A Focal Point of Energy: Brendan Gallagher

Photo: NHLPA

Photo: NHLPA

Who would have ever thought, that a 5’9″, 20 year old boy from Edmonton, Alberta would be a major factor in the success of the greatest and most historic franchise in hockey? Brendan Gallagher walked into the dressing room trying to crack the line up, and walked out a leader, a hero and simply a great hockey player.

All eyes were on Galchenyuk, the Canadiens 3rd overall pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. When this 18 year old boy is being compared to likes of Anze Kopitar, there is bound to be hysteria amongst the most passionate fans in the country. So while training camps approached the end, and Habs’ coach, Michel Therrien, announced that not only one rookie, but two, made the team, well, you can only imagine how that stimulated the excitement.

Who could he be? What is his name? These were the questions that brightly loomed over Habs Nation. While many were already aware of his name, many more did not. What possibly could a 5th round pick do for our team? We were oblivious of what was to come. And boy, were we in for a big treat.

Right from the get go, Gallagher foreshadowed what is to come for a long period of time with our team. He instantly proved his ability to play the game, the way it is supposed to be played. Not even two weeks into the season, he notched his first NHL goal, the first of many. Playing alongside teammate and close friend, Alex Galchenyuk, Gallagher continued to impress his team, the Montreal Canadiens’ fan-base and the entire NHL community.

By the end of the season, he had 15 goals, 13 assists, 33 penalty minutes and a +10, all in just 44 games! For a player picked 147th overall back in 2010, not too shabby. Not too shabby at all! These numbers would eventually give him a nod for the Calder, rookie of the year, candidate, alongside the highly anticipated names of Jonathan Huberdeau and Brandon Saad. How he was passed over 146 times, is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

In fact, it wasn’t even the numbers Brendan Gallagher produced that amazed the hockey world, it is how he played, that lead to them. When you are watching a Canadiens’ game, he stands out. He is a focal point when he is on the ice. It is very rare to find a player that plays with as much passion as he does. It is nearly unbelievable how much energy he brings to his game. His fiery aggression, his speed, and ability to forecheck, drives his opponents  haywire.

He is a pest, though he is not dirty. On the ice, he does not seek to injure, he is not disrespectful, but from the perspective of opposing players, he is annoying. He gets under the skin of the other team. He is a nuisance. He is the type of player every team wishes they had. He brings opponents off their game, and brings his teammates back on theirs. His persistence and perseverance resembles that of a cat chasing a laser pointer. His animated spontaneity and his lively vivacity is a quality that influences and affects the play of his teammates. They see his dedication to the game, and whether it is by will or not, they follow his lead. Regardless of being a rookie, he is a leader.

When you listen to him speak, you cannot help but imagine a twelve year old receiving an action hero for a birthday present. He has the personality to remind you he is (by many), just a kid. We have failed to see him last ten seconds without smiling. His soon-to-be famous smile that stretches from one ear to another. It is a smile that is contagious. When he smiles, you cannot help but follow his lead. However, it is that same smile that makes his opponents go mental. He scores a goal, he smiles. He receives the puck, he smiles. He gets checked by a 6’6′, 240 pound pound player, he smiles (as Nik Antropov so kindly proved). As a Canadiens fan, watching the opposing teammates push and shove a player in front of their goalie, you know that the little Gallagher is the one responsible, and yet, he continues to smile. He loves the game, and his smile supports it.

He is living with Josh Gorges, who has taken Gallagher under his wing, and acted as his mentor. This is the best for Gallagher. Gallagher will further develop the character traits that Gorges has within himself. Gorges will and has been assuring Gallagher remains true to himself. Gorges will develop Gallagher into a respectable leader. A leader who has class, a leader who could eventually receive captaincy. A leader who will be a winner.

He speaks like a kid, he looks like a kid, but he plays like a man. He plays like a veteran player who simply understands what is required to win. He is 21. He is a rookie. His potential is an understatement. Whether he wins the Calder or not, he is rookie of the year amongst Habs fans. He brought the Canadiens to life. Without him, it is very hard to imagine where and what the Canadiens would have been. We are very fortunate to have him. He went 147th in the draft, but had anyone known Gallagher better, they would have taken him top 10. Habs fans are lucky, it is nearly too good to be true. We are very excited and cannot wait for what is to come.

It is only the beginning.

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One Response to A Focal Point of Energy: Brendan Gallagher

  1. This is an excellent article about Gallagher!
    He definitely stands out & brings so much life to the game. He’s spectacular to watch for there’s never a dull moment during his shifts. If the game seems to be dragging you can always count on the excitement to pick back up when he comes back out on the ice, in part because of his great ability to get under his opponent’s skin & knock them off their game.

    By far my favourite habs player for years now & I hope he stays with Montreal for years to come 🙂

    Meaghan October 15, 2017 at 3:18 pm Reply

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