Make way for Alex Galchenyuk, a bright spot in a trying season
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016 7:51PM EST
The numbers speak for themselves – Alex Galchenyuk is on fire. He has nine goals in his last seven games, a crazy pace that he likely can’t sustain, but even if it drops off by half, Galchenyuk is a budding 40-goal scorer.
“I’m becoming a better player. I’m maturing my game, and I think I’m a different player than two months ago, or a month ago. I’m still trying to grow. Sometimes things click and sometimes it doesn't,” he said.
But you can't succeed without linemates, and it appears that Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty have found a partnership that could last for years with the right nurturing from the coaches. Galchenyuk has 15 points in 15 career games while playing with Pacioretty.
“He’s been hot, even before I went with him. We've felt that we played well together and the thing I like about chucky right now is he's listening and giving his input as well. I believe he’s a talented player for a reason, chucky thinks differently and I think that's what makes him so special,” the captain said.
Galchenyuk said the pair is trying to adjust and create space for each other.
“He’s obviously, no doubt, the best winger on our team and I don’t see why we shouldn't click,” he said.
Galchenyuk was at centre Tuesday night, a spot where he has only played two games recently, scoring four goals and getting an assist.
“We don't want him to change his game. We want him to be aggressive offensively, that he's managing the puck, using his speed. What we saw earlier in the season, he's not the same player,” said coach Michel Therrien.
For now, the third member of the line is Sven Andrighetto, who is filling in for the injured Brendan Gallagher.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me as a younger player, playing first line I’m getting a lot of ice time and it's my time to shine and show what I can do,” Andrighetto said.
The debate rages on whether Galchenyuk should be a winger or a centre. Some big names (Pierre McGuire, Ray Ferraro and Serge Savard) recently chimed in that he should be a centre. But one thing everyone can agree on is that Galchenyuk getting 18 minutes per game instead of 12 is definitely conducive to his improvement.