After a slow start to the season, Pittsburgh Penguins pre-season addition, Alex Galchenyuk may finally be starting to breakthrough.
It took longer than hoped for, but Alex Galchenyuk finally scored his first goal as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. On Monday’s matchup against the Calgary Flames, Galchenyuk put one in the back of the net in the first period and the relief from that scoring strike was immediately palpable. With that pressure now off his shoulders, Galchenyuk looks primed to finally start meeting expectations in Pittsburgh.
Considering he was the Penguins’ main return in the Phil Kessel trade, Galchenyuk’s struggles to begin the season have been concerning. A former 30 goal scorer, Galchenyuk was expected to be an offensive presence to help boost the Penguins’ attack. Obviously, things haven’t quite worked out that way. Now though, with some momentum and a bigger role, Galchenyuk may still make that trade look smart.
Hockey is a game of ups and downs, and it’s certainly possible that Galchenyuk’s scoring drought was simply an aberration. He may not get back to the 30 goal days of the 2015-16 season, but he is set up well in the Penguins’ lineup, particularly with a recently-expanded role. There have been flashes of dominance this season, but due to some unlucky breaks, the numbers just weren’t telling the full story. Maybe now, Galchenyuk and the Penguins will start seeing the box score reflect what has actually happened on the ice.
For a team that has been as injury-prone as the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, it’s massively important that all their players step up, especially ones that are replacing two-time Stanley Cup champions like Kessel. After finally getting over the hump on Monday, let’s hope this version of Galchenyuk is here to stay.