The Montreal Canadiens enter the 2013 NHL season with a new hope in a change in management (Marc Bergevin) and on the bench (Michel Therrien). But, no matter how much these two may inspire the fans to give Montreal Canadiens a second chance, it ultimately comes down to the players taking to the ice at the Bell Center.
The forwards are not nearly a phantom unit as they have been in the past. The main issue, short centers, still remains; however, the emergence of a couple young wingers brightens the day. Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais are the undersized pair acting as the main hub for the Habs puck possession. Plekanec is just under 6-feet and is a solid player manning the second line. He should be handling the first, but he has been playing the second line for balance. Desharnais is a shrimp at 5-foot-7, but he plays his heart out. Young left wing Max Pacioretty will do his best to make him look good. Pacioretty had the breakthrough last season and is going to be spending these brief 48 games making sure he did not lose that magic. Players like Erik Cole and Brian Gionta are veteran wings who can keep the puck moving. Alex Galchenyuk is considered a reach for the Top 6, but he is a deflection machine not afraid to collect those ugly goals by stationing himself in the front of the net.
The blue line has no true Top 4. Rather, it is up to Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban to carry the puck out of the zone on the first two lines and for Therrien to find some kind of defensive consistency with the rest of the bunch. Those unnamed defensemen are the stay-at-home types whose job it is to protect Carey Price. Price is going to be pushed to the limit this regular season, but he has the kind of hot glove that could lead to a decent showing in the Northeast Division and a chance to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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