BROSSARD – Auditions are currently being held for the role of left wing alongside Scott Gomez
and Brian Gionta
in Montreal and there are plenty of candidates up for the part.
But after a power outage hit the Bell Sports Complex on Friday morning cancelling the morning practice, the potential wingmen in the running will have to wait until Saturday to find out who will be getting a call-back for the job against the Sens.
“I think you try to find combinations. I thought the Plekanec line has been pretty good, although last night I thought wasn’t as good a performance as they had in the first five games,” reasoned head coach Jacques Martin of his line combo shake-up. “You try to find that chemistry with another unit so you toy around with it until you find a winning combination. Sometimes you have to be more patient and try some things at this time of the year.”
Sophomore forward Tom Pyatt was the latest piece added to that puzzle when he went from understudy to top billing on Thursday night, starting the game with the All-Star duo after watching the previous match-up from the press box. Despite being replaced by Michael Cammalleri on the line for the third period, the 23-year-old saw a lot of positives from his potential trio.
“We had a good start, working our butts off. We all used our speed to create some chances and get their D to run all over the place,” described Pyatt. “The only thing that’s missing from our line is finishing the plays. We had a lot of chances last night; the puck just wasn’t going in the net. Brodeur played really well; we just have to continue doing the same thing, but with a different result.
“When I saw that I went from the press box to the second line, I was surprised,” added the Thunder Bay native. “I’m really happy that I got this opportunity. Last year, there were times where I was playing everywhere in the lineup, but I’m all right with that because I can adjust quickly.”
Enjoying his best production of the preseason alongside Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec
, Lars Eller
has also proven he can feed off his sharp-shooting teammates.
“I want to get more involved and I want to be close to the puck to try to make plays. I try to play the same way no matter who I play with,” offered Eller. “Of course you want to play as much as possible right away but I’ve played less than 15 games in this league and it is a process. I’m confident I’m going to be a top two line player; I know I’m going to be that. Right now all I have to do is have patience and keep working hard and I know it will come. It’s just a matter of when.”
Patience is also a virtue for Dustin Boyd, who knows that becoming a successful team is all just a matter of timing.
“Guys have been moving around and trying new things. For me, I’m just about going out there and playing hard every night. If an opportunity like that comes, you just want to make the most of it, but you’re not sitting around waiting for that to happen,” shrugged the five-year NHL veteran. “It’s six games into the season. You’re not going to be the perfect team right away – it takes time. For us it’s just a matter of building chemistry or getting more scoring or being stronger defensively that will come with games and experience.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSOCanadiens Fantasy HockeyDevils 3, Canadiens 0 You again? Bulldogs report