Habs lineup news: Some tweaks to the forward lines, a shake-up on defence

Jordan Weal moves up to the top six, while Brett Kulak takes Mikey Reilly’s place.

After the first regulation loss of the 2019-20 season, Claude Julien decided to make a few changes to the Montreal Canadiens’ alignment that will face off with the St. Louis Blues this evening.

Despite a difficult game as far as discipline goes on Thursday, Tomas Tatar will still be on the top line as Claude Julien trusts his top trio will find their form with some more time together.

Nick Suzuki, who hasn’t been able to show off the great offensive work that earned him a roster spot in training camp, is off the second line in favour of Jordan Weal. A fourth-line demotion may not be such a bad thing for the rookie, and it was in that role last game that he put together a great sequence of shifts to end the night versus the Detroit Red Wings. It could be a sign that things are starting to turn in his favour as he attempts to hold on to his roster spot.

After two games off, Brett Kulak is back in tonight, and in a very familiar place on Jeff Petry’s left side. That was a consistent duo down the stretch of last season, and a high-quality one at that, so they should work well together. The move means Ben Chiarot is bumped down a slot, and he will displace Mikey Reilly from the lineup to play alongside Christian Folin. The two don’t seem like complementary players, both lacking in the puck-moving department, but we’ll have to wait and see how they fare versus the Blues tonight.

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