Eller out, Galchenyuk moves to centre
Michel Therrien said if he kept rookies around it was to play them. He's lived up to his word, whether Lars Eller likes that or not.
The Canadiens had Alex Galchenyuk centring Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Prust at the gameday skate before facing the Florida Panthers. That leaves Eller and Blunden as the healthy scratches tonight.
"Lars has potential, but to be able to reach his potential he's going to have to upgrade his intensity," said Coach after the morning skate.
Gallagher is a Hamilton Bulldogs AHL allstar happy to miss the game if he sticks around with the Habs. At just 5'8", the speedy winger was only a 5th round draft pick of the Canadiens in 2010 and is only 20.
Gallagher was wearing an ear-to-ear smile after this morning's session at Brossard. He talked about the playmaking skills that Galchenyuk brings to this team, and the veteran leadership that Prust brings to the trio.
"Prusty is the babysitter on our line," said Gallagher with a big grin.
His combined age with that of his centreman and training camp roommate Galchenyuk is less than that of former Habs' forward Alex Kovalev, who returns to the Bell Centre with the Panthers tonight.
Eller was switched back and forth between centre and wing repeatedly by coaches Jacques Martin and Randy Cunneyworth last season. He had only 12:33 of icetime in the season-opening loss to the Leafs.