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2014-2015 Habs Lines


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Old season in the books and our roster is pretty close to complete at this point. Time to start thinking about possible line combos for the upcoming season.

Give it your best shot as to whom you think should be slotted together, and on which line.

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As it stands:

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Parenteau

Galchenyuk - Eller - Gallagher

Bourque - Plekanec - Sekac

Prust - Malholtra - Weiss

Markov - Subban

Emelin - Gilbert

Beaulieu - Weaver

Price-Budaj

I think our D is improved over last season. Add Tinordi-Pateryn as the 4th pairing and we have some good combinations.

Our fwd lines still need some improvement imo. The only reason I have DD on the top line is because I don't think he can function without Patches, which is an issue. Ideally: Plekanec-Galchenyuk-Eller-Malholtra become our centres by season end.

The other obvious hole is RW. I would be willing to see how Parenteau produces, but the extra cap space and some trade possibilities should be able to fill that spot without leaving a large hole elsewhere.

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As it stands:

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Parenteau

Galchenyuk - Eller - Gallagher

Bourque - Plekanec - Sekac

Prust - Malholtra - Weiss

Markov - Subban

Emelin - Gilbert

Beaulieu - Weaver

Price-Budaj

I think our D is improved over last season. Add Tinordi-Pateryn as the 4th pairing and we have some good combinations.

Our fwd lines still need some improvement imo. The only reason I have DD on the top line is because I don't think he can function without Patches, which is an issue. Ideally: Plekanec-Galchenyuk-Eller-Malholtra become our centres by season end.

The other obvious hole is RW. I would be willing to see how Parenteau produces, but the extra cap space and some trade possibilities should be able to fill that spot without leaving a large hole elsewhere.

Not sure Sekac makes this team over Bournival or Moen.

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Not sure Sekac makes this team over Bournival or Moen.

I agree with you. Moen and Bournival should both be ahead of Sekac on the depth chart, at least for now. But as far as lines go, the Habs will likely carry 14 forwards, so all three could potentially make the squad and then see a rotation for making it into the starting 12. My personal opinion is that Bournival is good enough to play on the third line and I'd like to see him get a more regular turn this year, but in practice that likely requires one of Moen or Prust being traded first.

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Bob McKenzie reporting that MB told him the Habs will start camp with Galchenyuk at center. This is the right move, although it may only be a short experiment with no implications on the actual season. But IF Galchenyuk does prove capable at center, then it means the Habs are either moving one of DD, Eller, or Plekanec to wing or else trading one of them. Given the strange non-captain announcement, which some have speculated may mean Plekanec is on the move within the next year, could it be him? What goes against that is that MB said they want to know if Galchenyuk can handle defensive responsibilities of playing center... if that's the case, hard to see him replacing Plekanec, unless Eller takes Pleky's role and Galchenyuk takes Eller's (and that seems quite pointless, if the plan is to stick Galchenyuk on the 3rd line). To me, Galchenyuk needs to be on an offensive trio (i.e. "top 6"), and that means Desharnais absolutely has to be the guy to be moved along. Hopefully, this means Habs are looking at dealing DD.

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Bob McKenzie reporting that MB told him the Habs will start camp with Galchenyuk at center. This is the right move, although it may only be a short experiment with no implications on the actual season. But IF Galchenyuk does prove capable at center, then it means the Habs are either moving one of DD, Eller, or Plekanec to wing or else trading one of them. Given the strange non-captain announcement, which some have speculated may mean Plekanec is on the move within the next year, could it be him? What goes against that is that MB said they want to know if Galchenyuk can handle defensive responsibilities of playing center... if that's the case, hard to see him replacing Plekanec, unless Eller takes Pleky's role and Galchenyuk takes Eller's (and that seems quite pointless, if the plan is to stick Galchenyuk on the 3rd line). To me, Galchenyuk needs to be on an offensive trio (i.e. "top 6"), and that means Desharnais absolutely has to be the guy to be moved along. Hopefully, this means Habs are looking at dealing DD.

Trading Plekanec would be sort of a big deal, tough move to make in training camp. I'd guess that would be one of the worst times, value wise, to trade a key player on a contract that actually pays him a reasonably high salary. I would think if Galchenyuk absolutely forces his way down the middle one of DD, Eller or Plekanec ends up on the wing.

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I can see a few possibilities for shifting someone to wing if Galchenyuk plays center.

Galchenyuk centers Patches with DD on the wing. DD continues to play on an exploitation line with Patches and can help out if Gally is struggling in the face off circle.

Eller and Pleks play together on the tough minutes line, which might make a lot of sense given Gionta's departure. I wouldn't even rule out Plekanec shifting to wing. It would be a little less wear and tear on him but still taking advantage of having him on the ice against the other teams best players. Also nice to have two centermen for the draws on a line that will be playing in key defensive situations.

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We talk a lot about lines we'd like to see during the season, but I'll start by throwing out some line combos I'd like to see during the pre-season to see how they work out. In particular, I'd like to see a couple of duos lined up and then rotate who plays the other wing with them to see if they can build some chemistry.

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk: to try with Gallagher, Parenteau or Scherbak

Bourque-Eller: to try with Gallagher, Parenteau, Hudon, or Andrighetto

Bournival-Plekanec: to try with Sekac or De La Rose

Ultimately, I think the top 6 should include Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Eller, Gallagher, Pareanteau and probably Bourque, but if someone like Scherbak, Hudon, or Andrighetto can win a spot on the team, we could allow ourselves to fix them into a more offensive role, and then drop PAP or Bourque down to a third line with Bournival and Plekanec (this last duo being one of the pairings I really think we should stay set with, as they complement each other very well).

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I love Sherbak, but I dont think he'll crack the squad until next year.

With Galchenyuk at Centre, I assume either:

A: one of Plek/DD will be moved

B: Eller plays LW.

I would prefer 'A' occurs. Lines of:

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gallagher

Bourque - Galchenyuk - Parenteau

Bournival - Eller - Sekac

Prust - Malholtra - Weise

if 'B' occurs:

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher

Eller - Galchenyuk - Parenteau

Bournival - Plekanec - Sekac/Bourque

Prust - Malholtra - Weise

DD is only on the top line because I don't know how effective he is without Patches.

Is the first one vastly worse than the second, no. Obviously we need help at 2nd line LW, and top line RW could be better, but starting with moving DD saves 3.5M. Bouque would be another 3.3M expendable if we can get a 2nd line LW for DD.

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We talk a lot about lines we'd like to see during the season, but I'll start by throwing out some line combos I'd like to see during the pre-season to see how they work out. In particular, I'd like to see a couple of duos lined up and then rotate who plays the other wing with them to see if they can build some chemistry.

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk: to try with Gallagher, Parenteau or Scherbak

Bourque-Eller: to try with Gallagher, Parenteau, Hudon, or Andrighetto

Bournival-Plekanec: to try with Sekac or De La Rose

Ultimately, I think the top 6 should include Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Eller, Gallagher, Pareanteau and probably Bourque, but if someone like Scherbak, Hudon, or Andrighetto can win a spot on the team, we could allow ourselves to fix them into a more offensive role, and then drop PAP or Bourque down to a third line with Bournival and Plekanec (this last duo being one of the pairings I really think we should stay set with, as they complement each other very well).

You don't have Plekanec in your top 6? Or are you talking about potential wingers only?

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You don't have Plekanec in your top 6? Or are you talking about potential wingers only?

More as potential wingers. I think if we move Galchenyuk into a center role, we're more looking at 2 offensive trios and a more defensive trio centered by Plekanec. In terms of offensive chances, that line would be more of a "third line" but it would probably get just as much ice time as the other two, if not more, so not a pure third line per se. The point I was trying to make was more that I'd like to see Pacman-Galchenyuk, Bourque-Eller, and Bournival-Plekanec as the three LW-C combos and then work on trying to find the best combination of RW's to complement each pairing.

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I'd say the odds of Galchenyuk actually playing C are very, very low just because we're reasonably set at C and laughably light on the LW without him. I'm not saying I don't want him to play C, just don't think he will.

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I'd say the odds of Galchenyuk actually playing C are very, very low just because we're reasonably set at C and laughably light on the LW without him. I'm not saying I don't want him to play C, just don't think he will.

Sadly, I think you're right. It's unfortunate though because he really needs to be give then chance to play C. At the same time, if he takes the next step this year, I'm not going to care

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More as potential wingers. I think if we move Galchenyuk into a center role, we're more looking at 2 offensive trios and a more defensive trio centered by Plekanec. In terms of offensive chances, that line would be more of a "third line" but it would probably get just as much ice time as the other two, if not more, so not a pure third line per se. The point I was trying to make was more that I'd like to see Pacman-Galchenyuk, Bourque-Eller, and Bournival-Plekanec as the three LW-C combos and then work on trying to find the best combination of RW's to complement each pairing.

Agreed, but I'd say we're looking at 2 offensive lines and one tough minutes line with Plekanec regardless of whether or not we move Galchenyuk to center, especially with our 4th line looking poised to get mostly defensive zone starts.

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I'd say the odds of Galchenyuk actually playing C are very, very low just because we're reasonably set at C and laughably light on the LW without him. I'm not saying I don't want him to play C, just don't think he will.

While I agree that Galchenyuk will probably play LW again this year just based on how MT has talked about his "trial" at centre, im surprised you'd call us "laughably light" at LW without him.

If Galchenyuk plays centre we still have Pacioretty (bonefide #1), Prust, Bourque, Bournival & Moen. Obviously 1 or more of those guys may play RW but that still leaves you with easily a true #1 and solid #3 and 4s. There is a question of whether one of them has the ability to be a #2 LW in this league but I dont think that makes us particuarly light at that position. Not to mention that if Galchenyuk was to play centre one of Eller, Pleks or DD would move to LW (or be traded, presumably for a winger). And a couple of our better prospects are LW also.

Imho we have pretty strong depth at most positions, im just worried that we man not use it properly or effectively.

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While I agree that Galchenyuk will probably play LW again this year just based on how MT has talked about his "trial" at centre, im surprised you'd call us "laughably light" at LW without him.

If Galchenyuk plays centre we still have Pacioretty (bonefide #1), Prust, Bourque, Bournival & Moen. Obviously 1 or more of those guys may play RW but that still leaves you with easily a true #1 and solid #3 and 4s. There is a question of whether one of them has the ability to be a #2 LW in this league but I dont think that makes us particuarly light at that position. Not to mention that if Galchenyuk was to play centre one of Eller, Pleks or DD would move to LW (or be traded, presumably for a winger). And a couple of our better prospects are LW also.

Imho we have pretty strong depth at most positions, im just worried that we man not use it properly or effectively.

So lots of names but the prospect of one of Prust, Bourque, Bournival or Moen playing in our top 6 is, IMO, laughable. It's already disappointing to me that one of them is going to play with Eller on the 3rd line. As for moving Eller, Pleks or DD to LW, the only one that that I could remotely see working in that role would be Eller and he's come out strongly against playing the wing a few times. Not to mention he has struggled in some short stints there. I think maybe because he had a good stretch in the playoffs it's easy to forget but Bourque was a special kind of bad last year and really mostly since he got here. Like really, really awful. I don't even know that he's a 3rd liner TBH and it concerns me given that he's already likely going to end up with Eller again.

Right now, offensive depth is a major concern IMO.

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So lots of names but the prospect of one of Prust, Bourque, Bournival or Moen playing in our top 6 is, IMO, laughable. It's already disappointing to me that one of them is going to play with Eller on the 3rd line. As for moving Eller, Pleks or DD to LW, the only one that that I could remotely see working in that role would be Eller and he's come out strongly against playing the wing a few times. Not to mention he has struggled in some short stints there. I think maybe because he had a good stretch in the playoffs it's easy to forget but Bourque was a special kind of bad last year and really mostly since he got here. Like really, really awful. I don't even know that he's a 3rd liner TBH and it concerns me given that he's already likely going to end up with Eller again.

Right now, offensive depth is a major concern IMO.

I know what you're saying and I know that quantity doesnt = quality but i think we're in better shape that you believe. I just think that we are mismanaging our assets but time will tell.

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So lots of names but the prospect of one of Prust, Bourque, Bournival or Moen playing in our top 6 is, IMO, laughable. It's already disappointing to me that one of them is going to play with Eller on the 3rd line. As for moving Eller, Pleks or DD to LW, the only one that that I could remotely see working in that role would be Eller and he's come out strongly against playing the wing a few times. Not to mention he has struggled in some short stints there. I think maybe because he had a good stretch in the playoffs it's easy to forget but Bourque was a special kind of bad last year and really mostly since he got here. Like really, really awful. I don't even know that he's a 3rd liner TBH and it concerns me given that he's already likely going to end up with Eller again.

Right now, offensive depth is a major concern IMO.

It's why I really don't understand the obsession with moving DD for nothing right now to "make room" for Galchenyuk. If Galchenyuk does end up playing center, then shifting any of our other centers to wing is going to be an offensive upgrade on anyone listed above.

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