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#27 Alex Galchenyuk 2016-17


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6 hours ago, Habberwacky said:

I heard a good point regarding Gally on one of the broadcasts that may explain some of his problems. They noted he had only playe one year at center (his last year of junior) in his career and the idea  of basing his ability of being  an NHL centre on one year at that position in junior may be a stretch. His point production in junior would have been high whether at centre or on the wing as he was a dominant player in junior, but at the NHL level he clearly looks more comfortable on the wing and learning how to play centre in the big leagues is not an easy task. He looks more comfortable on the wing with Shaw and Shaw appears to be handling the change with ease.

Personally, I think "he looks more comfortable on the wing" is an over-simplification. I think he has less defensive responsibility on the wing and as such his defensive miscues are less frequent. But I think he's also been significantly better offensively as a center. He lit it up in that role for the last 20-30 games of the 2015-16 season, and he was in the top 5 in league scoring in that role before his injury this year. He slumped coming back from injury, and the numbers show his production playing with Radulov is about ten times weaker than it is playing with Gallagher on his right. But as a winger, he hasn't generated that much in the past couple of weeks either. Right now, I think he's just lost, as he was until he got permanently moved to center last year. When he was given assurance that he was a center, he played well there. When he's moved back and forth, it seems to jolt his confidence. Bottom line is that the guy has been and can be a top 5-10 point-producing center in the NHL. Many of the other top centers (especially the young ones) are equally bad at face-offs, and their team's overlook it. Yes, his defence needs work, but so did Desharnais' and that never stopped the Habs from playing him as their 1C for years. If anything, the argument that he only played a year of center at junior is proof that he should be given more time to learn the defensive aspects of the game at that position rather than jumping on him and kicking him back to the wing quickly.

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16 hours ago, habs1952 said:

 

Isn't that what Maas said in his last sentence?

 

16 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I think we all agree Therrien did the damage. I'm just saying I think it's pretty clear he did it, not that it's a secret!

Yeah i wasnt implying it was any great secret, what i meant was that while pretty much everyone knew Therrien was misusing his players, i think we've yet to see/understand just how much of an impact that may have had on some (especially younger) players.  Hopefully its correctable. 

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6 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Personally, I think "he looks more comfortable on the wing" is an over-simplification. I think he has less defensive responsibility on the wing and as such his defensive miscues are less frequent. But I think he's also been significantly better offensively as a center. He lit it up in that role for the last 20-30 games of the 2015-16 season, and he was in the top 5 in league scoring in that role before his injury this year. He slumped coming back from injury, and the numbers show his production playing with Radulov is about ten times weaker than it is playing with Gallagher on his right. But as a winger, he hasn't generated that much in the past couple of weeks either. Right now, I think he's just lost, as he was until he got permanently moved to center last year. When he was given assurance that he was a center, he played well there. When he's moved back and forth, it seems to jolt his confidence. Bottom line is that the guy has been and can be a top 5-10 point-producing center in the NHL. Many of the other top centers (especially the young ones) are equally bad at face-offs, and their team's overlook it. Yes, his defence needs work, but so did Desharnais' and that never stopped the Habs from playing him as their 1C for years. If anything, the argument that he only played a year of center at junior is proof that he should be given more time to learn the defensive aspects of the game at that position rather than jumping on him and kicking him back to the wing quickly.

Yeah, Maklin and Staal hare both horribly bad at faceoffs and always have been.  I am less concerned with that aspect of his game. 

Like you, i think the instability is the real problem.  Some players look way better in one position than another (Eller for example was a much better centre than winger) but Galchenyuk, to me, has shown very little difference in either position. in fact, when he plays wing he seems to gravitate towards the centre of the ice anyway. 

Bottom line though is that while traditionally you want your centre to be your scorer, your playmaker, that isnt always the way. St Louis, for example, was an elite playmaking winger & could make any centre work with his game.  if Julien is somehow able to make 3 strong lines with Danault-Shaw-Plekanec as our centres, I guess, so be it.  Im not sure its ideal but so far he seems to be getting the lines worked out & playing well, getting the end results we need. 

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10 hours ago, maas_art said:

Yeah, Maklin and Staal hare both horribly bad at faceoffs and always have been.  I am less concerned with that aspect of his game. 

Like you, i think the instability is the real problem.  Some players look way better in one position than another (Eller for example was a much better centre than winger) but Galchenyuk, to me, has shown very little difference in either position. in fact, when he plays wing he seems to gravitate towards the centre of the ice anyway. 

Bottom line though is that while traditionally you want your centre to be your scorer, your playmaker, that isnt always the way. St Louis, for example, was an elite playmaking winger & could make any centre work with his game.  if Julien is somehow able to make 3 strong lines with Danault-Shaw-Plekanec as our centres, I guess, so be it.  Im not sure its ideal but so far he seems to be getting the lines worked out & playing well, getting the end results we need. 

I agree with much of what you say here a and the instability be it from moving back and forth or injury definitely has an impact. It would be nice to see Gally work out at centre and maybe we can give him another shot (more likely to come at the start of next year unless we have some injuries in the playoffs) But this has now been a concern for two pretty experienced coaches. Starting the year there was successful until he got hurt. The good news is he will be in our top six for a long time and he still has room to grow in terms of his strength and playmaking. I'd like to see him shoot a little more as he has a great shot. With the resurgence of Plekanec and the efficient play of Shaw the pressure is off for now. It would be nice to see him grow into a Getzlaff. For me the draws are far more important in  the playoffs especially, if certain centres begin to dominate the opposition. In the regular season I don't worry too much about it and it is not one of my major concerns for Galchenyuk at this time. That might change if he is taking a lot of defensive zone draws in the playoffs but I don't see that happening either.

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13 hours ago, Habberwacky said:

For me the draws are far more important in  the playoffs especially, if certain centres begin to dominate the opposition. In the regular season I don't worry too much about it and it is not one of my major concerns for Galchenyuk at this time. That might change if he is taking a lot of defensive zone draws in the playoffs but I don't see that happening either.

One thing about faceoffs though  is that the best guys in the league are high 50's low 60 percents.  Worst guys are in the 40s.  That means that for every 10 faceoffs you take the best guy in the league will, on average, win 6 of them while the worst guy will win 4.   That swing of 2, while it can be significant, is far less important than what the player does with and without the puck imho.  

It is why when we had the best FO guy in the league (Perrault) i often still thought it was the wrong move put him out late in the game in a defensive situation.  He would, on average, win 1 more draw out of 10, compared with say, Plekanec, but if we lost the draw, I would much rather have pleks playing centre in the defensive zone than perrault. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

One thing about faceoffs though  is that the best guys in the league are high 50's low 60 percents.  Worst guys are in the 40s.  That means that for every 10 faceoffs you take the best guy in the league will, on average, win 6 of them while the worst guy will win 4.   That swing of 2, while it can be significant, is far less important than what the player does with and without the puck imho.  

It is why when we had the best FO guy in the league (Perrault) i often still thought it was the wrong move put him out late in the game in a defensive situation.  He would, on average, win 1 more draw out of 10, compared with say, Plekanec, but if we lost the draw, I would much rather have pleks playing centre in the defensive zone than perrault. 

So that's the thing... what's more important, face-offs or Corsi? If a guy is winning 45% of his draws but getting 55% of the shot attempts, then he's probably doing more for your team than the guy who's winning 55% of his draws but has a 45% Corsi. That latter guy might be winning draws, but his team is either turning over the puck or just dumping it out and not doing anything with the puck when it has it. Galchenyuk isn't stellar on draws, and yes, it probably helps somewhat to start off with possession. But if you're a positive Corsi player, then you must be doing a lot of other things right to get the puck back and turn it into shots and scoring chances. The latter is far more important in my books.

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It's worth re-noting that face-offs have no correlation with success on the team or individual level. That doesn't mean it isn't helpful to win face-offs. What it means is that successful teams and players vary relatively widely with regards to face-offs, and treating face-offs as a significant factor is not empirically supported. If you overvalue something like face-offs, you risk making mistakes.

Mistakes like underplaying a talented young player with proven 5-on-5 ability on a team which has issues scoring 5-on-5.

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5 hours ago, maas_art said:

One thing about faceoffs though  is that the best guys in the league are high 50's low 60 percents.  Worst guys are in the 40s.  That means that for every 10 faceoffs you take the best guy in the league will, on average, win 6 of them while the worst guy will win 4.   That swing of 2, while it can be significant, is far less important than what the player does with and without the puck imho.  

It is why when we had the best FO guy in the league (Perrault) i often still thought it was the wrong move put him out late in the game in a defensive situation.  He would, on average, win 1 more draw out of 10, compared with say, Plekanec, but if we lost the draw, I would much rather have pleks playing centre in the defensive zone than perrault. 

I agree with the Plekanec comment and as I said I mostly get concerned with defensive zone draws especially late in playoff games. I would consider Gally to be more comparable to a Perrault defensively although he continues to improve.  While there are alot of percentages to consider face-offs are one that I think you want to play the odds on especially late in games. The difference in the playoffs is you nay have a centre that does very well against the opposition and want to maintain that match-up. I watched Bergeron win something like 15 draws in a row against Tampa the other night when the B's clinched and am sure that impacted the Bolts to some extent. If you have a player like that in the playoffs it makes a big difference psychologically. Defensively, I would put Plekanec in the same category as Bergeron and with his experience. It will be interesting to see the match-ups if any that Julien sets up for the Rags. We have a lot of players with playoff experience and if Price can be Price this team can do some damage.

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7 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

The only time I worry about faceoffs is if it's lost cleanly and pulled back to the center of the ice for a quick one-timer in our the defensive zone. Any other time should be a non-factor.

Somewhat. The reason face-offs don't matter much is that they don't usually result in a direct scoring chance for or against. If a team wins the draw in their own zone and dumps it up along the boards to the other team, does that face-off win mean anything? If a team "wins" the draw by being the first ones on the puck, but it's a scramble that the other team takes the puck from, then is it really the win the scoresheet says it is?

The bottom line is that winning a draw gives you possession, but you still have to do something with that possession. If you're coached by Michel Therrien and you just give up the puck easily, then it's worth nothing. If you do something with the puck, then that will be measured by Corsi and scoring chances and points scored. Galchenyuk is good at all those things, so how he goes about getting them is of less interest.

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Face offs are very important. Corsi alone for those who like puck possession. It's always better to start with the puck than to have to chase it. During the season the 3 on 3 can be huge if you win or lose the draw. The playoffs it's even more important. Set plays from scoring opportunities to defensively and clearing the zone. It's why in crucial parts of the game guys like Bergeron or Toews can be crucial, It's why when Crosby was young he worked on that part of his game a lot. The play offs usually they call penalties less and either killing a penalty or having a power play a good face off player can be huge. I'm not saying it's the only factor , but to be a center that can be depended on in all situations it is something he definitely if he's going to be center ) he needs to work on. If he does play center and he becomes a good faceoff man than it will only increase his ice time also. That is why players like Sakic and Yserman were so great is because they could win the 'big" draws. It is also why he needs to work on his defensive side of his game. He has world class skill and as with most the offensive talent comes natural but like most he needs to learn the defensive side of the game. All the top coaches are going to play the two way players more in tight games. Offense wins highlights defense wins championships as a general rule. This doesn't mean he can't become a strong center , but if he wants the big minutes in the tough situations he needs the complete game.

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1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

Face offs are very important. Corsi alone for those who like puck possession. It's always better to start with the puck than to have to chase it.

If that were the case, there'd be some correlation on a team or individual level between face-off percentage and 5-on-5 points or Corsi, or point percentage on the team level. And there just isn't any.

1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

During the season the 3 on 3 can be huge if you win or lose the draw.

3-on-3 is not 5-on-5; mean team 5-on-5 ice team last season was 3,856.22 minutes, mean team 3-on-3 ice time was 53.12. I haven't looked too much into 3-on-3/4-on-4/special teams situations, but the assertion that face-offs matter more there than in 5-on-5 is plausible. But there is no relationship 5-on-5, at all.

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He just doesn't seem to be the same player since his knee injury, which is really unfortunate after his strong start to the season.

Maybe it's a blessing in disguise as far as his new contract goes but I'd much rather have him produce, we'll need to get him going somehow for the playoffs.

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51 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

4 th line'Winger

No, come on.....Alex Galchenyuk is NOT a fourth-line guy.  Coach may have tried him there just to see more potential combinations, but he will be placed where he produces best.  He's not a grinder.  

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It looks like the Canadiens’ Alex Galchenyuk will head into the postseason as a left-winger on the fourth line

http://www.hockeyinsideout.com/news/canadiens-notebook-alex-galchenyuk-heads-into-playoffs-as-a-fourth-liner

 

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Monday’s practice:

Pacioretty – Danault – Radulov
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
King – Shaw – Lehkonen
Galchenyuk – Ott – Martinsen
Flynn – Mitchell – McCarron

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^^ The key to that article is how many times Julien said "right now".....as we know, those things can change in the first period of Game 1.  Besides, if Galchenyuk does provide scoring from the 4th line, then great. What's wrong with that?  Maybe having the opponents' weaker lines playing against him will help the Habs in the long run this playoff season.  You never know.  

But I can guarantee that he will not be a fourth-liner for the duration of his NHL career.  Either the Habs, or another team, will reap the benefits when he locks down and finds his game and starts lighting it up -- and as Ted has said, Galchenyuk hasn't had a bad season, he just slumped after coming back from an injury and then subsequently found himself in the inevitable "linemate shuffle".  He'll be fine.  We'll be fine.  

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^^ I believe Galchenyuk will be fine. I believe given the chance to play as a top line center, he will be a 30-40 goal man for the next 5 years. What I am less sure about is Bergevin giving him the chance to do that. I am extremely concerned our GM will play the character card again and trade Galchenyuk for someone older and less skilled.

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So he has played 5 full season and once reached the 30 goal plateua,. But you think he will get 30 to 40 in each of the next 5 seasons, interesting. I would take that bet :) 

He will have to score 40 plus to make up for his defensive game.  Just looking at the Montreal roster, 22 players played over 20 games with the habs this year and he is dead last in + -. I dont put much wait in this when comparing players from different teams but when comparing players on the same team. There is definitely something there... 

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Perhaps Therrien got let go for not putting Gally on the fourth line:5141:. One goal in sixteen games and a bunch of ridiculous turnovers gets any young player a free ticket to the fourth line, The clock is  ticking on Galchenyuk. Hopefully a great playoff gets him back on track for good, but as a coach it must be terribly frustrating to watch a player with so much talent fall flat Something both he and Emelin have struggled with. Unfortunately King and Gally have the same number of goals over the last ten gams and Julien has been rattled and confused by all the noise from King's goal. 27 vs 21 maybe he just mixed up their numbers at practice.

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8 minutes ago, Ravadak said:

So he has played 5 full season and once reached the 30 goal plateua,. But you think he will get 30 to 40 in each of the next 5 seasons, interesting. I would take that bet :) 

He will have to score 40 plus to make up for his defensive game.  Just looking at the Montreal roster, 22 players played over 20 games with the habs this year and he is dead last in + -. I dont put much wait in this when comparing players from different teams but when comparing players on the same team. There is definitely something there... 

He has only reached 30 once, but that's not a very fair way of assessing him as a player. His first season was a lockout-shortened season and he was only given 12 minutes of ice a game. His production increased in each of the next 3 seasons, and his production per ice time was actually better this year than it has been in any of the three preceding seasons. So what's different? His ice time has been kept low, and he was injured this season and missed time. Galchenyuk has averaged about 16 minutes of ice the past three years... compare that to Pacioretty at 19 minutes or Radulov at over 18 or so on. Do you know how many Canadiens had more points per ice time than Galchenyuk? None. Not a single one (unless you count Hudon and his 2 points in 3 games). Despite missing over 20 games, he still managed to put up more points than players like Byron and Danault and Lehkonen and Plekanec and Gallagher, all of whom were given just as many top 6-9 opportunity as he was.

So extrapolate his production over a full 82 games, and he would have had 23 goals and 59 points, despite getting tossed around the line-up and having to spend some of that time recovering from injury. Now give him 19 minutes a game instead of 16 and that would extrapolate to 27.3 goals. Now keep him healthy and play him as a 1C instead of giving him games playing with Shaw or Ott or so on... he'd be at 30 goals or more. If you keep him as a 3rd line winger, no, he'll never get to 30, but my statement was that if you get to play him as a 1C, then he'd score 30+. He's a very capable player who's effect is being minimized by poor usage.

As for +/-, I won't put any stock in that. I don't believe Bobby Farnham and his 0 rating are better than Galchenyuk or that Zack Redmond and his +6 have more value than Petry and his +3. Or are Sergachev (+1), Beaulieu (+8), and Pateryn (+1) all superior defensively to Jordie Benn and his -1?

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there must be something that the coaches see or know of a player that we don't that lead them to make the line up decisions that they do. They are more knowledgeable than we are so I guess we have to accept that the decision they make is the best one for the team .  

 

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