Forward lines and defense pairings
Hudon – Peca – Lehkonen
Chaput – Kotkaniemi – Armia
De la Rose – Suzuki – Scherbak
Shinkaruk – Froese – Agostino
Alzner – Despres
Ouellet – Lernout
Valiev – Moravcik
All exhibition line-ups are not created equal. On Monday night in Toronto, head coach Mike Babcock was in evaluation mode. No John Tavares, no Auston Matthews, no Mitch Marner or Morgan Rielly.
The majority of the players in the lineup were part of the Calder Cup winning Toronto Marlies last season including starting goaltender Garret Sparks. While the youthful Leafs gave the Canadiens all they could handle in the first period outshooting Montreal 18-12, the Habs earned a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Artturi Lehkonen picked up his second goal of the pre-season midway into the first period. Lehkonen has consistently been the Canadiens best forward in training camp. He added another goal in the second period. Lehkonen’s goals resulted from determined effort going to the scoring areas of the ice.
Joel Armia also had a strong game with two assists.
Two defencemen helped their case for another look as Xavier Ouelette had two goals and Brett Lernout was an impressive plus-4.
▲ Artturi Lehkonen, Joel Armia, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Xavier Ouellet, Brett Lernout
▼ Hunter Shinkaruk, Matthew Peca, Byron Froese