Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher both had terrific rookie seasons last
year for the Montreal Canadiens. They both produced strong stats for the limited
minutes they played, finishing in the NHL’s top-10 for even strength points per
60 minutes. Here are three reasons why I think Galchenyuk and Gallagher will do
even better for the Habs in their second seasons and avoid the dreaded sophomore
1. They have an NHL season under their belts
Last season as rookies they still had to learn how to play in an NHL-style
game, which they did all season including the playoffs. Now, they already know
how fast the NHL game is and they know what to expect on opening night; there’s
no more needing to adapt. I think knowing how the NHL play is, it can help both
of them this season.
2. More ice time for both of them and a bigger role
With both of them in their sophomore season, they should play a bigger role
on the team then they did last year. This will include them getting more minutes
a game, as last season both of them averaged around 10-12 minutes a game. With
more minutes, they will be on pace to score more points because of the bigger
role they will each play. This also might include them getting more powerplay
time, which can lead to them scoring more points in an 82-game season.
3. Better chemistry with each other and other teammates
With spending over a year together, on the ice and off the ice, they have
developed tons of chemistry as we’ve seen both on the ice and on the show 24CH
(which will be back once again this season). They have become good friends and
it does really show on the ice, especially when they are playing on the same
line. Also, with them being together with other teammates, they have also
developed chemistry with them and will no longer be looked at in the room as the
rookies. That level of familiarity should come in handy when the two get
separated which, depending on how the year starts, could be sooner than later.
The sophomore slump is something that affects many players across not only
hockey but other sports as well. However, the combination of the above
plus their natural talents will help them avoid it while remaining important
players for the Habs this season.