“I want to evolve for a winning team”

If the Canadian had managed to turn the tide and take out the Philadelphia Flyers, he could have counted on the return of his most seasoned soldier somewhere in the next round.

At least that’s the intention Brendan Gallagher had before seeing his teammates ousted from the Toronto bubble on August 21, a few minutes before going on the operating table. See a summary of what he said in the video above, taken from the show JIC.

Two days earlier, Gallagher had been forced to forfeit due to a broken jaw, courtesy of a violent double-check to the face from Matt Niskanen.

“Of course I would have had to get the green light from the doctors, but I think I could have come back in the next round. It’s a shame that our journey ended there. The guys played some solid hockey, ”Gallagher said by teleconference Monday from British Columbia.

One wonders if the fiery attacker’s intentions would have been realistic. In addition to having to eat supplements for a while, the 28-year-old forward performed despite a torn muscle in his hip.

“My hip was not a problem,” he said.

Except that on several occasions, Gallagher did not appear to be in top form during the Canadiens’ elimination round. In nine games, he has only scored one goal. Obviously, that does not explain everything, but there is no doubt that this unease slowed him down somewhat.

“I don’t know when this injury happened. On the other hand, I know that the few days off during which we prepared to face the Flyers helped a lot, ”he said.

In this case, Gallagher shouldn’t have to have an operation. Visits to the physiotherapist and a few workouts to strengthen his hip should be enough.

“It’s the kind of injury that most hockey players end up with,” he explained.

“Alain made me laugh!”

Gallagher made headlines despite himself in the days following his mishap. The next morning, Alain Vigneault questioned the veracity of his injury.

While everyone expected him to defuse the escalation, the Quebec coach gave it up the next day, arguing that Gallagher may have harmed his health himself.

“After the contact, Gallagher was just talking to everyone. He spoke to the referees and to all my players. He didn’t look hurt at all. Maybe, after all, he made his injury worse by talking to us, ”the Flyers head coach said.

Called to comment on Vigneault’s words, the Canadiens striker did not make too much of it, even finding the situation rather comical. He is convinced that Vigneault took the opportunity to return the elevator to him.

“In my second season in the league, I said the same thing about Derek Stepan,” said Gallagher. Alain made me laugh with his comments. I know what kind of coach he is. I do not blame him.”

Improved taste

Gallagher does not hold it against Vigneault any more than Niskanen, that the National Hockey League suspended a game for his gesture.

“I know it was nothing personal. It’s just a game that has gone wrong, ”he argued.

Despite everything, it would have gone well to feed on Boost, Ensure and “with a straw”, as Marc Bergevin had launched when commenting on Vigneault’s first remark.

A step that is now behind him.

“Let’s say when you eat a solid meal for the first time, you feel like the food tastes better than before,” Gallagher said with a laugh. It wasn’t a matter of pain. It was mostly discomfort. ”

It must be said that with all the injuries he has suffered since his arrival at the Canadian, Gallagher now has a tough rind.

Negotiations

Gallagher also revealed that his agent had had preliminary discussions with general manager Marc Bergevin regarding a contract extension, but did not go into details.

This Edmonton native’s agreement will end after the conclusion of the 2020-2021 campaign. He had initialed a six-year contract worth $ 22.5 million in November 2014.

Little number 11 admitted that while money was going to be important in the discussions, the possibility of evolving in a winning environment was just as much, if not more.

“Being in a competitive club means a lot to me. Obviously, money matters when you sign a contract. But I want to have a chance to win and compete every year. I want to evolve for a winning team. It’s what allows you to enjoy your life as a hockey player. That said, there are a lot of positive signs within the squad.

“Carey is in great shape, Weber is playing excellent hockey and the performance of the youngsters, especially Suzuki and Kotkaniemi, portends very happy days in Montreal.”

In his career, Gallagher has collected 173 goals and 161 assists for 334 points in 547 games. He was a fifth-round pick (147th overall) in the 2010 draft.

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