MONTREAL - With the Habs off for both the All-Star break and their bye week right afterwards, we took the time to look back at some of the key players on the roster and how their seasons measure up to where they were a year ago. Today: Brendan Gallagher.
The Habs alternate captain is once again enjoying a solid first half of the season. Gallagher is ahead of his goal production at the 51-game mark from last season, having scored once more than he did at this point in 2017-18. That season was the best of his career, when he finished top on the Canadiens with 31 goals and 54 points, both career highs for the winger.
The Edmonton native currently leads Montreal with 19 goals. Max Domi and Tomas Tatar are next in line with 16 tallies each.
Gallagher is also fifth in the NHL with six goals scored on deflections. Gabriel Landeskog, Chris Kreider, Matthew Tkachuk, and Jake DeBrusk are all ahead of him with one more deflected goal each. It's a career high for the Habs' No. 11 in a season.
Video: MTL@BOS: Gallagher tips in equalizer at the doorstep
The Canadiens' fifth-round pick (147th overall) in 2010 is also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals with Tatar, Jeff Petry, Artturi Lehkonen, and Paul Byron with three apiece this season. With 31 games still on the docket, Gallagher is just one deciding goal away from matching his total from last season.
Video: STL@MTL: Gallagher puts Habs ahead late off turnover
Gallagher also leads Claude Julien's troops in the shots on goal category with 180, which represents a 14-shot increase over last season at the 51-game mark. He ranks 13th in the League in shots.
Another category where Gallagher has grown this season is in takeaways: through 51 games, the Habs forward has 11 more than last season. With 32 on the season, he's tied with Phillip Danault for second on the team in takeaways, two behind Jonathan Drouin.
If Gallagher keeps going the way he has been, he is on track to set new career highs in several categories by season's end.
"It's an area I certainly have to be good at. It's a way to contribute and score goals. I think when you're standing around the net, a lot of times you're not going to be able to get a shot off the way you want to, so just sometimes you can redirect a puck. It's so tough to score in the League today, so if you can tip one in, that's kind of the easiest way to do things." -Gallagher on his goals scored on deflections
Highlight of the year so far
Video: OTT@MTL: Gallagher rips wrist shot in off post