Are the Canadiens really going to make Galchenyuk a fourth-liner?
Remember when people wondered if the Montreal Canadiens’ coaching change would mean a new lease on life for Alex Galchenyuk? Remember when people made fun of other people for critiquing how Claude Julien handles younger players who score but maybe make mistakes?
Yeah ... about that: Galchenyuk skated on the Canadiens’ fourth line on Monday. His linemates were not necessarily dynamite in Steve Ott and Andreas Martinsen.
“In my estimation it’s not who you play with, but how you play. And we need scoring from all the lines, and he can provide that with that line. That’s the main goal to get scoring from all the lines. Right now, I’ve got better balance and better depth as far as scoring is concerned,” Julien said, according to the Montreal Gazette. “We’re not worried about ourselves individually, we’re worried about how we can help the team. That’s what you have to do in the playoffs.”
Back in February, when Julien began as Habs head coach, Galchenyuk started out in a spot many Montreal fans envisioned: as their top center. That honeymoon was short-lived, as he soon was discussing how he needed to make the talented forward “better” defensively.
When you look at Galchenyuk’s game log, his ice time has been all over the map .. as has his production. One would guess that both sides carry some of the blame for this bumpy time, but you’d think he would be the sort of player Montreal might need when goals become scarce during the playoffs.
Now, it’s foolish to go into panic mode. Julien could very well change his line combinations before Montreal even engages in Game 1 against the New York Rangers.
Still, it’s a head-scratching situation overall, and one to watch in the postseason.