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Poll: What to do with Galchenyuk


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Alex Galchenyuk should be  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Alex Galchenyuk should be

    • Played at center full-time
    • Played at wing full-time
    • Rotated between center and wing as needed
      0
    • Traded
      0


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Galchenyuk has been told he's a center but he's been played at wing more than down the middle over his career. He's had some success in both positions. Looking at the Habs current line-up, are we better off using him at one position or another? Or is he never going to be a legit #1 center and are we better off trading him for a true #1?

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I prophesied earlier this year that I would be mildly surprised if chucks made it through the foxhole era.  I say again, coach doesn't much like him and his fancypants hockey ways, and another year is going by where that is being made apparent by his usage.

What I would do, is what 29 other teams would do, which is play him 1c first wave PP every single night and live with the results, mistakes or not. 

as we all know though, there isnt always room for logic in the foxhole

 

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5 minutes ago, jeff33 said:

I prophesied earlier this year that I would be mildly surprised if chucks made it through the foxhole era.  I say again, coach doesn't much like him and his fancypants hockey ways, and another year is going by where that is being made apparent by his usage.

What I would do, is what 29 other teams would do, which is play him 1c first wave PP every single night and live with the results, mistakes or not. 

as we all know though, there isnt always room for logic in the foxhole

 

Also MT's insistence of constantly blending the lines never gives the opportunity for one particular line to settle and gel together IMO.

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I agree first pp unit. To be a true #1 center in todays NHL he needs to compete harder in his own end and learn the defensive side of the puck. A true #1 can play a 200' game. He also needs to work on his face offs. If he is to be a 100% offensive guy than put him on the wing. A player like Kane great moves and offensive ability does great there and he doesn't have the defensive responsibility. He may excel if on the wing with say Danualt at center someone with speed who can dish the puck to him. I wouldn't give up on him at center yet but it's not automatic because a guy has skills. He has to earn the spot. He played wing in junior and exceled.

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1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

I agree first pp unit. To be a true #1 center in todays NHL he needs to compete harder in his own end and learn the defensive side of the puck. A true #1 can play a 200' game. He also needs to work on his face offs. If he is to be a 100% offensive guy than put him on the wing. A player like Kane great moves and offensive ability does great there and he doesn't have the defensive responsibility. He may excel if on the wing with say Danualt at center someone with speed who can dish the puck to him. I wouldn't give up on him at center yet but it's not automatic because a guy has skills. He has to earn the spot. He played wing in junior and exceled.

how is he going to learn a 200' game by playing wing with danault? 

and i disagree with your last statement in the context of our team. yeah he has to earn it if we have a better guy ahead of him. when this team is composed of AHL desharnais, a shot plekanec, and a guy in danault who although isnt a plug has nowhere near the offensive potential, you DO give it to him automatically as the guy with the most skill, and you let him work it out. if thats not the plan i'd rather we just trade him for someone else who will fill that role

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1 hour ago, habs_93 said:

#1 Centre, top PP unit, 100%, every night. He's the definition of it.

This.

Galchenyuk may well be the best offensive Centre we've had since Turgeon.  Koivu and Damphouse were both great two way centres but when it comes to pure offense I think Galchenyuk may be in the league of Turgeon, Naslund etc.  Its almost unfathomable its even up for discussion 4 years into his career. 

Further that, we have 2 other first line players, not just 2nd liners playing first line minutes.  Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Radulov should be together every night and be playing 20 + minutes a night.  Would make Therriens life a lot easier in the long run & yet he doesnt see it!!

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

This.

Galchenyuk may well be the best offensive Centre we've had since Turgeon.  Koivu and Damphouse were both great two way centres but when it comes to pure offense I think Galchenyuk may be in the league of Turgeon, Naslund etc.  Its almost unfathomable its even up for discussion 4 years into his career. 

Further that, we have 2 other first line players, not just 2nd liners playing first line minutes.  Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Radulov should be together every night and be playing 20 + minutes a night.  Would make Therriens life a lot easier in the long run & yet he doesnt see it!!

Skill wise, I don't recall any other Hab ever with Galchenyuk's skill. The closest comparison I have to Galchenyuk would be Radulov. 

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27 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

Skill wise, I don't recall any other Hab ever with Galchenyuk's skill. The closest comparison I have to Galchenyuk would be Radulov. 

Radulov's got a lot of hustle and a lot of skill, but his skillset reminds me more of Vanek's in terms of vision/passing and shot.

Galchenyuk is a little bit more crafty with the puck in terms of being able to weave through traffic and try fancy moves. He's got Kovalev's mojo but he doesn't quite skate as well as Kovy did. His puck skills remind me a bit of Koivu before Saku had that bad knee injury, although his shot is better than Saku's. Doesn't quite fit into the box of anyone else's skillset in recent times here, as you said.

In any case, I'm also on the boat of thinking he should be a full-time center. I'm willing to live with his defensive lacunes because he needs time to grow into the role, not by watching but by actually playing the position. Toews and McDavid and Crosby didn't become great centers by playing 2nd/3rd line left wing. I don't think it helps him to keep moving back and forth from wing to center. Eller complained about that being Therrien's biggest fault in his own case, whereby he said it was hard to keep getting shuffled around the line-up and between different positions. This team doesn't have another top 6 center right now, so we may as well use the only one we have in the right position. The guy was a top 5 scorer in the league before his injury, so he was doing something right.

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3 hours ago, habs1952 said:

Skill wise, I don't recall any other Hab ever with Galchenyuk's skill. The closest comparison I have to Galchenyuk would be Radulov. 

I remember watching PK and thinking he reminded me a lot of Guy Lapointe only a little more flamboyant (Yes ... I AM old enough to have cheered for Guy!) We all know what the foxhole did with PK ..... if MT doesn't like GallyA will he be the next to be gone by the trade deadline? What has happened to this franchise? Unfortunately ... I do not think ownership has the stomach to deal with the foxhole ........

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Well, one thing seems certain.....whatever should be done with Galchenyuk, won't be done with Therrien behind the bench.  Another wasted career well on its way.  

But I would say any sane coach who wants to get the best out of his players would have had Galchenyuk playing at #1C and 1st PP almost as soon as he arrived, and stuck with it.  And I believe the result would be that he would have become one of the top elite centers in the NHL by now.  

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20 hours ago, jeff33 said:

how is he going to learn a 200' game by playing wing with danault? 

and i disagree with your last statement in the context of our team. yeah he has to earn it if we have a better guy ahead of him. when this team is composed of AHL desharnais, a shot plekanec, and a guy in danault who although isnt a plug has nowhere near the offensive potential, you DO give it to him automatically as the guy with the most skill, and you let him work it out. if thats not the plan i'd rather we just trade him for someone else who will fill that role

Gally has skill like Kovalev did yes. He still has to earn his ice though , since his return he hasn't outplayed or outhustled Danualt. Like Nylon said on HINO he needs to work at different parts of his game. With his skill if he goes out and works hard each shift at all parts of his game he will earn his ice back.

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50 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

Gally has skill like Kovalev did yes. He still has to earn his ice though , since his return he hasn't outplayed or outhustled Danualt. Like Nylon said on HINO he needs to work at different parts of his game. With his skill if he goes out and works hard each shift at all parts of his game he will earn his ice back.

Teams that need to win now do not make their best forward "earn his ice back" if they're being run with any semblance of competence.

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It's just such poor asset management. He's a top line center by any metric we could possibly cite, age 22, and costs 2.8M. He will never provide better value than he does right now, and when the team is trying to win now it's crucial to maximize that. NHL forwards peak from 22-25 or thereabouts. How many years of Galchenyuk's prime is the team willing to waste until he passes some vague "true #1C" test? He's about to cost a whole lot more than 2.8M and he's already a very high end forward.

We already know he's orders of magnitude better than Danault, Plekanec, or Desharnais, and has been for the past two seasons. He's not Bergeron and never will be, but I can't really be bothered to worry about his defence or faceoffs because shots are very strongly in the team's favour when he's on the ice, and he scores at an outrageous rate. Our lizard brains love to overrate things like faceoffs and how good a player "looks" defensively, faceoffs are great but they're just one of hundreds of plays where possession changes over the course of a game and they're not inherently more important than any other possession play.

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Sorry for double post, I should clarify that my issue isn't really that Galchenyuk isn't playing with Pacioretty and Radulov, the line with Danault clearly works well and Pacioretty and Radulov are so good they could make a 1st line with me playing center in my goalie gear. 

I have no issue with 1A and 1B lines of Pacioretty-Danault-Radulov and Lehkonen-Galchenyuk-Gallagher (or for now Byron), my issue is that Galchenyuk has been getting ~13 minutes a night and been put on the wing with Desharnais. 

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6 hours ago, PuckPundit said:

Doesn't matter what position he plays.  He hasn't played the same since his injury.

He's definitely not playing as well. We're not seeing as much flash or seeing him skate as well. But that said, since coming back from the long lay-off, he has 6 points in 10 games, which is good for around 50 points over a season. That's not the end of the world. It's not first-line production, but we saw Galchenyuk was a top 5 scorer in the league before his injury this year and about the same over the end of last year after he was moved to 1st-line center. So if rehabbing Galchenyuk is good for 50 points and full-strength Galchenyuk is a top-5 point producer in the NHL, he's welcome on my team any day. No sense in having the debate about whether we're better served by having Danault, DD, or Plekanec play center ahead of him. Not one of those guys is a top 6 center right now.

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Obviously C, shouldn't even be a debate but what line is interesting. We're not good enough to load all 3 of Pacioretty, Galchenyuk and Radulov together. Pacioretty, it feels like could score with anyone and has through his career, he's a line driver and possession driver by himself but I'll admit, it's been fun watching him finally get a top flight playmaker to play with. The results haven't disappointed. Maybe keep that line together and hope Galchenyuk and Gallagher really hit it off? 

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2 hours ago, roy_133 said:

Obviously C, shouldn't even be a debate but what line is interesting. We're not good enough to load all 3 of Pacioretty, Galchenyuk and Radulov together. Pacioretty, it feels like could score with anyone and has through his career, he's a line driver and possession driver by himself but I'll admit, it's been fun watching him finally get a top flight playmaker to play with. The results haven't disappointed. Maybe keep that line together and hope Galchenyuk and Gallagher really hit it off? 

IMO 5 of our top 6 should be Pacman, Radu, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, and Lehkonen. I think we can debate whether Danault is really a top 6 player or whether we should be giving a shot to McCarron or Hudon or Plekanec or someone else. The nice thing about Danault is that he clearly isn't as good as the others but he doesn't slow the line down when he's out there. He still contributes, he can hold his own defensively, and he can still skate, so it's not like having a Travis Moen or Mike Blunden or Dale Weise or David Desharnais out there. But could we upgrade on him? Definitely, which is where the idea of a Duchene or RNH comes in.

In terms of how to distribute players, the thing is that Radulov and Galchenyuk together was a really great combo. Pacman and Radulov has also been great. I did really like Lehkonen-Danault-Shaw, but that's probably more of a really good 3rd line and it doesn't leave much for the 2nd (which would become Byron-Plek-Gallagher if you load up the 1st line). So I'd tend to agree for now that maybe you try to distribute your strength over a couple of lines. I think Lehkonen-Galchenyuk-Gallagher could really be a potent 2nd line, so that might be worth trying, if we keep the first line together.

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