Rookie Gallagher shows positivity, maturity
Published Sunday, February 10, 2013 4:44PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:51PM EST
A six-nothing loss to the Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre last night was unquestionably the worst loss of the season for the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night.
Despite all of the positives the Habs built-up heading into the contest, the team is subject to question once again.
After that one bad game, there’s still one player – a rookie – who remains positive and smiling: Brendan Gallagher.
Listed as 5-feet-9 and 180 pounds, the 20-year-old winger is not supposed to be the guy in the boxing ring, but that's him – throwing down at 9:30 in the game.
That's why he's in the NHL against some high odds.
Even after the loss against Toronto, Gallagher is more like a veteran - not shy at all to let Mikhael Grabovsky know his opinion about biting Max Pacioretty on a night nothing went right for any of the Habs.
“You saw how upset patch was. He got bit -- if it shows that clearly. Then Gio (Brian Gionta) knees Colton Orr. Taking liberties is something we don't like and I'm proud of the way that we stood up for each other there,” he said.
Gallagher was a fifth-round draft choice in 2010, and is the first fifth-rounder to make it in the league from that draft.
He brings talent, heart, and some fierce tenacity around the net.
“Nothing is too tough. I expected it to be harder… It's lived up to my expectations. It hasn't been anything I can't handle. Everything I have had to deal with, I have been able to use it to my advantage the next time,” he said.
Gallagher also brings smarts. When he was cut last year, he knew that it was a process.
He went back to Vancouver and had a strong year, then was the best in with the Hamilton Bulldogs, too.
“I am 20, but I think I’m more mature this time around. I king of know at to expect. My mindset was good last year, but I am better. I use my experience continue to learn,” he said. “Every time I came I have tried to come to the rink and learn and that has really helped me,” he said.
In his first 11 games, Gallagher isn't just coping; he's tied for second on the team in goals with four.