Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
In a bit of surprising news, Lars Eller will be back in the lineup for tomorrow's game against New Jersey.
Eller was practicing today on the "top" line with David Desharnais and Erik Cole, but rest assured that Max Pacioretty isn't being scratched. He took the day off with a cold. Judging by how often Pacioretty comes back when everyone thinks he's out, I can't imagine him missing a game unless he's keeled over with unimaginable illness.
The decision to alter a winning lineup is the big surprise in this situation, as Therrien told the press that the decision to put Eller back in the lineup was made before Pacioretty was sick. This is something totally unexpected from the 'old school' coach.
Therrien told the press that he wants to create competition within the lineup for roster spots, so the question becomes, who sits?
The most obvious answer for most people will be Ryan White, but White has been playing extremely well on the 4th line, is that the right message to send a young player? Play some of the best hockey of your career and then sit? I somehow doubt that Therrien goes this route.
If it were me, I would take out either Travis Moen, and have Eller play the wing + center on the penalty kill, and tell him to work his way up the lineup, or I would scratch Desharnais and give Eller a chance with the two hulking wingers. Three 6'2" players with skill on the same line is something we haven't seen in Montreal in... I'm not sure.
Who do you sit?