Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien announced a surprising change to his lineup ahead of tonight's game against the St.Louis Blues. Defenseman Jordie Benn will be out of the lineup, and Joe Morrow will take his spot on Montreal blue line. Morrow was scratched for the last seven games.
When asked about the reasons of this change in the lineup, Julien did not hesitate, stating that Benn has been struggling a lot lately and that he felt that taking him out of the lineup could help him for the long-term.
Benn signed with the Dallas Stars organization as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He was acquired via trade by the Canadiens last season, in exchange for defenseman Greg Pateryn and a fourth round pick in 2017. In 48 games played this season, the 30 year-old defenseman scored four goals and six assists for a total of ten points. He has 83 points in 363 games played in the NHL so far.
Morrow, 25, was drafted 23rd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011. He never played with them, because Pittsburgh traded him to the Dallas Stars in 2013. The Stars traded him again, this time to the Boston Bruins, a couple of weeks later. He joined the Canadiens as a free agent last summer. In 26 games played this season, Morrow has seven points. In 91 games played in the NHL, the Edmonton, Alberta native has 16 points.
The Canadiens are currently fifth in the Atlantic division with a record of 20-23-6.