Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Starting from scratch

Guy Carbonneau has placed Tomas Plekanec back with Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn at the Tuesday morning skate in preparation for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and I think it's a good move.

Bouncing Kovalev all over the lineup didn't work in the past, and the only time he's ever really produced in a Habs uniform was alongside these two guys. Same goes for Plekanec.

The Habs are going to need to see a resurgence out of those two players if they want to get this thing back on the right track, and even brother Andrei hasn't been playing with nearly as much intensity of late.

Putting Saku Koivu back together with Christopher Higgins and Matt D'Agostini is also a sound decision in my books because they showed some real chemistry before two thirds of the line got hurt, and those glory days were D'Agostini's most dangerous as an NHLer.

But the most intriguing aspect of the injury-induced lineup changes is that Carbonneau will now be forced to go back to the traditional split of two scoring lines and two energy/checking lines. I know, Maxim Lapierre between Max Pacioretty and Sergei Kostitsyn is not much of a checking line, but that will be the role they will be asked to fill.

And I think having Steve B├ęgin between Tom Kostopoulos and Alex Henry should be a good crash and bang unit, assuming Henry can keep up. At the very least, Kostopoulos shouldn't have to fight playing on this line, though I would imagine Henry will see some time on the bench and Carbonneau will rotate in guys off other lines later in the game.

We shall see tonight how effective it is, but I think it's a good move.

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