Alex Galchenyuk

Galchenyuk won’t let erratic playing time ‘get in my head’


Like many young players, Alex Galchenyuk has struggled with consistency in his second NHL campaign, which has often led to decreased ice time.

He’s just not going to let it bother him.

“I’m a young player,” Galchenyuk told the Montreal Gazette. “I can’t be down, I can’t let the ice time get in my head. I have to keep pushing forward to get better whether I’m playing two minutes or 18 minutes.”

The 19-year-old American — who has reportedly played his way into Team USA Olympic consideration — has had a tough go of things lately. He was benched for the entire third period against Toronto five games ago, finishing minus-2 with a season-low 7:54 TOI.

Things improved the next two games — 14:19 and the game-winning goal against New Jersey, 15:21 the next night — but then Galchenyuk took a step back against Boston (minus-1, 8:13 TOI.)

In Saturday’s 3-2 win over Buffalo, Galchenyuk was riding high once again. He played over 14 minutes and scored the game-winning goal after getting promoted to the Tomas Plekanec-Brian Gionta line. Oddly enough, Galchenyuk credits his improved physical play (odd, because he’s known more as a skill guy) as a reason for his improved overall play.

“I wanted to go out there and compete,” he said, after recording five hits against the Sabres. “I got into the game real quick when I started throwing my body around. I had a couple of hits and it got me into the game.”

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.