The 2013-14 version of the Montreal Canadiens took to the ice for the first time yesterday as training camp began in Brossard. 55 Players have been invited to the camp, and the roster can be seen here.
Judging from the lines that were used during the first scrimmage on Thursday afternoon, Canadiens Head Coach Michel Therrien is trying out some familiar lines from a season ago. Tomas Plekanec was flanked by Rene Bourque and the small, speedy Christian Thomas, who appears to be a stand-in for Plekanec’s regular right winger Brian Gionta who is recovering from biceps surgery.
The young trio of Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher were used together, as well as a somewhat obvious fourth line of Ryan White between Brandon Prust and Travis Moen.
That left the usual duo of David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty being joined by newcomer Daniel Briere, on a very offensive oriented combination.
On defense, Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban were left together, and Andrei Markov was paired with Raphael Diaz. That left Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray forming a duo that appears to be a shutdown, third pairing being considered by Montreal management.
To put it all together, it appears that Habs management is looking at this depth chart:
Pacioretty Desharnais Briere
Bourque Plekanec Gionta
Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
Prust White Moen
Aside from line combinations, that honestly could change 100 times before the regular season even begins, there were a few other notes to take from the first day of training camp.
Not taking part in the scrimmage due to injury were Alexei Emelin, George Parros and Brian Gionta. Emelin is out until at least November following offseason knee surgery, Parros could be ready for opening night, as he battles back from a shoulder injury, and Gionta also has not ruled out playing October 1st, even though he had offseason bicep surgery for the second straight season.
Ryan White suffered a cut to his forehead early in Thursday’s scrimmage and did not return. He was on the ice again this morning and will take part in today’s game.
Nathan Beaulieu on the other hand, left with an apparent shoulder injury after taking a hard hit from Charles Hudon. Beaulieu, the Canadiens first round pick in 2011, did not return to the scrimmage, and will not take part in today’s on ice activities.
The Canadiens will have an on ice scrimmage again today, as well as tomorrow, before hosting the Buffalo Sabres in their first preseason game Sunday night at the Bell Centre.