Michel Therrien changed the lines around at the Montreal Canadiens first practice since Game 2 this morning. However, he doesn’t want you to read too much into them.
Here were the lines:
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Rene Bourque – Lars Eller – Dale Weise
Thomas Vanek/Michael Bournival – Daniel Briere – Brandon Prust
At his press conference after practice, Therrien warned not to expect that lineup for Game 3 tomorrow night. Quotes courtesy of the transcription provided by the NHL.
Q. On Thomas Vanek practicing with the fourth line, is that a demotion or is that an attempt to balance the lines now?
COACH THERRIEN: Don’t read too much, okay. All right. Today, don’t read too much.
Q. Because they might change tomorrow?
COACH THERRIEN: They might change tomorrow.
Q. I just wrote that, actually.
COACH THERRIEN: Always a step ahead.
Q. What is your scouting report or knowledge of the relationship between Briere and Vanek, if at some point in the series you decide to put the two together?
COACH THERRIEN: You know what, the past is the past, you know? I know they’ve got a good result a few years ago, but it’s a long time ago. So, yes, they’ve built chemistry in the past, but don’t read too much. I know you guys like to read about practicing and lines and all that type of thing, but don’t read too much.
Q. I know you just said that and all, but just in the past you have tended to rely on duos up front and going back to duos that worked again. I’m not reading too much, but based on ??
COACH THERRIEN: I think you’re reading too much.
Q. I might be. But today for practice, you decided to put Gio back with Pleks which is something that you used over the course of the year. What is it about that combination that you think works?
COACH THERRIEN: One thing, the Plekanec line needs to give us more. I’m ready to stick sometimes with combination and with three guys working together as long as I see even the results sometimes is not there but the chances are there. But if I see there are no chances, not much happening, so now I’m at a point where I have to make some decisions, and those are the reasons why at times a coach will make decisions regarding lines, because we see ?? we normally judge with goals and assists. That’s not always the way we do things, but if I see they’ve got chances, if I see I like to stick with it. If I see it’s the opposite, okay, now I’ve got to take some decisions. Hopefully, by making some changes, something’s going to happen.
So as you can see, it`s pretty clear that he`s looking for a spark but it may not be what we saw today at practice. Just more intrigue for the Canadiens heading into a must-win game at Madison Square Garden tomorrow.
Oh, and Dustin Tokarski will get the call in goal.