Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Canadiens Changes: Part 1 of 2

Bob Gainey has moved. He has made changes to the opening day roster for the first time since his intentional dump of Garth Murray.

What this constitutes is the first part of a two-part effort to redesign the Habs we watch on the ice, the second part being the benching of new players.

As a move, it has started very positively. What the Canadiens get is two hungry youngsters to inject a bit of pace, energy and verve into the lineup. They lose Grabovski, who though I like him, will benefit more from some time in the minors (now that he knows what it is exactly he has to work on).

Specifically, what the Habs get is a very energetic and proud player in Lapierre - one who doesn't like losing - and a big and raw defenseman in O'Byrne. And two key cogs in the Calder Cup Championship.

What interests me more than the call-ups are the possible moves to take place from today to tomorrow game time...

Ideally, both Lapierre and O'Byrne are here to play immediately, and together with Halak should change the look of the team for the next few games. If they do play, how will carbo change his lineup?

I'm not sure, but I could suggest what I would do in his situation:


Line 1: Higgins-Koivu-Ryder

Line 2: Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Kovalev

Line 3: Lapierre-Chipchura-Latendresse

Line 4: Begin-Smolinski-Kostopoulos

Bench: Dandenault


Pairing 1: Markov-Komisarek

Pairing 2: Hamrlik-O'Byrne

Pairing 3: Bouillon-Streit

Bench: Brisebois, Gorges


Starter: Halak (Boston game)

Back-up: Price (Boston game)

Unfortunately, I fear the worst: that O'Byrne is being called up so Streit can play forward on a permanent basis, thereby leaving Brisebois in the lineup. I think Ryder and Lapierre (actually) will see the bench instead of Dandenault and Brisebois. Too bad.

But before getting too down on anyone, let's see what part 2 of the move is...

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