Capped: Brendan Gallagher

Alexander MacLean

2018-06-14

 

Over a year ago now, I wrote an article on Brad Marchand, delving in to some of the strange numbers in his career to that point. I had painted a picture of optimism, but still fell short on his production these past two seasons. With him being thrust back into the spotlight for reasons other than his scoring stats, it felt like a good time to move on to the next player conundrum. Really, Marchand just gets talked about too much, so won’t be mentioned again in this article.

In the meantime, we feature another pest due for a breakout, (who does things the right way) Brendan Gallagher. You may be asking what a 26-year old who just set his career high at 54 points can do for you in fantasy. The answer is, quite a lot actually. Here’s why.

 

Development

Gallagher was drafted 147th overall in 2010. As a smaller player, not much was expected of him. However, with the game evolving towards speed and skill, Gallagher’s expectations outgrew his frame. His scoring output has varied greatly year to year, as he has been hit by cold streaks, injuries, and struggling teammates. Gallagher even started last year off on a big cold streak, but he turned it around to the tune of his first 30-goal season.

The Canadiens right winger was one of the lone bright spots in their season, and will be a key cog in getting them back on the right track next year. Carey Price may be the backbone of the team, but Gallagher is the straw that stirs the drink. His antics on the ice provide good energy, his penalty differential is great (drawing twice as many penalties as he takes), and his shot ratios are constantly on the rise.

Since Gallagher’s first season in the 2013 lockout year, his shot rates have gone up every year except for 2016-2017. We’ll give him a pass on that season too, since it was the year he missed time due to a broken hand. His shot rates at the beginning and end of the season were still high, it was only in the middle of the season around the injury where they fell off.

Furthermore, Gallagher’s consistency with his shooting is commendable. He doesn’t pad numbers with the odd 12-shot game. He only twice hit seven shots in a game, never going above that number. On the flip side, out of 82 games last season, there was only a single contest in which he did not register a shot. There aren’t many better volume shooters available right now.

 

The Variety

On top of his strong shooting numbers, Gallagher does a good job at contributing in other areas as well. As was said earlier, he doesn’t take too many penalties, but he has evolved to bring his hits numbers over one per game, while averaging about one block every two games over his career as well. Gallagher also scored his first career shorthanded goal this season for leagues that count it, but don’t worry about him losing productive ice time. Less than five percent of his ice-time comes down a man.

For those leagues that count faceoffs as well, Gallagher registered 85 of those, also a career high. With Montreal struggling at centre, it is possible that the right winger sees an uptick in