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.”