Time To Experiment?

radio-canada.ca

radio-canada.ca

The Montreal Canadiens have clinched a post-season spot with their victory tonight against the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Now that they are assured of making the playoffs, is it time to experiment? I think so.

David Desharnais is not having a great season, some would say he’s not worth the money he was given when the Habs re-signed him for four years, I would agree. The lack of consistent face-off wins, lack of defensive play and general poor play this season with the exception of perhaps 10 games (I’m being generous) leads to the conclusion that DD is not having a great year.

Erik Cole, before being traded was still on the DD, Max Pacioretty line, then Prust had a shot, now Gallagher. Gally is the only reason the DD line is working, he does all the work and scores off his own work ethic most of the time. Even Pacioretty is suffering from DD’s lack of good performance.

I think Michel Therrien has to address this now. All through this shortened season MT has given DD all the chances in the world to produce, keeping him on the power play, trying to jump start the line with Gallagher, but what happens when Gally isn’t on the line anymore?

The time has come to give the “Great Dane” Lars Eller his shot at centre on the second line. Make DD a winger and place Eller at centre with Pacioretty as the other winger. Eller deserves his shot, he is better on face-offs, defensively and is not pushed off the puck so easily. It’s high time now that the post-season is assured to start this experiment, for too long DD has been given the opportunity to flourish only to fail. Eller has earned the chance to prove that he is the number two centre at the moment.

tvasports.ca

tvasports.ca

Alex Galchenyuk would benefit from moving Eller to the second line. It would allow him to play his natural position of centre. Yes we all know that having Galch play wing while he acclimates himself to the NHL is a good way to start, less pressure, less defensive  responsibilities, but we’ve all seen what he does when he plays at centre, especially when Gallagher is on his wing, the two have amazing chemistry together.

Ryder could be the other winger, Galchenyuk would have two snipers on his wings to dish the puck to if he doesn’t have the chance to shoot the puck himself.

Prust could play on the fourth line, returning to the third line  if the need arises or Ryder’s play diminishes.

As I said, now that the post-season is assured, the Habs can experiment while trying to win the division and see if there is a better line set up than the one they currently have with DD not playing well. There’s no time like the present.

It’s the best time to try different possibilities. Diaz should be back soon and the Habs will have a relatively healthy team going into the playoffs, barring any injuries until then. The Habs should take advantage of the fact that they can now experiment without worrying about making the post-season.

 

Side Note:
I am happy for Budaj getting a two-year extension on his contract, he has played well, is liked by the team and fans plus loves Montreal.

Keep playing well, Budaj!

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Time To Experiment?

  1. Like your blog and totally agree with your position.

    steve April 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm Reply
  2. Desharnais has been absolutely terrible. He can’t win a faceoff to save his life, I don’t think he even knows what the word backcheck means and for his size and puck skills, he is useless as a centreman. I would ever argue that he wouldn’t do any better on the wing because he is so soft on the puck, and he would be scared out of his pants to go fight for the loose pucks along the wall, plus his net drive is next to nothing. The only good thing about moving him to wing is that Eller is clearly the better centreman and deserves to be the #2 centre, and then give Galchenyuk the 3rd line. I couldn’t agree with you more Bryen, I don’t think it’s time to experiment, I think its clearly time for change, but then again, it has been long overdue.

    Colton April 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm Reply

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