ANAHEIM – It is no small feat to make it to the NHL but it is even harder to stay there.
Brandon Montour has made huge inroads this season with an on-again off-again relationship with the Anaheim Ducks, splitting most of the early season with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. As the playoffs loom on the horizon, it is more than likely he will be experiencing the second highest high a hockey player can have. That is playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in your first year in the league.
Fate will determine if the Six Nations own Brandon Montour will play in a Stanley Cup final or hoist the coveted Cup over his head later this spring, but with a line-up like the Ducks have this year, that isn’t out of the question.
“Obviously, it’s pretty surreal,” Montour said. “Looking back on the last 20-30-40 games that I’ve been here, I haven’t really thought about it too much. In the summer, I’ll think about it more when I’m around my family and friends,” Montour said in a recent Orange County newspaper, “but having that chance to play in the playoffs for a team like this is pretty surreal.”
Having been a part of the Ducks’ official team photograph last week, it appears Montour is going to be there for the long haul.
He has impressed a lot of people this year and is accepted at the Duck Pond too.
“He comes into every situation at full speed,” teammate Hampus Lindholm said. “You have to be pretty impressed with a first-year guy doing that, playing without fear. He’s been really good for us. Hopefully he just keeps going from here.”
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said that trait serves him well.
“We think he’s going to play and he’s played very well for us,” Carlyle said. “We think he adds another skating and puck-moving ability to our back end and we think that’s the way the game is trending. That you have to have that. You have to have defensemen that are real solid in going back and getting pucks and moving pucks under pressure.
“We think that’s he not overwhelmed by too many situations. He’s a guy that goes for it versus sitting back. He’s one of those aggressive type personalities.”
That may be so on the ice, but anyone who knows Brandon Montour or has had the pleasure to meet him can attest, he leaves all that on the ice.