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
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.
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!