Thus far in our quest to predict the Montreal Canadiens lineup that will begin the NHL season in just 78 days, we have named David Desharnais as the top center, and are well on our way to picking Max Pacioretty as the first line left winger.
Today we will turn our focus to the right side, as we round out the top line. There are a few capable candidates for this position, and two who I keep flip-flopping in my head as to who would be the best fit on a line with Desharnais and Pacioretty.
Brendan Gallagher played much of the season with on this line last year, and played admirably in that role. In just his second NHL season, the little ball of hate worked his way to 19 goals and 41 points by driving the net with reckless abandon and driving each and every one of his opponents nuts in the process.
Gallagher has a tireless work ethic that is a great example to even the veteran players on the roster. At just 22 years of age he has endeared himself to his teammates and staff to the point he has been getting some speculation as a potential captain or assistant captain on the team next year.
Gallagher is not a big player at just 5’9” but doesn’t allow that to slow him down. He works well on every line as his WOWY stats will show you, and would be an excellent fit on the Habs top line once again.
Another possibility is that newcomer P.A. Parenteau steps into the first line role alongside Desharnais and Pacioretty. Parenteau is known as an offensive right handed winger, and has put up impressive point totals in recent years.
The native of Hull, Quebec dipped to 33 points in 55 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season as he struggled with injuries. However, just one year prior, Parenteau scored 43 points in 48 games during the lockout shortened 2013 season, and had 120 points in his last two seasons with the New York Islanders.
Parenteau is a great playmaker, and combined with Desharnais, could help Pacioretty reach the 40 goal plateau for the first time in his career.
Needless to say, Parenteau is quite capable of handling an offensive role. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Gallagher could, and did play well when not on the top line. First, he was a member of the infamous EGG line with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk, and he also played well on a line with Tomas Plekanec late last season, when Thomas Vanek was on the big line.
Sure, Gallagher would be a great fit on Desharnais’ line, but so would Parenteau, and Gallagher would be a great fit on Plekanec’s line, or on Eller’s line.
So, what do you say? Is the first line right wing slot still Gallagher’s, or does it go to Parenteau to spread around the offense? Or is Jiri Sekac going to surprise us in camp and start on the first line? What about rookie Sven Andrighetto? Cast your vote below, or sound off in the comments section, or both. Check back this afternoon with a look at who won the first line left wing vote, and then check back tomorrow to vote on the second line center!
Who Will Be The Montreal Canadiens First Line Right Winger Next Season?
- P.A. Parenteau (56%, 222 Votes)
- Brendan Gallagher (30%, 119 Votes)
- Jiri Sekac (11%, 44 Votes)
- Sven Andrighetto (3%, 14 Votes)
Total Voters: 398