This post is in reply to fellow Blogger and Tweep @shmitzysays who asked his readers to respond to his post with what starting lineups they would go with on opening night. If you are interested in replying to his post yourself you can do so by clicking here.
And so without further ado, here are the starting forward lines I would go with if I was coaching the Montreal Canadiens on opening night.
A.Kostitsyn – S.Gomez – B.Gionta
I would go with this combination for my first line for a couple of reasons. First of all Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta have a great chemistry together and seem to always know where the other is on the ice at all times. They both have explosive speed, and if Andrei Kostitsyn is playing to his full potential, he will have no problem keeping up to them. Gomez has great vision on the ice, can create beautiful plays and has a great passing skill. Seeing as both Gionta and Kostitsyn can score, there should be no problem for this line to get us on the score sheet.
L. Eller – T.Plekanec – M.Cammalleri
We all saw last year during the regular season and during the playoffs what happens when Plekanec and Cammalleri are on the same line, great things happen. They played well together last year and it seems like they picked up right where they left off for the pre-season. Why Lars Eller? Well it’s mostly because he has impressed me thus far in the pre-season, especially in the Canadiens-Florida game which I reviewed. I feel that he will continue to produce at this rate and that he compliments the Plekanec-Cammalleri pairing quite nicely.
T.Moen – R.White – M.Lapierre
The reasoning I have to place these three on the same line is that they would form my energy line. These three players always bring a ton of energy when ever they set foot on the ice and they don’t give up. They can also instigate the other team’s players and draw penalties. I have to admit though, if Lapierre hadn’t improved in time for last years playoffs and in the pre season this year, he would probably find himself sitting in the press box. White has also had an impressive pre-season, I always knew he played well, but this year he has visibly matured and is putting pucks in the net. Lets be honest here, a third line that can also get you on the score sheet isn’t bad at all.
D.Boyd – J.Halpern – B.Maxwell
For this line, I don’t have much to say. Both Boyd and Maxwell have impressed me this season, and I would like to see what they can do in a regular season game situation. I would give them that chance for maybe two or three games. I would line them up with Halpern because he’s a veteran, he’s hot on the faceoff and they can learn from him. But like I said, this is only what I would do on opening night to see what they are capable of.
In the press box would be Pouliot and Darche. Pouliot would be in the press box because he hasn’t done much in a while now. So I would use the opportunity of using Boyd and Maxwell for a couple of games to send him a message that he needs to shape up. It’s up to him what he chooses to do with the situation he would find himself in. Darche would be in the press box simply because we can only dress a certain amount of skaters per game. If not I would have him in the lineup every night. He is not the best but has one of the best work ethics ever seen in an NHL player. He would be the first guy back in the lineup incase of injury.
Well there it is, those are my picks for starting lineups for the Habs on opening night. You might not agree with me and that’s fine, I would be curious to hear (or in this case; read) your opinion on the matter.
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