Canadiens at Hurricanes - The Iron Curtain

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Markov and Emelin's great start allowed the Canadiens to thrive without Subban in the lineup, but should they still be taking the top competition?

Yesterday Olivier brought up some interesting ideas in the comments of his game recap for the loss against the Islanders when I mentioned how impressive it was that the Habs were able to survive and thrive so long both without, and while misusing P.K. Subban.

Olivier mentioned that a big part of the reason why was Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin's outstanding play to begin the year.

But even with Subban back in the lineup and reunited with Josh Gorges, a move that has boosted Gorges' even strength Fenwick by a bewildering 16.4%, Markov and Emelin remain the top shutdown pair for Michel Therrien.

And with the Iron Curtain beginning to show some signs of rust, as Olivier put it, perhaps it's time to give them less responsibility?

Olivier suggested Therrien put his thoroughbreds together and play Markov and Subban as a pairing. They've built chemistry on the powerplay recently, so that idea could result in a ridiculously good pair. However I think it may weaken the bottom four a little too much, and would prefer keeping the Iron Curtain together, but giving Gorges and Subban all the heavy lifting.

As it stands, Markov and Emelin take the tougher competition while Subban and Gorges take the tougher zone starts. I say load up Gorges and Subban with both, and let Markov and Emelin dominate second lines with favourable zone starts.

What do you think is the best course of action?


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