Montreal Canadiens: Emil Heineman, Jesse Ylonen Learning On The Fly With Sean Monahan

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

You can argue that I'm jumping the gun here, but the Montreal Canadiens line of Sean Monahan between Emil Heineman and Jesse Ylonen looks like something that could work.

Monahan seems to be the guy that Martin St. Louis sticks on a line to get certain players going. He did it with Anderson, Gallagher and now two of the Canadiens two younger, more inexperienced wingers. The thing with Heineman and Ylonen is they are two guys who have quick-strike offensive abilities, which fits perfectly with a talented playmaker like Monahan.

Ylonen's defensive game has shown significant improvement, and it hasn't come at the expense of his offensive game. Heineman is still very raw; he simply hasn't played many NHL games to be properly evaluated. But in the American Hockey League, he has scored nine goals through 21 games, after being a talented shooter in the Swedish Hockey League.

Slap those two players on the flanks with Monahan running things down the middle, then you have something to work with. As I touched on previously, Ylonen is solid defensively, so paired with Monahan's smart two-way game, Heineman can develop on the fly. His mistakes will be covered by his linemates, while the line takes great strides in transition and the attacking zone.

It's hard to argue Monahan's value, I have even thought the idea of trading Monahan is too tantalizing to not consider. Teams have undoubtedly noticed Monahan; it's beyond impressive how he stays consistent while being a part of so many different line combinations. He plays on the power play and penalty kill and is strong in the faceoff dot.

His prowess on the draw is a positive for his line and it plays perfectly into Heineman and Ylonen's hands. They both play a fast strike game in transition and love to rush the puck through the neutral zone with their speed. In the offensive zone, they can both beat goalies from all over the zone and Monahan is the perfect guy to tee them up.

It's been just one game, but this line was a positive spot for the Canadiens and for that reason, I think that they should stick together longer. They certainly won't hurt you and they have the speed to disrupt on the backcheck and forecheck. If this is the Canadiens' second line, with 22-14-20 on the top line and Evans, Anderson and Gallagher on the third line, the Habs top nine looks quite solid.

I think Monahan can bring out so much more from both of his linemates, simply by making time and space for them. With that space the way he slows down the pace of the game will help out his wingers. And his passing ability ties everything together, along with his smart positioning and net front presence in the attacking zone.

With two pure shooters and a guy like Monahan who loves to play in front of the oppositions net tipping and deflecting pucks, this line has such high potential. Heineman has some skills that I think complement the lineup well and once he hits his stride, the line could really take off. They just need a little time and I think Marty will let them marinate a little bit.