If there’s anything the Montreal Canadiens have continued to struggle with, is what to do with Alex Galchenyuk.
Gally is good, and he’s definitely shown it. But, his cons have been outweighing his pros for the past few years. He’s always hot and cold, never truly comfortably warm.
A great quote from Julien sums up what Gally needs to do:
“A player has to do more than score goals,” coach Claude Julien said after playing Galchenyuk a team-low 9:18 in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames. “That applies to everyone. So he has to be better without the puck, win battles along the boards, those things are important. In a tie game, he wasn’t that good tonight along the boards, so I decided to shorten my bench.”
This I can agree upon: Gally needs to put in his effort. Cutting back his playing time is a fair way to put in his head that he needs to push himself. He’s got talent, but it can only get him so far. He may have earned his spot on the team, but he still has to keep it.
“We know he’s a good player, we know he’s got skill, and we sit down with him, we do video, we have meetings, we talk about different things,” said Julien. “So at the end of the day, you continue to work with players and you never give up on your players. We know that Alex is a young player still. You look at his age and because he played as an under-ager—if you want to put it that way—we expect more. But I think there’s still some untapped potential there that we keep working with him on.
“The biggest thing is, as I’m telling you now, is that you can’t give up on him. You gotta keep trying to push the right buttons, you gotta try to keep helping him, and sometimes it’s not the fun things for either side, but at the end of the day it’s important to realize on both sides that we’re trying to make it work here and not make it fail.”
I can only hope Gally can keep his head high and keep pushing. If not, he probably won’t be a Hab for much longer.
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