Montreal Canadiens: Recent Practice Lines Reminder Wins Will Be Hard To Come By In Second Half

Jan 27, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson
Jan 27, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens battled through the pre All-Star break of their schedule and were able to maintain nearly a .500 points percentage.

Considering most people were expecting them to be one of the very worst teams in the league, keeping up about an 80 point pace for 49 games was pretty impressive. It does still leave them well outside the playoffs and they appear to be settling into the fact they are going to miss the postseason for a third consecutive season.

With that reality quickly setting in, the Canadiens took a first round pick when offered from the Winnipeg Jets, and handed over Sean Monahan.

With Kirby Dach, Alex Newhook and Christian Dvorak already on the injured list, and Brendan Gallagher suspended for the next four games, it leaves the Canadiens a little short.

Their practice lines from yesterday were a reflection of their lack of depth and a stark reminder that the second half of this season is going to be a long one for fans of the Canadiens.

The first line at practice was Juraj Slafkovsky, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. Now that is a terrific trio and one that gets Canadiens fans excited to turn on a game at night. Beyond those three, the forward lines make this lineup look more like a preseason roster and not an actual NHL game in the middle of February.

The second line, I repeat... second line has Jake Evans between Tanner Pearson and Jesse Ylonen. I've been saying for a while that Ylonen needs a bigger role to prove himself... but I don't think this is the way to do it.

The third line is Josh Anderson with recent call ups Lucas Condotta and Brandon Gignac. The two newest Canadiens have played well for the Laval Rocket this season, but we will see if they are ready for a top nine role at the NHL level.

The fourth line has Michael Pezzetta possibly playing center with Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Joel Armia. Though there is not a lot of scoring on that line, it actually seems like a perfectly fine fourth line aside from the fact none of those players can play center in the NHL.

So, the Canadiens have a good first line and three good fourth line wingers on the fourth line and a lot of question marks and players playing above their weight class in between.

That doesn't seem like a great recipe for success. It really just signals that the second half of this season is not going to lead to many wins for the Canadiens.