Montreal Canadiens: Split Squad Scrimmage for Group A

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Photo Credit: Dario Ayala / The Gazette

Last night was Group A’s turn to hit the ice, as the lineup featured the Group A lineup. The lineup included players trying to make a statement for the sixth and seventh defensemen on the team such as Zach Redmond, who seemed to impress myself and a few others via social media,  with the worth ethic and skill he displayed last night. Galchenyuk and Gallagher seemed be finding the vibe they need to lead the first line with this year. Not their normal lineup was lined up with them, but they found great chemistry with him was Lehkonen, who seemed to make a case for himself joining the big club to start the season. Lehkonen showed a lot of skill and the hard work that Micheal Therrien loves. The bottom nine is not secured yet but we will see who is their opening night, we might find ourselves with some new surprises.

Some things that weren’t particularly impressive last night included the line featuring David Desharnais, Daniel Carr, and Sven Andrighetto. Mainly, it seemed as though Desharnais’s play last night and as though his effort and skill level was bare minimum. Daniel Carr had a good stint with the big club last year until an injury prevented him from playing the remainder of the season. If he wants to solidify a spot in the lineup, he’ll need to come out with more fire in his game to give them a reason to keep him in Montreal. Andrighetto will, unfortunately, likely find himself at St. Johns to start the season, as he doesn’t yet appear to be NHL ready. However, he still has youth on his side, as well as the potential to be a top six playmaker in the NHL, just not quite yet.

Speaking of St. Johns, there were a lot of players that did impress and could solidify a spot for themselves in the forwards group, including Chris Terry, Jacob De La Rose, Nikita Scherbak Daniel Audette, and Markus Eisenschmid. These young forwards showed signs of NHL potential. Additionally, some defensemen that could be in St. Johns this year include Yuri Alexandrov, Noah Juulsen, and Joel Hanley. It’s difficult to envision these three making the big club, though it is possible that Alexandrov could sign a minor league deal. Juulsen also made a case for himself last night, as he should be, in my opinion, highly considered for Team Canada for the World Juniors.

Right from the day Canadiens signed him, the backup job was his spot to lose. While he didn’t play last night, he will in the next upcoming pre-season match. Mike Condon seemed average, and it looked as though Charlie Lindgren out-shined him last night with a few big saves. Mike Condon may find himself on the trade block, or be fighting for a job in St. Johns if he doesn’t show that he can defend his job from last year a little better.

The only thing missing last night was scoring. The Habs obviously didn’t have the lineup that they would have night in and night out. The front office has a lot of thinking to do with these players, and this was only the first batch of guys making a case for themselves.

Finally, I would like to wish defenseman Shea Weber, as well as the man himself Carey Price, the best of luck in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey Final.

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