Ranking the Montreal Canadiens’ top six forwards is a challenge mainly because so many players qualify for consideration.
The term “top-six forward” is thrown around way too often, usually in reference to a player on a given team’s top two lines. However, on a team such as the Habs, where third-line center Lars Eller actually outscored both second-liners (Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque) and first-liners (David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher), the term kind of takes on an incredibly loose definition.
Think along the same lines as “No. 1 goaltender” with regard to the Calgary Flames, but, you know, without the uncontrollable giggling. Now, don't get me wrong: Habs fans should in fact be smiling, but just over how the team averaged three goals per game last season (scoring three goals that is, instead of letting in that many) as a result of that aforementioned depth.
If you look at Montreal’s forwards, you’ll notice no less than nine different players capable of filling a top-six role. They are of course Bourque, Daniel Briere, Desharnais, Eller, Alex Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Gionta, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec.
Here are the top six, in terms of quality, not necessarily ice time, power ranked for your reading pleasure from worst to first.