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07-18-2012, 01:35 PM
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I think this season will be a transition year with new management and coaching, but I don't think that means the Habs will be bottom feeders again. The team has a solid foundation to build with and I don't think the playoffs are out of the question just yet.
A different line-up to try:

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gionta
Desharnais - Eller - Cole
Bourque - Gomez - Armstrong
Moen - Nokelainen - Prust
EX: White

Markov - Gorges
Emelin - Subban
Bouillon/Kaberle - Diaz
EX: Weber


The Habs have a LW spot open in the top 6 and have center depth, I think Desharnais can still be a good scorer on the wing and won't have the defensive responsibilities that come with playing center. He does not make the left side small, as the other three (Pacioretty, Bourque, and Moen) are all 6'2. He also still has two 6'2 linemates. I believe Eller is going to have a good year with a healthy summer of training, and Desharnais' vision could really help Eller improve his scoring and not have to worry about doing everything himself when playing with bottom six wingers.

I did not want to see Gomez back with the team, but at this point I don't see him leaving. But, if he does, a third line UFA center like Moore would be a good option. The bottom six lines would play similar minutes to each other as I really like the Moen - Prust combo and think they could be sound defensively, play some PK minutes, and put pressure on the opposing dmen.

I broke up last year's number 1 line because this team still looks like a one line team with them together, and that has proven to not be a recipe for success. Hopefully this can balance the scoring a little. Also, there is no guarantee that the Pacioretty - Desharnais - Cole line would be successful again. I remember when the Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kovalev line were one of the best in the league but couldn't repeat success the following year. I think this lineup would at least be worth a try during pre-season.

Last note, I think Emelin on his left side is important for his improvement and the defence as a whole.

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