Jan 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (40) skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Poll Result: Your Montreal Canadiens Third Pairing Left Defenceman Is...

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We are about to wrap up our vote to predict the Montreal Canadiens opening night lineup, which means August is winding down and training camp is right around the corner.

The only slots left to predict are the bottom pairing of defencemen and the backup goaltender. We opened the polls for who will be on the left side, but before we look at the result, here is where the lineup stands right now:

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau

Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher

Bourque – Eller – Sekac

Prust – Malhotra – Weise

Markov – Subban

Tinordi – Gilbert

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Winning the vote for the third pairing left defender was Nathan Beaulieu, who took 68 percent of the vote, while the only other candidate, Alexei Emelin had 32 percent of the votes.

Beaulieu was a first round pick of the Canadiens in the 2011 NHL Draft, and has slowly climbed the organizational depth chart, and now looks poised to crack the NHL lineup full time.

Feb 2, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (40) skates with the puck against Winnipeg Jets during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

He is an excellent skater with great offensive instincts, can carry the puck out of his own zone and up ice, and makes a good pass coming out of the Canadiens zone.

Beaulieu will be a nice addition for the Canadiens at even strength, but will probably make the biggest difference for this team on the power play. The Habs still have Markov and Subban penciled in on the top PP pairing, but last season were forced to use offensively inept players like Francis Bouillon and Alexei Emelin regularly on the second wave of the power play.

With the signing of Tom Gilbert, and the addition of Beaulieu into the regular lineup, the Habs will have a dangerous second pair of defencemen that can help out on the man advantage.

We are almost done our August vote of who will be in the Habs starting lineup, with just a sixth defenceman and a backup goaltender to pick. That means hockey is just around the corner!

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