Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
Radulov -Plekanec – Shaw
Lehkonen – Desharnais – Carr
Danault – Flynn – McCarron
Markov – Petry
Beaulieu – Sergachev
Emelin – Redmond
Mark Barberio, Paul Byron, Torrey Mitchell, Carey Price, Shea Weber
It is just hours until the Canadiens unveil their opening night roster for the 2016-17 season. Just a few questions remain.
One game does not provide a full assessment of any player but it can serve to silence critics and confirm impressions. So what did we learn?
Artturi Lehkonen is an NHL-caliber player and has the talent to be successful if given the opportunity to play in a top-6 role. Lehkonen hit a post in the first period then teamed up with Alexander Radulov for a goal-scorer’s goal in the second period. He belongs on the roster.
A combination of skill, youthful determination and clever playmaking between Daniel Carr and Mike McCarron led to the winning goal. McCarron and Carr have the potential to be two-thirds of a very effective third line.
Mikhail Sergachev is an extremely talented player who will be an elite defensemen. With one more year of experience at the OHL level, Sergachev will be well prepared to step into the 2017-18 Canadiens lineup. Zach Redmond has sewn up the role of the seventh defenseman by thoroughly outplaying Mark Barberio. After a weak pre-season, Barberio will have to clear waivers if sent to the IceCaps.
Al Montoya has not looked spectacular during the pre-season but he is an upgrade to Mike Condon. Montoya will be Carey Price’s backup to start the season. It is unknown if Marc Bergevin will be seeking a last minute trade for Condon or whether he will be exposed to waivers on his way down.
Which leaves just one more decision to be made. David Desharnais has had a listless pre-season. He is a step behind the play, he gives up the puck readily and he has been unwilling to engage during training camp and for most of last season. If Bergevin’s decision is made on the basis of merit, it is abundantly obvious that Desharnais will not be on the roster.
▲ Artturi Lehkonen, Daniel Carr, Alex Galchenyuk. Alexander Radulov, Jeff Petry
▼ David Desharnais