Forward lines and defense pairings
Tatar – Danault – Hudon
Byron – Drouin – Armia
Agostino – Peca – Scherbak
De la Rose – Plekanec – Chaput
Benn – Petry
Ouellet – Juulsen
Alzner – Despres
On Saturday afternoon, the Canadiens made an announcement that Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be on the opening night roster. Kotkaniemi was one of the few good news stories of the pre-season, and with the Habs having trouble selling tickets, it was an obvious move to make for marketing reasons.
Perhaps the organization also had an inkling that the final game of the pre-season was going to be a dud. Because the 0-3 debacle at the Canadian Tire Centre is not a positive way to enter the regular season.
Particularly disappointing were the Canadiens players on the bubble. Kenny Agostino did nothing to distinguish himself from fellow forwards. Michael Chaput had another poor effort with giveaways leading to a goal against and a meaningless fight.
On defence Xavier Ouellet continues to make mental mistakes. The Simon Despres experiment has been a disaster throughout the pre-season. Despres has stated that the pace in exhibition games has been a big adjustment for him coming from the KHL. He would be in over his head once the regular season begins.
The best player on the ice for the Canadiens tonight was Joel Armia. He has been placed throughout the lineup in the pre-season and has handled well each and every assignment.
With respect to roster decisions, Nikita Scherbak and Jacob de la Rose should make the 23-man roster with Chaput and Kenny Agostino heading to Laval. In an ideal world, Despres should be released from his PTO and Ouellet should be sent to the Rocket. And Brett Lernout should be recalled by the Habs.
▲ Joel Armia
▼ Simon Despres, Michael Chaput, Jeff Petry, Jordie Benn, Noah Juulsen, Xavier Ouellet, Matthew Peca