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Brendan Gallagher: His pace since 2020-21 suggests he can still score 20 goals

When the Canadiens announced that they had agreed with Brendan Gallagher on the terms of a six-year, $39 million contract that would come into effect at the start of the 2021-22 season, we suspected that the last years of agreement were likely to be painful. After all, the game style of Gally is not necessarily the most durable, and when his body was going to let go, it was going to become painful.

That said, from the first year of the pact (last season), it seemed painful for Gallagher. The small #11 of CH has amassed only seven goals and 24 points in 56 games, and beyond the points, his body did not seem able to hold up.

No need to tell you that with five more years at a hit cap of $6.5 million, the Habs are worried.

On the other hand, when we look at Gallagher’s pace since the start of the 2020-21 season, there is reason to be optimistic: he still has the potential to score around twenty goals per year.

(Credit: Screenshot/HockeyDB)

Since the start of the 2020-21 season, Gallagher has played a total of 91 regular season games. In those 91 games, he found the back of the net 21 times, giving him a pace of roughly 0.23 goals per game.

If we extrapolate from 82 games, that would give him 19 goals. We agree that the plateau of 20 goals is not very far.

That said, Gallagher will obviously need to stay healthy throughout the season if he wants to reach that mark. Is it still realistic to expect him to play 82 games a year? I do not know.

Last year, we felt that Gallagher missed his two former line partners, Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault, with whom he had his best moments in Montreal. However, we must not forget that the team was bad and that he was bothered by injuries during the campaign.

Seven goals in 56 games is bad for a guy who earns $6.5 million a year. On the other hand, I believe that he will be able to rebound.

A few weeks ago, Gallagher spoke about the importance of having a long summer so he can make sure his body is at 100%. With the bubble in 2020 and the team’s run to the playoffs in 2021, it’s been quite a while since he’s had a full summer to prepare for the season.

Gallagher is a demanding guy with his body.
(Credit: Screenshot/Twitter)

And last year, advanced stats suggested Gallagher was pretty unlucky in terms of his goalscoring tally. Maybe luck will smile on him a bit this year.

Will Gallagher score 30 NHL goals again? I doubt. In fact, I don’t know if he will be able to register 20 in a season by the end of his contract.

However, I am personally in the camp of “cautious optimists” in the case of Gally. I believe he is capable of bouncing back with around twenty goals, whether this year or next year. He’ll likely play with Kirby Dach or Christian Dvorak in 2022-23, two guys who should help him perform offensively (at least, a little more than Jake Evans could).

He may not be worth $6.5 million, but I think Gallagher’s contract may be less of a burden than you might think. If it’s still painful in 2022-23, on the other hand, it will become quite worrying.

A lot of

– To see Nico Hischier being drafted first overall was important for hockey in Switzerland. I tend to believe that the selection of Juraj Slafkovský at 1st overall will have the same impact for hockey in Slovakia.

– Good reading.

– A real bomb in the MLB.

That said, the situation of Eric Hosmer holds the attention.

– Oscar Piastri, one of the best young drivers in the world, will make the jump to F1 in 2023.

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