Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki
Photo credit: CBS

Martin St-Louis Confirms Several Shocking Lineup Changes: Everything Has Been Shaken Up for Tonight's Game Against Patrick Roy and the Islanders

Published January 25, 2024 at 5:37 PM

After starting 2024 strong with a record of four wins, two losses, and two overtime defeats, the last three games have been much more difficult for Martin St-Louis' men. Indeed, the Canadiens lost their three games, conceding a total of 19 goals, while scoring only seven times.

The Canadiens' head coach tried to shake up his players by making several changes to the lineup for tonight's game. However, these modifications have raised some questions, especially since Martin St-Louis dismantled the only line that was recently successful, composed of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Additionally, the organization confirmed that center Lucas Condotta will play his second NHL game, having been called up by the main team last night. Moreover, considering Michael Pezzetta only played one minute and fifty-seven seconds against the Senators on Tuesday, it seems likely that the number 55 of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge might have to watch the game against the Islanders from the press box.

Here is the lineup that should theoretically take the ice at the Bell Centre for Patrick Roy's visit tonight:

Cole Caufield -- Nick Suzuki -- Josh Anderson
Juraj Slafkovsky -- Sean Monahan -- Joel Armia
Rafael Harvey-Pinard -- Jake Evans -- Brendan Gallagher
Tanner Pearson -- Lucas Condotta -- Jesse Ylonen

Michael Matheson -- David Savard
Jayden Struble -- Kaiden Guhle
Arber Xhekaj -- Johnathan Kovacevic

Samuel Montembeault

In my opinion, it's a big mistake to relegate the former first overall pick to the second unit. The player was finally getting comfortable alongside the CH's two stars, with his offensive contribution improving. It would be quite surprising to see him score points with an inconsistent player like Joel Armia.

Moreover, Martin St-Louis has tried the combination of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Josh Anderson many times, and it has never seemed to work despite numerous attempts. Furthermore, this change sends a dubious message to the Canadiens' forwards as Josh Anderson receives a promotion, despite having only one goal in his last nine games.

Now it remains to be seen if this shock will allow the Canadiens to bounce back and end this series of three consecutive losses. It's also likely that this game will hold significant meaning for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, given Patrick Roy's grand return to the Bell Centre.

Here are the explanations provided by head coach Martin St-Louis, who was questioned about his new offensive combinations following yesterday's morning practice:

January 25   |   240 answers
Martin St-Louis Confirms Several Shocking Lineup Changes: Everything Has Been Shaken Up for Tonight's Game Against Patrick Roy and the Islanders

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