We have wrapped up the vote on who will be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup at forward, and have just begun the polls on who will be playing on the blue line when the puck finally drops on October 8th.
Up front, we picked four lines that look like this:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Bourque – Eller – Sekac
Prust – Malhotra – Weise
For the defencemen, I didn’t bother putting up a poll to see if P.K. Subban will be on the top pairing, and instead just asked who will be his partner. The slot is wide open with Subban’s usual linemate Josh Gorges dealt to the Buffalo Sabres, and four potential candidates currently on the Habs roster.
Any one of Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu or Jarred Tinordi would look great on a pairing with Subban, but you folks voted, and chose the veteran Markov to be on the top pairing next season.
He didn’t run away with the vote in the way I thought he might, but Markov pulled in 40 percent, followed by Emelin who had 30 percent. Nathan Beaulieu finished third with 18 percent and Tinordi trailed with the final 12 percent.
Markov is an excellent choice to take over Gorges role as Subban’s defence partner. Markov is an excellent puck mover, and is very underrated in his own zone. The two offensive defenders were paired together for spurts last season and were excellent in their short time on a pairing.
Subban no longer needs a one dimensional defensive conscience on his pairing, as his own defensive game has grown leaps and bounds since he entered the league. Putting Markov with Subban will give the Canadiens one of the most offensive D-pairings in the league, while being very responsible in their own end as well.
Check back tomorrow as we will start the vote on who will be on the Habs second pairing. Will Emelin, Beaulieu or Tinordi be playing in the top six next season?