The Montreal Canadiens are coming off of an embarrassing showing in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday night, in more than one way. They were destroyed on the scoreboard and lost their composure in a really ugly contest.
But there is some positive news for the Habs, or at least one of their individual players. With word of the Calder Trophy finalists coming out on Monday morning, they’ll have one of their own in the running for the award for the league’s best rookie.
Brendan Gallagher was one of two outstanding rookies for the Canadiens this season. Along with Alex Galchenyuk, he was a pretty large reason why this team was able to find the success that they did this season, going from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to the no. 2 seed.
Gallagher finished the regular season tied for sixth on the Habs in points, and was one of the top rookies in that department as well. He finished with 28 points, including 15 goals and 13 assists. Four of his points, including three of his goals, came on the power play.
Another element of his game is the fact that Gallagher displayed an ability to get under the skin of his opponents. He plays bigger than his 5’8″ frame might indicate and blocked quite a few shots from the forward spot as well. He has a pair of goals so far in the Habs’ first round series against the Ottawa Senators.
Gallagher is up against some tough competition, with Jonathan Huberdeau and Brandon Saad serving as the other finalists. If he’s able to win it, though, he’ll be the first Calder winner for the Canadiens since Ken Dryden back in the 1971-72 season.