The Canadiens might have a deadly duo on their hands in Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov, and the pair showed some flash by piecing together one of the nicest give-and-go plays of the pre-season.
The Montreal Canadiens’ lineup has undergone somewhat of an overhaul during the off-season, and one combination that looks like it could pay major dividends on the offensive side of the ice is pairing 22-year-old Alex Galchenyuk with 30-year-old KHL convert Alexander Radulov.
During Thursday’s game against the Maple Leafs, the pair combined for one of the nicest goals of the pre-season as they turned the Toronto defense inside out with a give-and-go play that saw Radulov make a tape-to-tape pass from his knees.
With puck control at the top of the Maple Leafs’ zone, the puck came back to Galchenyuk on the point, who then feathered a pass down to Radulov. As the pass was coming in, Radulov was shoved to his knees by Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly, but managed to somehow corral the puck and fire it back across to a streaking Galchenyuk. From there, Galchenyuk pulled the puck forehand to backhand deftly to slip around Mitch Marner, and the Canadiens center finished the play by moving the puck quickly back to his forehand and firing it past Frederik Andersen:
That’s about as nice as give-and-go plays get, and this play alone must have Montreal faithful salivating over the season-long potential of a Radulov and Galchenyuk combination.
The 2016-17 campaign is going to be an important one for Galchenyuk, who looks to finally be playing a full season at center after years of switching between his natural position and the wing.
Galchenyuk has shown continuous offensive growth since breaking into the league in 2012-13, and each year has seen his goal total rise. His rookie campaign saw him net nine goals, which went up to 13 in his sophomore year, 20 in 2014-15 and a career-best 30 in 2015-16. His point totals have risen at the same rate, too, so there’s hope this could be the first 30-goal, 60-point season of the pivot’s young career.
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