At this time of the year things change in hockey as fast as the leaves on the trees. NHL coaches are reactionary people, so when the Canadiens had that gawd-awful start against the Capitals Thursday night, head coach Michel Therrien tore up his pre-season playbook between the first and second periods and shuffled his top three right wingers.
Buoyed by the comeback win, Therrien liked things enough to keep the new alignment together at practice Friday in Philadlephia. It means, after an entire training camp in which P.A. Parenteau was joined at the right hip of David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, we are likely to see him on the third line with Lars Eller and Rene Bourque. Brendan Gallagher, as he is wont to do, re-energized Desharnais and Pacioretty and Jiri Sekac replaced him on the Plekanec line.
The change was startling. Plekanec tied the game and his line with Galchenyuk and Sekac was the Canadiens best. On the Desharnais line, Gallagher produced four shots on goal and the line totaled seven shots through the final two periods. In the third period Parenteau had a goal taken away on goalmouth interference and Bourque hit the post in the third period while playing with Eller.
So, here’s the way it looks to start the game against the Flyers Saturday night. We can’t guarantee it will have the same look at the end of the game. Coaches are like that.
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Sekac
Bourque – Eller – Parenteau
Prust – Malhotra – Moen
Markov – Gilbert
Emelin – Subban
Beaulieu – Weaver