We have finally wrapped up the voting on which forwards will be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup on opening night. The final vote was for the left wing spot on the fourth line and came down to sophomore Michael Bournival and verteran Brandon Prust.
Prust won out with 65 percent of the vote, while Bournival took 33 percent and veteran Travis Moen trailed behind with the final 2 percent.
So the final lineup, according to you, the readers of A Winning Habit, will be:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Bourque – Eller – Sekac
Prust – Malhotra – Weise
There are not many surprises among these 12 forwards. The only thing that I would do differently would be try and find a permanent spot for Bournival in the lineup. He forced the organization to keep him in the NHL last season when no one expected him to crack the lineup out of training camp.
Bournival is a young forward at 22, and is probably already the fastest skater among the Canadiens forwards. I agree that Michel Therrien will likely bury him in the lineup, especially early in the season next year, but I would take out Bourque or Sekac in favor of Bournival if it were up to me.
Jiri Sekac is an interesting case, as none of us have ever really seen him play. He suited up at the World Championships for the Czech Republic last spring, but only scored two points in ten games. He was well sought after over the summer though, with as many as 25 teams reportedly interested in signing the 23 year old free agent.
He could be a third liner already, but he could also start the season in Hamilton. It all depends on how his training camp goes, and you can bet we will get a long look at him in the exhibition games before anything is decided.
Prust makes a lot of sense to win this vote, as he is a solid, grinding player for the fourth line. He was injured a lot last season, but always played his heart out when he was in the lineup, can kill penalties, and is one of the team’s most physical players.
The voting now moves to the blue line, with the first vote already taking place on who will be P.K. Subban’s partner on the top pairing. Check back tomorrow to see who won the vote, as young Nathan Beaulieu is making it interesting, and holding his own against veteran Andrei Markov at the moment.