Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/12/13
It’s time to start treating the kids like adults. Going into the National Hockey League season it appeared that Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien would have three well-balanced lines capable of scoring. Based on past performances the potential is still there but over the first four games the Canadiens have been a one-line team and that line is composed of whoever is between youngsters Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk. Sophomore jinx? Not for these guys. The Gallys have picked up where they left off last season and have provided the bulk of the Canadiens’ offence. Lars Eller and the Gallys have scored eight of the Canadiens’ 13 goals and have been a model of consistency. But Therrien has insisted on bringing the youngsters along slowly an outdated concept that has been part of the team’s DNA. Every other forward on the Canadiens’ top three lines is averaging more ice time than Gallagher and Galchenyuk. Therrien preaches accountability and says that players must earn their ice time but there still appears to be a reluctance to put too much pressure on the kids despite evidence that they welcome an expanded role. While the kids are off to a good start some of the veterans are struggling. David Desharnais who is trying to rebound from a disappointing season is still looking for his first point. Much of his success has been built on his chemistry with Max Pacioretty who missed one game with a wrist injury and is still not 100 per cent. Desharnas found himself on an unproductive line with Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta Thursday night in Edmonton. The one bit of good news is that Desharnais has been winning faceoffs at a team-best 56.2-per-cent clip. Therrien put Pacioretty and Daniel Brière with Eller in Edmonton but the addition of the red-hot Dane didn’t do much to spark the veterans. Brière did collect his first point as a Canadien when he assisted on an empty-net goal by Pacioretty. Goal-scorers tend to score in bunches and — while Pacioretty didn’t have to worry about beating a goaltender — the goal might be a boost for his confidence.
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