With a week before the puck drops to start another season of NHL hockey the big question is what is GM Marc Bergevin’s plan?
No major moves were made in the off season. Most of the moves seem to be internal. Alex Galchenyuk moves to Centre, Lars Eller moves to the wing to get top six minutes.
It seems the moves were all risk moves and lotter tickets. Zack Kassian and Alex Semin are on the Habs because of issues with their former teams. Both have potential, but neither is a lock. There seems to be too many bodies and not enough solutions.
Is this team better than last year’s at this time? In a sense yes, but in reality no. Perhaps a trade is brewing of some sort.
Captain Max Pacioretty is about to have his first pre season game while wearing a brace. He’s recovering from a knee injury and if he has a relapse or misses any prolonged period of time it’s a huge hole for the team. If all goes well it looks like he’ll be playing with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher.
Semin will be playing with Galchenyuk and Eller. They have the potential to be a potent line as their playing styles should compliment each other. If the line sticks Eller should have a 40+ point season as should Semin.
The 3rd line features David Desharsnais, Dale Weise, and most likely PTO Tomas Fleischman.
Rounding out the 4th line is Torrey Mitchell with either, Kassian or Devante Smith Pelly. and possibly Jacob De La Rose if he isn’t sent down.
That’s a lot of question marks and a recipe for disaster if Pacioretty has a relapse.
On Defense there are too many NHL caliber D men while still seeming to miss something?
I’m still not convinced that Subban and Markov are the best use of talent. Markov should start the shift down the rankings and be limited to Power play time.
If Emelin could elevate his game I would still like to see him play more with Subban and have Markov team with Petry.
Tom Gilbert is still on the team and for some reason Montreal is in love with Nathan Beaulieu over their other emerging D men such as Greg Pateryn. There is not much space left on the bench for young Jared Tinodi who’d be lost to waivers if send down.
If Galchenyuk graduates and Michael McCarron keeps moving forward the Habs have their 1 and 2 Centres of the near future.
They also have to decide on the future of Tomas Plekanec. Do they resign him or trade him as he’s UFA next season. He could be part of a trade to land a missing part.
Does Montreal stay the course or try and trade for a stud centre like Erik Staal?
Montreal should make the play offs with no problem this season. The question is will the team take a step forward or back and will they be built more for the regular season or play offs?
In goal Carey Price will be the mainstay and under rated Dustin Tokarski will be backing him up.
Over all the pantry is bursting in Montreal with talent up and down the roster. Now the question is if the right chefs are in place to get to Lord Stanley’s Cup?
What do you think hockey fans? You can post your comments below.