Montreal Canadiens Look To Brendan Gallagher To Lead

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 5: Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens takes a shot against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at the KeyBank Center on October 5, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
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Co-Authored by Fotini Bizogias

Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty: Captain Down

Max Pacioretty has seen it all with the Montreal Canadiens and another dose of adversity came when he suffered a knee injury last Friday. Pacioretty is now threatened by the possibility that an injury in a meaningless March game against the faltering New York Islanders turned into an unknown future for him and his team. 

Without question, these past few months have been the most trying of Pacioretty’s illustrious 10-year career with the Canadiens. He is player who led the team in goals in each of the last six seasons suffered through two lengthy slumps this season — scoring only one goal in 22 games between November 14th and January 3rd and only one in his last 15 games. The captain has endured his time in a hotbed market like Montreal.

It can be miserable.

Pacioretty’s name being featured more than any other in the NHL rumor mill from late October to the February 26 trade deadline was downright unbearable for him. When Max spoke to a Sportsnet reporter, he revealed the weight he felt in both his personal and professional life.

On top of the turmoil in Montreal, it may now take Pacioretty as long as six weeks to recover. Meaning, he won’t even be back before the Canadiens put the finishing touches on this agonizing season in Toronto on April 7th. Max Pacioretty is now out of the Canadiens team until he is able to come back. There is a possibility that he does not come back this season. Whether they like it or not, the Canadiens need a new leader.

Brendan Gallagher Steps Up As A Leader

For those living under a rock, Brendan Gallagher is a forward for the Canadiens and also acts as an alternate captain. Gallagher was drafted in the Fifth round with the 27th pick (147th overall) back in 2010. Gallagher started his career with the team in 2012. At the age of 25, he is capable of a strong leadership role for the Canadiens. Perhaps now more than ever before. He plays with a passion that says hockey is everything he’s got. He has a heart and soul for the game and enjoys every minute.

Brendan Gallagher: Injury Woes

Through the 2016-17 season, Gallagher has had ups and downs. His hand injury due to a Shea Weber slap shot. That injury left Gallagher out of the games for eight weeks. Gallagher was patient but eager to return to the regular season as fast as he could. The medical staff became more strict to keep his hand from being injured again. Though the injury took time to heal, the desire he had did not stop him from achieving his goal of returning to the team. Now in March, Brendan is healthy and impressing teammates and fans alike with his leadership. Gallagher is comfortable as the alternate captain. It makes sense to promote him.

Brendan Gallagher: The leader

Brendan has shown consistently that he is there to contribute to his team at any cost. In the 2017-2018 season, Gallagher is the top scorer of the team leading with 23 goals, 17 assists, and 40 points. At the time of release, The Canadiens are at only 61 points this season and 6th place in the eastern division. The team is below .500 and it is clear that a playoff spot is impossible. Gallagher gives a glimpse of hope for all the future. He continues to play hard, perform well, and lead a young Habs roster that is missing many key pieces. These key pieces are significant leaders such as Weber (Injured), Plekanec (Traded), Carey Price (Injured) and current captain Pacioretty (Injured). This season has been completely different from his past seasons; he is so close to reaching a career-high in goals. It appears that right now the Canadiens need Gallagher not only himself better, but also his teammates. Brendan Gallagher needs to rise to the occasion and be the leader that this young roster in Montreal requires.

Montreal Canadiens are on the road in New Jersey to play the Devils at 7:00 P.M E.T

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