Thomas Vanek, Fourth Line Lead Montreal Canadiens To Win


Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Last night saw the arrival of a star hockey player that many Montreal Canadiens fans will never forget. Oh, and Patrick Roy came back too.

All kidding aside, Thomas Vanek finally became the player everyone expected him to be when Marc Bergevin pulled the wool over the eyes of every other general manager in the league to acquire him. In reality, he was always that player – he was getting chances and playing well – but he wasn’t scoring.

Now, he can start relaxing. By the time the game was 3-3 in the third period, Vanek’s first goal was probably the ugliest of the Canadiens three goals which is funny because the other ones were scored by Travis Moen and Brandon Prust.

His next two were really goal scorers goals and the fact that he and Max Pacioretty are on the same line is going to be really hard to defend for most teams.

Can we talk about how good David Desharnais has been lately? I’m not convinced he is a true number one center, but man. He is playing really, really well. The fact that he has who he has on his wings obviously helps but Desharnais has been carrying his own.

The fourth line proved it could be pretty good when it isn’t saddled with Douglas Murray in the defensive zone. In fact, a really good fourth line and multiple scoring options on the first line are the two things that the Canadiens have missed so far this season. Both might have been resolved.

Dale Weise had a really good game and I don’t see how Michel Therrien can fit Michael Bournival or Rene Bourque or even Ryan White into the lineup except to rest the older, more brittle Prust and Moen. Internal competition and depth are two really good things to have in your back pocket come playoff time.

Teams are really going to have a tough time stopping a Canadiens team that is legitimately a four line team right now. The defence is still a little suspect but they have been playing with the puck a lot more which, as many will say, is the best way to keep the puck out of your net.

If you replace Francis Bouillon with Josh Gorges, you have a really, really good team with no obvious holes. When was the last time we were able to say that about the Canadiens?