Newly acquired Pittsburgh Penguins forward Alex Galchenyuk has a 30 goal season in his rearview mirror and he has a lot of questions surrounding him. He has potential. He has skills. And he has a lot of games in which he coasted around the ice.
The Penguins acquired Galchenyuk for Phil Kessel in late June. There are more than a few similarities between the players. At least there were similarities.
Changes began in Arizona last winter. Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet is not unfamiliar dealing with talented, soft players. With Tocchet on the bench as an assistant, Kessel posted a resurgent 70 points 2016-17. Galchenyuk had a different type of resurgence and evolution.
PHN completed an exhaustive video review of 2018-19 Galchenyuk, including games from Nov. to March against Metro Division heavyweights Washington, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, the Pittsburgh Penguins. We also added a March game against eventual Stanley Cup champion, the very heavy St. Louis Blues.
Galchenyuk was drafted third overall in 2012 and came into the NHL as a center. However, his defensive deficiencies and soft game made him a winger in Montreal under coaches Michael Therrien and Claude Julien. His play also made him a talented resident of the doghouse.
The player which began the season was not the player which ended the season. Tocchet’s influence was obvious. But…