It was a pretty solid showing from Montreal’s little pest, Brendan Gallagher, during the 2014-2015 season as he broke the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career – it likely would have been the second time as he was well on pace to pass it in his rookie campaign during the shortened 2012-2013 season. He continued to grow into a prominent and important role for the Canadiens, important enough to garner some rumblings for the captaincy by a few pundits during the offseason.
After a bit of a dip in production during his sophomore season, Gallagher bounced back with a career year stats wise. The little dynamo solidified a reputation as a tough customer whose heart and determination outweigh his size. As he seems to be slotting into a projected 20 to 25 goals a year guy, he had some big contributions during the season.
The beleaguered power play affected his output, as he scored only three goals on the man advantage. But he fired in six game winners, a huge jump from the doughnut he put up the season before. His +18 plus-minus rating was good enough to tie for 32nd in the NHL and he had the third most goals on the team. His PIMS were shockingly lower, which works out fine as he can do more damage on the ice than in the box.
Season Stats: GP 82, G 24, A 23, PTS 47, +/- +18, PIM 31, PPG 3, SHG 0, GWG 6, SOG 254, ATOI 16:35
3 Year Averages
(Because of the lockout-shortened season, we are pro-rating all of 2012-13’s numbers over a typical 82-game year.)
While there have been some calls for Gallagher to receive the ‘C’ during the offseason, it looks highly unlikely. That doesn’t mean he won’t provide leadership within the squad as his growth continued last season. His feisty and never say die brand of hockey will continue to be looked upon for sparks game in and game out. Expect a perennial top-six presence with a bit more ice-time and responsibility added to his game.
Expectations should be to at least match his 24 goals and hopefully pad those assist stats. A 50-point season should be expected, a 60-point season would be an excellent next step for the young winger. An assumed revamped power play should see him on one of the two units – likely first pairing given his track record of netting on the man-advantage. He scored important goals last year and it would be nice to see GWG numbers similar to last season’s.
Based on his severely diminished PIMS last year, he’s shown he has the discipline and restraint to not be goaded into taking unnecessary penalties. He shot the puck 254 times last year – 16th in the NHL, so I wouldn’t expect him to be shy if he spots a shooting lane.