Toronto Maple Leafs: How Was Alex Galchenyuk In His First 2 Games?

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 19: Alex Galchenyuk #12 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 19, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 4-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 19: Alex Galchenyuk #12 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 19, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 4-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially ended their 1-6 slide with a 2-0 shut-out of the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Amazing how a team can win when they dress a goalie capable of stopping shots 65 feet from the net! Starter Jack Campbell posted his second straight shut-out and made a bid to become the Toronto Maple Leafs new starting goalie with yet another gutsy performance.

The Leafs, who had the 3rd best 5v5 save percentage in the NHL heading into their slide, continued to dominate teams over the last eight games, but couldn’t overcome their goalie’s failure to stop routine shots.

We know the Leafs won, we know they’ve played well during their recent slide, and we know that Jack Campbell is the man.  What we really want to know is how   Alex Galchenyuk did in his first two games as a Leaf.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Alex Galchenyuk

Galchenyuk, a former 3rd overall pick whose career took a nosedive after a couple knee injuries, cleared waivers and then was traded by Carolina to the Leafs about a month ago.  The talented winger had his game completely broken down and built back up by the Leafs development staff in order to try and add some found-money to their lineup. (all stats naturalstattrick.com).

In his first two games, Galchenyuk picked up an assist and two penalty minutes. I thought he was pretty noticeable out there (though I was looking for him specifically, so this could just be confirmation bias) and that his debut with the Leafs was solid, if not spectacular.   Let’s dig into the stats to find out how he played.

In game one, Galchenyuk played just over 11 minutes.  The Leafs had a 57% puck possession rating while he was on the ice, and outshot the Flames 7-4 (63%).  The Leafs had a positive expected goals rating while he was on the ice, but unfortunately Freddie Andersen was in net so the line was on the ice for two goals against, which you can’t blame them for.

Galchenyuk has 3 individual shots, and did not get any power-play time.

In game two, Galchenyuk played for almost 10 minutes.  He was one shot-attempt away from breaking even in puck-possession, and the Leafs outshot the Flames while he was on the ice and even scored a goal (which he assisted on).  The Leafs once again had a positive expected goals rating while he was on the ice.

He did not register an individual shot or play on the power-play.

As mentioned, he did pick up an assist on a nice Zach Hyman goal, which was funny because he only played 18 seconds with Hyman on the night.  For both games Galchenyuk played with Nylander and Tavares.

Overall, Galchenyuk scored one point in two games, while posting numbers that are overall excellent. It’s not l like he’s blowing anyone away, but he was psychical, noticeable, and I didn’t see anything that made me say “oh that’s why he was on waivers.”

Next. What the Leafs Should and Could do at the Trade Deadline. dark

I’m not saying that Galchenyuk is going to turn his career around, win a regular spot in the Leafs top six and go onto glory, but the first two games went about as well as good have been expected and I’m excited to see where this goes.