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Galchenyuk Returns... Does Anyone Still Care?

January 23, 2019, 11:38 AM ET [242 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
A game many circled on their calendars at the beginning of the season is here, although that ink is likely a bit faded by now (if you still even cared). Alex Galchenyuk makes a return to the rink that he called home for his first 6 NHL seasons as his Arizona Coyotes visit the Bell Centre for the Habs last game before the All Star break.

Alex gave Habs fans a lot of hope and promise when he was selected. He quickly showed he had skills and could hang in the NHL in a top 9 role before eventually working his way up, and back down, the lineup. Galchenyuk had us all dreaming we had our talented, PPG center after the 2015-2016 season (his 4th in the league) when he tallied 30 goals and 26 assists in 82 games, but he has regressed in virtually every normal and advanced stat category since and this is likely the reason the Habs moved him this past summer.

Galchenyuk has been given the favorable offensive zone starts this season (62.8%) and still has a bad PDO (97.5) despite the Coyotes receiving NHL avg goaltending (ARI SP: .909 %, NHL avg SP: .908%). Now, all this is AFTER Galchenyuk's current hot streak of 14 points in his last 15 games with Chucky going pointless in his last 3 games. Alex has turned it on of late and as a result has a stat line of 8 goals and 17 assists in 39 games. He has also played a lot of his season with ultra talented Clayton Keller.

I won't give a "By Contrast... Here's Domi's Awesome Stats"... I've already done that once or twice this year and we all know that storyline already.

Alex is finding his way in Arizona after starting the season injured but he needs to really turn it on to make this deal look slightly even, because today it looks like Bergevin stole Chayka's pants and wallet along with Domi in this deal. I must say, I don't really get how Chayka's job has been so safe. You bring in a guy because he did fancy stats well for "Stathletes" and hand him an NHL team? I've managed my keeper league better than this guy has managed the Coyotes. He's made bad deals like giving Detroit a get out of jail free card on Datsyuk, then with the pick they got from Detroit (16th) they take Chychrun while Detroit picked the better D man in D Cholowski AND got an extra 2nd rounder (Hronek at 53rd). That trade was terrible, but not as terrible as handing the aforementioned Chychrun a 6 year deal (starting next year) at $4.6 million per while Chychrun has displayed he is very fragile with little offensive upside.

Then he deals Domi and gets killed, then he deals Strome for the injured Schmaltz and while Schmaltz came in hot he is now out for the season while Strome is excelling on a bad Blackhawks team.

This guy was brought in because someone in Arizona liked the movie "MoneyBall" and it has failed terribly. Who knew handing an NHL team to a 28 year old guy with a fancy stat website would be a bad idea? Heck, maybe I'll send the Arizona CEO my keeper league draft history and display my ability to understand advanced stats and Karine can write about my trades next time Arizona comes to town. At least I'm 36 with some real life experience...

So the Coyotes come to town, the Galchenyuk storyline isn't the "Pile on the Habs" moment some would have liked outside of MTL, and the Habs are playing meaningful hockey while Arizona just lost their best player Ekman-Larsson last night to injury. It could be another trap game like the Philly one just was, but I hope the Habs learned that lesson and come out looking for blood tonight. Points are too important to underestimate any opponent this season.

I expect the Habs will show a nice little tribute to Galchenyuk during a commercial break. Galchenyuk is a good hockey player but struggled with injuries and consistency. There are many things out there about family interference and possible off ice issues relating to Alex, but that's just more evidence that he has some serious self reflection to do. If he can cut down the noise, find his inner confidence, and try to lead by example then I think he is a 60 point player. But that's quite a laundry list to start working on.... I sincerely hope he can figure it out.

In the meantime, I've become a HUGE Max Domi fan....

And the Coyotes need to let Chayka go back to his website... IMO

Side note: How long before McDavid asks for a trade? I'll say 2 years, 2021.

Go Habs Go
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