USA TODAY Sports
Francis Bouillon spent most of the regular season as a bit of an afterthought for the Montreal Canadiens. He bounced back and forth between the third pairing and the press box, filling in whenever someone was hurt or needed a night off.
He did get a chance to play a regular shift down the stretch as P.K. Subban's partner, filling in for the injured Josh Gorges. While he looked OK himself, he clearly wasn't the right fit with Subban.
When Gorges returned just before the playoffs, it was assumed Bouillon would head back to the press box as Douglas Murray or Jarred Tinordi took the sixth-defenseman spot. But apparently Michel Therrien saw something in Bouillon that the rest of us didn't.
Therrien made the surprise move to insert Bouillon onto Mike Weaver's left side and it paid off. He was a plus-five in the four-game series while playing 13:57 a night. Not heavy minutes by any means, but still important.
Considering how he was used during the regular season, it was a surprise to even see Bouillon in the lineup, never mind the fact that he tied for the team lead in plus-minus in Round 1.
It will be interesting to see how long Bouillon lasts on the third pairing in Round 2 against the Bruins. He stands just 5'8" and Weaver just 5'10". The lack of size worked fine against the Lightning, but they might have a more difficult time handling the much bigger Boston forwards.
Regardless of what happens against Boston, Bouillon was a pleasant surprise in Round 1. He teamed up with Weaver to give the Canadiens a perfect third pairing.