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COL@MTL: Creating a spark

Head coach Claude Julien featured some notable line changes during Saturday's morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex

by Olivier Beauregard. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski. @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

BROSSARD - Head coach Claude Julien is hoping that modifications made to his forward lines will lead to success on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche at the Bell Centre.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: A look at the forward lines and defense pairings featured at Saturday's morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex.READ -> https://t.co/vrtCe1MpHT #GoHabsGo

Given that the Canadiens are going up against one of the most dangerous lines in the League, Julien's squad will most definitely have to capitalize on their scoring chances.

The veteran bench boss believes the time was right to make some switches as offense has been rather sparse of late.

"During a season, you make small changes like this when things are becoming stagnant. It can last for a while, or maybe just be something short-term," said Julien. "The changes aren't just being made because of one player, it's more about our recent performances. It's important, sometimes, to make changes to try and give the club some energy."

Video: Claude Julien's pregame press conference vs. COL

Likewise, the players themselves believe changes were necessary to get a certain rhythm going again in their collective game.

"We haven't been playing our best hockey recently, so I think it can be good to change things up. It's nothing personal. It's just about trying to get everyone going together," said Phillip Danault, who will have a brand new left-winger on Saturday night in Jonathan Drouin. "Jo is a really good addition. He has such good skills. But, we're not going to change the way we play."

Paired with Danault since the start of the year, Brendan Gallagher will remain on the line.

The Canadiens' assistant captain didn't seem surprised by Julien's move.

"We're at a point where changing the lines up is probably a good thing for us. We need a spark. I think everybody is excited about them. I don't think anyone thought they'd be playing with the same players for 82 games. This is just the way things go during a season. Hopefully it can work tonight," noted Gallagher.

Video: Brendan Gallagher on creating offense

Drouin, meanwhile, is pleased to be joining a new trio.

"We have to find some new balance and a new way to create things. They're two excellent players at both ends of the ice, so I'm going to try and bring speed and play my game," he mentioned.

Changes on the power play, too

Julien didn't just tweak things on his standard lines. He went about shaking up his power play soldiers as well.

The man advantage has struggled mightily all season, so changes were certainly in order.

Kenny Agostino was one of the new faces out there on Saturday.

"When things aren't going well, you have to find solutions. I know we scored recently, but we absolutely have to create some consistency and capitalize on our opportunities. I think that Kenny can help us. He has a bit of everything in his game, so we'll see," explained captain Shea Weber.

Video: Shea Weber on the Canadiens' power play

According to Gallagher, the Canadiens have to get back to basics with the man advantage. They currently rank 31st in the League in that department.

"When the power play isn't working, I think it's important to simplify our game," said Gallagher. "We just have to put pucks on net and get rebounds."

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