Game Preview: Maple Leafs at Canadiens





7-8-3, 17 points

12-6-1, 25 points

PP %

17.7%, 13th

14.9%, 22nd

PK %

76.3%, 28th

90.1%, 1st

Goals For



Goals Against



The Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens in the NHL’s 50,000th game. They also met in the first NHL game ever. That’s some crazy symmetry. There are a number of incredible stats that have come out of the first 49,999 games. But there’s really only one thing on the minds of the fans of both franchises: the sad passing of Pat Burns, a former coach of both teams. He was one of only two men to ever take the helm behind the bench for both clubs.

There’s not much more to say that hasn’t been said by people that knew Pat Burns better than most of us ever could hope to. While it’s terrible to lose a man like Burns, it’s great to know that his example will live on. Hockey Night in Canada will be especially powerful tonight.

In terms of the game on the ice, the Leafs will be looking to continue their two-game winning streak. The criticism is that they’ve beaten a couple of struggling teams but at the end of the day you can only beat the team in front of you. The Leafs won the first match-up this year on opening night 3-2. The Leafs’ dads will be with them so hopefully it will inspire them to overcome a good Canadiens team including Carey Price who sports a 2.11GAA and .928sv%. Jonas Gustavsson will have to pick up where he left off on Tuesday when he stopped 29 of 30 shots.

The special teams matchup will be interesting. Wilson’s move to put Kris Versteeg on the point as led to a resurgent powerplay. It helps that they’ve had a lot of practice (and 5-on-3s!) so the league’s # 1 ranked penalty kill will be a good test. The other interesting aspect will be the two club’s prize rookies. Will PK Subban do something disrespectful (at least if you’re Mike Richards) or will he do something ridiculous (like that stupid tongue wag or when he hit a forechecker into the net when he was being chased…actually, that was cool)? Will Nazem Kadri get his first NHL goal against the team that his family used to root for? All those questions will be answered and more tonight. Same HNiC channel, same HNiC time.