Rabid Habs

The Habs Fourth Line Needs A New Look

Opinion 2 Rabidhabs

After a gutsy effort in game two that was capped off by a Tomas Plekanec equalizer in the dying seconds of the third and a dramatic overtime winner from Alexander Radulov, the Canadiens find themselves in a tied series with the New York Rangers.

In almost every way imaginable, the Habs executed their game plan to perfection. Carey Price provided the Habs with yet another outstanding outing and the Weber- Markov and Benn- Petry duos were rock solid for the majority of the match. I should also mention the Byron- Plekanec- Gallagher line, who were without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with on the ice.

If it weren’t for King Henrik, Montreal would’ve run away with this match in an easy fashion.

Despite of my glee about the Canadiens’ recent play, there was a particular line that was a detriment to the fluidity of the Canadiens game. The line I’m nattering about is the King- Ott- Martinsen trio.

Although the line has the capability of providing our team with some of the most eye-popping hits and the three respected players possesses the ability to get under the skin of their opponents should be respected, their line needs to do more than that.

It’s a known fact that when the trio is on the ice, a majority of their playing time is a mixture of getting pinned into their own end and flailing around on the ice until Carey Price bails them out from time to time. Montreal can’t afford to have a line with three players that are virtually the same. Three slow players with barely any offensive skill isn’t a winning formula whatsoever. The line can be useful when a change of tempo is necessary, but the Habs need a more balanced fourth line that will provide a more balanced attack for the rest of the series.

Personally, I think inserting Torrey Mitchell into the lineup will helpMontreal offensively and defensively. Penciling in the Greenfield Park native over the likes of Dwight King gives Montreal another option they can deploy at any point in the game. Mitchell hones the ability to contribute offensively by using his speed in the neutral zone whilst supplying the team with strong defensive coverage and the ability to forecheck well. An added bonus to Mitchell is that he has a wealth of playoff experience appearing in 72 games. Mitchell also gives the Canadiens a right handed centre with the ability of winning a crucial face-off late in a game.

A 4th line such as; Martinsen- (Ott/McCarron)- Mitchell would greatly benefit the Canadiens.

With the Canadiens first three lines bringing their best effort, the fourth line needs to be changed in order to match the intensity of the series.

Follow Robert on Twitter @TheStandardBob.

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