Early in the season it seemed as though the number 1 line of Louis Leblanc, Philippe Lefebvre and Nicolas Chouinard would never be broken up. They were producing a lot of goals and were doing so consistently. The problem was that the rest of the team wasn't scoring. Here's a look at the current lineup:
1st line: Hari (18-LW) / Leblanc (19-C) / Chouinard (20-RW)
2nd line: Lefebvre (19-LW) / Gouchie (20-C) / Parkes (19-RW)
3rd line: Fontaine (19-LW) / Aubry (19-C) / Rose (19-RW)
4th line: Kindl (18-C), Anderson (19-C), Sherbatov (19-LW), Laflamme (17-LW), Clarke (17-LW)
Vincent has been rotating his 5 fourth line players in and out of the lineup. It's rare to see any one of these players sit out more than 2 or 3 games straight.
1st pairing: Meilleur (20) & Roussel (19)
2nd pairing: Landry (19) & Ouellet (17)
3rd pairing: Narbonne (18), Provost (18) and Micallef (18)
Vincent often dresses Narbonne, Provost and Micallef and dresses only 2 of his 5 4th line forwards in order to go with a lineup of 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. This is the right move since the depth of the Juniors' defense corps is clearly the strength of his team.
Starter: Berube (19)
Backup: Marcoux (17)
Expect Pascal Vincent to continue starting Berube in at least 75% of the Juniors games.
It is obvious that Leblanc hasn't been playing at full health since returning from the Canada / Russia Subway Series. I'm not sure exactly what the injury is however I would guess that it may be groin related....Whatever the case, Leblanc must want to remain in Montreal's lineup in order to boost his exposure and chances of playing on Canada's National Junior Team. More to come on this if anything is learned. This just in......Louis Leblanc is sitting out today against Chicoutimi after playing last night in Baie Comeau. I'm guessing this is related to the minor injury he's suffering from. Charles-Olivier Roussel is not playing today either - due to injury, I would assume.
Photo Credit: Ron Lemish