I couldn't care less about what position Alex Galchenyuk plays to open the season, as long as it's alongside Max Pacioretty. Hopefully, it's opposite Pacioretty with Jonathan Drouin in the middle.
Last season, I discussed the significance of handicapping coaches alongside my optimistic outlook for Galchenyuk. Here's a link to my thoughts heading into this season.
What I do care about is the persistent negativity thrown at Galchenyuk from coaches and management. Even if it's bullshit, I want the brass to be praising their best players and talking about them being in the best shape of their lives, etc. etc.
Why there has been this consistent focus on his defense is astounding. He's started more shifts in the offensive zone in consecutive seasons (68.3 percent last year) and has been a respectable possession player. Galchenyuk was particually solid in 2015-16 with a 53.4 Corsi For percentage and 2.7 Relative Corsi For percentage.
Additionally, defense isn't an issue for Montreal. The Habs allowed the fourth-fewest goals in the league last season, but they have been a middle-of-the-pack offense the past two years.
I'm beginning to cool considerably on Galchenyuk, and I suspect there won't be a draft where he falls far enough for me to call his name.
Why a general manager would ever say this about his own player is beyond me — especially one he's counting on.
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