We have rounded out the top nine in our effort to predict the Montreal Canadiens lineup for the upcoming season. There have not been many surprises, though I am not sure Jiri Sekac can be a regular in the lineup this season, and Rene Bourque still has a lot to prove to hold off Michael Bournival.
However, we now have a top nine that looks like this:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Bourque – Eller – Sekac
******** – ******** – ********
Before moving on to the defenders, we will round out the forward group by picking the fourth liners who will regularly suit up for the Habs this season.
Starting off on right wing, there are a few candidates but one stands out above the rest if you ask me. Dale Weise was acquired last season for Raphael Diaz and fit in very well as a fourth line winger. He has good speed and is a gritty player which endeared him to Canadiens fans and Michel Therrien last season, especially when he scored a few big goals in the postseason.
You have to think here though, that we are trying to fit Weise, Brandon Prust, Michael Bournival, Manny Malhotra and Travis Moen on the fourth line. Malhotra will likely be the regular center, unless Bournival steals the role, but an argument can be made to move Prust or Bournival to the right side over Weise.
Prust was an invaluable player for the Canadiens during the 2013 season, his first with the club. He also played on the right side at time when on a line with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk, and proved his worth as the bodyguard for the younger forwards. He was injured a lot last season, but is still a very valuable depth player, and can easily slide to the right side to make room for Bournival or Moen on the left side if it is the best fit for the team.
Bournival could also do the same, and move from his natural position to the right side. His natural position is actually at center, so he already made a transition to play the left side last season, and had no problem filling the role. Bournival is young, fast and a very intelligent player. I think he is going to be a regular in this lineup, and maybe he will have to be on the right side to make it happen.
Travis Moen is also a versatile player who played his best hockey with the Habs on a line with Lars Eller and Andrei Kostitsyn. That was a few years back, but he was the right winger on the line, and he is a very capable penalty killer. When Tomas Plekanec’s regular shorthanded linemate Brandon Prust was suspended in the playoffs against the New York Rangers, Plekanec was quoted as saying if Moen is inserted into the lineup, it will be like nothing changes on the penalty kill. Which is to say Plekanec likes playing with Moen when the team is down a man.
Does this mean Moen will be a regular in the lineup? There are only so many positions for four wingers here, and we are not even getting into the young role players who could step in and take over. Charles Hudon, Jeremy Gregoire, Pat Holland and Christian Thomas could knock one of the veterans out of the lineup altogether.
I think most of those youngsters are at least another year away, so we will focus on the vets that have already played with the Habs.
So who is going to be the regular right winger on the Habs fourth line next season?
Who Will Be The Montreal Canadiens Fourth Line Right Winger Next Season?
- Dale Weise (82%, 85 Votes)
- Brandon Prust (10%, 10 Votes)
- Michael Bournival (8%, 8 Votes)
- Travis Moen (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 104