Michael Bournival was awarded our coveted Player Of the Week award last year, and it is another AHL rookie who gets the prestigious title this week.
Brendan Gallagher was nominated after two strong performances against Rochester this weekend. Offensively Gallagher was top notch in the home and home series, racking up 2 goals and 1 assist. He showcased his grit by deflecting one in from in front of the net, and showed off his deadly wrist shot on Saturday beating Connor Knapp.
But it’s more than the youngster’s offensive prowess that is deserving of praise; it’s also his toughness. Trailing 1-0 in Friday’s game Gallagher found himself in a scrap with Frederick Roy, though we don’t expect to see the 5’9 Gallagher spend too much time in the sin bin, it is nice to see a guy who is willing to stand up for himself and his teammates. I doubt we’ll see more pugilism from Gallagher, who also had a few fights last season in the WHL, but opponents know he’s not going to be pushed around.
Seeing Gallagher perform so well shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone who remembers him in Montreal’s training camp last autumn. Gallagher was a pleasant surprise in that camp, proving he could handle the toughness in the professional ranks as well as pitch in offensively. That’s exactly what he has been doing in his first AHL season, playing alongside Michael Bournival and Patrick Holland.
It’s also worth noting Gallagher’s humanitarian side, with many players sporting Mustaches for Movember, Gallagher has taken it one step further. Not only is he sporting a stache, which he claims he has to "Just for Men" to be noticeable, but according to his twitter he is also going to donate 250 dollars for every Bulldogs win in November, and 20 dollars for his former WHL team, the Vancouver Giants. So far we’re only 5 days in and Gallagher has donated 270 dollars (1 Bulldogs win and 1 Giants win) and we’re only 5 days into the month. Also, keep in mind Gallagher has yet to start earning an NHL salary so making a pledge like this means just a little bit more.
I’m sure Gallagher will grace these pages again with another Player of the Week award in the future, and it may come sooner rather than later if he continues to play this way.