As the 2018-19 season reaches its conclusion, most Montreal Canadiens fans are thinking about the future, and how a competitive season sets them up for next year.
Tonight, we get a glimpse of one of the players expected to help lead them into the next decade, as Ryan Poehling, fresh off his collegiate career, will make his NHL debut as the fourth-line centre tonight.
#Habs vs #Leafs:— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) April 6, 2019
Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Lehkonen - Domi - Shaw
Drouin - Kotkaniemi - Armia
Deslauriers - Poehling* - Weal
Mete - Weber
Kulak - Petry
Benn - Folin
Goalie situation is unclear. Lindgren is in the starter’s net, Price’s usual spot.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi returns to the centre position, where he will be for the rest of his career going forward after a brief period on the wing. The rookie ran out of steam down the stretch, but an off-season of conditioning, knowing what an 82-game grind requires, will set him up for a great sophomore campaign.
In net, Carey Price will finally get a night off, as Charlie Lindgren (potentially the Canadiens’ backup goaltender next season) gets the start in the final game.
Nicolas Deslauriers replaces Paul Byron on the fourth line. Byron will get an early start on his off-season recovery, resting a wrist that has bothered him for some time.
Julien confirme également que Paul Byron ne sera pas en uniforme en raison d'une blessure au poignet.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 6, 2019
Julien also confirms that Paul Byron won’t be in uniform due to a wrist injury. #GoHabsGo
It’s worth noting the players not in the lineup as well. With a chance to give some of the press box regulars one last game, none of Mikey Reilly, Dale Weise, Matthew Peca, and Charles Hudon are dressing, which may indicate their time with the team is at an end. We’ll find out over the next six months what Marc Bergevin wants his 2019-20 squad to look like.