Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller

Montreal’s “kid line” is on fire early


The Montreal Canadiens have played just two games, but their youngest line is proving to be the most productive.

Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, and Lars Eller helped spur the team to victory over Philadelphia Saturday night, but their combined efforts have them leading the team in scoring.

It all starts with the 24-year-old Eller whose two goals and three assists see him evolving as a real offensive threat. After acquiring him in the Jaroslav Halak trade in 2010, their patience is paying off.

At 19 years old, Galchenyuk, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, burst on the scene last season showing glimpses of what made him one of the top prospects in that draft. His four assists have him becoming the team’s top playmaker and the 21-year-old Gallagher is cashing in with the goals.

Should Danny Briere and Max Pacioretty (recently injured) hit their stride offensively, Montreal could be a dangerous goal-scoring team if the “kid line” continues to produce like this. Obviously it’s early in the year, but Habs faithful have to enjoy seeing this evolution.

Rangers GM: Etem had ‘pretty average’ training camp

Kimmo Timonen, Emerson Etem
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It looks like Emerson Etem survived the New York Rangers’ training camp cuts, but that doesn’t mean he thrived.

Instead, it sounds like he has a lot of room to improve, especially considering this quote from Rangers GM Jeff Gorton via the New York Post:

“His camp has been pretty average, and I think he knows that, I think we all know that,” Gorton said. “We’ve known him for a long time. We know the player, we scouted the player, we’ve liked what we’ve seen. He’s yet to show that to maybe all of you guys, but we have faith that in time he’s going to show us that.”

Fair or not, many will turn the heat up a little bit extra on Etem if he struggles because he was part of the trade that sent Carl Hagelin to the Anaheim Ducks.

At 23, he’s at that awkward stage where he’s producing nicely at the AHL level but struggling to put up points in the NHL.

He has time to develop, yet as a first-rounder (29th overall in 2010), the word “bust” is lingering off in the distance. It sounds like he didn’t take a great step in the other direction this month, either.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.