’s post-game was conducted alongside forward Phillip Danault. Brendan received his first question at the 0:56 mark of the video below:
Gallagher further explained that making it to the Cup Final wasn’t good enough.
“We don’t get anything out of moral victories,” said Gallagher. “At the start of the year, we sat down as a group and our goal was to be here. We expected to be here no matter what people thought of our team. The expectations were to win this series. I know we probably surprised a lot of people, but our expectations were to be the celebrating team right now. That’s why it hurts so much, because we really believed in it. We believed in this group. It’s just hard to digest. ”
Gallagher added that the Habs may not be the most talented team, but they competed every night.
“Every single guy gave everything they had every single night” explained Gallagher. “You look at our group and, obviously, there’s a lot more talented teams and there’s a lot of teams that do a lot of things, but there’s no team that’s stronger as a group and the resiliency that we showed. Just a good team to be a part of.”
Gallagher finished the postseason with two goals and six points in 22 games. Montreal was clearly outplayed in the series, but you have to feel for any player who wears his heart on his sleeve like Gallagher.