When the Montreal Canadiens started the season, they had a fourth line that was not expected to do much. Following a few injuries and line changes that the Habs have made through the season, it has become the team’s best line in recent weeks. It is a line where all three members began the season in the AHL.
The fourth line that started on opening night consisted of Jacob de La Rose, Charles Hudon and Ales Hemsky. Out of the three, Hemsky had the most potential to produce after playing only fifteen games last year with the Dallas Stars. De La Rose was still trying to find a spot in the lineup in his fourth season with the Habs and Hudon was doing the same and had only played 6 games in his first two seasons.
Montreal Canadiens: The Habs Fourth Line is their Best Line
Hemsky signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Habs has yet to record a point in the seven games before he got hurt and was put on injured reserve. De La Rose has often been a healthy scratch this season and has just four points with the Habs. Hudon has moved up and down the lineup and has recorded 14 points in 33 games so far this season. He has most often played on the third line with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher. He lost that spot last week when Artturi Lehkonen returned from injury. It will be interesting to see where he ends up fitting in the lineup now the Lehkonen is back and Hudon was a healthy scratch on Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Montreal Canadiens have a bundle of problems this year but there has been one line that has stood out. The new fourth line of Byron Froese, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Daniel Carr. Night in and night out this line is giving the Habs a boost. They are forechecking hard, creating turnovers, and putting the puck in the back of the net. They cycle the puck well, and have scored in transition as well. Over the last month or so, they have been one of the best fourth lines in the NHL.
New Look, Better Results
The new and improved fourth line has been working wonders lately. All three of the forwards on this line started the season down in Laval. The biggest producer on this line has been Daniel Carr, In 10 games with the Habs, he has 10 points, also seeing some time on the powerplay. The centre of this line is Byron Froese. In 19 games he has recorded seven points and is a plus-seven. The last member of this line is Nicolas Deslauriers who has recently started picking up points with three points in his last three games including a two goal performance in the Habs 7-5 win over the Vancouver Canucks on December 19th. Deslauriers was acquired at the end of training camp, when the Habs moved Zach Redmond to the Buffalo Sabres to acquire him. This line has produced the top three players in goals for per sixty minutes so far this season.
Over the last two seasons, the Habs fourth line has really produced for them and played a key role in the team’s success. If the other three lines start to produce the Habs can become a very dangerous team that could possibly make a deep playoff run. This also shows the potential that the Habs have on their roster and a small glimpse into the future of the Montreal Canadiens. Deslauriers and Carr are both in the top three for shooting % and as long as this continues the Habs fourth line will continue to play like a top line.
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