Our vote to pick what will be the Montreal Canadiens lineup continues this morning as we open the poll to who will play the left wing on the third line. Whoever it is, they will join Lars Eller and incoming free agent Jiri Sekac on a potentially dangerous third unit.
Currently, the lineup looks like this:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
*********** – Eller – Sekac
*********** – ********** – *********
There are a few options left to fill out the Habs top nine next season, and it looks like a few solid players are not going to crack the regular lineup. With only four roster spots remaining, we still have to find a spot for Rene Bourque, Michael Bournival, Dale Weise, Manny Malhotra, Brandon Prust and Travis Moen.
It will be interesting to see who you vote out of the Canadiens lineup altogether.
For now though, we are focused on the third line left winger who will line up alongside Lars Eller and Jiri Sekac.
Rene Bourque failed to hold down a top nine spot in the lineup throughout the regular season, but exploded in the postseason for eight goals which led the team and seems to have the inside track right now. He is big, has reached the 27 goal plateau twice in his career and is not afraid to drive to the net with the puck, which is difficult for the opposition to handle thanks to his large frame.
However, Bourque has not shown any of these tendencies with any sort of consistency, and in fact, has barely shown anything at all through his first two and a half seasons in Montreal. Sure, Bourque makes sense right now thanks to the chemistry he showed with Eller in the playoffs, but training camp is a lengthy process, and Bourque is going to have to show something in September to earn a regular spot on the third line.
Michael Bournival exploded onto the Montreal Canadiens scene with a phenomenal pre-season a year ago, before cracking the lineup full time. He was mostly used as a fourth line winger, but his speed and forechecking abilities could see him bump into a bigger role this season. When Bournival suited up on a line with Tomas Plekanec last season, he scored 11 points in 17 games, which exactly matches Bourque’s output in the postseason.
The question really becomes who is more likely to be consistent next season, Bourque, who was good in the playoffs but awful for two and a half years before that and is now 32 years old, or Bournival, the 21 year old sophomore with exceptional speed who had an identical scoring burst to Bourque, just at a different time of year.
There could be an argument to be made for a pair of veteran left wingers in Brandon Prust and Travis Moen, but I believe both are past their time when they are capable third line contributors. Prust may bounce back and be able to repeat his first season in Montreal, but the wear and tear on his body seems to be too much for him to handle more than a fourth line role this season.
As always it is up to you. Let us know who you think will be on the Habs this line with Eller next season, and fire off a comment below to get the conversation started by letting us know why your choice is the right one.
Who Will Be The Montreal Canadiens Third Line Left Winger This Season?
- Rene Bourque (46%, 194 Votes)
- Michael Bournival (30%, 127 Votes)
- Brandon Prust (24%, 103 Votes)
- Travis Moen (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 425