The Montreal Canadiens had speed, energy and hustle – and that was only the fourth line. In their 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames, the Canadiens looked like the Canadiens of last year if only for one game.
I’m not sure you can put it all on the addition of Dale Weise and Ryan White, but you can definitely put the success of the fourth line on them. They, along with Michael Bournival provided the most energy on the fourth line this season.
Yes, it was against the Calgary Flames. And yes, it was at home where Michel Therrien had the benefit of last change, but at least one of Montreal’s forward lines is looking fine the way it is.
Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais don’t look like they will be split up anytime soon, but maybe swapping Rene Bourque and Brandon Gallagher could get this line and Lars Eller line back up and running.
Therrien will have a lot of thinking to do. The addition of Weise and return of White means that two forwards will have to sit on any given night. One of them will likely be George Parros. Last night, Travis Moen sat out with an injury.
What happens when Alex Galchenyuk returns? This team that couldn’t find enough forwards to play will suddenly have too many. Depth is good. Internal competition is good, too. You will likely see one of Briere or Bourque sitting out and Montreal will go with a top-nine, fourth line approach.
That’s similar to what they have now, only with Brandon Prust on the fourth line with Moen, Bournival, White or Weise. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s five guys for three spots.
Internal competition can be good, especially if it means more performances from the fourth line like they got yesterday at the Bell Centre. Having a line that you can rely on for 10 solid minutes a night will give Michel Therrien more time to get his scorers scoring and finding the right combinations.
As long as Carey Price is between the pipes, the team will have a chance, but it would be nice if they could get a few more goals to support him.