BROSSARD - There's no denying the offensive firepower Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk and captain Max Pacioretty can generate when they combine forces.
As the 2015-16 campaign drew to a close, the Canadiens' top liners put up 16 points in the final four games of the year, including an eight-point outburst in the season-finale against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 9th at the Bell Centre in which both Galchenyuk and Pacioretty reached the 30-goal plateau on the year.
Now, the dynamic trio is hoping to carry that same point-producing magic over into a brand new season following an extended summer break.
"We feel pretty good right now. Obviously, we ended the season together. We're just trying to start off where we left off last year," shared Gallagher, who skated alongside the Canadiens' Nos. 27 and 67 at practice on Wednesday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. "For us, it's just talking as much as we can and focusing on the little things. Hopefully, it all clicks like it was."
The three will likely get their first chance to suit up alongside one another for real on Thursday night in a preseason tilt against the Ottawa Senators in Montreal. While Gallagher and Galchenyuk have one game under their belts already, it will mark the first outing for Pacioretty since returning from his World Cup of Hockey experience.
Needless to say, the eight-year NHL veteran has been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get back to working with two very familiar faces. After all, he did account for seven of those 16 total points down the stretch last April, lighting the lamp three times and chipping in with four assists. Gallagher and Galchenyuk, meanwhile, accounted for five and four points, respectively.
"They're two really good friends, so I think with the anticipation throughout the summer - we talked often, the three of us. I saw Chucky in Florida every now and then, so we have familiarity with each other," mentioned Pacioretty, who made a point of keeping in close contact with his teammates during the offseason. "Coming out here in practice, it's a good time to work on things and get ready for the first preseason game."
Video: Max Pacioretty on his return to practice
Like his two counterparts up front, Galchenyuk stressed the importance of communication in giving the line every opportunity to be successful in the long run.
"[We've been] working on chemistry, working on new plays. I think the main thing for us is we work hard and we talk. If we make a mistake or do something good, we talk about it. We need to make sure we communicate," shared Galchenyuk, the third-youngest Canadiens player to score 30 goals in a single season at 22 years of age. "We started it last year, talking on the bench and just knowing where each one of us is going. I think it really helped us."
Video: Alex Galchenyuk on the return of Max Pacioretty
Proof of that is certainly in the numbers, and you know they'd love to do it all over again all season long.
"I think throughout the season you're always going to be working and building to get better. We want to continue to grow as a line and as players," concluded Gallagher. "Hopefully, we'll get the best out of each other."