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You are Michel Therrien: Making sense of the head coach's lineup decisions

A peek inside the coach's thought process following his recent reuniting of Dale Weise, David Desharnais, and Max Pacioretty.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

You are Michel Therrien, the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

You're well over .500 — by fifteen wins — and for the first time all season, you're facing adversity. Your best right winger (Brendan Gallagher) is out for weeks. The right winger you thought should be a lock on your second line (Alexander Semin) is out, too. Your third line has fallen into a lull.

Luckily, you've called up a player (Sven Andrighetto) who has slotted into that second-line space seamlessly, and has been faring well.

You decide to take one of your best scorers (Dale Weise) and put him in the right-wing spot on the first line. He has as many goals as the player he is replacing, and has been at least functional with your best forward (Max Pacioretty) before. That replacement player is enjoying a career year to this point. The move makes sense to you.

You take a player who would be a second-line centre on a lot of teams (David Desharnais) and move him to the first line. You're simply moving good players around.

Those players have a history of success together. Injuries have limited your options, but this also makes sense because these are three veteran players who have, somehow, managed to have success together in spite of dangerous underlying metrics.

You don't want to mess with that second line because it's finally gotten going. Of course, in close games, that may not be the line you want on the ice all the time, because they haven't proven to you that they are defensively responsible yet. Evidence may suggest otherwise, but hey, you're old school like that. They're just an under-developed young line to you.

You've moved your top-line centre (Tomas Plekanec) to play with his compatriot (Tomas Fleischmann), knowing both have been stellar this year. Your limited options at right wing mean you just have to make due with what you have. You throw your fastest avaialble veteran (Paul Byron) on there. He has scored a few goals. Just roll with it.

Your fourth line is cobbled together with the leftovers. You've got the big power forward who struggles to score (Devante Smith-Pelly) on one side, and add a young call-up (Christian Thomas) on the other.

You're playing a little jazz here. Your fourth-line centre (Torrey Mitchell) is out, and you're not going to play one of your top three centres on this line. Another deadline acquisition who has played centre (Brian Flynn) will do well enough. What else will you do? You've got two rookies in the lineup as it is. Are you going to call up another?

Of course not. You're Michel Therrien, and you're old school. You do things that make sense to you, and you don't need to justify it to the fans. You've got to use what you have, and at right wing, that's not much at the moment.

You'll just have to buckle down and keep making the changes as you see fit. Right now, everything is patchwork, and until you've got a few key players back from injury, you know you've got enough of a cushion to allow for some experimentation, even if these are experiments you've run before.

Because you've won before, and you're winning now. If social media explodes because the fans think you're falling back on old habits, let it. You're not in the social media business. You're in the winning games business.

And business is a-boomin'.