Sharks

Peter DeBoer was called 'clown' by Gerard Gallant before replacing him

Peter DeBoer was called 'clown' by Gerard Gallant before replacing him

Gerard Gallant found himself in a pool of irony Wednesday morning.

In a shocking sequence of events, Gallant was replaced on the Vegas Golden Knights' bench by the man he called a "clown" less than nine months ago.

That man is none other than former Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer. The Golden Knights fired Gallant as their coach Wednesday and hired DeBoer for the same position. 

Prior to the Sharks and Golden Knights squaring off last season in Game 7 in the first-round Stanley Cup playoffs series, Gallant forcefully denied that he talked trash to Sharks forward Logan Couture.

"I really don't want to talk about that," Gallant said at the time when a reporter asked about the Sharks' accusations, "but I think I'm going to have to a little bit because for that clown [DeBoer] to say that in the paper yesterday, it's not right."

That "clown" now has his old job.

DeBoer was fired by the Sharks on Dec. 12 after a 15-16-2 start to the 2019-20 season. Players were shocked and stunned by the move after DeBoer led San Jose to the playoffs every season since taking over before the 2015-16 campaign.

[RELATED: Couture describes challenging first year as Sharks captain]

The Golden Knights currently are 24-19-6 and in a virtual tie with the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild-card spot. DeBoer is going from one side of the rivalry to the other. 

Gallant is watching from his couch.

Sharks' Joe Thornton scores two goals amid NHL trade deadline rumors

Sharks' Joe Thornton scores two goals amid NHL trade deadline rumors

There are certain names that live in the lore of Bay Area sports fandom. Sharks legend Joe Thornton is one of them. On Saturday night, he reminded us why. 

Thornton, 40, admitted Saturday morning to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz that he's tempted at the thought of joining a contender at Monday's NHL trade deadline. With the Sharks well out of the playoff picture, San Jose could look help a franchise icon finally become a champion. 

“You know, it is (tempting),” Thornton said to Kurz. 

Thornton made it clear in his conversation with Kurz that he isn't ready to hang up his skates after this season, too. In the Sharks' 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, Thornton showed he still has plenty left in the tank. 

The 22-year veteran snapped a 50-game streak in the regular season without a goal on the road when he found the back of the net in the second period to tie it up at 1-1. The goal also was his first at MSG against the Rangers since Dec. 8, 2002, when he was 23 years old. 

Throughout his career, Thornton has been known as an assist specialist as opposed to nailing goals. He's the Sharks' all-time leader in helpers with 803, but was thinking goal the whole way in the first period. 

"Yeah, I saw the D-man just kind of sliding over a little bit for Timo [Meier], so I just wanted to make it hard, make it on the net. You never know what's gonna happen," Thornton said to Jamie Baker during the first intermission. 

Thornton entered Saturday with a career-low two goals this season. In the second period, he doubled his season total with his second goal of the night to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.

His two-goal performance made him the oldest to do so since Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins in October 2018. Thornton also became the third player in NHL history to be at least 40 years old and have a two-goal game at MSG. 

[RELATED: Thornton tempted to join contender at NHL trade deadline]

"The second one just -- Burns' shot just tipped off my knee pad, so just at the right place at the right time," Thornton humbly said to reporters after the game.

Whether it's to help mentor San Jose's young roster in an injury-plagued season or if he joins a contender before the deadline, Thornton proved under the brightest lights that this Shark still can skate with the best of them. The legacy lives on, and it's far from over.

Programming Note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Monday, Feb. 24 at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the Noon deadline? Don’t miss it!

Sharks takeaways: What we learned from frustrating 3-2 loss to Rangers

Sharks takeaways: What we learned from frustrating 3-2 loss to Rangers

BOX SCORE

The Sharks (26-31-4) extended their losing streak Saturday night as they fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers (33-24-4) at Madison Square Garden. 

San Jose found themselves in a first-period hole slightly over nine minutes to go in the first period. But towards the end of the third period, Joe Thornton evened the score at one goal apiece. 

Thornton wound up scoring two goals, however, that wasn't enough in yet another disappointing loss. Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' defeat at MSG. 

Jumbo Joe

As Thornton finds his name in trade rumors, the 40-year-old quieted the noise Saturday night in the Big Apple. Thornton entered the day with two goals this season. He doubled that in the loss. 

Thornton even the score in the first period by hammering one into the back of the net with just over two minutes remaining in the first period. 

He then gave San Jose the lead in a much different way one period later. Thornton deflected Brent Burns' shot attempt to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead in the second period. 

Scoring in New York is quite the rarity for Thornton, too. His first period-goal snapped a 50-game goal-less streak on the road in the regular season, and was his first goal at Madison Square Garden since Dec. 8, 2002. 

Kane's rough return

Evander Kane returned from his three-game suspension and quite rusty. On offense, he missed a short-handed breakaway goal but credit goes to Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin. 

Kane's two turnovers are what really hurt the Sharks. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell allowed three goals on 33 shot attempts in the lost. His first two goals allowed, however, came right after turnovers from Kane. 

Throughout the third period, Kane was nowhere to be found as he stayed on the Sharks' bench. 

Ferraro survives scare

Mario Ferraro has been a bright spot in the Sharks' down year. San Jose's injury-plagued season looked like it would continue in the wrong way as Ferraro left the ice in the second period. 

Ferraro missed a large chunk of the second period. The good news is he returned at the start of the third.

The 21-year-old was credited with an assist on Thornton's first goal as he continues to be someone San Jose can rely on in the present and future. 

Programming Note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Monday, Feb. 24 at 11:30 a.m. on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the Noon deadline? Don’t miss it!