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Canadiens offer possible glimpse at line combinations

Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:04 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / Training Camp 2013 blog

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Training Camp 2013 blog
Canadiens offer possible glimpse at line combinations

BROSSARD, Quebec -- It was only the first scrimmage of training camp, but Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien may have given a little sneak preview Thursday as to the line combinations he'll use this season.

Canadiens new acquisition Daniel Briere was at right wing on a line with David Desharnais at center and Max Pacioretty on the left, two players who have spent basically the entirety of their professional careers together. With Briere and Desharnais both standing considerably less than 6 feet, it would be a combination lacking size but oozing with skill.

Another combination had Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque together at center and left wing, just as they were last season. But the right side was filled by prospect Christian Thomas in the absence of captain Brian Gionta, who is still recovering from a torn biceps muscle. Thomas was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers for Danny Kristo during the offseason.

Another line featured three of the younger players on the team, with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher playing the wings with Lars Eller. Eller, 24, is the elder statesman on that line.

The fourth line had bangers Travis Moen, Ryan White and Brandon Prust playing together, but that only lasted a couple of shifts before White was cut above the right eye with a high stick from defenseman Greg Pateryn and had to leave the scrimmage.

On defense, P.K. Subban was paired with his partner from last season Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov was with Raphael Diaz, while Francis Bouillon played with free agent signing Douglas Murray. Rookie hopeful Jarred Tinordi was paired with depth defenseman Davis Drewiske, and two other rookies looking to crack the squad were also paired together as Nathan Beaulieu played with Pateryn.

These combinations are obviously tentative, but they do make sense based on some of the established chemistry from last season.

In addition to Gionta, enforcer George Parros also missed the scrimmage as he recovers from offseason rotator cuff surgery, though he skated with a non-contact jersey during the morning practice.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres